Cost of chasing the aurora borealis

Checking off the line item “see the northern lights” from our bucket list cost quite a bit but is absolutely worth every penny. Below is a rough breakdown of our budget so you can estimate how much yours can potentially cost, so you can start planning for it:



A few things to note:
Return flight: Amsterdam-Oslo


This cost can change depending on where you’re coming from, the airline you’re using, and when you’re travelling.  We flew KLM—which is our preferred airline whilst living in Amsterdam.
Return flight: Oslo-Tromso


This cost is pretty cheap for a domestic flight between Oslo and Tromsø.  We got the flights fairly inexpensive because we booked much in advance.  This fare can more than double if you book late.
Accommodation: Rica Ishavshotel


This rate is for one night, double occupancy, with Internet and breakfast included.  It’s quite high because it was peak season.  Rates at the Rica Ishavshotel can range from approximately €130 to €250 a night.  Tromsø is a small city so the hotel rates are quite competitive.  The cheapest I’ve seen for February 2014 is €112 but do not expect any water views.
Northern lights chase/tour


This rate covers two people for a one-night, eight-hour chase, with a small snack with hot chocolate midway through the chase (via Arctic Guide Service).  Cheaper tours and more expensive ones are also available—it really depends on the experience that you’re looking for.
Winter gear


We have our reasons for renting the Arctic gear, and although it’s highly recommended for extremely cold temperatures in the Arctic Circle, renting is still optional.  You can skip this cost entirely if you have tried-and-tested cold weather gear that you can bring along.


Norway is unquestionably expensive.  It’s right up there with Switzerland and Japan.  This cost covers meals, souvenirs, transportation to/from airport, as well as a bit of sightseeing in Tromsø that includes taking the cable car to the top of Mount Storsteinen (421m/1382ft) for fantastic panoramic views of Tromsø (image below).
TOTAL for two people


Cost for two people for one weekend in Tromsø

If seeing the aurora borealis is in your bucket list, please do not hesitate to share or leave a comment.  And if you need my help in planning, send me a message in Facebook! Happy planning!

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