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Reykjavik
Travel Guide

The most northerly capital city in the world combines amazing natural wonders with the exciting buzz of a thriving, creative metropolis.

Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, is small, but has many great things to do. The city features a world-renowned music scene, eclectic architecture, Viking history, geothermal swimming pools and some of the friendliest and safest streets in Europe. Reykjavík also makes the perfect base for experiencing Iceland’s incredible natural beauty, which you can enjoy through leisurely daytrips or action-packed multi-day adventures.

Reykjavík’s weather is highly changeable, so pack accordingly. When the sun shines, take a boat tour at Reykjavík Harbour to see puffins and whales. Then join the throngs of locals and enjoy the city’s downtown parks, Tjörnin Lake and markets. Climb the bell tower of Iceland’s largest church, Hallgrimskirkja, for panoramic views across Old Town’s colored rooftops to the spectacular mountains and glaciers beyond.

If you’re visiting between October and March, don’t miss Mother Nature’s greatest lightshow, the aurora borealis (northern lights). On dark, clear nights, wrap up and head to Grótta lighthouse, Miklatún or Hljómskálagarður parks, or Öskjuhlíð Hill for the city’s best vantage points.

When the icy winds pick up, seek shelter in Reykjavík’s many museums. Visit the 871±2 Settlement Exhibition at Reykjavík City Museum to see the oldest archeological ruins in Iceland, then follow the country’s journey to nationhood at The National Museum of Iceland. Stop by the Saga Museum, unusually located in one of six water tanks at Perlan. Here, waxwork figures recall key moments in Iceland’s past.

For a small city, Reykjavík has made its presence known on the world’s cultural and creative stages. Explore the city’s galleries, bookshops and quirky boutiques before heading off to discover the next Sigur Rós or Björk in the city’s acclaimed bars and live music venues.

After exploring Reykjavík’s streets, dance floors and countryside, join locals in one of the city’s seven natural geothermal springs, such as Arbaejarlaug and Laugardalslaug.

It’s best to plan your visit based on the seasons and your preferred activities. By mid-June, Reykjavík experiences 21 hours of sunlight per day, giving you plenty of daylight to discover all the delights this stunning metropolis has to offer.

For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Reykjavik page.

Where to stay in Reykjavik

Hotel Borg by Keahotels
Hotel Borg by Keahotels
4 out of 5
Posthusstraeti 11, Reykjavik
The price is $161 per night from Mar 16 to Mar 17

Located in Downtown, this luxury hotel is steps from National Cathedral and Laugavegur. Reykjavik City Hall and Reykjavik Harbour are also within 10 ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (991 reviews)
Wonderful hotel!

"The hotel was centered only a few minutes walk to the city center. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The hotel was very clean and the breakfast includes both hot and cold options. Unfortunately there is no parking facilies at the hotel however there is metered parking outside the hotel or ..."…"

Reviewed on Jul 24, 2020

Hotel Borg by Keahotels
Center Hotels Arnarhvoll
Center Hotels Arnarhvoll
4 out of 5
Ingólfsstræti 1, Reykjavik
The price is $182 per night from Apr 1 to Apr 2

Located in Downtown, this romantic hotel is steps from Harpa and Laugavegur. Reykjavik City Hall and Reykjavik Harbour are also within 15 minutes.

4.4/5Excellent! (1,000 reviews)
Miðgarður was awesome

"Stay got moved to the Miðgarður. The staff could not have been nicer. Food and room were awesome. Pauline."…"

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2020

Center Hotels Arnarhvoll
Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Kvosin Downtown Hotel
4 out of 5
Kirkjutorg 4, Reykjavik
The price is $202 per night from Apr 5 to Apr 6

Located in Downtown, this boutique hotel is steps from National Cathedral, Laugavegur, and Reykjavik City Hall. Reykjavik Harbour and Harpa are also within 10 ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (732 reviews)

"Great place to stay. Nice rooms and couldn’t be better located."…"

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2020

Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Reykjavik Residence Hotel
Reykjavik Residence Hotel
4 out of 5
Hverfisgata 60, Reykjavik
The price is $163 per night from Mar 25 to Mar 26

Located in Downtown, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Laugavegur, Hallgrimskirkja, and Harpa. Reykjavik City Hall and Reykjavik Harbour are also ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (1,762 reviews)

"The apartment was fantastic and the breakfast was AMAZING. Location was perfect."…"

Reviewed on Feb 3, 2021

Reykjavik Residence Hotel
Odinsve Hotel Apartments
Odinsve Hotel Apartments
4 out of 5
Skolavordustigur 7 and Tysgata 8, Reykjavik
The price is $95 per night from Mar 22 to Mar 23

Located in Downtown, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Laugavegur and Hallgrimskirkja. Reykjavik City Hall and Harpa are also within 10 ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (139 reviews)
Family stay

"Check in is in the main hotel and apartment is 2 mins walk away. All worked fine. Parking is free up by the church."…"

Reviewed on Aug 23, 2020

Odinsve Hotel Apartments
Reykjavik4you Apartments
Reykjavik4you Apartments
3.5 out of 5
Bergstaðastræti 12, Reykjavik

Located in Downtown, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Laugavegur, Hallgrimskirkja, and Reykjavik Pond. Harpa and Reykjavik City Hall are ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (660 reviews)

"Easy check in and parking garage is near by. The apartment was clean and modern."…"

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2020

Reykjavik4you Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Reykjavik

Much of central Reykjavik is compact enough to navigate on foot, which is the best way to get a feel for the city and take in its unique architecture. There is also an extensive bus system which covers the city center, outlying suburbs and beyond, while car rental is a good option too. Taxis are convenient but expensive. Cycling is a pleasant way of getting around, although there are not many cycle paths. Visit the Icelandic Transport Authority website.Browse Reykjavik rental cars.

Best time to visit

Reykjavik is among the coldest capital cities in the world, but its weather varies widely depending on what time of year you visit. The summer sees average high temperatures in the mid 50s F (10–12 C) and incredibly long days, with up to 21 hours of sunlight per day. Winter, by contrast, is bitterly cold and incredibly gloomy, but the dark skies mean this is the season to view the stunning northern lights.

Popular places to visit in Reykjavik

Top things to do in Reykjavik

Reviews of Reykjavik

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1521
5 - Excellent 70.2540415704388%
4 - Good
559
4 - Good 25.81986143187067%
3 - Okay
72
3 - Okay 3.325635103926097%
2 - Disappointing
11
2 - Disappointing 0.5080831408775982%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.09237875288683603%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 5, 2020

Vert safe lively and friendly town

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 5, 2020

Cold but friendly walkable town.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 20, 2020

Expensive, as most larger cities are, but more than worth the experience!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 19, 2020

Loved it !!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

Reykjavik has a lot to offer, I wished we had stayed longer before or after the tour of Iceland.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 17, 2020

Beautiful city and very kind people!

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