Reykjavik Itinerary 5 Days

If you’re planning a 5-day trip to Reykjavik, get ready to immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and charming city center that make this Icelandic gem truly unique. From exploring natural wonders to indulging in delicious local cuisine, this Reykjavik itinerary will guide you through the best experiences this city has to offer.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a memorable adventure, Reykjavik has something for everyone. Discover the stunning landscapes of the Golden Circle, the captivating South Coast, and the otherworldly Reykjanes Peninsula. Immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the city’s museums, art galleries, and iconic landmarks. Plus, don’t forget to indulge in the unique flavors of Icelandic cuisine.

With its efficient transportation system and a range of accommodation options, getting around Reykjavik is a breeze. Whether you prefer luxury hotels or budget-friendly hostels, there’s a perfect place to stay for every traveler.

So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Reykjavik’s charm and beauty. Let’s dive into this comprehensive 5-day Reykjavik itinerary and make the most of your time in the captivating capital of Iceland.

Day 1: Arrival and Exploring the City

Begin your Reykjavik adventure by exploring the city on your first day. Start with a stroll through the vibrant streets of the city center, visit landmarks like Hallgrímskirkja Church and Harpa Concert Hall, and immerse yourself in the local culture by checking out the museums and art galleries.

Things to do Reykjavik

Best attractions in Reykjavik

  • Hallgrímskirkja Church: Visit this iconic landmark with its unique architecture and enjoy panoramic views of Reykjavik from the top of the tower.
  • Harpa Concert Hall: Marvel at the stunning glass facade and catch a performance at this cultural hub.
  • National Museum of Iceland: Explore Iceland’s fascinating history and heritage through exhibitions and artifacts.
  • Reykjavik Art Museum: Discover contemporary art by Icelandic and international artists.
  • The Settlement Exhibition: Step back in time and learn about the Viking history of Reykjavik.

“Reykjavik is a city of contrasts, blending modern architecture with natural wonders and preserving its rich cultural heritage.”

As you wander through the streets, take the opportunity to sample some Icelandic cuisine, whether it’s trying traditional dishes like skyr (a creamy dairy product) or fresh seafood.

Attraction Description
Hallgrímskirkja Church A Lutheran church and iconic landmark in Reykjavik, known for its striking architecture and panoramic views from its tower.
Harpa Concert Hall A modern concert hall and cultural center, featuring stunning architecture and hosting various performances and events.
National Museum of Iceland A museum showcasing Iceland’s history, culture, and heritage through exhibits and artifacts.
Reykjavik Art Museum A museum dedicated to contemporary art, showcasing works by Icelandic and international artists.
The Settlement Exhibition An exhibition exploring the Viking history and settlement of Reykjavik, featuring archaeological discoveries.

Day 2: Golden Circle Tour

On the second day of your Iceland 5-day itinerary, embark on a memorable Golden Circle tour that showcases some of the country’s most breathtaking natural attractions. This Reykjavik sightseeing adventure will take you to three iconic destinations: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the majestic Gullfoss waterfall.

Start your day by visiting Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site rich in geological and historical significance. Marvel at the dramatic landscapes and walk between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia. Explore the park’s picturesque walking trails, and don’t miss the opportunity to snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters of the Silfra fissure.

Next, make your way to the Geysir Geothermal Area and witness the powerful eruption of Strokkur, a spouting hot spring that shoots water high into the air every few minutes. Immerse yourself in the geothermal wonders of this surreal landscape, with bubbling mud pots and steaming springs creating a unique atmosphere.

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Conclude your Golden Circle tour with a visit to the Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most stunning natural wonders. Feel the mist on your face as you stand in awe of this two-tiered waterfall cascading down into a deep gorge. Capture the beauty of Gullfoss with your camera, and take a moment to simply appreciate the awe-inspiring power and grandeur of nature.

Golden Circle Tour

“The Golden Circle tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Iceland. The combination of geological wonders, historical sites, and natural beauty makes it a truly unforgettable experience.”
– Sarah Thompson, Travel Aficionado

Make the most of your time on this Reykjavik sightseeing tour, and ensure you have enough time to explore, take photos, and absorb the incredible surroundings. Remember to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking, and pack snacks or a picnic lunch to enjoy amidst Iceland’s breathtaking vistas.

