Things to do in Reykjavik

Things to do in Reykjavik

If you are not hiring a car, we would recommend basing yourself in Reykjavik and going on day trips from there. Read my separate posts here on my Golden Circle and South Iceland tour.

Reykjavik is a small but pretty city but there is only really enough to do for one day. We visited in January and it is true that there are not many hours of daylight! The sun rose around 10.30/11am and then set around 4.30pm. The temperature was around -5 in the day and -8 at night so just layer up!

The locals speak fluent English and are generally very friendly and accommodating. There are only c.340,000 people living in Iceland and around three quarters of those live in Reykjavik!

Hallgrímskirkja Church

We started off with a visit to one of the main landmarks in Reykjavik, Hallgrímskirkja Church. It was designed by the late Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937 who loved the fascinating shapes and forms created when lava cools into basalt rock, hence the pretty funky design. The interior of the Church is actually very plain in contrast to the exterior design.

Things to do in Reykjavik
Things to do in Reykjavik

We visited the tower by lift for views of Reykjavik which was 1000KR (about £8). It was so windy at the top of the church so be warned! It is not an open air view but they have stools to climb on to make sure you get a 360 degree view of the city through the window bars. We loved seeing the mountains in the distance, the beautiful different coloured houses and the surrounding harbour.
Things to do in Reykjavik
Things to do in Reykjavik

Harpa Concert Hall

We then walked down to the harbour to view the Harpa Concert Hall which was only built in 2011 – really quite a stunning building with glass panels of different colours. Free to enter and walk around and nice to grab a hot chocolate when it is chilly!
Things to do in Reykjavik

If you are in to shopping you must wander down the main shopping street, Laugavegur, which is where many bars are too! There are also a decent amount of museums for a city as small as Reykjavik – an Art Museum, History Museum and a Maritime Museum.

Other things to do in Reyjkavik

We sadly did not have time but there are a number of outdoor swimming pools to visit in Reykjavik. Sundholl is in the centre, just a few minutes walk behind Hallgrimskirkja Church which has indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and a sauna. Vesturbaejarlaug outdoor pool is in the west of the city with hot tubs and saunas and Laugardalslaug is the largest pool, situated within Reykjavik’s recreational centre, Laugardalur, where there is also a sports hall, botanical garden and a family park and zoo!

If it had been a little warmer I would have also been keen on a bicycle or boat tour or even whale watching!

East London Girl: Things to do in Reykjavik

Read here for recommendations for restaurants in Reykjavik:


The Food Cellar

Tapas Barinn


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