There’s no shortage of things to do in Reykjavik, whether it’s chasing the northern lights, riding past glaciers on horseback or whale watching along the North Atlantic shores. We’ve gathered together some suggestions to ensure you have a break to remember, whatever time of year you visit.
Places to go
Iceland attracts lovers of the great outdoors all year round, and you don’t have to spend your days and nights in the city centre if you want to see more of what the Reykjavik area has to offer.
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are one of the top Reykjavik attractions. In fact, holidays to Reykjavik just aren’t complete without a Northern Light trip. It’s up to you whether you want to hire a car and head off into the great outdoors yourselves. Your chances of spotting the lights are best between August and April, on a clear, dark night, you can even catch them in the capital, as once a month all the lights are turned off in Reykjavik so that everyone can see the night sky in all its glory.
A break to Reykjavik is the ideal opportunity to soak up some Icelandic history. Take the kids to Arbaer Open Air Museum, a village where you can gain an insight into old Icelandic living, or visit Perlan, one of Reykjavik’s most iconic landmarks. It’s home to a light-up ice cave and some of the best views in the city can be experienced from the observation deck.
Also worth checking out are the National Museum of Iceland, with artefacts dating back to Viking times and the Settlement Exhibition. Don’t miss the opportunity to check out one of the most popular Reykjavik attractions and one of Iceland’s most famous art installations, the ‘Solfar’ Viking ship sculpture on the waterfront. It’s a popular photo spot for visitors to the city.
Places to visit
One of the best things to do in Reykjavik is to head for the city’s Old Harbour and take off on a whale watching trip. You’ll have the opportunity to see minke whales and may also be lucky enough to spot fin whales, humpback whales and orcas as well as dolphins and harbour porpoises. Trips usually run from April until September.
If you fancy keeping both your feet on dry land, Iceland is known for its horse riding tours, with some of the most beautiful scenery known to man. Or why not explore one of the many excellent hiking routes close to Reykjavik? When it comes to things to do in Reykjavik, climbing Esjan, the mountain you can see to the north of the city, should be on any hiker’s bucket list.
With so much culture, art and natural beauty, it’s little wonder that visitors to Iceland return year after year.
A trip to Reykjavik isn’t complete without a visit to the beautiful Hallgrímskirkja Church. At almost 75 metres tall you can see the church, named after the poet Hallgrímur Pétursson, right across the city.