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Reykjavík attractions

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Top 5 things to do in Reykjavík

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The Lava Tunnel Raufarhólshellir is one of the longest and best-known lava tubes in Iceland. Visitors can step inside with a guide to learn about the inner workings of a volcano. It's just 30 minutes from Reykjavík accessible year-round.
4.6 / 5 (18)
From $51.50
Enter the world of whales at Whales of Iceland. It's located in the Grandi area, at Fiskislóð 23, close to the old harbor and about 15 minutes’ walk from Reykjavík city center.
3.0 / 5 (1)
From $21.65
Reykjavík

Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón is known colloquially as the Glacier Lagoon. This special body of water is a constantly changing landscape, where ice drifts from the glacier out to sea. Jökulsárlón connects the nearby Vatnajökull glacier with the North Atlantic Ocean.
5.0 / 5 (1)
From $133.08
The National Museum of Iceland was established in 1863, when Jón Árnason became the first curator of the Icelandic collection previously kept in Danish museums. Visitors can now learn the history of Iceland here, from the first settlers to modern-day citizens, and witness collections of photographs, art, furniture and more. The museum is located in Reykjavík, Iceland.
4.5 / 5 (19)
From $18.66
At Reykjavik's Northern Lights Center you can see the Aurora Borealis any time you like, thanks to a custom designed high-definition screen. You'll learn all about this natural phenomena and even see how to take perfect pictures of the real thing!
4.7 / 5 (15)
From $14.93

Planning your Reykjavík visit

Language

Icelandic

Currency

Icelandic króna (kr)

Dialing code

+354

Time zone

Greenwich Mean Time Zone (UTC)

Weather and when to go

Iceland is as dramatic in the dead of winter as it is at the height of summer, with tours to the highlights operating all year round. Either way, you’ll want to pack lots of warm clothes. If you’re going to Iceland for walking and hiking, July and August are the best times to visit, thanks to the midnight sun and (slightly) warmer weather. If you’re seeking the stunning celestial lightshow of the Aurora Borealis, visit in February, March, September and October.

Food and drink

Iceland's food may not sound so tempting to those not used to it. From Hákarl (shark) to Súrir hrútspungar (sour ram's testicles) and the stinky Harðfiskur (dried fish), there are local snacks galore to test your tastebuds. Luckily Reykjavík has plenty of more familiar cuisines on offer as well. Don’t miss the smoked salmon, it’s otherworldly. To keep things cheap, shop at Bonus supermarkets and try the hot dogs - they’re world class!

Out of town

For such a small city, Reykjavík has a really big nightlife scene that’s largely focused around the shopping streets Laugavegur, Hverfisgata and Austurstræti. The best thing is, there’s rarely a dress code and there are hardly ever any lines outside the bars and clubs! It’s no secret that going out in Iceland is expensive, but to save a few króna, download the Reykjavík Appy Hour app, which will tell you all the happy hour specials around the Icelandic capital.

What to do in Reykjavík for 3 days

South Iceland Waterfalls and Black Sand Beach Tour

Get off the grid and explore South Iceland's epic scenery, including Skógafoss waterfall, the village of Vík, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and more, all with a local guide. You’ll board a coach and travel through mind-blowing lunar landscapes that have to be seen to be believed, plus get amazing views of the famous and unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano. This trip includes return transport to and from Reykjavík.

Puffin watching

Iceland’s native puffins are waiting to be snapped through your zoom lenses on this adventurous guided tour out to either Akurey or Lundey Island, depending on the tides. Keep your eyes and your borrowed binoculars peeled for puffins, as well as other native birds like Icelandic eider ducks and arctic terns. Rest assured – your captain is a pro at finding all the best photo spots and navigating those rocky shores.

Old Reykyavík

Stroll the streets of brightly painted wooden houses and corrugated iron, and make your way to Austurvöllur Square (locally known as 'The Square'). A public green since 1930, a statue of Jón Sigurðsson (1811-1879), a hero of Iceland's independence movement, watches over the hubbub at the surrounding bars and cafes. When you're full of people-watching and pricey beers, take a stroll around Lake Tjörnin, just one block away.

Hallgrímskirkja church

Hallgrímskirkja church is easy to find: it towers over Reykjavík and is visible from almost every angle of the city. This 74.5m Expressionist building is the largest church in the country and has an enormous 25-tonne organ with more than 5,000 pipes. It’s named after religious poet and pastor Hallgrímur Pétursson, author of the Passíusálmar (The Passion Hymns). You’ve never heard of it, but it’s famous in Iceland!

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