As reported by Expedia®, the Northern Lights rank as the most sought-after destination among travellers this year.

The survey commissioned by Expedia revealed that nearly half (42%) of Americans would prioritise Northern Lights chasing this year ahead over other bucket list experiences.

Further, the report also unveiled that travelling to see the aurora is more in demand than visiting Egypt’s pyramids (36%) or walking along the Great Wall of China (33%).

The global popularity of the Northern Lights is evident by the skyrocketing Expedia searches for winter trips to Northern Lights “capitals” like Lapland in Finland (+370%), Canada’s Churchill (110%) and Alta in Norway (+100%). The search relied on year-over-year growth, with other top destinations such as Iceland, Canada, and Sweden preferred. 

Thereby, the brand has released a Northern Lights Insider Guide packed with insights on trending destinations, booking hacks, photography tips, and itineraries to assist travellers in planning their trips. Hence, the Guide is everything travellers need to know to plan and book a once-in-a-lifetime trip to chase the Northern Lights in 2024.

Canada, Finland and Norway boast the most popular destinations for aurora enthusiasts.
Image Source Expedia

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights, also called aurora borealis, are swirling patterns of green, blue, and red that adorn the night sky. The phenomenon occurs as streams of charged particles called solar wind. The solar wind is ejected from the sun’s outer layer toward Earth. Upon reaching the Earth’s upper atmosphere, these particles collide with gas particles. 

This collision transfers energy to the gas molecules, which release it as light particles. The cumulative effect of these tiny light flashes produces mesmerising Northern Lights displays. 

Travellers can usually experience the Northern Lights in rural and open areas in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Lapland, and Alaska.

Image Source Expedia

Why Has Northern Lights Chasing Become a Trend?

The astronomical phenomenon will be evident in 2024 thanks to a favourable solar cycle.

Additionally, enhanced travel accessibility and the impact of social media have fuelled the trend of aurora chasing. Travellers are drawn to the experience as it aligns with bucket list aspirations, cultural significance, and the exclusive seasonal appeal, creating a sought-after adventure shared among those seeking distinctive natural wonders.

Top Destinations for Northern Lights Spotting

According to the Expedia database, here are some of the top destinations for aurora spotting:


For American aurora hunters, Finland is far and away the most popular destination, with hotel searches increasing by 215% in 2023 versus 2022. The Finnish Lapland region is most famous (+370%) and home to popular Northern Lights locales Rovaniemi (+255%) and Inari (+250%), among others.  


Top Canadian destinations for Northern Lights tourism included Churchill, Manitoba, which boasted a 110% increase in hotel searches in 2023 compared to 2022; Banff, Alberta (+80%); and Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories (+40%).

Expedia’s Northern Lights Insider Guide helps travelers plan their trip.
Image Source Expedia


Norway’s Northern Lights season stretches from fall to spring, but statistically, the best times to see the lights are in March/April and September/October.  

The top destinations included Alta, the second-northest city in the world (+100%), Narvik (+90%), and Tromsø (+45%). 


Michigan (+20%): Peak times are April, October and November. 

Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota (+20%): This wilderness along the Canadian border is a hotbed of aurora borealis activity. Visit in the fall or winter for the best chance at a light show. 

Alaska (+15%): Visit in late August through mid-April for the best chance of spotting the Northern Lights.

For in-depth details and advice, check out the Northern Lights Insider Guide in Expedia Newsroom, and visit the Expedia Magazine.

About Expedia

Expedia® is one of the world’s leading full-service travel brands. Its mission is to help travellers get the most out of every trip they take by providing everything they need all in one place and ensuring they feel supported every step of the way. 

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