Destinations Highlights
Thingvellir National Park
  • Historical and geological significance
  • Snorkeling/diving in Silfra fissure
  • Picturesque walking trails
Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Strokkur’s powerful eruptions
  • Bubbling mud pots and steaming springs
  • Fascinating geothermal wonders
Gullfoss waterfall
  • Two-tiered waterfall in a deep gorge
  • Captivating natural beauty
  • Opportunity for stunning photographs

Day 3: South Coast Adventure

Embark on an unforgettable adventure along Iceland’s captivating South Coast on day 3 of your Reykjavik vacation. This scenic journey will take you through breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, and iconic natural wonders.

Reynisfjara: Black Sand Beaches

Begin your day by visiting Reynisfjara, one of Reykjavik’s must-see places. Marvel at the unique black sand beaches, incredible basalt column formations, and the roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Explore the caves and immerse yourself in the wild beauty of this remarkable coastline.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beaches

Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls

Continue your South Coast adventure by witnessing the power and beauty of two iconic waterfalls – Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Stand in awe as the water cascades down from dramatic heights and feel the mist on your face. Capture the perfect Instagram-worthy shot at Seljalandsfoss, where you can even walk behind the waterfall for a truly immersive experience.

Vík: Charming Village

Make a stop in the picturesque village of Vík, known for its charming red-roofed houses and stunning views. Take a leisurely stroll along the cliffs, breathe in the fresh ocean air, and soak in the tranquility of this idyllic coastal village. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Reynisdrangar sea stacks rising from the sea.

“The black sand beaches at Reynisfjara and the powerful waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss are not to be missed on your South Coast adventure. Explore the charming village of Vík and its breathtaking views while immersing yourself in the beauty of Iceland’s natural wonders.”

Day 4: The Reykjanes Peninsula

On day 4 of your Reykjavik adventure, prepare to explore the stunning Reykjanes Peninsula and its unique geological features. This awe-inspiring destination offers a glimpse into Iceland’s extraordinary natural wonders.

Begin your day by venturing to the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark, where you’ll be surrounded by otherworldly landscapes shaped by volcanic activity. Marvel at the dramatic rock formations, bubbling mud pools, and steaming geothermal areas that showcase the raw power of nature.

One of the highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula is the iconic Blue Lagoon. Immerse yourself in the azure waters of this geothermal spa, known for its healing properties. Relax and rejuvenate as you soak in the mineral-rich waters, surrounded by a surreal volcanic landscape.

Continue your exploration by visiting the Bridge between Continents, a unique footbridge that spans the gap between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. This symbolic landmark represents the geological significance of Iceland and its position on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Activities Recommended Duration
Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark Half a day
Blue Lagoon Varies (Depends on your preference)
Bridge between Continents 1 hour

Remember to bring your camera to capture the mesmerizing landscapes and unique experiences throughout the day. Don’t forget to pack your swimwear and a towel for your visit to the Blue Lagoon.

Embrace the enchanting beauty of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where nature’s artistry will leave you in awe. This day of exploration will undoubtedly be a highlight of your 5-day Reykjavik itinerary.

Day 5: Cultural Exploration and Farewell

On your last day in Reykjavik, immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and vibrant culture with a cultural tour. Discover the fascinating stories and heritage of Iceland at the National Museum of Iceland. Explore the captivating exhibits that showcase the country’s past, from Viking settlements to present-day traditions.

Afterward, wander through the charming neighborhoods of old town Reykjavik. Marvel at the colorful houses, quaint streets, and unique architecture that make this area so picturesque. Take your time to explore the boutiques, cafes, and galleries, soaking in the atmosphere and charm of the city.

And of course, no visit to Reykjavik is complete without indulging in traditional Icelandic cuisine. From hearty seafood dishes to tender Icelandic lamb, treat yourself to the flavors of the local cuisine. Whether you choose to dine in a cozy restaurant or try street food from a food truck, let your taste buds savor the delicious and unique flavors of Iceland.

