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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.

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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.

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 and take a trip to see one of nature’s most vivid light shows. An organised excursion to see the Northern Lights (also known as the Aurora Borealis) illuminate the night sky is one of the most unforgettable things to do in Reykjavik.

Don’t leave Iceland without soaking in the steaming geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon. The mineral-rich seawater is said to give great health benefits. Discover one of the most relaxing things to do in Reykjavik by seeking out the luxury health spa that blends into the rugged lava landscape.

The instantly intriguing glass dome of The Pearl is one of the essential places to visit in Reykjavik. Designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson, the building is supported by six four-million-litre hot water tanks. It’s also home to the Saga Museum, a unique restaurant and a simulated gushing geyser. 

Make the most of your city break in Reykjavik by taking a tour of some of Iceland’s most important natural wonders. The landscape – strewn with lava-spewing volcanoes, blue-tinged glaciers, spurting geysers and gurgling geothermal pools – makes it one of the most unique places to visit in the world. 

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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