The 10 Most Incredible Things to Do in Reykjavík
When people visit Reykjavik, they describe their experience as surreal. It’s a must-see destination, full of adventure, natural wonders, and beautiful sights. Located on the coast, Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital. It’s also the country’s most populous city, home to approximately 123,000 people.
There’s a wide variety of things to do in Reykjavik, and in this article, we’ll do our best to cover what to do in Reykjavik, places to visit in Reykjavik and we’ll even venture a little bit outside of the city with things to do near Reykjavik. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, get ready for a country rich in culture, museums, Viking history, and breathtaking views of the sea.
To help you plan your trip, we’ve compiled a list of things to do in Reykjavik. Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Here we go!
Why You Should Visit Reykjavik
Visiting Reykjavik, Iceland, is going to leave a unique stamp on your travel adventures. It’s unlike any other destination! That said, if you’re still on the fence as to whether you want to take this trip, here are some of the top reasons people travel to Iceland, and in many cases, return for a second visit:
- Go whale watching.
- Witness the Northern Lights.
- Eat delectable cuisine.
- Attend fun festivals.
- Experience unparalleled hikes.
- Visit amazing museums.
- Experience the unusual, yet amazing topography.
- Enjoy a family-friendly adventure.
Now, let’s work our way down the list of things to do in Iceland – Reykjavik and start planning.
The 10 Best Things to Do in Reykjavik
This majestic, architectural wonder is a Reykjavik must-see! The Hallgrímskirkja church took 41 years to complete. It has a unique design, almost like a rocket ready to launch into space. We’ll let you decide how to describe the views once you’re up there! Traveling to the top of the structure is free for children. The church is open daily for visits, except Sunday, due to mass.
National Museum of Iceland
Iceland has 1,200 years of documented human history. If you’re looking for the best rundown on Icelandic history, you need to visit the National Museum. The museum carries over 2,000 artifacts and over 1,000 photographs to get you up to speed on Icelandic history.
One of the most unique places to visit in Reykjavik is the open-air museum, Árbæjarsafn, which introduces guests to the local customs and home life of past generations. This museum was founded in 1957 to preserve “old Reykjavik,” as the city started to take on a more modern, developed look. This is an authentic Reykjavik experience, transporting you back to the beginning of the 19th century.
Venture outside Reykjavik’s central city to the charming island of Viðey, situated close to the city’s waterfront. Viðey is ranked as one of the best things to do near Reykjavik, filled with trails and hikes that you can explore by foot or bike. You can visit Iceland’s first church constructed entirely from stones on the island. Explore the west side of the island and witness Richard Serra’s artwork, composed of basalt columns highlighting Iceland’s topography and natural beauty.
The Saga Museum is a waxwork attraction, filled with the most noteworthy figures from local history. It’s located right next to the Maritime Museum, so you can check out both of these attractions on the same day. Get ready to be introduced to a millennium of rich Icelandic history!
Marvel at Incredible Street Art
Wondering what to see in Reykjavik next? Even a simple walk through the streets is filled with colorful, inspirational street art. Reykjavik’s street art has been accumulating since the early 1900s. It’s the perfect opportunity to take incredibly stunning pictures.
Located on the Öskjuhlíð hill, the Perlan is a famous Reykjavik landmark. Its stunning showpiece is the Glacier Ice Exhibition, where you can don full, cold-weather gear while exploring a 100-meter cave. Make sure to visit all floors to take in the full effect of the Perlan.
You can’t miss this delightful pond located right in the center of Reykjavik.
The picturesque houses, plants, and flowerbeds are ideal for a relaxing walk. If you’re visiting Reykjavik in the winter, you can ice skate on the stunning lake. It’s just like a movie scene!
The Volcano House
The Volcano House is a geologist’s dream come true. This gem, located in Reykjavik, is open daily with free exhibits about the rich Icelandic geology. The design of the Volcano House is quite different than you would expect, adding to the visual experience. Words can’t do it justice, so we urge you to take a trip to the Volcano House and see it for yourself.
Experience the True Magic of the Northern Lights
Witnessing the Northern Lights is the experience of a lifetime. As such, you should definitely add it to your list of things to do in Reykjavik. If you need help coordinating the best way to experience this marvel of nature, the Aurora Reykjavik information center can help you plan and make the most of your adventure.
The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are made up of particles electronically charged by the sun. When they collide with the upper atmosphere layer, these particles cause an incredible spectacle of colorful lights in the sky. The winter months are the best time to experience this natural wonder.
These are our top things to do in Reykjavik during your trip to Iceland. However, in Reykjavik, things to do are plentiful. If you still have time and you’re looking for other sights and activities, check out the following:
- Golden Circle
- Whale Watching Tours
- Horseback Riding Tours
- Reykjavik Nightlife
- Nordic House
- Einar Jónsson Museum
- The Sun Voyager
- Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach
- The Settlement Exhibition
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