Things to do in Reykjavik

You’ll warm up to Iceland’s capital with volcanic scenery, luxurious hot springs, and landmarks aplenty.

Our most recommended things to do in Reykjavik

Iceland: Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavik

1. Iceland: Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavik

Embark on an evening trip to see the Aurora Borealis. Hear fascinating facts about them from your guides, visit the Aurora Museum, and search to see the lights firsthand. Depart the bright lights of Reykjavík city center to see the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis. Also known as the “Northern Lights,” it is one of the most spectacular shows during winter months. Head for wherever meteorologists have predicted the lights will be at their best. To get stunning views of the sky you will aim for areas with no artificial light. Hear explanations of how the Aurora Borealis is caused as a result of the gaseous particles in the earth’s atmosphere colliding with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Benefit from an itinerary that includes stops for you to go outside and take photographs. The locations visited differ from day to day, but you will head in the direction with the most chance of seeing Mother Nature at work. As the tour is weather-dependent, and sightings are not guaranteed, you are also invited to join another Northern Lights tour free of charge if the lights don’t appear.  Explore the Northern Lights in the Aurora Museum. The Northern Lights tour includes a complimentary ticket for a self-guided visit to the museum in Reykjavik, valid on the day you join the tour, from the time you receive confirmation that the tour is on.

Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater

2. Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater

See the best of southwest Iceland on an 8-hour Golden Circle tour by bus from Reykjavik. Visit the spectacular Geysir area, and go to the cascades of Gullfoss Waterfall. Discover where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet in Þingvellir National Park. Travel to the geothermal area of Geysir. Marvel as the active hot spring of Strokkur spouts steaming water 30 meters into the air every 8 minutes. Continue to one of Iceland’s most iconic features at the Gullfoss Waterfall (“Golden Falls“). Feel the spray of the waters of the glacial River Hvítá as it plummets down into a 32-meter deep crevice. Next, enter Þingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimeters per year. Þingvellir was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural value in 2004, and is the site of a stunning rift valley and the Rock of Law, the first Viking parliament. Marvel at the volcanic crater at Lake Kerið, and pass through the Icelandic farms of the south on your drive around the Golden Circle, before returning to your original starting point in Reykjavik.

Blue Lagoon: Entry Ticket with Drink, Towel, and Mud Mask

3. Blue Lagoon: Entry Ticket with Drink, Towel, and Mud Mask

Enjoy the world-famous Blue Lagoon and with this ticket for the 'Comfort Package' which provides you access to the legendary waters along with a towel, and a silica mud mas. Experience the deep relaxation of sipping on a complimentary drink while you soak at the in-water bar. Walk along a 300-meter lava corridor to the entrance of the main complex. Experience the new dimensions of wellbeing that the Blue Lagoon offers. The complex encompasses 8,700 square meters of geothermal seawater and features a sauna, steam room, massage waterfall, swim-up bar, and masks Enjoy the mineral-rich warmth of the Blue Lagoon. Wander around, float in the healing waters, socialize or meditate - relax as you see fit. Your entrance includes a complimentary drink from the swim-up bar. Choose from juices, smoothies, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Use the included silica mud mask at the in-water mask bar and feel the radiance return to your skin as the silica - the lagoon’s iconic healing element - cleanses and strengthens you. Head back to the mask bar to purchase additional masks with the lagoon’s other treasures - algae, minerals, or lava.

From Reykjavik: Blue Lagoon Admission with Transfers

4. From Reykjavik: Blue Lagoon Admission with Transfers

Enjoy a safe and reliable transfer between Reykjavík City Centre and the world-famous Blue Lagoon, while also getting the opportunity of selecting between the Comfort Package or the Premium Package. Experience the tranquility of the unique Geothermal Milky Blue Sea waters, considered by many to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and an unmissable part of your Iceland Holiday. There are frequent departures to and from Reykjavik allowing you to explore on your own time. The Blue Lagoon was formed in 1976 during an operation at the nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the water and apply the silica mud to their skin. It’s known for its restorative qualities and health benefits. The Blue Lagoon is surrounded by a mossy lava field, offering incredible scenery, with state-of-the-art facilities and an other-worldly atmosphere. Choose between two different packages available and take some time to relax. Afterward, return to Reykjavík. Your return ticket is flexible/open and can be used for all departures from the Blue Lagoon.

