Reykjavik in Iceland is one of the only places in the world I’ve ever left and thought to myself – I could live here! It’s hands-down due to how incredible, yet intimate the city is. This is especially true with all the best things to do in Reykjavik and places to eat in the city.
Not only does Reykjavik have so much to offer in terms of things to see and do, but it’s also one of the safest cities in Europe. this makes Reykjavik a great hub to stay in and explore even more of the best places in Iceland.
Long story short, you need to visit Reykjavik. So, to make your trip totally easy, we want to share some of the very best to do in Reykjavik, when you visit.
1.) Go explore Iceland at Perlan
This is probably a good place to start your trip to Iceland as this interactive museum covers a lot of what makes Iceland pretty special.
Make sure to book these tickets and get a good taster of what’s to offer all around Iceland.
There’s a good chance that even though you might be on here looking for the best things to do in Reykjavik, you’re most likely going to be looking to venture out of the city to see more of Iceland and this museum truly helps set the context to the wonder you’re about to experience.
For instance, while it’s great to see the Northern Lights when you’re in Iceland, your experience of this is made so much better when you understand what actually creates the light. Perlan is definitely worth popping into when you’re in Reykjavik.
2.) See the Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre
I know visiting a conference centre doesn’t sound on the face of it one of the best things to do in Reykjavik, or in any other city for that matter but I promise it’s so worth it, even if you visit just for a little bit.
See this building is an architectural beauty and it’s pretty hard to miss when you’re in Reykjavik.
The best way to visit however is definitely to attend a concert there so you have an excuse to dress up all nice in the city (you won’t be doing much of that elsewhere in Iceland as sensible comfortable gear is pretty much a must here) and fully check out the Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre.
Afterwards, book this yummy Reykavik food tour where you’ll get to try some of the tastiest spots in the city. Just be sure to bring your appetite!
3.) Take a trip to the Hallgrimskirkja Church
There’s a chance that you’ve seen this church even if you’ve never visited Iceland before…and if you haven’t well here it is.
Hallgrimskirkja is the tallest church in Iceland and as such, has one of the best views in Reykjavik for those who can climb to the top of it.
You can see straight from Reykjavik to the mountains and sea. The interior is also pretty amazing to look at as there aren’t many churches in other places in the world quite like it.
Afterwards, grab a tasty bite to eat at Íslenski barinn, which serves up some of the most wholesome meals in all of Reykjavik. We loved it here.
4.) Tour the National Museum of Iceland
Understandably, thanks to Iceland’s incredible natural wonders, lots of your time in the land of fire and ice will be spent outdoors. This will probably include some active adventures to boot!
So, if you’re in need of some downtime between adventures, the National Museum of Iceland is one of the best things to do in Reykjavik.
So what’s the National Museum of Iceland all about? Well, it essentially chronicles Iceland’s history for the last 1,200 years.
A particular highlight is the Valþjófsstaður door, an ancient church door dating back to the 1200s.
Fancy getting out into the open ocean, book this Incredible Icelandic fishing trip from Reykavik. It’s totally incredible to head out and a perfect opportunity to see more of this beautiful coast.
5.) View the light works of Aurora Reykjavik
The Northern Lights are one of the main reasons to visit Iceland if you’ve never seen it before, let me just say – it’s worth the hype!
It’s so surreal to experience and it does take a hot moment to get your head around what causes them. Again, knowing this information helps make the experience spectacular so one of the best things to do in Reykjavik before heading out to find them is to go to Aurora Reykjavik.
In Aurora Reykjavik, you get to see what the Northern Lights would look like in advance and learn more about this natural phenomenon.
Also, as you can’t typically see them in Reykjavik (it’s too bright so you need to drive out of the city for a bit to see them), this is technically the only way to experience them in the city.
Albeit, in a simulation!
If you fancy seeing the Northern Lights in person, book this tour from Reykavik and spot the Northern Lights in the great outdoors.
It’s such a special experience to see them, and this Northern Lights tour makes it all so easy.
6.) Step into the Viking Age at the Settlement Exhibition
Iceland’s Viking history is pretty famous. And, although Iceland is actually a lot warmer than the name implies, rumour (and ancient myths) have it that it was named Iceland by the Vikings to deter people from visiting.
While Greenland, which is much colder and definitely icier, was named that way to try to attract people to go over to live there.
Whatever the case might be, you definitely need to learn more about the Vikings of Iceland and one of the best things to do in Reykjavik to learn about this is to go to the Settlement Exhibition; more specifically, to the Viking Age section of this.
It’s a great place to explore and well worth a little gander.
7.) Take a Picture with the Sun Voyager Monument
Okay, this one is more of a tickbox exercise as there’s not much to do here. However, hear me out!
The Sun Voyager Monument is an iconic symbol of Reykjavik so you have to check it out while taking a stroll through the city – preferably on your way to or from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavik’s famous hot dog stand.
Seriously, getting a hot dog here is a whole thing and you have to do it.
8.) Visit the Arbaer Open Air Museum
If you’re not museum-fatigued, another great one to visit in Rekjavik is the Arbaer Open Air Museum which is actually like taking a step back into ancient Iceland.
It’s all complete with twenty cute little Icelandic houses.
Once you get your fill of photos of (and with) traditional Icelandic houses, you get to learn more of what it was like living in Iceland many many years ago. It’s a great way to dip into the history of living in Iceland.
Oh, and don’t forget to book this airport transfer to get to and from Reykavik and Keflavik airport. It’s the cheapest and easiest option that drops you right by the terminal entrance.
9.) Have Family Fun at Laugardalslaug
Laugardalslaug is the largest pool in the city and is just generally great fun for everyone!
There’s so much to do there, we’re talking water slides, hot tubs, steam rooms and even mini-golf. It’s definitely worth taking the time to relax and soothe any aching muscles you might have from all the active exploring of Iceland.
A visit to Laugardalslaug is definitely one of the best things to do in Reykjavik either when you first arrive or before you leave Iceland to head back home.
10.) Visit the Sky Lagoon
It’s one of the newest geothermal pools in Iceland and within Reykjavik, too. Make sure to book these tickets to include the 7-Step Spa Ritual and take some time to enjoy the sunset views. It’s such a gorgeous place to experience.