Things to do in
Reykjavik

You’ll warm up to Iceland’s capital with volcanic scenery, luxurious hot springs, and landmarks aplenty.

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Our most recommended things to do in Reykjavik

Keflavik Airport (KEF): Bus Transfer to/from Reykjavik

1. Keflavik Airport (KEF): Bus Transfer to/from Reykjavik

Enjoy a safe and reliable airport transfer between Reykjavik Keflavik Airport (KEF) and your accommodation in Reykjavik or BSI Bus Terminal. Travel stress-free knowing that your seat on the bus is guaranteed and that you will not have to wait long for the service. Benefit from air-conditioned vehicles that are regularly maintained to high hygienic standards. Choose a one-way service to or from the airport and feel safe knowing that your service is reliable and secure. Save yourself the hassle of navigating the public transportation system before or after a long journey. Due to an environmental standpoint, the City of Reykjavik does not allow larger coaches on many of its streets. Therefore, during your transfer, you might have to change from a larger to a smaller bus at the BSI Bus terminal. The staff will make sure you feel confident and provide you all the information on the spot. Do not worry about waiting too long - the buses are scheduled to depart 30-45 minutes after each flight for your convenience. The only thing left to do will be to relax and enjoy the views from the comfort of your seat.

Reykjavík: Whale Watching and Marine Life Cruise

2. Reykjavík: Whale Watching and Marine Life Cruise

Take a boat trip from Reykjavik’s harbor to discover Iceland’s rich marine life, which is one of this island country’s highlights. All year round you can spot a variety of whales and other marine animals in the Reykjavik area, including minke and humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and whale-beaked dolphins. Have an opportunity to see some of Iceland's most beautiful marine animals, along with the stunning scenery of the Icelandic coast.The peak season for whale watching runs from April to October, but of course the ocean is always full of magical creatures, and you never know what you might see. Benefit from the services of specially-trained whale watching guides who are experts at spotting the animals. You will be free to listen as they tell you about the behavior of the whales, and answer any questions you may have. Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Icelandic coast as you spot local wildlife. Take a break and warm up in the heated indoor area. Relax on board the boat and enjoy the indoor and outdoor seating, and purchase drinks and snacks along the way from the on-board bar and cafeteria. You will experience a pleasant and comfortable ride, even at higher speeds, and will be able to share your adventure live on social media with the on-board WiFi.

Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater

3. Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater

See the best of southwest Iceland on an 8-hour Golden Circle tour by bus from Reykjavik. Visit the spectacular Geysir area, and go to the cascades of Gullfoss Waterfall. Discover where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet in Þingvellir National Park. Travel to the geothermal area of Geysir. Marvel as the active hot spring of Strokkur spouts steaming water 30 meters into the air every 8 minutes. Continue to one of Iceland’s most iconic features at the Gullfoss Waterfall (“Golden Falls“). Feel the spray of the waters of the glacial River Hvítá as it plummets down into a 32-meter deep crevice. Next, enter Þingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimeters per year. Þingvellir was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural value in 2004, and is the site of a stunning rift valley and the Rock of Law, the first Viking parliament. Marvel at the volcanic crater at Lake Kerið, and pass through the Icelandic farms of the south on your drive around the Golden Circle, before returning to your original starting point in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik: Puffin Watching Boat Tour

4. Reykjavik: Puffin Watching Boat Tour

Step aboard the Puffin Express for a charming bird-watching adventure in Reykjavik. Enjoy a 100% guarantee of puffin sightings, and learn about these and other local birds from an expert guide. Head out from the Old Harbour of Reykjavik to the surrounding Faxaflói Bay and onto two nearby islands, Lundey and Akurey, covered in small hills and slopes and known for their colorful birdlife. Once arriving at the islands, observe the native birds and picturesque surroundings with the boat's engine turned off. Enjoy seeing puffins as well as other birds, such as northern fulmars, gulls, Arctic terns, and black guillemots. All of this takes place on an old wooden boat, Skúlaskeið, which is fondly referred to as "Old Skuli." It is spacious enough to hold 33 passengers but not too big, in order to ensure that your tour is personal and comfortable.

