There are many ways to see the Northern lights in Northern Norway: going on a husky sledding tour under the aurora, snowshoeing in the wilderness, taking a minibus Northern lights tour in search of the perfect place to spot the Northern lights.
But perhaps the best and most interesting way to see the Northern lights in Norway is by staying in one of the country’s glass igloo hotels, where you can watch the dancing aurora borealis from the comfort of your bed.
Glass igloos were first popularized in Finnish Lapland, with hotels like Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Apukka Resort, and more offering boutique accommodations with a glass roof so you can watch the lights while laying in bed.
But glass igloos in Norway are starting to become more popular, even though Finland has certainly had a head start.
This post will go over all the best places in Norway to stay in a glass igloo hotel, far from the light pollution of the cities
Here you can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience watching the Northern lights from your own room!
Planning your trip last minute? Here are our quick recommendations! Accommodations: - Green Gold (Full package tour from Tromso with overnight stay, including whale watching or snowmobiling option) - Isbreen the Glacier (Luxury accommodations near Alta & Skjervoy, glass bubble style igloos, easy access to whale watching) - Aurora Borealis Observatory (Typical glass igloo style accommodations on Senja Island -- one of the only true glass igloo hotels in Norway)
What’s It Like to Stay in a Glass Igloo in Norway?
It really depends on which accommodation you pick! In general, the glass igloo scene in Norwegian Lapland is not as advanced as what you’ll find in Finnish Lapland.
Whereas most of the glass igloos in Finland have permanent structures, several glass igloos in Norway are more akin to geodesic dome style glamping tent set-ups, with plexiglass panels from which you can watch the aurora.
While you can definitely still see the lights there, they are not quite as luxurious as Finland’s igloos, which tend to have more amenities like en-suite bathrooms with hot water showers, small kitchenettes so you can do some light cooking, etc.
There is a wide range in terms of what to expect when staying in a glass igloo style hotel in Norway so keep your mind open and be sure to read the specifications of each hotel carefully so that you aren’t disappointed.
Depending on where you stay, many of these glass igloos in Norway are very remote. For some, it may be best to rent a car, as long as you feel comfortable driving in winter climates.
When booking cars in Europe, I always use Discover Cars — they search through 500+ tour agencies, including local rental companies that other search engines miss, to find you the best price on your car rental!
How Much Does Staying in a Glass Igloo in Norway Cost?
Staying in a glass igloo in Norway is not cheap! That said, there are some great value options.
The best value is the overnight glass lavvu stay combined with either a snowmobile tour or whale-watching tour. The whole experience, including meals, transfers from Tromso, and the tour is under $500 USD!
This is a really great value when you consider that generally, a whale watching tour will run about $200 USD individually and will not include any meals, and accommodations even in basic places in Tromso tend to run about $200 USD per night.
Otherwise, you will want to book the glass igloo separately as accommodation. In that case, you are looking at a range from $300 for a simple glamping set-up (no en-suite bathroom) to up to $700 for a rather fancy igloo!
The Best Norway Glass Igloo Hotels
Aurora Borealis Observatory (Senja, Norway)
Located on Senja Island but away from the light pollution of the nearby town of Finnsnes, this is a great place to stay to see the Northern lights from a glass igloo in Norway!
From your cozy but but small glass igloo, you can enjoy nearly 360-degree views of the starry sky — hopefully with appearances from the beautiful aurora wavering overhead in the Northern sky.
Best of all, you can enjoy all the views from the comfort of your own bed inside one of these small aurora huts!
Note that these aurora domes are pretty minimalistic and don’t have indoor plumbing.
There are no shower facilities inside these glass igloos; however, there is a chemical toilet which you can use so you don’t have to go outside in the middle of the night!
There are also other more traditional styles of suites if you don’t want to stay in a glass igloo and you prefer a little more comfort.
Every room comes with huge windows so you can appreciate the beautiful aurora right from your own hotel!
Daily breakfast is provided and there is also a restaurant on-site providing fine dining options, including a beautifully-executed tasting menu that celebrates Northern Norwegian cuisine.
Where to Find it & How to Get There
To get here, the fastest way is to fly to Bardufoss Airport and then take a shuttle transfer to Finnsnes (about 1.5 hours). The hotel can arrange pickup from there.
The shuttle services are timed with the flights so you don’t have to stress missing the transfer — it will wait for you!
You can also fly into Tromso and then take an express boat transfer to Finnsnes, which takes about 1.5 hours.
The seas can be a little rough during the winter, but it can also be really scenic.