“Iceland is a land of stories, and Reykjavik is the gateway to this rich cultural tapestry. From the ancient sagas to modern traditions, immerse yourself in the history and heritage of this enchanting city.”

As your cultural exploration comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the memories you’ve made during your time in Reykjavik. Capture the beauty of the city in your mind and bid farewell to this captivating destination. Reykjavik will always hold a special place in your heart and leave you with a desire to return and explore more of Iceland’s wonders.

Reykjavik city tour

Recommended Attractions and Activities:

  • National Museum of Iceland
  • Exploring old town Reykjavik
  • Sampling traditional Icelandic cuisine

Make the most of your last day in Reykjavik by embarking on a cultural tour that allows you to delve deeper into the city’s history and bid farewell to its enchanting charm.

Attraction Description
National Museum of Iceland A museum that showcases Iceland’s history, from Viking settlements to modern times. Explore fascinating exhibits and learn about the country’s heritage.
Old Town Reykjavik Wander through the charming neighborhoods of old town Reykjavik, admiring the colorful houses, quaint streets, and unique architecture.
Traditional Icelandic Cuisine Indulge in the flavors of Icelandic cuisine, from fresh seafood dishes to tender Icelandic lamb. Experience the unique flavors that define the local food culture.

Transportation Tips and Getting Around

When visiting Reykjavik, getting around the city and exploring its surroundings is a breeze. With a well-designed public transportation system and a walkable city center, you’ll have no trouble navigating the beautiful Icelandic capital. Here are some helpful transportation tips and options for your Reykjavik adventure.

Using the Bus System

Reykjavik has an excellent bus system operated by Strætó. The buses cover most areas of the city and its suburbs, making it convenient for you to reach popular attractions and landmarks. To use the bus system:

  1. Check the bus schedules and routes online or at the bus stops.
  2. Purchase a ticket or card before boarding the bus. You can buy single tickets, day passes, or reloadable bus cards.
  3. Validate your ticket or card once you board the bus.
  4. Signal the driver to stop by pressing the “stop” button or pulling the cord.

The bus fares vary depending on the distance traveled, but they are generally affordable. Using the bus system is a great way to explore Reykjavik and its surroundings at your own pace.

Renting a Car

If you prefer the flexibility of having your own transportation, renting a car in Reykjavik is a popular option. With numerous car rental companies available, you’ll have a wide selection of vehicles to choose from. Here are some tips for renting a car:

  1. Book your car rental in advance to secure the best rates.
  2. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license and are familiar with Icelandic traffic rules.
  3. Consider renting a car with four-wheel drive if you plan to venture off the main roads.
  4. During winter, opt for a car equipped with studded winter tires for better traction on icy roads.

Having a rental car gives you the freedom to explore Reykjavik and the surrounding areas at your own pace. Just remember to fuel up when needed and return the car on time to avoid additional charges.

Taking Guided Tours

If you prefer a hassle-free way to discover Reykjavik, joining guided tours is an excellent option. There are plenty of tour companies that offer various guided excursions to popular attractions and landmarks. Here’s why taking guided tours can enhance your Reykjavik experience:

“Guided tours provide valuable insights from knowledgeable guides, allowing you to learn more about the culture, history, and natural wonders of Reykjavik. Plus, transportation and logistics are taken care of, leaving you free to immerse yourself in the beauty of Iceland.” – Traveler Magazine

From glacier hikes to whale watching tours, there’s a guided tour for every interest. Check with local tour operators or do some research online to find the best tours that fit your preferences and schedule.

Reykjavik Travel Tips

Transportation Option Advantages Disadvantages
Public Bus – Affordable
– Wide coverage
– Eco-friendly
– Limited frequency
– Can get crowded during peak hours
Rental Car – Flexibility
– Convenience
– Explore at your own pace
– Parking can be challenging in city center
– Higher cost (fuel and rental fees)
Guided Tours – Hassle-free
– Knowledgeable guides
– Transportation included
– Less flexibility in itinerary
– Group setting

Consider your preferences, budget, and itinerary when deciding on the best transportation option for your Reykjavik adventure. Whether you choose to explore the city by bus, rent a car, or join guided tours, you’ll have a memorable and convenient experience discovering the wonders of Reykjavik and beyond.

