20 fun and unique things to do in Reykjavik

Searching for fun things to do in Reykjavik? From whale watching to whiskey tasting, here’s a hitlist of all the most unique and cool things to do.

If you've already taken in the sights and visited the best museums, then it's time to see what other exciting things there are to do in Reykjavik. This list of Reykjavik’s most fun activities is sure to make your trip to Iceland full of adventure.

Immerse yourself in the local culture with find the best food in the city, or get out into the fantastic Icelandic landscape and experience the amazing natural landmarks and landscapes. If you're looking for fun activities to do with the kids, then there are some here that will entertain the whole family. Let’s have some fun in Reykjavik.

Fun things to do in Reykjavik as a couple

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1. Take a swim in the Sky Lagoon

Soak up the natural beauty of Iceland with a dip in the Sky Lagoon. Part of a Golden Circle tour, this geothermal spa is the perfect way to relax with a loved one. Indulge in the local bathing culture in the awe-inspiring setting of Thingvellir National Park.

Highlights:

As part of the tour, you'll get to see the Stokkur Geysir erupt. Keep your cameras handy for unbeatable selfies opportunities.

Meeting point:

Vesturvor 44-48 200, 200 Kopavogur. Open daily 10:00 AM-11:00 PM. Times vary on Icelandic National Day.

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2. Have an icy adventure on the Solheimajokull glacier

Do you and your partner love adventure? Then test your ice climbing skills on a glacier climbing and ice hiking trip. Venture out of the city to explore the ancient frozen waters of the Solheimajokull glacier and try your hand at ice climbing. Perfect for fans of the great outdoors.

Highlights:

Sitting between the Katla and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes, the incredible views make this glacier must-do activity on your Reykjavik itinerary.

Meeting point:

Solheimajokulsvegur, 871, Iceland. Start time: 9:00 AM.

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3. See the midnight sun from the seat of an ATV

If your Iceland vacation takes place in June or July, you're in for a unique experience. Enjoy amazing scenery from the top of a mountain in broad daylight, in the middle of the night. Get geared up for an off-road adventure with a  midnight sun ATV tour.

Highlights:

Midnight Sun, also known as Polar Day, is a visual spectacle that turns the sky shades of pink, purple, and orange. It's also deeply romantic.

Address and opening hours:

Hafnarfjall, 301, Iceland. Start time: 8:30 PM.

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4. Enjoy a snowmobile tour

What would a trip to Iceland be without boiling mud and spouting hot springs? Taking a snowmobile tour is the perfect way to see some of Iceland's most fantastic natural features. A hot spring and snowmobile tour is a thrilling way to see some of Iceland's natural wonders.

Highlights:

Find a secret lagoon or hot spring and take a luxurious soak to ease all your cares away.

Address and opening hours:

Hvammsvegur, Fluoir, Iceland. Hotel pickup available. Start times vary.

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5. Treat yourselves to a panoramic helicopter flight

Get a unique perspective on Reykjavik with a flight over the city. See the colorful rooftops from above and get a bird's eye view of the presidential residence. Climb aboard for your helicopter flight and marvel as you fly over Reykjavik's landmark sights.

Highlights:

Land on the nearby mountains for the perfect photo opportunity.

Address and opening hours:

Reykjavik Airport Building 314, Reykjavík, Iceland. Start times vary.

Fun things to do in Reykjavik with kids

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6. Go puffin watching on a boat trip

Your visit to Iceland is nothing without some puffins. The cute and charismatic puffin is a fascinating bird, so make them a highlight of your Iceland vacation. Join a boat trip for a puffin watching tour, where you can use binoculars and borrow a rain jacket for an environmentally-friendly encounter with these cheeky seabirds.

Highlights:

The best spots to view puffins are off Akurey, Engey, or Lundey islands. Puffins are impressive swimmers and have bills that change color throughout the year.

Address and opening hours:

Aegisgardur 5-1, 101 Reykjavik. Start time: 10:00 AM.

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7. Feel the heat at the unique Lava Show

The Lava Show recreates a volcanic eruption by superheating real lava and pouring it into a showroom. Experience the land of ice and fire firsthand at Reykjavik's Lava Show. All the excitement of a volcano eruption without any of the danger.

Highlights:

Purchase a cool drink, as it will be warm when the Lava Show starts to flow.

Address and opening hours:

Fiskislod 73, 101 Reykjavik. Open daily 11:00 AM-8:00 PM. Performance times vary.