Activities to Enjoy at Aurora Borealis Observatory
You can rent skis so you can go on a cross-country skiing adventure independently. You can also snowshoe in the area.
They can also arrange activities like snowmobiling or husky safaris with trusted local providers.
Green Gold Villa (Lyngen Alps, Norway)
For an all-inclusive stay at an igloo hotel — including transfers from Tromso, an overnight stay in a glass lavvu, an epic tour, and three meals (lunch, dinner, and next-day breakfast) — you can simply book this excursion and aurora camping tour as a package experience.
This is the easiest way to book a stay in a glass igloo because it handles all your transfers and meals for you, as well as adding on a bucket list activity!
Depending on when your trip to Tromso is, a different activity may be offered.
The whale watching tour is only available during the period from the beginning of November through the end of January, because the whales leave Skjervoy by February.
On the other hand, the snowmobiling tour is only available from the beginning of December through the end of March, because enough snow needs to fall for this activity to be possible.
Rather than calling them ‘glass igloos’, here they call the accommodations ‘crystal lavvus’.
They are so named because they are similar in structure to the lavvus that the Sami people (the Indigenous people of the Northern Nordic region) lived in… only they have a crystal glass roof!
A lavvu is similar to a Native American tipi, a cone-shaped structure with a heated center — typically a fireplace, but in this instance, it’s a wood-fired stove.
These accommodations aren’t quite as luxurious as some of the other glass igloos in Norway — it is more of a camping experience than a true luxury hotel — but they offer perhaps the best value.
For example, rather than having a double bed, there are single beds, and you will have a wood-burning stove as opposed to a heat pump or other heating solution.
These rooms also don’t have a private bathroom but rather a shared facility for communal use.
If you are visiting Norway on a budget and want to stay in a room with a glass roof where you can see the Northern lights dance overhead, this is the way to do it!
Where to Find It & How to Get There
The best way to stay at Green Gold Villa is by booking one of the tour experiences, which will also handle transportation.
You can stay at Green Gold Villa by booking independently, but only the villa itself (which sleeps 6) is available to be booked on hotel booking websites.
The crystal lavvu (glass-roof tipi-style accommodations) can only be booked by reserving one of the package guided tours which are offered on Get Your Guide.
Activities to Enjoy at Green Gold Villa
Each package includes either a whale-watching tour (November-January) or a snowmobile tour (December-March).
Besides that, you’ll enjoy a group dinner with your small group once you return from your day’s activity.
They also offer a photography workshop before you try to spot the Northern lights.
Lyngen North (Lyngen Alps, Norway)
One of the best igloo hotels in Norway is at Lyngen North!
These luxury glass igloos offer stunning views of the Lyngen Alps and the fjord — meaning that even if the lights don’t come out to dance, you’ll still have a mesmerizing view.
While a ‘glass igloo’ may sound cold, don’t worry, it’s anything but — these thermal glass igloos have all the cozy amenities you need to stay warm and have a comfortable stay.
These accommodations have 3-layer insulated glass, heated floors, heat pumps for cozy indoor temperatures, and your own ensuite bathroom with a shower (with hot water, of course!).
It’s like staying in any other hotel room, except for the views are like no other! They also have their own aurora alarm system, so you won’t miss the lights.
They offer 180-degree igloos, which sleep two and have a small seating area. These igloos have a double bed facing out towards floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a perfect view of the landscape. A portion of the ceiling is glass as well.
There are also 360-degree igloos, which also sleep two with a queen-sized bed. Instead of having floor-to-ceiling windows, the entire roof — all 360 degrees of it — is made of glass for the perfect panoramic view!
The 180-degree igloos offer a better landscape view, whereas the 360-degree igloos offer a closer look at the aurora while you lay on your cozy bed.
There is a restaurant in a separate building on-site so you don’t need to leave your winter wonderland oasis — dinner is just a short walk away.
You can also book time in the private outdoor hot tub for an extra charge.
The glass igloo resort is open all year, so you can enjoy the midnight sun if you visit in June, or you can start to hope for glimpses of the Northern lights as early as late August.
Where to Find It & How to Get There
This hotel is conveniently located in the Lyngen Alps, on an island between Tromso and Skjervoy.
If you haven’t heard of Skjervoy, it’s where you’ll find the best whale watching in Norway!
This glass igloo hotel is about a 3.5-hour drive or bus ride from Tromso.
Typically, people will stay and explore Tromso for a few days, enjoying some cool winter activities in Tromso, before driving or catching the bus to Lyngen North.
