Things to do in Reykjavik, Iceland

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik has blossomed with the coming of age of the tourism industry in Iceland. Check out our post to know about the top things to do in Reykjavik.

Mention Iceland to anyone even remotely interested in travel and they’ll almost immediately jump to images of glaciers, waterfalls and the hot springs in Iceland, the rugged landscapes that the country is known for. But what might not be at the top of their list if the hip, happening capital city of Reykjavik.

Things to do in Reykjavik, Iceland

Once a district of fish packing plants & industrial services, Reykjavik has blossomed with the coming of age of the tourism industry in Iceland. What were once dreary industrial neighborhoods are now trendy & revitalized centers of the social scene.  Creative murals cover the walls and street art is abundant now but still, Reykjavik seems an afterthought to most travelers.

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

Well No More…

No matter if you’re exploring the entire country or simply taking a short layover on your travels elsewhere we’ve rounded up the top things to do in Reykjavik!

If you’re spending time in Iceland on a quick layover or simply aren’t the adventurous type then Reykjavik has you covered for activities! Culture and history abound in this up and coming city in the center of the Atlantic.

Hallgrimsma

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

One of Reykjavik’s most well-known landmarks hallgrimskirkja church is the largest church in Iceland and in fact one of the tallest structures in the country. Built over 41 years this behemoth, visible from almost everywhere in the city, was inspired by the shape of basalt columns formed as lava cools, a unique throwback to the country’s natural history.

Inside, in keeping with the theme of grand scale, one of the world’s largest pipe organs stands over 15M tall and is comprised of over 5200 individual pipes. If you’re lucky enough to visit as the organist play’s you’re in for a treat!

Outside, directly in front of the church, a statue of Leif Eiríksson, a Norse explorer and discoverer of North America (beating Columbus by over 500 years) stands proudly reminding the locals of their heritage.

Visit Harpa

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

On the harbor in downtown Reykjavik, you’ll find a sparkling gem of a building. The Harpa as it’s called is Iceland’s premier events venue and its prismatic glass façade is a draw from the moment you glimpse it. Inside you’ll find traveling art exhibitions, local and international films and live music to entice the senses.

Eat like a Local

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

Be it meat soup, lamb or the venerable Icelandic hot dog when in Iceland you must do as the locals do. Reykjavik has established itself as a foodie paradise and while meat soup or hotdogs might not sound appetizing you’d be proven wrong quickly.

Stop in at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur (Iceland’s most famous hot dog stand) and experience the phenomenon yourself. You can thank me later!

Discover Reykjavik’s Street Art

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

 

With Reykjavik’s transformation into a world-class city came artwork, and lots of it! Along every street, you’ll find a mural, sculpture or piece of street art worth taking in. Walking through the city’s streets became an artistic game of hide and seek.

Worthwhile Day Trips from Reykjavik

If you`ve got an extra couple days to kill in the capital area there are some amazing day trips available to you;  from Snorkeling Silfra Fissure between the tectonic plates to exploring the golden circle or searching out some Icelandic hot springs.

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

Most tour operators in the area offer pickup and drop-off service from any hotel in the city and will take care of your every need throughout the day so fear not. Choose a day trip that looks interesting and give it a go, you won’t be disappointed! And of course, a self-drive in Iceland is an experience in itself.

Snorkeling The Silfra Fissure

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

Only an hour’s drive outside of town you can visit the Thingvellir national park where Iceland is slowly being ripped in two. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Silfra Fissure where you can actually swim through the no-mans-land between North America and Europe.

Honestly, snorkeling was the last thing on my mind when contemplating a trip to Iceland. My mind was changed upon arriving in Reykjavik and having the activity recommended by nearly everyone we spoke to.

There`s a reason this day trip from Reykjavik is so popular. The crystal clear water, stunning scenery below the surface and absolute absurdity of going snorkeling in Iceland makes for a once in a lifetime experience.