Reykjavik: Sky Lagoon Entrance Pass With 7-Step Spa Ritual

5. Reykjavik: Sky Lagoon Entrance Pass With 7-Step Spa Ritual

Get a Sky Lagoon pass and immerse yourself in the warmth of an oceanside geothermal lagoon, where the dramatic North Atlantic Ocean stretches out before you. Take your relaxation deeper with a unique 7-step spa ritual included in the pass. Choose between the Sky Pass or Pure Pass. With the Sky Pass, benefit from private changing facilities and shower cabins with signature botanical body products. With the Pure Pass, you will use shared changing and showering facilities. Connect with Icelandic traditions and relax your mind, body, and soul. Complete the 7-step ritual to fully immerse yourself in Icelandic bathing traditions. Step 1: Slow down and relax in the lagoon Step 2: Cool down with the cold plunge Step 3: Relax and enjoy the views in the sauna Step 4: Refresh in a cold fog-mist Step 5: Invigorate and exfoliate with a rejuvenating body scrub Step 6: Chill out in the steam room Step 7: Shower and relax in the lagoon After the experience, you can enliven your taste buds at Sky Café and Smakk Bar. Discover and connect with the local flavors of the region.

Reykjavik: Sky Lagoon Admission with Transfer

6. Reykjavik: Sky Lagoon Admission with Transfer

Get to and from the Sky Lagoon easily with city center transfers from BSI terminal included. Immerse yourself in the new geothermal pool in Reykjavík. Sky Lagoon is a thermal spa inspired by both nature and local culture. The dramatic North Atlantic Ocean stretches out before you in the infinity pool with views over the Reykjanes Peninsula and the presidential residence at Bessastadir. Visit the turfhouse for a 7-step spa ritual, included in your entrance ticket. Enjoy an unmissable unique spa experience. Sky Lagoon really feels like a natural oasis, far removed from anything urban or even human. Cliff walls, grottoes, and coves are all designed to make the surroundings both beautiful and natural, and the dark textures highlight the Lagoon’s tranquility. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind luxury destination. Choose between the standard Pure Pass with shared changing facilities or upgrade to the Sky Pass which includes private changing facilities and the Sky signature body lotion. Alternatively you can choose the Sky Lagoon ticket which includes the 7 step spa ritual, use of towel, shared changing facilities, and pickup from Skarfabakki cruise port.

Keflavik Airport (KEF): Bus Transfer to/from Reykjavik

7. Keflavik Airport (KEF): Bus Transfer to/from Reykjavik

Enjoy a safe and reliable airport transfer between Reykjavik Keflavik Airport (KEF) and your accommodation in Reykjavik or BSI Bus Terminal. Travel stress-free knowing that your seat on the bus is guaranteed and that you will not have to wait long for the service. Benefit from air-conditioned vehicles that are regularly maintained to high hygienic standards. Choose a one-way service to or from the airport and feel safe knowing that your service is reliable and secure. Save yourself the hassle of navigating the public transportation system before or after a long journey. Due to an environmental standpoint, the City of Reykjavik does not allow larger coaches on many of its streets. Therefore, during your transfer, you might have to change from a larger to a smaller bus at the BSI Bus terminal. The staff will make sure you feel confident and provide you all the information on the spot. Do not worry about waiting too long - the buses are scheduled to depart 30-45 minutes after each flight for your convenience. The only thing left to do will be to relax and enjoy the views from the comfort of your seat.

Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Kerid Crater, & Blue Lagoon Tour

8. Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Kerid Crater, & Blue Lagoon Tour

Experience Iceland’s 2 most visited natural attractions, the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, in one day on a comfortable and convenient minibus tour. Depart Reykjavik and head for the Thingvellir National Park, where the Eurasian and American tectonic plates converge. Amble through the stunning, lake-filled area, hopping back and forth between continental boundaries, and view the site where the Icelandic parliament was held from 930-1798. Next, head to the Geysir Hot Spring with geothermal pools reaching temperatures of 200 degrees. Witness the Strokkur geyser erupting a plume of boiling water and steam 100 feet in the air. Grab a bite to eat, before heading to the breathtaking waterfall at Gullfoss. Next, visit the Kerid volcanic crater with its deep blue waters, surrounded by vibrant red rock. Finish your tour at the iconic Blue Lagoon. Luxuriate in the warm, geothermal waters, making use of an included silica mud mask, before heading back to Reykjavik.

From Reykjavik: South of Iceland Full-Day Trip

9. From Reykjavik: South of Iceland Full-Day Trip

Spend the day exploring the dramatic landscapes of the south of Iceland along with its coastline on a full-day sightseeing tour from Reykjavik. Along the way, discover a variety of rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and glaciers. Following a pickup from listed hotels or guesthouses by bus in central Reykjavík, travel to the gorgeous waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. At the waterfall at Seljalandsfoss, walk behind the cascades and feel the spray on your face. Continue to Skógafoss to marvel at the 60-meter drop. Pass the black sand beaches of the southern coast and enjoy the power of the sea. Visit the glacier snout of Sólheimajökull to see an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull. Admire the ever-changing feat of nature up-close. Then, look at the basalt sea stacks at Reynisfjara, Iceland’s southernmost village just south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, before returning to Reykjavik.

