Top 10 Things to Do in Reykjavik

Did you know that Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, offers a remarkable array of attractions and activities for every type of traveler? From stunning landmarks to immersive cultural experiences, Reykjavik has something to offer everyone.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, art lover, or simply seeking adventure, Reykjavik’s diverse range of attractions will captivate your senses. Get ready to explore the vibrant streets, breathtaking landscapes, and fascinating history of this charming city.

In this guide, we will take you through the top 10 things to do in Reykjavik, providing you with an insider’s look at the very best attractions and experiences this enchanting city has to offer. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, we’ve got you covered.

So, whether you’re planning a trip to Reykjavik or simply looking for some inspiration, join us as we delve into the quintessential Reykjavik experience. Get ready to uncover the top 10 things to do in Reykjavik and make the most of your visit to this extraordinary city.

Visit the Iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church

One of Reykjavik’s most iconic landmarks, the Hallgrimskirkja Church, is a must-visit during your time in the city. This stunning church, both in size and architecture, stands tall at the heart of Reykjavik and offers an unforgettable experience.

Make your way to the observation deck of the Hallgrimskirkja Church for breathtaking panoramic views of the city. From here, you can marvel at the colorful rooftops, the surrounding mountains, and the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Hallgrimskirkja Church

The church itself is a masterpiece of modern design, drawing inspiration from Iceland’s geological formations, such as basalt lava flows and ice caps. Its stark, angular lines and towering presence make it a true spectacle to behold.

Step inside the Hallgrimskirkja Church and explore its intricate interior, adorned with striking stained glass windows and a powerful organ. Take a moment to reflect and appreciate the serene atmosphere that envelops this sacred space.

Whether you are interested in architecture, history, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, the Hallgrimskirkja Church is a must-see attraction in Reykjavik. Don’t forget to take your camera along – the views from the observation deck and the magnificence of the church interior make for unforgettable photo opportunities.

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Discover History at the National Museum of Iceland

Dive deep into Iceland’s fascinating history at the National Museum of Iceland. This renowned museum is a treasure trove of Viking artifacts, medieval manuscripts, and other significant historical relics that provide a comprehensive overview of Icelandic culture.

National Museum of Iceland

As you step inside the National Museum of Iceland, you’ll be transported back in time, unraveling the stories of this island nation. Explore the impressive collection of archaeological finds, including weapons, tools, and everyday objects used by the Vikings.

Exhibit Highlights

Exhibit Description
The Settlement Era Learn about the early settlers of Iceland and their struggles as they forged a new life on this rugged island.
The Viking Age Discover the legendary exploits of the Vikings and their impact on Icelandic history and culture.
Medieval Manuscripts Marvel at the beautifully preserved medieval manuscripts, including the famous Sagas of the Icelanders.
Reformation and Independence Trace Iceland’s journey to independence through the struggles of religious reform and the fight for self-governance.

Interactive displays and multimedia presentations bring the past to life, immersing you in the rich history and cultural heritage of Iceland. As you explore the museum, knowledgeable guides are on hand to provide additional insights and answer any questions you may have.

The National Museum of Iceland is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Iceland’s heritage.” – Travel Guide

Plan your visit to the National Museum of Iceland and embark on an enlightening journey through the centuries, gaining a newfound appreciation for the resilience and creativity of the Icelandic people.

Explore the Reykjavik Art Scene

Immerse yourself in Reykjavik’s vibrant art scene by visiting art galleries and museums showcasing both traditional and contemporary Icelandic art. From stunning paintings to innovative installations, the Reykjavik art scene offers a captivating journey through Iceland’s creative expressions.

Start your exploration by visiting “Listasafn Reykjavikur – Reykjavik Art Museum”, the city’s premier art institution. With three separate venues, each dedicated to a different era of art, this museum provides a comprehensive view of Icelandic artistic heritage spanning from the early 20th century to the present day.

Reykjavik Art Scene

Another must-visit destination is “Harbinger Art Gallery”, a contemporary gallery that showcases innovative works by local and international artists. Step into this creative space and immerse yourself in thought-provoking exhibitions that push boundaries and challenge artistic conventions.

If you’re interested in exploring the emerging art scene, make sure to visit “The Exhibition Room”. This intimate gallery showcases works by up-and-coming Icelandic artists, providing a platform for their talent and creativity.