During the winter months (December through March), you can take the Arctic Route bus which brings you directly to the hotel. It leaves Tromso city center daily at 9 AM and arrives at 12:30 PM.
You can also fly into the nearest airport, Sørkjosen Airport, and receive a free airport pickup.
Activities to Enjoy At Lyngen North
Once you arrive, there are countless fun activities you can do at Lyngen North.
Go for a guided snowshoe tour in Spåkenes, trying to spot wildlife like reindeer, moose, and foxes.
There is also dog sledding in the nearby Reisa Valley, in the scenic area near Reisa National Park.
They also offer snowmobile safaris around Sikkajavri Lake if you want a bit of an adrenaline rush!
GLØD Aurora Canvas Dome (Alta, Norway)
For a beautiful arctic dome glamping experience, check out GLØD Aurora Canvas Dome in the beautiful Northern Norwegian city of Alta.
Located further north of the Arctic Circle than Tromso, you’ll find plenty of wonderful nights where the lights dance above you!
This is sort of like a glass igloo meets a glamping dome — you’ll find canvas panels interspersed with see-through panels making large windows, which offer you a great view of the night sky above.
While it doesn’t look like your traditional glass igloo, you do have the chance to watch the Northern lights above you as you lay in bed!
The aurora domes are quite spacious, with seating areas, a large bed, and a wood-fired stove to keep you nice and toasty-warm during your stay.
Note that there are no en-suite bathroom facilities so you will have to used a shared bathroom.
The nearest airport is Alta Airport, just about 5 miles away — so it’s an easy taxi ride or transfer.
Alternately, you can opt to rent a car during your stay in Northern Norway if you are planning to see several destinations while there.
If you start in Tromso and are relying on public transit, you can take the Arctic Route bus up to Alta and then take a taxi to the canvas aurora dome.
Besides enjoying the beautiful aurora tent, there’s plenty to do!
There is a sauna provided for guest use, and it’s the perfect way to warm up in between time spent watching for the aurora.
Sorrisniva Wilderness Lodge and Igloo Hotel (Alta, Norway)
Sorrisniva does not have traditional glass igloos but they do offer aurora cabins with large floor-to-ceiling windows perfect for observing the view!
These rooms have large windows that face the landscape and offer aurora views, but they don’t have the traditional aurora dome style of accommodation here.
Still, the views that they do offer through their large windows offers an excellent chance to see the aurora from your bed, like you would in a traditional glass igloo.
However, what they do have is an on-site igloo hotel, Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel.
This is a complete ice hotel with all the things you’d expect: an ice bar, an ice restaurant, and even ice rooms you can spend the night in!
They have to rebuild it each year, so it’s only open from December 20th to April 7th each year, and it’s fully disassembled by late April.
Visiting during this period is the best time to visit so you can see the unique snow hotel, and maybe even stay there.
They also have special events during New Year’s and Christmas so it’s a great place to stay over the holiday season.
Where to Find It & How to Get There
The closest airport to Sorrisniva Wilderness Lodge is the Alta airport, one of the major airports in the Northern Norway region.
It’s just a short drive (about 25 minutes) from the Alta Airport. Several flights a day serve Alta so it’s not too hard to get here!
There is also the Arctic Route bus which you can take from Tromso if your journey starts in Tromso!
You can book your stay at Sorrisniva here.
Activities to Enjoy at Sorrisniva
Sorrisniva is open all-year round, so in summer months, you can book experiences like hiking excursions, husky visits, and Sami reindeer herder meet-and-greets.
In the winter, there are options like booking a private sauna and jacuzzi experience, mushing a team of huskies, going on a reindeer safari, fishing for fresh fish and king crabs, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
You can also stay in the snow hotel during this time of year, or at least enjoy a guided visit of it!
Isbreen – The Glacier (Jøkelfjord, Norway)
Another unique glamping-glass igloo hybrid can be found at Isbreen the Glacier, a unique luxury gleaming experience that is beautiful all year round!
You can enjoy one of their many private bubble-style geodesic domes with clear plexiglass panels that allow you to look out onto the night sky!
These domes are really spacious and far more luxurious than other glass dome offerings.
The rooms are warmed up by traditional wood-fired ovens so you’ll stay nice and toasty despite the cold!
Plus, each dome has its own seating areas near the windows so you can enjoy beautiful views of the fjords!
Each dome has its own outside area and private deck as well for relaxing on and enjoying the view.
There is also a sauna with a large window — imagine watching the Northern lights here!
Note that the domes don’t have their own private bathroom, but the shared bathroom facilities are very luxurious, almost like a spa!