Reykjavík: Whale Watching and Marine Life Cruise

10. Reykjavík: Whale Watching and Marine Life Cruise

Take a boat trip from Reykjavik’s harbor to discover Iceland’s rich marine life, which is one of this island country’s highlights. All year round you can spot a variety of whales and other marine animals in the Reykjavik area, including minke and humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and whale-beaked dolphins. Have an opportunity to see some of Iceland's most beautiful marine animals, along with the stunning scenery of the Icelandic coast. The peak season for whale watching runs from April to October, but of course, the ocean is always full of magical creatures, and you never know what you might see. Benefit from the services of specially-trained whale watching guides who are experts at spotting the animals. You will be free to listen as they tell you about the behavior of the whales, and answer any questions you may have. Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Icelandic coast as you spot local wildlife. Take a break and warm up in the heated indoor area. Relax on board the boat and enjoy the indoor and outdoor seating, and purchase drinks and snacks along the way from the onboard bar and cafeteria. You will experience a pleasant and comfortable ride, even at higher speeds, and will be able to share your adventure live on social media with the onboard WiFi.

Available activities

  • Northern Lights experiences
  • Geysers, hot springs, & lagoons
  • Volcanoes & glaciers
  • Whale & puffin wildlife gems
  • Reykjavik adrenaline adventures
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Frequently asked questions about Reykjavik

What top attractions are a must-see in Reykjavik?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Reykjavik?

The best day trips and excursions from Reykjavik are:

Reynisfjara Beach

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Reykjavik

Jurga Rubinovaite is an avid traveler, photographer, and chief adventure planner behind the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase. On her blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Reykjavik.

What should I do on my first trip to Reykjavik?

One of the best things to do in Reykjavik is simply walking through the city center and the waterfront area. It's here that you'll find some of the main landmarks of Reykjavik, such as Harpa Concert Hall, Sun Voyager sculpture, and Hallgrimskirkja church (be sure to go up the tower for the best views in Reykjavik!). There are also lots of interesting museums and fantastic attractions such as FlyOver Iceland or Whales of Iceland.

What are some hidden gems to see in Reykjavik?

One of the best local experiences in Reykjavik is going for a swim at one of the many geothermal pools. And while everyone knows the Blue Lagoon, there are also many communal pools with outdoor hot tubs, steam baths, or saunas (and, at a fraction of the cost). The nicest local pool in Reykjavik city center is Sundhöll Reykjavíkur, one of the oldest public baths in Iceland. Located in a beautifully restored historc building, this is definitely one of the best hidden gems of Reykjavik.

How much time should I spend in Reykjavik?

One day is enough for the main highlights of Reyjavik. However, if you want to visit a few museums and tourist attractions and go for a swim at one of the geothermal pools, plan at least 2 days in Reykjavik. In addition, there are lots of great tours such as whale watching or Northern Lights, so you could easily spend several days in Reykjavik and never get bored.

What food is Reykjavik known for?

If there is one meal that you have to try in Reykjavik, it's the Icelandic hot dog. Icelanders are absolutely fond of their hot dogs and believe they are the best in the world! What makes them special is that they are made with the best Icelandic lamb, pork, and beef meet. The best place to try a hot dog in Reykjavik is Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand (literal translation - "best hot dogs in town"). If you are feeling more adventurous, you can also try traditional Icelandic foods like rotten shark or roasted sheep skull.

What is the best way to get around Reykjavik?

The best way to get around Reykjavik is on foot. All the main attractions in the city center are located within walking distance to each other. if you don't feel like walking, you can also take public buses or opt for a hop-on hop-off bus. For the most famous geothermal pools and other attractions outside the city center, you'll need a car or a shuttle bus.

What are the best months to visit Reykjavik?

Reykjavik can be visited the whole year round and there's always plenty to see and do in and around the city. In summer, you will experience endless days and midnight sun, and in winter - polar night and - with a bit of luck - Northern Lights. Reykjavik is also famous for its New Year's celebrations, with great parties and the most impressive firework displays.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Reykjavik? 

The best area to stay in Reykjavik is the city center, also known as 101 Reykjavik. It's here that you will find most of the city's attractions, best hotels, all kinds of shops, and a big variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Here you can find a complete guide to the best places to stay in Reykjavik.

Other Sightseeing Options in Reykjavik

Want to discover all there is to do in Reykjavik? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Reykjavik

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 59,142 reviews

An amazing experience, the trip was taken to small locations but they turned out to be quite happening. The tour guide/driver (Adonis) was very kind and made us feel like we were actually on holidays. He played good music and told stories, also giving us enough time at each stop. Highly recommended this.

Excellent tour with a small party, even though we didn't see the Northern Lights we enjoyed the trip. Roman was a great tour guide and the hot chocolate was very welcome in the cold.

Absolutely incredible company, every single one of their tours is too the minute perfect. Reliable, accommodating & just all around amazing. The tour guides are beyond fantastic.

An excellent day, really enjoyed the geysir and waterfalls. Tour guide Mia Pichon really made it a fantastic day, even though it was a long day it was very enjoyable.

Our guide Oliver was great! So many things to see!