The Reykjavik art scene goes beyond traditional galleries, as street art plays a significant role in the city’s cultural landscape. Take a stroll through the streets of Reykjavik and discover vibrant murals and graffiti that add a dynamic and colorful touch to the urban environment.

“The Reykjavik art scene offers a diverse range of artistic expressions, from classical paintings to contemporary installations. Through its museums, galleries, and street art, the city represents the rich cultural heritage and the forward-thinking creativity of Iceland.”

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of creative expressions, Reykjavik’s art scene is a must-see attraction that will leave a lasting impression. Explore the galleries, embrace the street art, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Icelandic art.

Wander Through the Reykjavik Old Harbor

Immerse yourself in the charm of Reykjavik’s historic waterfront by taking a leisurely stroll through the Reykjavik Old Harbor. This iconic area offers a picturesque setting where land and sea meet, creating a vibrant atmosphere filled with local culture and breathtaking views.

As you wander along the harbor, you’ll be captivated by the picturesque scenery of colorful houses, fishing vessels, and charming cafes. The tranquil surroundings and gentle sea breeze provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon of sightseeing.

Reykjavik Old Harbor

Indulge your taste buds at the local seafood restaurants, where you can savor fresh catches of the day and experience the authentic flavors of Icelandic cuisine. Treat yourself to a steaming bowl of traditional fish stew or enjoy a plate of smoked salmon while enjoying the scenic views of the harbor.

For those seeking unique shopping experiences, the Reykjavik Old Harbor is home to a variety of boutiques and stores. Browse through local handicrafts, jewelry, and Icelandic wool products, perfect for finding a special keepsake or gift.

Whether you’re an avid photographer capturing stunning vistas or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the bustling city center, the Reykjavik Old Harbor is a must-visit destination for every traveler seeking an authentic Reykjavik experience.

Highlights of the Reykjavik Old Harbor:

  1. Scenic waterfront with colorful houses
  2. Fishing vessels and maritime activities
  3. Seafood restaurants offering traditional Icelandic dishes
  4. Boutiques and stores showcasing local handicrafts and products

Explore the Reykjavik Old Harbor and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this historic waterfront. Whether you’re sipping on a cup of coffee while watching the boats sail by or enjoying a delicious seafood meal, the Reykjavik Old Harbor offers an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

Relax at the Blue Lagoon Spa

Looking for the perfect destination to relax and rejuvenate? Look no further than the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa in Reykjavik. Nestled amidst Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes, this geothermal oasis is a haven of tranquility where you can escape the stresses of everyday life. The Blue Lagoon Spa offers a range of soothing experiences that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.

Blue Lagoon Spa

Immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon, sourced from a nearby geothermal power plant. The azure blue waters, surrounded by volcanic rocks and steam rising from the surface, create a surreal and otherworldly setting. The mineral content of the water, including silica and sulfur, is believed to have healing properties for the skin, making it a truly unique spa experience.

Indulge in a variety of luxurious spa treatments that harness the power of Iceland’s natural resources. From facials and massages to body wraps and scrubs, the skilled therapists at the Blue Lagoon Spa will pamper you with their expertise. The spa also offers a range of innovative treatments, such as the Blue Lagoon Ritual, which combines the healing power of silica and algae to leave your skin radiant and revitalized.

After your spa treatments, take time to relax in the tranquil surroundings of the spa. Whether you choose to lounge on the poolside deck or find a secluded spot amidst the lava fields, you’ll be enveloped in a sense of serenity. Breathe in the fresh air and let the calming atmosphere wash over you as you melt away the tensions of everyday life.

When it’s time for a bite to eat, the Blue Lagoon Spa has you covered. Enjoy a delicious meal at Lava Restaurant, where you can savor Icelandic delicacies crafted from local, seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, providing the perfect backdrop for your dining experience.

“The Blue Lagoon Spa is truly a one-of-a-kind destination for relaxation and wellness. The geothermal waters, luxurious treatments, and stunning surroundings create an unforgettable experience. It’s a must-visit for anyone seeking a moment of pure bliss.”

Blue Lagoon Spa Highlights:

  • Geothermal waters with healing properties
  • Luxurious spa treatments
  • Spectacular volcanic landscapes
  • Relaxation in a serene environment
  • Delicious dining at Lava Restaurant

Plan your visit to the Blue Lagoon Spa and indulge in a day of pure relaxation. Experience the magic of Iceland’s geothermal wonders and emerge rejuvenated and refreshed.

