Travel Magazine

Top 10 Things to Do in Reykjavik, Iceland

By Ripleydaniels @mikesobol

1) Visit a Museum or Gallery

Reykjavik is filled to the brim with amazing museums and picturesque galleries, so make certain you have time during your stay to visit a few. The National Museum of Iceland is widely considered to be one of the best museums in the country. Extensively refurbished in 2004, the museum presents a modern look at the cultural history of Iceland, as well as imagines where the country might go in the future.

2) Thermal Pools

Iceland's capital city is littered with geothermal pools, which are naturally heated pools of water. Visitors are always delighted by these little pockets of relaxation; many of them even have water slides for the kids. If you're looking for a full spa experience, try Blue Lagoon, which is about a 40 minute drive from Reykjavik. Not only will you find one of Iceland's most picturesque and popular thermal pools, but you'll also have the option to explore Blue Lagoon's signature healing treatments for whatever ails you.

3) The Pearl

If you're looking for an absolutely memorable experience, The Pearl is the building you should explore. Originally a series of hot water storage tanks situated on a hill, in 1988, a glass dome was built on top. Inside this dome, visitors will find a lovely restaurant, a cafe, and a deck that looks out over Reykjavik that is free to the public. There's also a museum in The Pearl which tells visitors about the history of Icelandic sagas.

4) Seafood Restaurants

Iceland has some of the best seafood in the world, so you can't visit Reykjavik without eating at one (or many) of its finest seafood dining options. Though there are countless restaurants to choose from, many say that the food at Saegreifinn, located close to the Reykjavik city center in the old harbor, is absolutely unbeatable.

5) Hallgrimskirkja Church

Hallgrimskirkja Church is a beautiful, modern church that is visible throughout Reykjavik. It is the largest church in Iceland and was designed to mimic the lava flows that occur naturally throughout Iceland. Not only is the church a sight to behold both outside and in, but visitors can climb up into the tower for an amazing view of Iceland's capital city.

6) Take a Bike Ride

If you want to see as much of Reykjavik as possible, the best way to accomplish that is on a bike. You can rent your own bike and explore the city on your own terms, or join a bike tour. Reykjavik Bike Tours is one of the most popular bike tour operators in the city, and no matter what you want to see or what time of year you're visiting Iceland, they will have something to suit your needs.

7) Whale Watching

One of the most popular pasttimes in Reykjavik is to head out into the harbor on a boat and look for whales, dolphins, puffin penguins, and other wildlife that populate the gorgeous landscape. There are many companies, with large and small boats, that cater to whale watching, so whether you're traveling by yourself or with your family, this is a great activity to partake in.

8) Nightlife

Reykjavik has long been considered the unofficial partying captial of Europe, so you must make time for at least one night of fun during your stay in Iceland. Whether you're a fan of the club scene or just enjoy a laid back drink with some friends, there are countless venues across the city to enjoy yourself late into the night (and perhaps early into the morning as well).

9) Videy Island

If you love to hike, then Videy Island may be just the place for you. It's across the harbor from Reykjavik (a five minute boat ride) and a perfect place to spend a sunny day. The island is uninhabited, so it's a great choice if you're looking for a respite from Reykjavik's crowds. It's a wonderful way to get a close look at Iceland's nature without traveling too far from the city.

10) Shopping in the City Center

If you're going on vacation, you have to get some shopping in, and the City Center is the place to do that in Reykjavik. If you want to head home with something uniquely Icelandic, one of the many shops in the area will have what you're looking for. The numerous cafes and restaurants in the area will ensure that your day spent shopping is wonderfully enjoyable.

Nonni Haraldsson is a Social Media Coordinator at, Iceland’s Trusted Provider since 1964, offering accommodations in several cities across Iceland including Kirkjubaejarklaustur and Reykjavik.

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