Because of its latitude, Hammerfest municipality is an excellent base to observe the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). All our three main islands (Kvaløya, Sørøya and Seiland) as well as the main land near Kvalsund offer excellent spots for it.
The best time to observe them is from October to March, although they can be seen as early as August when darkness returns to the North. As witnessing the phenomenon depends on both the activity of the sun as well as a cloudless sky, please check out an Northern Lights forecast website and a standard weather forecast.
You can see the Northern Lights from the town centre, but it is often worth taking a short trip into nature.
From the town centre of Hammerfest, you can easily walk or drive up to Mount Salen, which offers good views.
About 10 kilometres from Hammerfest, the valley and small beach of Kirkegårdsbukt offer an excellent, dark, and easily reachable spot to observe the Northern Lights. There is a parking spot.
Sørøya & Seiland
If you wish to spend several days in the area, to have the most chance of witnessing the Northern Lights in all their glory, go to the islands of Sørøya or Seiland, as there is less light pollution than near Hammerfest.
Kvalsund & Skaidi
Many places in Kvalsund municipality are very suitable for the observation of the northern lights, amongst those: Aisaroavi, Kvalsunddalen (might be closed in winter), Brensvik (might be closed in winter), Porsa and Storvatnet, Russelvdalen.
If you wish to photograph the Northern Lights, the website by Dave Morrow Photography offers an excellent introduction to the steps required to do so.