Aurora glamping dome in the forest

Where to Stay in Alta: 9 Unique Hotels, Igloos, & Aurora Cabins!

While Tromsø often steals the show when it comes to Norway’s Arctic winter offerings, Alta is slowly emerging as a great alternative destination away from the crowds.

You can do all the same things in Alta in winter as you can in Tromsø, while saving some serious money on hotels, which are a lot more affordable in Alta.

Want to go dog-sledding? You can do it with literal dog sled champions!

Dog sledding lodge in Alta
Holmen Husky Lodge – a great place to go dog sledding!
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See the Northern lights? Alta is literally the City of the Northern lights, where the world’s first Northern lights observatory was built.

Whale watching? Yup, and you won’t need to take a 3-hour boat ride across rough seas to find them!

Plus, Alta has some seriously unique accommodations outside of the city center, including panoramic glass cabins, igloo hotels, wilderness lodges, and canvas-and-glass domes.

Ready? Let’s get into it!

Best Alta Aurora Cabins & Tents for Northern Lights Views

Flatmoen Nature LodgeBook Here

A person in a hot tub in this Alta lodge
Flatmoen Nature Lodge | Photo Credit:

One of the more unique accommodations in Alta is the beautiful Flatmoen Nature Lodge, which has just two scenic panoramic cabins, each with its own private outdoor hot tub.

This beautiful little cabin is away from the main lights of Alta city center, in the Ovre Alta area. 

It sleeps two people, so it’s a great choice for couples or two friends traveling together who don’t mind sharing a queen bed (note that in Scandinavia, individual duvets are always provided!) 

This cabin has a coffee/tea station and a small kitchenette if you want to cook for yourself, including a mini-fridge, microwave, and stovetop. Being able to cook yourself is a great way to save some money on your trip to Norway!

And if you want breakfast in bed? You can request it and it’ll be cooked to order and delivered to your room for just 200 NOK (about ~18 USD).

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Trasti & Trine – Book Here

The aurora in Alta over a snow-covered cabin
Trasti & Trine | View of the Northern lights over the property

While I didn’t stay at Trasti & Trine, two of my favorite memories of my Alta trip took place here…

One, the delicious multi-course fine dining meal we splurged on here, and two, seeing the Northern lights from their property as soon as we waddled away from the meal!

Fine dining menu at trasti and trine in alta, norway
Meal at Trasti & Trine

The property is really beautiful, with a typical guesthouse as well four aurora cabins.

These four individual cabins all have glass panels aimed towards the heavens so that if you turn off the lights, you can see if there’s any aurora happening above you.

They also have a dog kennel on site so you can book dog sledding excursions through them!

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GLØD Aurora Canvas Dome – Book Here

Aurora seen through the ceiling of an aurora dome
GLØD Aurora Canvas Dome | Photo Credit: Agoda

For a unique spin on glamping, the adventure travel company GLØD has a two aurora domes that you can stay in. 

And don’t worry — they have a fireplace (and electric blankets) so you won’t freeze!

These canvas domes have a few plexiglass panels that you can look out through and see if there’s any aurora happening over your head

Note that these aurora domes don’t have their own ensuite bathrooms, but there is a shared bathroom nearby. Breakfast is included in your stay in the main building.

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Best Alta Luxury Hotels

Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge – Book Here

Interior of the Sorrisniva Arctic wilderness lodge in the winter
Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge | Photo Credit:

One of the most spectacular places you can stay in Alta is the Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge, which is the year-round permanent hotel companion to the beautiful Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel. 

The hotel is a boutique design dream, with beautiful interiors that place the focus on the stunning views over the river valley. 

Both the bed and comfortable armchairs face the views with floor-to-ceiling-to-roof windows (yes, there’s a glass roof panel, perfect for peeking through to see if the aurora is overhead), as well as an enclosed balcony.

This lodge is all about enjoying the nature, so there’s a ton to do here that you can organize through the hotel. From summer activities like king crab safaris to winter activities like snowmobiling and Northern lights chasing, there’s so much to do here. Plus, the restaurant here is one of Alta’s best!

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Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel Book Here

Allison Green sitting in an ice hotel in Norway with a yellow sweater and snow boots
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel | Photo taken from my February 2024 visit

Part of the Sorrisniva property, the igloo hotel is a temporary hotel rebuilt from scratch every year, re-opening annually on December 20th.

Even if you can’t afford to (or prefer not to) spend a night in the hotel, you can visit for 350 NOK (~32 USD) and spend as much time as you like exploring all the cool features of the hotel.

With an ice chapel, ice bar, all sorts of stunning ice sculptures created by artists near and far, there’s so much to see in this beautiful igloo hotel.

I’d honestly only recommend staying one night in an igloo hotel — it’s more of an interesting conceit than a comfortable stay — so you could stay here one night and then move to the Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge the next day.

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Best Alta City Center Hotels

Thon Hotel Alta – Book Here

Thon Hotel | Photo from my stay in February 2024

The modern and ultra-central Thon Hotel is personally where I stayed in Alta and I can highly recommend it to people who want to stay in Alta center.

The rooms were really spacious and comfortable and I enjoyed the tropical vibe of the décor, which provided a nice contrast to the freezing cold outside!

View from the hotel room in Alta
View from my room at the Thon Hotel in Alta in February 2024

The breakfast buffet was absolutely delicious, the best I enjoyed in all my travels in Norway. I especially loved being able to make my own freshly-squeezed orange juice each morning!

The only con I can say is that there’s no on-site parking and the main parking center in the city is quite expensive, but that’s true for all Alta city center hotels as far as I can see.

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Scandic Hotel – Book Here

Interior of the scandic hotel with a white bed and aurora painting
Scandic Hotel Alta | Photo Credit:

I didn’t stay at the Scandic Hotel Alta in particular, but I’ve stayed at many Scandics in other cities in Scandinavia and I’ve always been really satisfied with my stay.

Many Scandics are also quite business travel focused, which means they have a lot of good amenities even for leisure travelers and families.

This particular Scandic is quite massive — with over 240 rooms — and it has a fitness room, an indoor pool, and a sauna!

There’s also a free buffet breakfast daily, and they have on-site overnight parking for 80 NOK (~7 USD) per day, which is a good rate compared to what it costs at parking lots in the city center.

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Canyon Hotell – Book Here

Interior of the canyon hotell in central alta
Canyon Hotell | Photo Credit:

If you’re looking for an affordable play to stay in the middle of Alta’s city center, Canyon Hotell generally has the best prices of the city’s three main central hotels.

It has everything you’d need from a basic hotel, but in my opinion, hotels like Thon are a slight step above when it comes to their amenities, like their hotel breakfast.

It’s a nice mid-sized hotel with just 22 rooms, with two on-site restaurants for lunch and dinner, as well as a daily breakfast available included in the room cost.

This is a good option for families, because they have rooms that sleep up to 4, and rollaway/extra beds can be had for 300 NOK (about 28 USD) per day.

Note that like the other Alta city center hotels, there is no on-site parking.

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