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Top Activities in Reykjavik

See all 528 things to do in Reykjavik

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What to Do in Reykjavik: Must See Attractions

Reykjavik Attractions

When planning a trip to the Land of Fire and Ice, steamy hot springs, tumbling waterfalls, and aqua glaciers come to mind, but the capital city of Reykjavik is home to its own enchanting destinations. In addition to its cultural attractions and mouthwatering eateries, the Icelandic metropolis is recognized as one of the safest, cleanest, and greenest cities in the world. Whether you've come to marvel at the furtive puffins in Faxaflói Bay or visit the nation's oldest microbrewery, Reykjavik delivers. Named for the "smoky cove" that early settlers discovered upon setting foot on Reykjavik's shores, this beautiful international city offers something for every type of traveler.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Reykjavik

Faxaflói Bay dazzles with an array of whale-watching, sea-angling, and bird-watching opportunities, so it's no wonder that Iceland's cultural capital is positioned steps from the bay’s sparkling waves. Areas like the Old Harbor and Grandi Harbor Area beckon with the city's hippest museums, concert halls, and Nordic bistros, while Laugardalur offers sprawling green spaces and a slower pace of life.

Old Harbor

An enclave in the Miðborg region, Old Harbor is the destination for Iceland's trendiest travelers. A former fishing zone, this seaside district is dotted with sculptures like the Sun Voyager statue and cafes offering vinegary fish-and-chips and energizing dark-roast coffee. Hotspots include the progressive art center at Hafnarhús and countless places to grab a bite or savor a brew.

Grandi Harbor Area

Yoga studios, a Northern Lights exhibit, and a whale museum dot the lanes beside bait huts and dry docks in the Grandi Harbor Area, an up-and-coming commercial enclave. Amid the hubbub of the waterfront, the Reykjavik Maritime Museum depicts the lineage of Icelandic fishing and the Saga Museum recreates events from Nordic history with wax figures.

Laugardalur

East of Miðborg, Laugardalur is home to Iceland's national soccer stadium and a series of family-oriented parks. Kids love the Húsdýragarðurinn petting zoo, while adults delight in the Reykjavik Art Museum's Ásmundarsafn sculpture park, which showcases works by Ásmundur Sveinsson.

Things to See in Reykjavík

Beyond gazing at the ink-blue waters of Faxaflói Bay, there are a bevy of things to see in Reykjavik. If you want to take in a concert, head to the Harpa Concert Hall, where regional and mainstream acts take stage inside a modern edifice near the Old Harbor. For a more intimate affair, Café Rosenberg hosts local artists several nights a week. In addition to live music, miraculous landmarks like the Hallgrímskirkja cathedral and venerated institutions like the National Gallery of Iceland illustrate the rich history of the region.

Sightseeing in Reykjavik

Icelanders have a saying they use when they want to motivate each other: "On with the butter!" Use this phrase when it's time to tackle the wealth of things to do in and around Reykjavik and you're sure to go far. Begin by acclimating yourself to the city during a guided city bike tour that ushers you to sightseeing spots like the Alþingishúsið parliament building and tranquil Tjörnin lake. Then, pamper yourself with admission to the Blue Lagoon, where healing turquoise pools offer a bit of respite from urban life. Likewise, you can elect to behold the natural wonders of Thingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geyser, and Gullfoss Waterfall during a tour of the Golden Circle. Finally, for those who satisfy their inner-daredevil, whitewater rafting on the Gullfoss Canyon or a midnight sunset ATV adventure can be arranged.

Things to Do in Reykjavik with Kids

There are loads of outstanding experiences in Reykjavik that the entire gang will enjoy. These are a few of the top family friendly experiences in the area.

Free Things to Do in Reykjavik

An escape to Reykjavik need not blow your budget. You can leave your wallet at home if you go to:

Natural History Museum of Kopavogur - Bring the entire family and go on an adventure through history with each other.

Solfar - This is a must-visit for culture vultures looking to add an artistic touch to their escape.

Siggubær - Come to understand some of the interesting history of the region through this site.

Tjornin - Simply being beside the water is certain to leave you feeling refreshed and calm.

Reykjavik City Library - Arrange a visit and discover the importance of this place to the community.

Domkirkjan - Do a bit of quiet reflection and learn a few things about this site's religious significance.

Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach - Skip rocks across the water's surface, watch the sun come up or just savor the views from the shore.

Seltjarnarnes Peninsula Jogging Path - Bring your camera and let nature spark a sense of wonder in you.

Hellisgerdi Park - If you're into nurturing your garden, this place will satisfy your inner green thumb.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Reykjavik

Downtown

If you're spending some time in Downtown, Reykjavik City Hall and Laugavegur are top sights worth seeing.

Vesturbær

The abundant dining options and waterfront views are top of the list for many visitors to Vesturbær. A stop by Reykjavik Harbour or Landakotskirkja might round out your trip.

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Laugardalur

Laugardalur is popular for its abundant dining options, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool or Reykjavik Park and Zoo.

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Hlíðar

While visiting Hlíðar, you might make a stop by sights like Laugavegur and Hofdi House.

Háaleiti

While there might not be top attractions in Háaleiti, you can explore the larger area and discover places like Laugavegur and Perlan.

Breidholt

If you're looking for some top things to see and do in Breidholt and surrounding area, you can visit Arbaejarsafn and Reykjavik City Museum.

Learn More About Reykjavik | Blog


Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Reykjavik on a sunny day?

What to do in Reykjavik on a rainy day?

If the weather takes a turn for the worse and you're looking for something to do, throw your umbrella down and try out an Exclusive dinner with a local family.

What is Reykjavik famous for?

Snap some pics at Hallgrimskirkja — it's an iconic local attraction.

What should I not miss in Reykjavik?

If you'd like to see the best of this place, add these sights to your itinerary:

  • Blue Lagoon
  • Reykjavik City Hall
  • Perlan
  • National Museum of Iceland

Are there cheap things to do in Reykjavik?

Sign on for a Blue Lagoon Transport from Keflavik Airport and put the money you save toward more fabulous adventures.

What can you do in Reykjavik for free?

You'll barely have time to fetch your wallet out of your backpack with so many terrific free attractions:

  • Hallgrimskirkja
  • Reykjavik Harbour
  • Old Harbour
  • National Cathedral