Explore Reykjavik’s Whales and Puffins

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by joining a Reykjavik boat tour that will allow you to witness the majestic whales and adorable puffins in their natural habitat. This unique wildlife experience is a must-do for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers alike.

Reykjavik is renowned for its diverse marine life, and a boat tour is the perfect way to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. Watch in awe as humpback whales breach the surface of the water, showcasing their impressive size and grace. Keep your camera ready as you might also have the chance to spot other species such as minke whales or even orcas.

Reykjavik tours

But the adventure doesn’t end there! During your boat tour, you’ll also have the opportunity to observe the charming puffins in their natural habitat. These small seabirds with their distinctive coloring and playful nature are a true delight to watch. Capture their adorable antics and create lasting memories of your journey.

Whale and puffin watching tours are available throughout the year, with some species appearing more frequently during specific seasons. Knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the behavior and biology of these incredible creatures, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the wildlife.


Whale watching tours in Reykjavik offer a success rate of over 90% in spotting these magnificent creatures, ensuring a thrilling and rewarding experience for visitors.

Make sure to dress warmly and bring binoculars to enhance your wildlife spotting experience. The boat tours depart conveniently from the Reykjavik harbor, making it easily accessible for visitors. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to connect with nature and witness the beauty of Reykjavik’s whales and puffins.

Discover Reykjavik’s Street Art

When exploring Reykjavik, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of street art. As you wander through the city’s streets, you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of colors, murals, and graffiti that add a unique charm to the urban landscape.

The Reykjavik street art scene showcases the immense creativity and talent of local and international artists. From thought-provoking political statements to mesmerizing abstract designs, each artwork tells a story and contributes to the visual tapestry of the city.

“Street art is a powerful form of self-expression that transforms ordinary walls into captivating canvases. It reflects the spirit and energy of the community while offering a glimpse into the local culture and values.”

The diversity of styles and themes in Reykjavik’s street art scene ensures there’s something for every art enthusiast to appreciate. Whether you prefer large-scale murals or small hidden gems, the city’s walls have countless surprises waiting to be discovered.

To help you navigate Reykjavik’s street art, here’s a list of popular locations known for their vibrant displays:

  • Grafitti Alley: An alleyway in the city center that showcases an ever-changing collection of graffiti art.
  • Laugavegur Street: Reykjavik’s main shopping street, where you’ll find an array of colorful murals adorning the buildings.
  • Hverfisgata Street: Home to several notable street art pieces, including the iconic astronaut murals.

Immerse yourself in the creativity and expression of Reykjavik’s street art scene. Take the time to explore, snap photos, and appreciate the incredible talent that brings the city’s walls to life.

Reykjavik street art

Reykjavik Street Art: A Glimpse into Urban Creativity

Location Description
Graffiti Alley An ever-changing collection of graffiti art in a bustling alleyway in Reykjavik’s city center.
Laugavegur Street Reykjavik’s main shopping street adorned with colorful murals.
Hverfisgata Street Home to iconic astronaut murals and various other street art pieces.

Experience the Magic of Reykjavik’s Street Art

Reykjavik’s street art scene is a visual feast that showcases the city’s vibrant spirit and creativity. As you explore the colorful murals and intricate graffiti, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Reykjavik’s urban culture and the artists who contribute to its artistic landscape.

So, put on your walking shoes, grab a camera, and embark on a sightseeing adventure through the captivating streets of Reykjavik. Discover the hidden gems, the wide range of styles, and the stories behind the stunning works of art that make up Reykjavik’s street art scene.

Take a Day Trip to the Golden Circle

Looking to explore the breathtaking natural wonders of Iceland? Venture outside of Reykjavik on a day trip to the Golden Circle, a route that offers a glimpse into the country’s stunning landscapes and geological marvels. The Golden Circle is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world with its awe-inspiring sights.

The Golden Circle encompasses three must-see attractions: Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park. Each stop on this route offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

Begin your journey at Gullfoss waterfall, located in the picturesque Hvítá river canyon. Marvel at the sheer power and beauty of this two-tiered waterfall as it cascades down into a rugged gorge. Capture the perfect Instagram-worthy moment as you stand in awe of nature’s impressive force.

Continue your adventure to the Geysir geothermal area, where you’ll witness the incredible erupting hot springs that have given rise to the English word “geyser.” Wait in anticipation as the Strokkur geyser shoots boiling water high into the air, creating a natural spectacle that is sure to leave you amazed.

