Expedia has revealed the top trending places to see the Northern Lights in the world in 2024 - and there's one spot in the UK.

2024 has been tipped as a great year to catch the Northern Lights since they'll be at their most visible. 

The intensity of the Aurora Borealis is determined by solar activity and 2024 is when the sun reaches its peak (or solar maximum) of an 11-year cycle. 

It's not surprising then that the Northern Lights has been named as the most sought-after bucket list experience of 2024 by Expedia.

More than half of Brits (57%) shared that they aspire to witness the Northern Lights as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, according to a survey conducted by the travel experts.

Visiting the Pyramids (31%) and walking along the Great Wall of China (28%) were also among the bucket list experiences that Brits are desperate to tick off their lists. 

“Planning your Northern Lights adventure might feel like navigating uncharted territory, but we've made it easy for travellers to make this trip a reality,” said Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group Brands public relations.

Ms Fish added: “From Churchill to Tromsø, the free guide shows where to stay for under £148 a night or how to bundle a whole trip together for under £1,500. There’s even a photography guide to make sure you know how to capture the memory.” 

The team at Expedia has rounded up the top 10 trending destinations to see the Northern Lights.

Their research is based on the searches for these destinations increasing by over 40% year-on-year.

Expedia predicts that they will continue to be popular among tourists in 2024: 

  1. Lapland, Finland
  2. Churchill, Canada
  3. Rovaniemi, Finland
  4. Narvik, Norway
  5. Kirkenes, Norway
  6.  Kálfafell, Iceland
  7.  Inari, Finland
  8. Abisko, Sweden
  9. Isle of Skye, Scotland
  10.  Tromsø, Norway

Best times to book a Northern Lights holiday

Expedia has also rounded up the best times for travellers to book these ultimate Northern Light holidays.

The full service travel brands has broken down all the numbers for you based on average daily rates for the rest of the year.

  • February: Faroe Islands, rates at £96, a £60 contrast from the most expensive month, September
  • March: Aberdeen, priced at £68, £9 cheaper than April
  • April: Tromsø, marked at £117, an £63 difference compared to January
  • September: Finland, with rates at £108, £71 cheaper than December
  • October: Lapland, priced at £83, nearly half the cost of December, January, and February
  •  November: Yellowknife, priced at £109, 10% cheaper than January and February
  • December: Greenland, rates at £86, a £79 difference compared to February and March

How do I take pictures of the Northern Lights with my smartphone?

Award-winning aurora photographer, Tor-Ivar Næss, spoke to Expedia with whom he shared his top five invaluable tips to enhance your Northern Lights photography experience.

  • Use a Tripod: Or place your phone on a sturdy surface, like a backpack. Stability is key for long exposure photography. A tripod will keep your phone steady, which is crucial for capturing the slow-moving lights of the aurora without blur.
  • Manual Mode: If your smartphone camera allows manual settings, use them. Adjust the ISO (try starting around 800-1600), lower the shutter speed (several seconds), and set the aperture as wide as possible to let in as much light as you can.
  • Focus to Infinity: Ensure your camera’s focus is set to infinity. This is important because autofocus might have trouble in the dark, and you want the stars and lights to be sharp. You know you are in focus when the stars are at their smallest.
  • Use a Remote Shutter or Timer: To avoid camera shake when you press the shutter button, use a remote control or the built-in timer function on your smartphone.
  • Experiment With Composition: The aurora is unpredictable, so try different compositions and include interesting foregrounds for a sense of scale and place. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. And if the aurora is above you, try to shoot straight up.

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“This year the Northern Lights promise an unforgettable display and photo moment, making it an ideal year for travel enthusiasts to experience this once-in-a-lifetime experience, " Tor-Ivar Næss said. 

The photography expert added: "Consider heading on your journey between mid-September and early April when the darker, clearer nights enhance your chances of witnessing this photo phenomenon.

“From the beautiful landscapes of Iceland to the majestic fjords of Tromsø in Norway, this year offers an excellent opportunity for photographers to capture the beauty of the lights.

"By using my recommended tips for photography fanatics, you can increase your chances of capturing remarkable shots.

"Remember, capturing the Northern Lights is often about patience and experimenting with settings, so don’t get discouraged if your first few shots don’t turn out as expected. Keep trying!”