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8. FlyOver Iceland on an interactive ride

Experience the ultimate journey across Iceland's unforgettable natural landscapes. Hang suspended over a 200-meter spherical screen on an exhilarating simulated flight over Iceland. Feel like a bird in the air with FlyOver Iceland, and experience fantastic sights and sensations.

Highlights:

Special effects, wind, scents, mists, and motion combine to make this the ride of a lifetime.

Address and opening hours:

Fiskislod 43, 101 Reykjavik. Open daily 9:30 AM-7:00 PM.

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9. Learn about Icelandic whales

Just off the Reykjavik coast is a great place to spot minke and humpback whales, dolphins, and other porpoises. You can explore many more species at the Whales of Iceland exhibition. Take the kids and learn about the life and behavior of these majestic ocean creatures.

Highlights:

Combine a whale watching excursion with a visit to the Whales of Iceland exhibition.

Address and opening hours:

Hlesgata Vesturbugt F101, 101 Reykjavik. Open daily 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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10. Check out some cool street art in downtown Reykjavik

Reykjavik has a flourishing street art and graffiti scene, with many murals, artworks, and poetry verses painted on its walls. You can find amazing examples all around you in this city. Stroll the streets of Downtown Reykjavik and keep your eyes open to spot incredible murals.

Highlights:

Many murals focus on natural and environmental themes. Look out for bald eagles, wolves, fish, and other animals in the murals.

Address and opening hours:

Laugavegur 23, 101, 101 Reykjavik.

Fun things to do in Reykjavik on your own

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11. Explore an underwater UNESCO World Heritage Site at Thingvellir National Park

Immerse yourself in the clear blue waters of Silfra and enjoy an invigorating 4-hour swim through a hidden natural wonder. Take a guided  wetsuit snorkeling tour in the Silfra fissure. Silfra is one of the top five dive sites in the world and is a perfect place to try out your snorkeling skills.

Highlights:

You'll encounter a multitude of opportunities to take outstanding underwater photographs.

Address and opening hours:

Thingvellir national park, 801 Thingvellir. Hotel pickup available. Start times vary.

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12. Take a day trip to the wild waterfalls and Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano

Iceland's waterfalls are rightfully famous for their breathtaking beauty. Immerse yourself in this awe-inspiring natural landscape with a all-day hike and guided tour of the spectacular south coast.

Highlights:

The unique looming glaciers and the Reynisfjara Black Beach guarantee you will have a day to remember.

Address and opening hours:

Solheimajokull, 871, Iceland. Hotel pickups available. Pickup time: 8.30 AM.

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13. Relax and hang out at Grasagardur Botanic Gardens

With 3,000 plant species across eight plant collections, Grasagardur Botanic Gardens are an oasis of calm in the city. In the summer, the gardens offer a variety of events and free tours. Most of the plants have informative labels, so you can learn about them while you stroll.

Highlights:

Find the Floran Cafe in the display greenhouse. It's open through the summer and offers delicious food made with ingredients grown in the gardens.

Address and opening hours:

Grasagardur Botanical Garden, Hverfisgata 105, 101 Reykjavík. Open 10:00 AM-10:00 PM in Summer, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM in Winter.

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14. Get great views when you Climb the Þúfa

When you climb the Pufa (pronounced 'th-oo-fha'), you follow the spiral path up to the top of a hill to see Olof Nordal's artwork, a wooden fish-drying shed, designed as a place to find serenity and calm in the city. From the top of the dome-shaped hill, you can get great views over the mountains surrounding Reykjavik and Faxafloi Bay.

Highlights:

Enjoy strolling through the harbor and the buzzing Grandi district on your way to the Pufa.

Address:

Pufa 5338+QF4, Nordurslod, 101 Reykjavik.

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15. Watch the Northern Lights and see the birdlife at Grótta Lighthouse

A lovely short walk from the center of Reykjavik leads you to Grótta Lighthouse and the nature reserve at the end of the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula. Pay attention to tidal information as the lighthouse island can get cut off at certain times of day. Grótta Lighthouse is a prime example of Iceland's many lighthouses.

Highlights:

If you've never seen the Northern Lights, enjoy an unforgettable experience at Grótta Lighthouse, a popular place to view this awesome natural spectacle.

Address and opening hours:

Grótta Island Lighthouse, Seltjarnarnes. Open September-April.