Lastly, explore Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds immense cultural and historical significance. Discover the place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, creating a rift valley showcased by dramatic cliffs and fissures. Explore the ancient Althing, the world’s first parliamentary assembly, dating back to the 10th century.

This day trip to the Golden Circle provides an immersive experience into Iceland’s natural wonders and cultural heritage. Embrace the beauty of the landscapes, soak up the history, and create lasting memories.

Golden Circle

Key Highlights of the Golden Circle:

  • Gullfoss waterfall: Marvel at the power and beauty of this magnificent waterfall.
  • Geysir geothermal area: Witness the erupting geysers and experience the geothermal energy.
  • Thingvellir National Park: Explore the unique geological formations and rich historical sites.

Embrace the beauty of Iceland’s Golden Circle, where nature’s wonders and human history intertwine.

Experience Icelandic Cuisine and Nightlife

When visiting Reykjavik, you can’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the exquisite flavors of Icelandic cuisine. From fresh seafood to hearty lamb dishes, the local food scene offers a unique culinary experience.

Start your gastronomic adventure by savoring the catch of the day at one of Reykjavik’s seafood restaurants. Whether it’s succulent lobster, tender salmon, or plump scallops, you’ll be treated to the finest and freshest ingredients sourced from the surrounding Atlantic Ocean. Don’t miss the chance to try traditional Icelandic delicacies like smoked puffin, fermented shark, or the infamous Icelandic hot dog, known as “pylsa.”

Icelandic cuisine

Traditional Icelandic Dishes

Dish Description
Hangikjöt Tender smoked lamb served with sweet potatoes and peas
Plokkfiskur A comforting fish stew made with flaky white fish, potatoes, and onions
Rúgbrauð A dense and sweet rye bread, traditionally baked in underground ovens

After enjoying a delectable meal, Reykjavik comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. The city offers a diverse range of venues for every taste and preference. Start your evening by visiting the trendy bars in the city center, where you can sample craft beers and innovative cocktails crafted by talented mixologists.

If you’re a music lover, Reykjavik’s live music venues are a must-visit. From intimate jazz clubs to energetic rock venues, you can immerse yourself in the local music scene and discover talented Icelandic bands and artists. Keep an eye out for any upcoming concerts or festivals during your visit.

“After dinner, explore the city’s vibrant nightlife scene, with trendy bars, live music venues, and energetic clubs.”

For those looking to dance the night away, Reykjavik has an array of energetic clubs where you can let loose and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Dance to the beats of local and international DJs, and experience the vibrant energy that fills the city after dark.

Remember to pace yourself during your night out in Reykjavik and enjoy the city’s cosmopolitan vibe. Embrace the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and locals, creating unforgettable memories as you immerse yourself in the exciting nightlife of this Icelandic capital.


Reykjavik, Iceland’s charming capital city, offers a multitude of attractions and experiences for every traveler to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or someone seeking unique local encounters, Reykjavik has something special in store for you.

From the iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church, where you can marvel at breathtaking city views from the observation deck, to the National Museum of Iceland, which provides a fascinating journey through the country’s rich history, there are countless landmarks and cultural gems to explore.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene, with its traditional and contemporary Icelandic masterpieces showcased in various galleries and museums. Take a leisurely stroll along the Reykjavik Old Harbor, indulging in delicious seafood and discovering charming boutiques. And for the ultimate relaxation, treat yourself to a rejuvenating experience at the world-renowned Blue Lagoon Spa.

Don’t miss the chance to embark on a thrilling boat tour to spot majestic whales and adorable puffins in their natural habitat. Admire the vibrant street art that adorns the city walls, adding a colorful touch to the urban landscape. And venture outside the city on a day trip to the Golden Circle, where you can witness the awe-inspiring Gullfoss waterfall, the powerful geothermal area of Geysir, and the historic Thingvellir National Park.

Finally, savor the flavors of Icelandic cuisine, indulging in fresh seafood, hearty lamb dishes, and unique delicacies. After dinner, immerse yourself in the lively nightlife scene, where trendy bars, live music venues, and energetic clubs await.

So, pack your bags and plan your visit to Reykjavik today to discover the charm of Iceland’s captivating capital city. Whether you’re an adventurer, a culture seeker, or simply looking to unwind, Reykjavik promises an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler.

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