Reykjavik: Sky Lagoon Pure Pass With 7-Step Spa Ritual

5. Reykjavik: Sky Lagoon Pure Pass With 7-Step Spa Ritual

Immerse yourself in the warmth of an oceanside geothermal lagoon, where the dramatic North Atlantic Ocean stretches out before you. Connect with Icelandic traditions and relax your mind, body, and soul. Complete the 7-step ritual to fully immerse yourself in Icelandic spa traditions. Step 1: Slow down and relax in the lagoon Step 2: Cool down with the cold plunge Step 3: Relax and enjoy the views in the sauna Step 4: Refresh in a cold fog-mist Step 5: Invigorate and exfoliate with a rejuvenating body scrub Step 6: Chill out in the steam room Step 7: Shower and relax in the lagoon

Blue Lagoon: Entrance Package incl. Towel and Drink

6. Blue Lagoon: Entrance Package incl. Towel and Drink

Visit the world-famous Blue Lagoon and purchase the Comfort Package, giving you access to the legendary waters along with a towel, silica mud mask, and a drink at the in-water bar. Upon arrival, walk along a 300-meter lava corridor to the entrance of the main complex. Experience the new dimensions of wellbeing that the Blue Lagoon offers. The complex encompasses 8,700 square meters of geothermal seawater and features a sauna, steam room, massage waterfall, swim-up bar, and masks Enjoy the mineral-rich warmth of the Blue Lagoon. Wander around, float in the healing waters, socialize or meditate - relax as you see fit. Your entrance includes a complimentary drink from the swim-up bar. Choose from juices, smoothies, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Use the included silica mud mask at the in-water mask bar and feel the radiance return to your skin as the silica - the lagoon’s iconic healing element - cleanses and strengthens you. Head back to the mask bar to purchase additional masks with the lagoon’s other treasures - algae, minerals, or lava.

From Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Kerid, & Secret Lagoon Tour

7. From Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Kerid, & Secret Lagoon Tour

Embark on a bus tour of Iceland’s legendary Golden Circle and soak in the thermal waters of the Secret Lagoon. Explore the southwest, including the spectacular Geysir area, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Þingvellir National Park. After pickup in central Reykjavik, head to the Secret Lagoon and have 1.5 hours to unwind in the thermal waters and admire the peaceful surroundings. Continue to the active hot spring of Strokkur and watch it spout steaming water 30 meters every 8 minutes. Arrive at Gullfoss Waterfall and feel the spray of the glacial Hvítá River as it plummets down into a 32-meter-deep crevice. Next, visit Þingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimeters every year. Þingvellir was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

Húsafell: Langjökulll Glacier Ice Cave Tour

8. Húsafell: Langjökulll Glacier Ice Cave Tour

Experience Iceland’s second-largest glacier from the inside and enjoy the rare sight of blue ice at the heart of an ice cap glacier on this half-day tour.  All tours depart from Húsafell, from where you will catch a shuttle to the Glacier Base Camp, Klaki. You will meet a professional guide and gear up in warm overalls if needed, before boarding a specially-modified glacier truck for the drive up to the cave entrance. Arriving at the cave entrance, head inside the glacier with your guide. The man-made Langjökull Glacier Tunnel is a wonder to behold. The ice is lit up from behind by glowing hues, allowing you to see the layers that have formed over many years. Your guide will walk with you through the glacier's corridors where you will have a chance to learn about geology, the history of glaciers, how they are formed and how they move.

Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Kerid Crater, & Blue Lagoon Tour

9. Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Kerid Crater, & Blue Lagoon Tour

Experience Iceland’s 2 most visited natural attractions, the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, in one day on a comfortable and convenient minibus tour. Depart Reykjavik and head for the Thingvellir National Park, where the Eurasian and American tectonic plates converge. Amble through the stunning, lake-filled area, hopping back and forth between continental boundaries, and view the site where the Icelandic parliament was held from 930-1798. Next, head to the Geysir Hot Spring with geothermal pools reaching temperatures of 200 degrees. Witness the Strokkur geyser erupting a plume of boiling water and steam 100 feet in the air. Grab a bite to eat, before heading to the breathtaking waterfall at Gullfoss. Next, visit the Kerid volcanic crater with its deep blue waters, surrounded by vibrant red rock. Finish your tour at the iconic Blue Lagoon. Luxuriate in the warm, geothermal waters, making use of an included silica mud mask, before heading back to Reykjavik.

Reykjavik: Whale Watching by RIB Speedboat

10. Reykjavik: Whale Watching by RIB Speedboat

Hop aboard a RIB speedboat and head out for a thrilling adventure just off Reykjavik's coast. Marvel at the abundance of sea life Iceland has to offer, such as majestic whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Begin your tour from Reykjavík’s Old Harbor and cruise among the small islands in the Faxaflói Bay, as well as along the coast of Reykjavík. Admire fantastic views of the city and its landmarks like the Harpa concert hall as you search for wildlife in the water. During your tour, pass by Engey, the second-largest island of the Kollafjörður (Faxa Bay) fjord in western Iceland. Also cruise past Lundey, literally “Puffin Island” in Icelandic, a small uninhabited island off Reykjavík’s western coast. Enjoy the chance to see incredible animals in their natural habitat without being overcrowded onboard the boat. And if you don't get lucky with wildlife sightings on the day you go, you'll receive a complimentary ticket to try again another day.

