Choose from 46 Fun Things to Do in Reykjavik
- Be sure to wear sturdy shoes if you'd like to climb the steps running parallel to Gullfoss.
- Bring a waterproof jacket, as the curtain of mist thrown up by the falls is significant.
- You'll find a gift shop and cafe near the wooden boardwalk leading to the waterfall.
- Take a Golden Circle express tour to see all the main sights in a short period of time.
The Gullfoss waterfall is 75 miles (120 km) east of the capital city of Reykjavik. It's possible to drive independently; the Golden Circle route does not require a 4x4 vehicle. This easy, popular day trip is often experienced as an introduction to Iceland's natural wonders.
When to Get There
On sunny days, the mist from the falls creates rainbows that make for spectacular photos. Visit in winter to see the falls sparkle with ice.
Discovering an Icelandic Legend
The Great Geysir's activity has become sporadic in the recent past, noticeably increasing with earthquake activity in the region. The nearby Strokkur geyser erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, shooting a plume of hot water 45 to 90 feet (15 to 30 meters) in the air.
- A brief stop here is sufficient; wait a few minutes to see Strokkur erupt.
- You'll find a gift shop across the road.
- Take a comprehensive Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik to see more of Iceland's top sites.
- The Geysir area is handicap accessible with wide boardwalks.
The Great Geysir lies on the slope of Laugarfjall Hill, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) outside of Reykjavik. It takes about 90 minutes to reach by car from the city.
- While the lagoon is accessible year round, boat tours are weather dependent and only in operation from April to November.
- The icy landscapes can be chilly even if the sun is shining, so bring warm clothes, a hat, and gloves even on a summer trip.
- There is a small café by the lagoon, where you can purchase hot drinks and snacks, or use the restroom.
- While it’s possible for wheelchair users to view the lagoon, many of the activities on and around the glacier are not suitable for those with limited mobility.
- Wear comfortable shoes and layers no matter the season.
- Most sites have paved boardwalks and flat ground for easy accessibility.
- Don’t worry about food and WiFi—many tour buses include wireless internet, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the way that provide both.
- From mid-May to mid-August, the sun only dips below the horizon for about three hours per day in Iceland, making the atmosphere especially beautiful in the lingering twilight. In midwinter, you'll get only about five hours of daylight.
How to Get There
Quaint old buildings have been uprooted from their original sites and rebuilt at the Árbæjarsafn or Arbaer Open-Air Folk Museum, a kind of zoo for houses, 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the city centre. Alongside the 19th century homes are a turf-roofed church, and various stables, smithies, barns and boathouses - all very picturesque. The museum opened in 1957 - before that the place was a working farm - and the aim is to give an insight into the way Icelanders once lived.
There are summer arts-and-crafts demonstrations including traditional handcrafts, hay-making and animals to see. There is also a cafe. The farm is a great place for kids to let off steam.
Arbaer Museum is located just out of Reykjavik to the southeast and is easy to reach by bus 12, 19 or 22.
- Harpa Concert Hall is a must-see attraction for architecture and design enthusiasts.
- The building is free to enter but take a guided tour to explore behind the scenes.
- The building is accessible for wheelchair users with an elevator that connects the floors, and accessible doors and restrooms.
- There is free Wi-Fi in the building.
- Hofdi House is a must-see for history enthusiasts.
- There is no charge to look around the exterior.
- The sculpture in front depicts pillars from the chieftain's seat of the first Norwegian settler in Reykjavik.
- The grounds are also home to a 4-ton slab of the Berlin Wall, a gift from the New West Berlin Art Gallery to commemorate the 25th anniversary of German reunification.
- Most Reykjavik shore excursions include pickup and drop-off at the cruise port.
- Shore excursions range in duration from hour-long boat trips and tours of Reykjavik to 6-hour Golden Circle tours.
- Choose a private tour for a customized itinerary that ticks off all the must-see sights on your list.
- Reykjanes Peninsula is a must-visit for scenery-seekers, photography enthusiasts, and outdoors lovers.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and warm layers.
- Some sites on the peninsula, including the Blue Lagoon, are wheelchair accessible.
Founded in 1884 to house the personal art collection of Icelandic lawyer Björn Bjarnarson, the National Gallery was originally based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and a number of key works by Danish artists like Joakim Skovgaard, Christian Blache and Peter Krøyer nod to its birthplace. Landing on Icelandic shores in 1916, the gallery was adopted as a department of Iceland’s National Heritage Museum, making it the country’s oldest art institution.
- Learn about the myths and legends associated with this fabled natural phenomenon, as well as how to capture the elusive natural wonder on film.
- The center’s movie runs on repeat so visitors are sure to catch the spectacle no matter when they visit.
- The center is wheelchair accessible.
- The Blue Lagoon can get very busy, so be prepared to wait in line to get in (tours can lessen the wait), and leave plenty of time for your visit.
- Bring a swimsuit, towel, and flip-flops, or rent them upon arrival. Lockers are provided to store your belongings.
- The Blue Lagoon is fully wheelchair accessible. Shallow areas and steps are available for children and non-swimmers.
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the site.