Explore The Golden Circle

Iceland`s Golden circle is an extremely popular sightseeing route encompassing some of south Iceland`s most well-known sights. The Golden Circle`s close proximity makes it an easy pick when choosing how to spend a day outside of the city.

Featuring the magnificent sights of Gullfoss Waterfall, The Gysir geothermal fields and Thingvellir national park at a minimum there’s no lack of stunning scenery on this tour.  The loop covers about 250km and will take a full day to see correctly. All the tour operators modify the basic trip somewhat and many offers stop at hot springs, volcanic craters and interesting towns in the area.

Blue Lagoon

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland`s Blue Lagoon is one of the best-known tourist attractions in the country. A soak here is a rite of passage to all who travel to Iceland and a great way to spend an afternoon or the perfect way to loosen up before your long flight home.

Tours and transfers are easily organized from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon (an ~ 30-minute drive) and onsite facilities like a restaurant & spa will ensure your stay is a comfortable one! Admission isn’t cheap and the prices only increase as you add spa services and food so go after a meal to save some cash.

Did you know the Blue Lagoon isn’t even a natural hot spring?? The blue lagoon is actually a happy by-product of the local geothermal power plant! After the hot water from deep within the earth is used to generate power its discharged into the surrounding lava beds and goes on to form the Blue Lagoon. Even so, the experience of lounging in its waters is a must and it makes a great day trip from Reykjavik.

Vik & Southern Iceland

Some of Iceland’s most stunning scenery is located along the rugged south coast. Because of this Vik (pronounced Veek) has become a popular tourist destination. While Vik itself isn’t (for the most part) the destination this quaint village’s proximity to the local glaciers, black sand beaches, waterfalls, plane wrecks, and even puffin nesting sites makes it a hub for tours.

Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

On your way to or from Vik, you’ll easily get lost in the limitless landscapes. Make sure you stop to visit the waterfalls at Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi, & Skogafoss, dip in Iceland’s oldest swimming pool at Seljavallalaug and visit the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck. Stops at the Dyrhólaey headlands and Reynisfjara Beach are also well worth your time and effort!

Conclusion

It doesn’t much matter what you do in Reykjavik, or in Iceland in general, you’re pretty well guaranteed to have a great time. If I could offer one simple piece of advice it would be this; Put all your preconceived notions behind you, go out and explore Reykjavik, talk to the locals and discover the best of what it has to offer, you might be surprised by where you end up or the new friends you make.

How to Reach Reykjavik, Iceland

Book cheap flights through  TripAdvisor or Agoda or CheapAir or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline here.

How To Book Your Stay When Visiting Reykjavik, Iceland

If you are planning to visit Reykjavik then you must be wondering where to stay in Reykjavik or the best hotels in Reykjavik. Stay options to suit your budget are available at Reykjavik and can be easily booked. For best accommodation – hotels in Reykjavik we suggest checking out our favourite sites to book here. We always use these sites to book our stay. Reykjavik hotel booking can be done through TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or Agoda or Makemytrip or Priceline to save huge and get best deals on booking your stay in Reykjavik.

Click to book the best hotel/resort in Reykjavik

Tours/Activities available in Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik points of interest are many and if you are wondering what to see in Reykjavik or what to do in Reykjavik, then look no further. Reykjavik attractions pass are available for the best Reykjavik tours. You can now book tours in Reykjavik as well as activities in Reykjavik. Plan the best places to visit in Reykjavik and experience Reykjavik.

Click to know more about Best Attractions and Activities in Reykjavik.

Iceland is a stunning country, and Reykjavik its crown jewel. I can’t wait to return, I doubt I’d find myself without something interesting to do or somewhere new to explore!

This is a guest post by Patrick. Patrick is the author of Adventographer. He is an adventurer and a culture-seeking photographer.  He explores places off the beaten track, immersing himself in the local culture and creating compelling stories through writing, photography, and video. 

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Reykjavik

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