Where to Stay in Reykjavik

Find the perfect accommodation for your stay in Reykjavik. Whether you prefer luxury hotels, boutique guesthouses, or budget-friendly hostels, this section will provide recommendations on the best neighborhoods and accommodations to suit your preferences.


Reykjavik offers a range of luxurious hotels that cater to different budgets and preferences. Here are some top hotel recommendations:

  • Hotel Skuggi: Located in the city center, Hotel Skuggi offers modern rooms and a comfortable stay. Enjoy amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant.
  • Canopy by Hilton: Situated in the trendy area of Hverfisgata, Canopy by Hilton boasts stylish rooms and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views. Indulge in local cuisine at their on-site restaurant.
  • Alda Hotel: This boutique hotel in the heart of Reykjavik offers cozy rooms, complimentary breakfast, and a convenient location near popular attractions and dining options.

Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts

If you prefer a more intimate and personalized experience, consider staying at a guesthouse or bed & breakfast. These options offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Grettisborg Apartments: Located in the city center, these spacious apartments provide all the comforts of home. Enjoy fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living areas, and a convenient location near shops and restaurants.
  • Guesthouse Sunna: Situated near Hallgrímskirkja Church, Guesthouse Sunna offers cozy rooms with shared bathrooms. The friendly staff and central location make it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers.
  • Bergstaðastræti 37: This charming bed & breakfast is nestled in a quiet neighborhood, offering a peaceful retreat. Enjoy comfortable rooms, a delicious breakfast, and personalized service.


If you’re seeking budget-friendly accommodation or a social atmosphere, hostels in Reykjavik are a great option. Here are a few recommended hostels:

  • Reykjavik Downtown Hostel: Located in the heart of Reykjavik, this hostel offers affordable dormitory-style rooms and private rooms. Enjoy a communal kitchen, cozy lounges, and organized activities.
  • Kex Hostel: Housed in a former biscuit factory, Kex Hostel provides a unique and artistic setting. Relax in the vintage-style common areas, enjoy live music in the bar, and meet fellow travelers from around the world.
  • Mosfellsbaer Hostel: Situated in the outskirts of Reykjavik, Mosfellsbaer Hostel offers a peaceful environment and stunning views of the surrounding nature. Perfect for nature lovers looking to explore the nearby hiking trails.

Consider your budget, preferred location, and desired amenities when choosing where to stay in Reykjavik. Whether you’re looking for luxury, comfort, or affordability, there’s an accommodation option to suit every traveler’s needs.

Reykjavik Vacation Planner

Dining and Cuisine in Reykjavik

Experience the culinary delights of Reykjavik with this guide to the city’s dining scene. Discover traditional Icelandic dishes like fresh seafood, Icelandic lamb, and skyr, as well as international cuisines influenced by the city’s diverse population.

Traditional Icelandic Cuisine

When in Reykjavik, don’t miss the opportunity to try out some of the authentic Icelandic dishes. From the freshest seafood sourced from the surrounding waters to the unique flavors of Icelandic lamb, the local cuisine offers a true taste of the country’s rich culinary heritage.

  • Fresh seafood: Sample dishes like smoked salmon, grilled cod, and pan-fried Arctic char.
  • Icelandic lamb: Indulge in tender and flavorful lamb dishes, such as rack of lamb or slow-cooked lamb stew.
  • Skyr: Taste the creamy and tangy Icelandic yogurt-like product, often served with toppings like berries and granola.
  • Plokkfiskur: Enjoy a traditional fish stew made with locally caught fish and mashed potatoes.
  • Hákarl: For the adventurous foodies, try hákarl, the fermented shark that is considered a delicacy in Iceland.

International Cuisines

Reykjavik’s culinary scene is also influenced by its international population, resulting in a diverse array of international cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Japanese, Mexican, or Middle Eastern flavors, you’ll find restaurants and eateries offering a wide range of international dishes.

“Reykjavik’s dining scene offers a perfect blend of traditional Icelandic flavors and international cuisines. From fresh seafood to mouth-watering international dishes, there’s something to satisfy every palate.”

