Reykjavik city breaks

When it comes to city break destinations, you can’t climb much higher than Reykjavik. Europe’s most northerly capital invites its visitors to enjoy a laid-back way of life and nightlife to rival some of the world’s best – against a backdrop of mountains, volcanoes, geysers and glaciers. Visit thought-provoking historical sites and get your bearings from the dominating spire of Hallgrímskirkja Church. 

Things to do

You’ll find a wide range of activities in Reykjavik, including visits to interesting geothermal, historical and natural sites. Friendly and sometimes eccentric, this vibrant city is equally well placed for picturesque glacier walks as it is partying until sunrise. Here are just some of our favourite things to do in Reykjavik.

Northern lights

The northern lights will undoubtedly be at the front of your mind when you’re planning a trip to Reykjavik. Go over winter and gaze up into the night sky as the stunning natural phenomenon illuminates the darkness. As with any natural event, the aurora aren’t entirely predictable, so there’s an element of adventure as you head away from the city and bid to get the best view.

Wonderful activities

If you’re going during summer then you can turn your attention to the wonders of the deep as you set sail on a whale watching tour. Look out for minke whale as you glide across Faxaflói Bay, and keep your eye out for other interesting wildlife as you try and snap some memorable photos. Back on dry land you can saddle up on another magnificent beast and go horse riding through striking landscapes, visit the Gullfoss waterfall and Hallgrimskirkja Church, or indulge in some laid back pampering with an afternoon at the Geysir geothermal area.

Great nightlife

Head back into the city and go for a wander around the Old Harbour before settling down for an intriguing Icelandic meal. Don’t forget to leave plenty of room for trying the local schnapps before continuing your evening out with some live music and a trip to one of Reykjavik’s contemporary nightclubs for a bit of dancing.

Map of Reykjavik

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Best time to visit: The long days and midnight sun of the summer make it a great time of year to explore all of Reykjavik’s surrounding natural wonders. Winter is the best time to see the Northern Lights.

3 hours

Fly to: Keflavik airport, around 50km southwest of central Reykjavik. 

Alternative transport: A weekly summer ferry service sails to Iceland from Denmark, via the Faroe Islands. A limited service continues into the winter months.

Reykjavik is best for...

Outdoor lovers: Pull on your walking boots and pick your hiking route around Iceland’s incredible natural landscape.

Wildlife enthusiasts: See whales, dolphins, porpoises, puffins and a throng of seabirds posing for the camera, in and around Reykjavik.

Science / nature lovers: Explore sites alive with geothermal activity, lively volcanoes, gushing geysers, heart-stirring waterfalls and bubbling lagoons.

Fast facts for Reykjavik

Language: The language spoken in Reykjavik is Icelandic

Currency: The currency used in Reykjavik is the Icelandic Krona (kr)

Local time: Reykjavik is the same as GMT/UK time

Fly to: Keflavik airport, around 50km southwest of central Reykjavik. 

Alternative transport: A weekly summer ferry service sails to Iceland from Denmark, via the Faroe Islands. A limited service continues into the winter months.

Flight time from UK: 3 hours

Tourist Information: Further Reykjavik tourist information can be found at www.visitreykjavik.is 

 

Getting around Reykjavik

Local bus: See Reykjavik like the locals do, on the efficient and regular bus system. You’ll find the central bus station, Hlemmur, on the main shopping street, Laugavegur.

Self-drive car: So long as you get clued-up on all the rules and regulations before you set out, driving in Reykjavik can be pretty easy and convenient, giving you the freedom to see what you want to see, when you want to see it.

Scheduled coach: Take a scheduled coach service for an easy way to see all the sights you’ve planned into your itinerary.

Events in Reykjavik

Celebrating Iceland: If you’re in town on Iceland’s National Day, marked each 17th June, make sure you get involved in the festivities, from street theatre and concerts to bell ringing and puppet shows. 

Food / fun: Each spring, the Reykjavik-based Food and Fun Festival mixes the world’s finest chefs with fresh natural ingredients, the great Icelandic outdoors and Reykjavik’s famed nightlife.

Real fashion: Reykjavik Fashion Festival sees Iceland’s fashion A-list descend on the capital for three days of well-dressed events each March. Get tips from designers who use tones and textiles that reflect Iceland’s natural environment.

Reykjavik weather

Temperature: With nearly non-stop daylight during the summer, Reykjavik is a contender for the title of ‘the city that never sleeps’. Temperatures range from an average maximum of 0 (°c) in January to 14 (°c) in August.

Best time to visit: The long days and midnight sun of the summer make it a great time of year to explore all of Reykjavik’s surrounding natural wonders. Winter is the best time to see the Northern Lights.

Best hotels in Reykjavik

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