Top Northern Lights Location in the Capital, Iceland 2020/2021


Top Northern Lights Location in the Capital, Iceland 2020/2021's cover picture

Find out where you can see the aurora in Reykjavík and the surrounding area. Read this article and download hello aurora so you will not miss aurora again!

Everyone who visits Iceland must visit its capital region. The capital city of Iceland is called Reykjavík which the name of the city means the "bay of smoke". Reykjavík is known to be the most northern capital in the world and it’s a great place to spot the Northern Lights 💚

Over the last season, we had over two thousand aurora reported in the capital region. It’s obvious that the pandemic has played an important role in this report since our data shown fewer reports on tourist locations such as Grótta and Sun Voyager but more reports in the residential areas. 

Let’s take a look at where in the capital regions was the most spotted aurora location in the past year 👇

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Top aurora location in Reykjavík and the surrounding area.

Downtown Reykjavík

The city center of Reykjavík was the most spotted aurora location in the capital region. There have been over 800 reports from that area. 

Keep in mind that if you are looking for a perfect spot to photograph the Northern Lights, Reykjavik downtown would not be an ideal location for you since you will have high light pollution that has a significant effect on your photo of aurora. The reason why it was most spotted could be because the majority of locals live in downtown and with our notification, you can expect to see the aurora at your home when the aurora forecast is favorable.

Read how to read the aurora forecast here.

Last year we have listed the Sun Voyager as one of the top spotted aurora locations but unfortunately, it did not have a chance to be on this list, the reason could be because the number of tourists visiting Iceland during the last season was very little due to Covid-19 and not many locals are interested in Sun Voyager as tourists do.

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Aurora dancing in Reykjavík downtown

Elliðaár and the surrounding area

Elliðaár the hidden gem in Reykjavík are rivers that ran from the Elliðavatni and flow into Elliðaárdal lake through Faxaflói bay. The area is ranges from the eastern part of Reykjavík from Heiðmörk until the northern part of Reykjavík, Faxaflói bay.

Around Elliðaár you can find many nature reserves such as a small waterfall in the middle of the city, the Kermóafoss. The waterfall is situated in the Southern part of the Elliðaár rivers and it’s only about 13 minutes drive from the city center. Around the waterfall and the rivers, you can enjoy yourself in a forest and a lake in the middle of the city without the need to drive far.

Heiðmörk is the largest outdoor and recreation area in Reykjavík and it’s one of the most popular Northern Lights locations. The location is perfect when you don’t want to drive from the city because the road into the area is small and have a fewer traffic light.


The famous lighthouse is ranked in third place this season (it ranked on first place last season), which was not a surprise result for us due to the covid restriction there has been a very little number of tourist visited Iceland in the past year. And since locals can often see the aurora from their homes there is more convenient for them to stay inside on the cold winter night 🥶

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Grótta the famous lighthouse nearby Reykjavík downtown


Kópavogur ranked again this year. There have been over 100 alerts reported from our users from that area. Most of the locations were spotted from homes and from streets.


We did not mention these areas in our last report so this is new for us. There are around 29.670 people living in Hafnarfjörður so it was not a surprise that many reported from that area.

Hafnarfjörður is actually a great place for you to set the camera and photograph the Northern Lights as the area is in the suburb therefore you will have less light pollution. And from Hafnarfjörður you can drive toward the south such as to Kleifarvatn and Krýsuvík which are the famous aurora location where tour provider often brought their client. Krýsuvík is only about half an hour from downtown Reykjavík, the road condition there is great but we also recommend checking the road condition on our app before you depart as some parts of the road might not be suitable for small and non 4x4 cars, we are sure you do not want to be stuck in the snow and miss the aurora show.

Find out the most spotted aurora location in entire Iceland in this article.

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Where to see the aurora in Iceland

This article should give you a concrete idea of where you can see the aurora in Reykjavík. The conclusion is you can see them in the middle of the city despite light pollution when the sky is clear. We recommend turning on your notification so you will not miss the aurora again!

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