Epic things to do in Reykjavik at night

From the Northern Lights to the Blue Lagoon, discover the best things things to do in Reykjavik at night.

Reykjavik is one of the world's most unique cities for nighttime activities. Reykjavik in the summer experiences a few short hours of darkness each night, with an average of 18-22 hours of daylight each day from May until August. Winters are extremely dark, with December and January providing fewer than six hours of daylight per day. But the nightlife goes on no matter when night actually falls.

If you want to experience the city after dark and see the Northern Lights, winter is the best time to go. This guide outlines 10 of the top things to do in Reykjavik at night, from the best places to visit to some of the city’s hidden gems.

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1. Go on a Northern Lights sightseeing cruise

The best way to see the Northern Lights is to get away from the light pollution of the city. For this reason, the Northern Lights cruise is one of the top things to do in Reykjavik at night. Depart from the old harbor, cruise into the open waters, and wait to see the spectacular aurora.

Hot tip:

Seeing the Northern Lights is dependent on weather conditions and other factors. If the Northern Lights aren't visible, you can reschedule your tour for free by contacting the operator.

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2. Sample Icelandic spirits on a distillery tour

The Eimverk Distillery tour with tasting is a great evening activity for anyone with an interest in alcoholic drinks production. Sample Icelandic spirits, including whiskey, gin, and brennivín, the country's signature distilled beverage. The guided tour will help you to understand the processes and history behind spirit-making in the region.

Hot tip:

Guests are encouraged to ask questions during the tour, so feel free to speak up if there's something you want to know more about. You'll also have the opportunity to mingle with other guests.

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3. Visit the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island

The Imagine Peace Tower tour blends pop culture, art, and nature, creating a unique nighttime experience. The tour is dedicated to John Lennon and Yoko Ono's campaign for world peace, and the tower lights up the sky from October to December in celebration. Learn the story of the tower and take in the amazing views.

Hot tip:

The Imagine Peace Tower is a great location for panoramic photographs of Reykjavik. The tour starts at 8:00 PM, and on a clear day, there's a chance you'll see the Northern Lights, too.

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4. Learn a traditional spa ritual at Sky Lagoon

If you're seeking relaxing things to do in Reykjavik at night, you should look no further than the Sky Lagoon pass with 7-step spa ritual. Relax and unwind in the warm, geothermal waters, and complete the 7-step ritual to fully connect with Icelandic bathing traditions.

Hot tip:

Upgrade to the Sky Pass option when booking the experience, and you'll benefit from access to private changing areas and signature botanical body products.

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5. Try some of the traditional Icelandic cuisine

There's a good chance you'll want to sample some traditional Icelandic food while in Reykjavik, and a great way to do this is to book the Icelandic food tour. Some of the dishes you'll try along the way include lamb soup, minke whale steak, and lobster. The tour will also teach you about Iceland's food, culture, and history.

Hot tip:

If you are an adventurous eater willing to try anything, this tour is a great way to experience one of Iceland's most divisive delicacies — fermented shark.

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6. Go for a casual stroll through the city at night

Reykjavik is one of the world's most aesthetically-pleasing cities, owing to its landmarks, unique architecture, and impressive terrain. This is great for anyone seeking free things to do in Reykjavik at night because even a simple walk through the city is sure to impress. The long summer daylight hours provide excellent visibility, while the city has an entirely different atmosphere in the darker winter months.

Hot tip:

Discover the city's history with an audio-guided walking tour. Thanks to GPS technology, you'll receive audio information at just the right time.

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7. Pay a late-night visit to the Perlan Museum

The Perlan Museum is one of Reykjavik's most famous attractions. With a Perlan Museum Wonders of Iceland ticket, you'll get to explore this interactive nature museum, see a unique indoor ice cave, and view a Northern Lights planetarium show. You'll also be able to learn about volcanic eruptions.

Hot tip:

The museum stays open until 10:00 PM, with the last entry at 8:00 PM. An observation deck located at the top of the museum provides an incredible 360-degree view over the city.

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8. Sample craft beers, ales, and tapas-style food

With the beer tasting and tapas-style local cuisine tour, you can sample craft beers, ales, and locally-sourced food. Over the course of 2 hours, you'll have the chance to try at least 6 different beers and ales. In each case, the beer will be served with tapas-style food, which may include lamb and fresh fish.

Hot tip:

Aside from the food and drink, your host will share insights about Iceland's history and culture, so feel free to ask questions and explore the topics that interest you most.

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9. Care for your body and mind at the Blue Lagoon

One of Iceland's most legendary locations is also one of the top things to do in Reykjavik at night. Booking Blue Lagoon admission offers round-trip transportation and allows you to rejuvenate body and mind in the geothermally heated baths, and enjoy a drink from the in-water bar.

Hot tip:

With the more expensive Premium Package, you'll also get silica mud and algae masks, a bathrobe, and a table reservation with sparkling wine at the Lava Restaurant at Blue Lagoon.

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10. Enjoy the immersive FlyOver Iceland experience

FlyOver Iceland is an amazing flying ride, with motion seating and a spherical wraparound screen to provide full immersion. With your entry ticket to the FlyOver Iceland Experience, you'll get to enjoy an exhilarating experience where you feel like you're flying over Iceland and its most significant landscapes and landmarks.

Hot tip:

The thrilling experience uses real footage to create the feeling of flying over the locations. Book for the last entry of the day and get your evening off to a spectacular start.

FAQs

What are some of the top nighttime attractions in Reykjavik?

Some of the main nighttime attractions in the city include the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, the Perlan Museum, and the Imagine Peace Tower.

What are the best areas for a nighttime stroll in Reykjavik?

Reykjavik is a relatively safe city to walk around at night, and there are no areas that should be regarded as off-limits. The coastal area of Ægisíða is perfect for a nighttime stroll on your own or a romantic walk with a partner. Alternatively, Hljomskalagardur is a public park with good walking paths.

What are the most popular night tours in Reykjavik?

The Northern Lights viewing, Blue Lagoon, and Sky Lagoon are popular tours that operate into the evening and nighttime. There are also a number of popular food and drink tours, allowing visitors to sample authentic Icelandic food and alcoholic drinks.

What are some fun activities to do with kids in Reykjavik at night?

The FlyOver Iceland experience is ideal if your children are at least 102 cm tall. They may also enjoy visiting the Perlan Museum.

What are the best spots for a romantic night out in Reykjavik?

The coastal area of Ægisíða is great for a late-night stroll with that special someone, while the Sky Lagoon offers a 7-step ritual, which is perfect for relaxing together. The areas around the main shopping street of Laugavegur are ideal if you're looking for bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes.