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City Breaks Reykjavik

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. 

14 °C

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.

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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.

Visit Reykjavik during the winter months to see one of nature’s most vivid shows. It’s an absolute must-do while you’re in Reykjavik, as you’ll experience a rare sight which will leave you with some amazing memories and photos. If an excursion to the Northern Lights sounds like something you’d like to do, head there in August, as this will give you the best chance of seeing them. At this time, the skies are generally clear and the Aurora activity is high. This means that you can enjoy the incredible light show of swirling green, blue and purple sky in its full glory.   

If you’d like to do some relaxing on your city escape, no visit to Iceland is complete without a trip to the Blue Lagoon. This is a natural wonder due to the steaming geothermal water, which people love to bathe in. The seawater is also mineral-rich and will make a soothing spa treatment for skin and hair. Spend a few hours floating around the pool, admiring views over the rugged, volcanic landscape. The water itself will warm you from the cold outdoor temperatures and if you think you’ll find it hard to leave, you can also book an overnight stay at the onsite hotel.  

For a fantastic day out for the whole family, visit The Pearl in Reykjavik. Informative as it is fun, The Pearl is home to a glacier museum, manmade ice tunnel and observation deck. Easy to spot from miles around due to its unique dome, The Pearl will give you lots of information about Iceland and its landscape, as well as raising awareness about global warming. If you’d like to have lunch with a view, stop by the café, which offers some stunning views across the city. If you’d like to take a closer look, head to the observation deck, just be sure to bring your camera.

Reykjavik in Iceland is the perfect place for nature lovers to visit as there’s lots of natural beauty to enjoy. Take a tour of Reykjavik’s dramatic landscape on a volcanoes and glaciers tour. There are plenty of other sights to experience too, like geysers, waterfalls and secluded islands. Reykjavik is full of contrasts, from bubbling volcanoes to icy valleys. Make the most of visiting one of the most unique places in the world by sailing out to the Westman Islands, where you can watch puffin colonies at Storhofadi interact in their natural habitat.

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

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 

Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iceland for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Reykjavik.


WEATHER AND CLIMATE

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.


GETTING AROUND

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

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.


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