For extra luxury, pick the Deluxe Queen Room — it comes with its own jacuzzi on the deck!
Where to Find It & How to Get There
Isbreen the Glacier is located 25 miles from Skjervøy and 55 miles from Alta Airport.
Skjervøy is a fantastic destination for whale watching in Norway — it’s actually where all the whale watching tours in Tromso go, even though it’s so far from Tromso by boat (3 hours+ each way!)
As a result, this accommodation can be a good base to go whale watching if you visit between November and January!
What to Do at Isbreen
The location here is perfect to enjoy some whale-watching in nearby Skjervoy — the hotel is able to arrange a whale safari for you!
Besides that, there’s a whole host of other winter sea activities, including a bird safari (after whale-watching season ends), deep sea fishing, seeing the northern lights by boat, and more.
By land, they can also arrange husky sledding — both day trips and overnight experiences, as well as hiking excursions and ski touring.
Snowhotel Kirkenes (Kirkenes, Norway)
Located near the Russian border, Snowhotel Kirkenes is perhaps the most remote Arctic snow hotel in the world!
This is one of the furthest places north in Norway, plus it is located inland away from the coastal cloud cover… making it an ideal place for seeing the Northern lights during aurora season.
While Snowhotel Kirkenes is mostly a traditional ice igloo hotel (complete with ice rooms you can stay in!) it also has Northern lights cabins like you might find in other destinations.
However, they don’t call these accommodations ‘glass igloos’ but rather ‘gamme Northern lights cabins’.
What is a ‘gamme’? It’s a traditional wooden hut used by hunters and fishermen up in the Sápmi region (also known as Lapland).
Except these huts are different, because there are large, glass-plated arch-shaped windows that offer panoramic views of the Northern lights.
You can watch the lights either from your living room seating, your bed, or even your en-suite bathroom!
A stay at Snowhotel Kirkenes includes breakfast and a 3-course dinner at their on-site restaurant Låven.
Where to Find It & How to Get There
Kirkenes is one of the furthest points north in Norway, but luckily it has its own airport.
It’s only a 15-minute drive from Kirkenes Airport to Snowhotel Kirkenes, so you can easily arrange a transfer from the hotel or hire a taxi at the airport.
The best way is to fly as the options for getting around once you get this far north in remote Northern Norway are quite limited!
Activities to Enjoy at Snowhotel Kirkenes
In the winter, you can enjoy all the fun amenities of the Snowhotel, including the ice bar and ice restaurant and all the fun ice sculptures that decorate the hotel.
You’ll also be able to visit the reindeer farm and husky farm that are on-site — meeting and greeting these cuties is an essential part of any Arctic vacation!
You’ll be able to borrow snowshoes and cross country skiing gear so that you are able to explore the wintry nature in this beautiful remote location at your own pace.
There are lots of activities that can be arranged on-site such as ice fishing, etc.
And of course, you can warm up with a sauna any time you like!
Trones Eye (Trøndelag, Norway)
One option for a ‘glass igloo’ style experience in Central Norway is Trones Eye, which offers clear bubble dome where you can glamp in the forest!
Because this is glamping style accommodations, don’t expect the amenities like en-suite bathrooms that you might find in more luxurious glass igloos.
This ‘glass igloo’ option is actually probably better in summer and in shoulder-season months like September because it can get quite cold, even with the heat on.
That said, you’ll be in the middle of the beautiful nature of Trøndelag, which is located in central Norway.
Where to Find It & How to Get There
As mentioned above, Trones Eye is located in the central Norwegian region of Trøndelag.
This area is not north of the Arctic Circle; therefore, aurora activity is less likely, but still possible on very strong solar event days!
The best way to get to Trones Eye is to fly into Trondheim and drive about 1.5 hours – we recommend renting a car for this.
Activities to Enjoy at Trones Eye
Trones Eye is all about enjoying the nature of the region!
It depends what season you visit, but the main draws in the warmer months are hiking, biking, and exploring the Viking history of the region.
In winter, you’ll probably want to rent your own snowshoes or cross-country skis while in Trondheim and bring them to enjoy the winter wonderland!
Allison Green is a former educator turned travel blogger. She holds a Masters in Teaching and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. Her blog posts merge her educational background and her experience traveling to 60+ countries to encourage thoughtful travel experiences that both educate and entertain. She has been a speaker at the World Travel Writers Conference and her writing, photography, and podcasting work has appeared in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, CBC Canada, and Forbes, amongst others. Now based in the San Francisco Bay Area where she grew up, she has also lived in Prague, Sofia, and New York City.