Frequently asked questions about Reykjavik

What top attractions are a must-see in Reykjavik?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Reykjavik

Jurga Rubinovaite is an avid traveler, photographer, and chief adventure planner behind the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase. On her blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Reykjavik.

What should I do on my first trip to Reykjavik?

One of the best things to do in Reykjavik is simply walking through the city center and the waterfront area. It's here that you'll find some of the main landmarks of Reykjavik, such as Harpa Concert Hall, Sun Voyager sculpture, and Hallgrimskirkja church (be sure to go up the tower for the best views in Reykjavik!). There are also lots of interesting museums and fantastic attractions such as FlyOver Iceland or Whales of Iceland.

What are some hidden gems to see in Reykjavik?

One of the best local experiences in Reykjavik is going for a swim at one of the many geothermal pools. And while everyone knows the Blue Lagoon, there are also many communal pools with outdoor hot tubs, steam baths, or saunas (and, at a fraction of the cost). The nicest local pool in Reykjavik city center is Sundhöll Reykjavíkur, one of the oldest public baths in Iceland. Located in a beautifully restored historc building, this is definitely one of the best hidden gems of Reykjavik.

How much time should I spend in Reykjavik?

One day is enough for the main highlights of Reyjavik. However, if you want to visit a few museums and tourist attractions and go for a swim at one of the geothermal pools, plan at least 2 days in Reykjavik. In addition, there are lots of great tours such as whale watching or Northern Lights, so you could easily spend several days in Reykjavik and never get bored.

What food is Reykjavik known for?

If there is one meal that you have to try in Reykjavik, it's the Icelandic hot dog. Icelanders are absolutely fond of their hot dogs and believe they are the best in the world! What makes them special is that they are made with the best Icelandic lamb, pork, and beef meet. The best place to try a hot dog in Reykjavik is Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand (literal translation - "best hot dogs in town"). If you are feeling more adventurous, you can also try traditional Icelandic foods like rotten shark or roasted sheep skull.

What is the best way to get around Reykjavik?

The best way to get around Reykjavik is on foot. All the main attractions in the city center are located within walking distance to each other. if you don't feel like walking, you can also take public buses or opt for a hop-on hop-off bus. For the most famous geothermal pools and other attractions outside the city center, you'll need a car or a shuttle bus.

What are the best months to visit Reykjavik?

Reykjavik can be visited the whole year round and there's always plenty to see and do in and around the city. In summer, you will experience endless days and midnight sun, and in winter - polar night and - with a bit of luck - Northern Lights. Reykjavik is also famous for its New Year's celebrations, with great parties and the most impressive firework displays.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Reykjavik? 

The best area to stay in Reykjavik is the city center, also known as 101 Reykjavik. It's here that you will find most of the city's attractions, best hotels, all kinds of shops, and a big variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Here you can find a complete guide to the best places to stay in Reykjavik.

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit?

    Reykjavík's endless summer days make it a fun place to visit between June and August, but if you want to see the Northern Lights, your best bet is to go in the winter. Bear in mind, however, that the otherworldly phenomenon (also known as the Aurora Borealis) is notoriously difficult to predict. If it's important that you see it, boost your chances by booking a longer holiday and keeping up-to-date with the daily forecasts.

  • How long to stay?

    Reykjavík has a lot of life in it for such a small city. How many days you need depends on what you want from your holiday. A weekend will be enough to see the city's sights, However, if you want to enjoy any of Iceland's scenic excursions, or immerse yourself in the capital's eccentric nightlife and music scene, a week might not be enough!

  • How expensive is it?

    Reykjavík, like most Nordic cities, has a reputation for being quite expensive and, for a city of its size, that's a fair assessment. Ultimately though, Reykjavík is no more expensive than London or Paris. Furthermore, you're unlikely to encounter hidden costs and can expect excellent value for money.

Good to know

  • Language
    Icelandic
  • Currency
    Icelandic Krona (ISK)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +354
  • Best time to visit
    Summer

Other Sightseeing Options in Reykjavik

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What people are saying about Reykjavik

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 39,861 reviews

The trip was planned well with enough breaks and photo opportunities. Definitely the best was the amazingly knowledgeable Howser. He made it so much more fascinating with detailed information and tales embellished with humour. The beauty of Iceland is unparalleled no doubt and has made an indelible mark in my life thanks to your well curated trip. The only criticism i have is perhaps more leg room for such a long tour.

Easy bus transfer to and fro Sky Lagoon. Perfect amount of time to relax. 2.5 hrs. 7-step ritual was delightful. My admission was already in the system when I arrived at Sky Lagoon.

It was an amazing day I definitely recommend this tour , the stuff it’s so cool as the driver as the guide !

Amazing punctual trip with an excellent knowledgeable guide.

On time. Every time. Friendly and helpful. Very best.