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What it’s like to experience the midnight sun

June 20, 2020
3 min read
What it’s like to experience the midnight sun
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Editor's Note

This post was originally published in June of 2018. It has been updated and republished with additional information.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in June of 2018. It has been updated and republished with additional information.

June 20, 2020, may be the summer solstice and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, but you probably wouldn't notice if you lived above the Arctic Circle, where travelers and locals alike have experienced 24 hours of daylight for several weeks now.

I've been eager to witness the so-called "midnight sun" for ages — and long ago, I picked Tromsø, Norway (TOS) as the destination where I would experience the phenomenon, since it's very easy to reach with points and miles, thanks to frequent flights by Star Alliance member Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).

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Tromsø is best known for its Northern Lights spotting (it's arguably one of the greatest cities on Earth for viewing the Aurora Borealis) but the home to Norway's northernmost university, botanical garden and planetarium is also a great place to visit in summer.

After connections in Shanghai (PVG), Dubai (DXB), Belgrade (BEG) and Oslo (OSL), I decided to head to Tromsø following my final flight in United's Polaris first class. We had a great stay at the Radisson Blu, enjoyed an incredible fjord tour and I enjoyed what was probably the best dinner of my life. But the highlight was absolutely getting to experience daylight in the middle of the night.

On the first evening, we headed up to the top of the mountain on Fjellheisen, where I captured some aerial shots with my DJI Spark drone. That late-night adventure wasn't cheap for such a short cable car ride ($23 round-trip), but it did land me a feature on the popular @earthpix Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjfkmHJF4ln/

While you couldn't see the sun itself in the middle of the night during my visit, you surely can now, on the longest day of the year. (We did have 24 hours of daylight in early June, though some of the overnight hours were more of a twilight — what you'd normally experience just after sunset.)

Given its location in northern Norway, Tromsø experiences 24 hours of golden light between May 20 and July 22. And farther north, in Svalbard, the sun refuses to set as early in the season as April 20, and darkness doesn't return until August 22.

Norway is incredible, but you can also experience the midnight sun in other destinations north of the Arctic Circle. That includes parts of Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden and even Russia. Closer to home, northern Canada and Arctic Alaska also experience endless summer days.

And though most people travel north to visit the region known as the Land of the Midnight Sun, the phenomenon also occurs south of the Antarctic Circle. While some cities in the Southern Hemisphere have incredibly long days during our winter, you'll need to be on the continent of Antarctica to experience 24 hours of sunlight. Here, the longest day of summer takes place in late-December — in the dead of winter up north.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.)

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases