Aurora Reykjavik (Northern Lights Center)
Whether you’ve come to Iceland outside of the Northern Lights viewing months or simply want to find out more about the natural phenomenon before trying to hunt it down, Aurora Reykjavik makes for an educational visit.
The Northern Lights Center features four separate areas, which you can explore at your leisure. One focuses on the history and science behind the natural phenomenon, another looks at the impact the lights have had on different cultures and people who live in the Arctic, while another offers tips on how best to capture the aurora on camera. The star exhibit is a 25-minute time-lapse video shown on the center’s 23-foot-wide (7-meter-wide) screen that shows some of the Aurora Borealis’ most spectacular displays.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Learn about the myths and legends associated with this fabled natural phenomenon, as well as how to capture the elusive natural wonder on film.
The center’s movie runs on repeat so visitors are sure to catch the spectacle no matter when they visit.
The center is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Aurora Reykjavik is located in Reykjavik’s Old West Side neighborhood, just west of the downtown center. City bus service 14 stops at Grandagarður right in front of the museum. Hop-on hop-off bus tours also stop here.
When to Get There
The center is open every day 9am–9pm. If you plan on doing a Northern Lights tour, visit the center before to get tips on the best times to see the lights and how best to photograph them. The center is quietest in the morning and early evening.
Photographing the Northern Lights
Getting good photographs of the Northern Lights requires preparation and skill. Staff at the center can help you find the optimal settings for your camera, from exposure to ISO to aperture, so that you’re ready before you head off on your Aurora hunt.
The center has a photo booth where visitors can try out their own gear and see how it performs in circumstances that mimic those of real life. Visitors who want to take their own Northern Lights photo, but don’t have the right kind of camera, can rent one from the center.
- Saga Museum
- Skarfabakki Cruise Terminal
- Whales of Iceland
- Volcano House
- Reykjavík Art Museum Hafnarhús
- Harpa (Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre)
- National Gallery of Iceland
- National Museum of Iceland
- Hallgrim's Church (Hallgrímskirkja)
- Hofdi House
- Akurey Island (Puffin Island)
- Sun Voyager (Solfar)
- The Pearl (Perlan)