Fun things to do in Reykjavik if you like food and drink

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16. Sample Icelandic cuisine on a gourmet tour

From the oldest restaurant in town to a legendary hot dog stall, Reykjavik is famous for its food. The city has plenty of restaurants serving dishes both classic and modern. Learn what the Vikings ate and how Icelandic food helps people make it through the long winters on an Icelandic food tour.

Highlights:

Try the Hakarl (fermented shark), if you dare.

Address:

Austurstraeti 4, 101 Reykjavik. Start times vary.

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17. Enjoy a drink at the Magic Ice Bar

Chill out and take a selfie with an ice artwork at the Magic Ice Bar. Be entranced by the 60 tons of ice carved by international ice artists. Enjoy a complimentary drink while wearing a special poncho and gloves.

Highlights:

The Magic Ice Bar is made entirely from clear ice; even the glasses on the bar are ice.

Address and opening hours:

Laugavegur 6 101, 101 Reykjavík. Open 2:00 PM-10:00 PM Sunday-Thursday in Summer and 2:00 PM-10:00 PM Sunday-Thursday, 2:00 PM- 11:00 PM Friday-Saturday in Winter.

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18. Fish for your supper on a sea angling expedition

Iceland is famous for its fishing, so what better way to find out more than to have a go yourself? Fish for catfish, cod, and more under the keen eyes of the experienced crew on a sea angling gourmet experience tour. Remember to look out for puffins on the way.

Highlights:

Eat what you catch with the on-board BBQ and make a stop at Puffin Island.

Address and opening hours:

Aegisgardur 5-1, 101 Reykjavik. Start time: 4:30 PM.

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19. Visit a tomato farm in the shadow of the Strokkur Geysir

Find out all about growing tomatoes in the far north. Enjoy lunch at the Fridheimar tomato farm as part of a 9-hour tour of the Golden Circle. Natural wonders of the area include Strukkur Geysir, Thingcelli National Park, and the Gullfoss waterfalls.

Highlights:

Hear amazing stories from Iceland's history and discover a variety of geothermal landscapes.

Address:

Fridheimar, 806 Reykholt. Start time: 9:00 AM.

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20. Visit Iceland's only whiskey distillery for a tasting session

After a welcoming drink, learn about the history of whiskey in Iceland. Tour the facility and find out more about the distilling process. The whiskey here is made from local ingredients and Icelandic spring water.

Highlights:

A tasting session at the Eimverk Distillery where they make Floki whiskey gives you plenty of opportunity to learn about whiskey as you mingle with other guests.

Meeting point:

Lyngás 13, 210 Gardabaer. Start time: 4:00 PM.

FAQs

What are some fun things to do in Reykjavik at night?

Some fun things to do in Reykjavik at night include checking out the nightclub scene or trying a beer-tasting tour. If you like music, there's a great program of events at the spectacular Harpa concert hall.

Are there any fun day trips from Reykjavik that I should consider?

There are lots of fun day trips from Reykjavik that you might like to try, including a visit to the natural wonders of the Golden Circle and the Thingvellir National Park. Consider a half-day snorkeling tour or visiting the hot springs on a snowmobile for a more adventurous day trip.

What are some popular festivals or events in Reykjavik?

Some popular festivals in Reykjavik include the Iceland Airwaves music festival, which takes place in November and features international Icelandic musical artists, and Secret Solstice in June, an unmissable cultural festival held under the midnight sun. There are festivals in Reykjavik throughout the year, celebrating film, music, literature, food, and dance, plus the Children's Culture Festival in April.

What are some family-friendly fun activities to do in Reykjavik?

Some family-friendly fun activities to do in Reykjavik include seeking out the sculptures along the waterfront, puffin spotting on a boat trip, learning about the Whales of Iceland, or visiting Reykjavik's unusual zoo. Check out some street art while exploring the shopping streets. Children older than 2 years can swim in the lagoons. There are also several swimming pools in Reykjavik.

What are some fun outdoor activities to do in Reykjavik?

Fun outdoor activities to do in Reykjavik include visiting wonders such as the hot springs, geysers, volcanos, and glaciers, taking a dip in a pool, going whale watching, trying sea fishing, or just relaxing while strolling in the Botanic Gardens. Everywhere you go, there are spectacular views. Don't forget to look up for the aurora borealis, the incomparable Northern Lights.