Alongside the popular Icelandic dishes, you can explore a variety of international culinary options, including:

  • Pizza and pasta: Treat yourself to a delicious Italian pizza or pasta dish at one of the city’s cozy Italian trattorias.
  • Sushi and sashimi: Experience the art of Japanese cuisine by indulging in fresh sushi and sashimi made from the finest ingredients.
  • Tacos and burritos: Craving Mexican flavors? Try the vibrant and flavorful tacos, burritos, and quesadillas available in Reykjavik.
  • Mezze and kebabs: Delight in the aromatic spices and flavors of Middle Eastern dishes, such as mezze platters, falafel, and juicy kebabs.
Restaurant Cuisine Location
Fiskmarkaðurinn Seafood Geirsgata 7, 101 Reykjavik
Grillmarkaðurinn Grilled meats Laugavegur 28, 101 Reykjavik
Múlakaffi Icelandic comfort food Sögufell 1, 110 Reykjavik
Astarpungar International fusion Hverfisgata 33, 101 Reykjavik
Matwerk Modern Nordic Nýlendugata 61, 101 Reykjavik

From cozy seafood restaurants to trendy fusion eateries, Reykjavik offers a wide range of dining options to cater to every taste and budget. Whether you’re looking for an upscale fine dining experience or a casual spot to grab a quick bite, you’ll find plenty of choices throughout the city.

Reykjavik dining scene

Weather and Packing Tips

Before embarking on your Reykjavik adventure, it’s important to be prepared for the weather conditions you might encounter. Iceland’s climate can be unpredictable, so packing the right clothing and gear is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Here are some essential tips to help you pack for your Reykjavik vacation:

1. Dress in Layers

As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” In Iceland, weather conditions can change quickly, so it’s best to dress in layers for versatility. Start with a base layer made of moisture-wicking material, add a warm mid-layer for insulation, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to protect you from the elements. Don’t forget to pack a hat, gloves, and a scarf to keep warm.

2. Waterproof and Sturdy Footwear

Exploring Iceland’s natural landscapes often involves walking on uneven terrain and encountering wet conditions. It’s important to have waterproof and sturdy footwear, such as sturdy hiking boots, to keep your feet dry and provide ankle support. Comfortable and waterproof shoes are also recommended for walking around the city.

3. Rain Gear

Iceland is known for its rain, so be sure to pack a waterproof rain jacket and pants. This will keep you dry during outdoor activities and sightseeing. Additionally, consider bringing a compact travel umbrella for extra protection.

4. Warm Clothing

Even during the summer months, temperatures in Iceland can be cool, especially in the evenings. Pack warm clothing such as sweaters, fleece jackets, and thermal layers to stay cozy. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit as well, as you’ll have the opportunity to relax in natural hot springs like the Blue Lagoon.

5. Essential Accessories

There are a few accessories that are worth considering for your Reykjavik adventure. A sturdy backpack will come in handy for carrying your essentials during day trips. Sunglasses and sunscreen are important, as the sun can be quite strong, even on cloudy days. Finally, a power adapter is necessary if you want to charge your electronic devices.

By following these weather and packing tips, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy all that Reykjavik and Iceland have to offer. Now, let’s take a look at some essential travel information for getting around the city and finding the perfect accommodation.

Iceland travel guide


In conclusion, this 5-day Reykjavik itinerary offers the perfect combination of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and city exploration. By following our guide, you can maximize your time in Reykjavik and create unforgettable memories in Iceland’s charming capital.

Start your adventure today by planning your trip to Reykjavik, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the vibrant city center, visit iconic landmarks, and immerse yourself in the local culture. From the stunning landscapes of the Golden Circle tour to the captivating beauty of the South Coast, there is something for everyone in this enchanting city.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the efficient public transportation system and explore the surrounding areas, such as the Reykjanes Peninsula, with its unique geological features. Additionally, indulge in the city’s culinary scene, which offers a delightful mix of traditional Icelandic dishes and international cuisines.

So pack your bags, prepare for the ever-changing weather, and get ready to embark on an incredible adventure in Reykjavik. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking a vibrant city getaway, Reykjavik has it all. Start planning your trip now and get ready to experience the charm of Iceland’s capital city.

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