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.

Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater

2. 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.

Reykjavík: Whale Watching and Marine Life Cruise

3. 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.

Keflavik Airport & Reykjavik Hotels: Economy Bus Transfer

4. Keflavik Airport & Reykjavik Hotels: Economy Bus Transfer

Relax on your holiday using a cost effective and efficient transfer, with professional and friendly drivers. With a fixed schedule coach transfer between Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík bus Terminal, this is the easiest way to get about. This transfer between Reykjavík Terminal and Keflavík Airport takes approximately 45 minutes and all you have to do is sit back and relax. Upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, locate the service desk outside the arrivals hall, and board your bus right in front of the airport. Buses are on time and depart according to the schedule in connection with every arriving passenger flight. When departing from Reykjavík, make your way to the easy-to-find Reykjavík bus terminal, or conveniently located bus stops in Kópavogur.  For an extra fee, add a hotel connection to your booking to get dropped off or picked-up at your accommodation or nearest bus stop. 

From Reykjavik: Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Half-Day Trip

5. From Reykjavik: Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Half-Day Trip

Undergo a unique underwater experience by snorkeling in the Silfra fissure on a half-day tour from Reykjavik. Frequently rated as one of the world's top 10 dive sites, Silfra offers up to 100 m (300 ft) of underwater visibility. Admire views of Iceland's stunning landscape as you ride from Reykjavik to the heart of Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Snorkel in this location for 1 hour with your guide, before returning to the warmth of the tour van and heading back to Reykjavik. The cold waters melt off a glacier 50 km (30 miles) away, and make their way through lava fields to beautiful Thingvellir Lake. Although the chilly waters are too cold to support much in the way of marine life, Iceland's Silfra crack runs down between the American and European continental plates and offers amazing underwater views. 

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.

Húsafell: Langjökulll Glacier Ice Cave Tour

7. 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.

Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

8. Skaftafell National Park: Glacier Hike

Discover what it feels like to walk on impacted ice on an amazing hike across the outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. Get breathtaking views of the ice-covered peaks of Skaftafell National Park in the epic wilderness of Iceland. Meet your guide at the Skaftafell Terminal to pick up your crampons, ice axes, harnesses, and helmets. Then, drive by bus to the start of your hike and put on your crampons and steel frames tied to your hiking boots for the amazing adventure ahead. Spend around 60 to 90 minutes on the ice to see crevasses and deep cracks on the surface. Learn about the vertical shafts known as moulins, formed when melting water finds its way into the fissures and cracks. Look into small ice tunnels and capture the beautiful blue heart of the ice in the winter. Learn the history of the glacier from your English-speaking guide.

From Reykjavik: South of Iceland Full-Day Trip

9. From Reykjavik: South of Iceland Full-Day Trip

Spend the day exploring the dramatic landscapes of the south of Iceland along with its coastline on a full-day sightseeing tour from Reykjavik. Along the way, discover a variety of rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and glaciers. Following a pickup from listed hotels or guesthouses by bus in central Reykjavík, travel to the gorgeous waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. At the waterfall at Seljalandsfoss, walk behind the cascades and feel the spray on your face. Continue to Skógafoss to marvel at the 60-meter drop. Pass the black sand beaches of the southern coast and enjoy the power of the sea. Visit the glacier snout of Sólheimajökull to see an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull. Admire the ever-changing feat of nature up-close. Then, look at the basalt sea stacks at Reynisfjara, Iceland’s southernmost village just south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, before returning to Reykjavik.

From Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour by RIB Boat

10. From Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour by RIB Boat

Climb aboard a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) equipped with special shock suspension seating for a smoother ride. Look for whales and other marine life in the wild. Travel aboard the 12-meter long boat to get extra close to whales in a way that is safe for passengers and the animals. Benefit from warm flotation suits, life vests, gloves and goggles to keep you cozy and safe, and avail of the services of an experienced guide who will provide information about the animals and bay in English.  Stop by the island of Akurey to look for adorable puffins during the summer. See their nests along the coast during their breeding season. Head out to the bay on a fast and thrilling ride with the wind in your hair. Reach a comfortable cruising speed of 32 knots and get plenty of time in the feeding grounds. Then, take a scenic route back along the coast of Reykjavik and take great photos before you arrive on land.

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

Everything was fantastic. Great for all rider levels. Instructors are patient and the horses are gentle and smart. The variety of terrain is excellent, especially the Red lava! I highly recommend this activity. Pickup is possible and very punctual.

Easy to locate guide in arrival hall. Rather long walk to bus when you are hauling 2 suitcases. Dropped off in front of hotel which is stop 13.

Boat was very nice- crew was friendly. Saw whales and puffin. Would strongly recommend this tour.

Very nice experience of travel. Guide was very good and also Time management was good.

It was a great ride , I was the only ride so it was a private experience