Things To See & Do In Reykjavik

Posted by Admin on 14 Mar 2017

Reykjavík is an excellent city to visit. It makes for a great home base from which to begin many adventures in Iceland and has a lot to offer in its own right.  One of our very own local expert guides came up with a list of the top things to see and do to get the most out of your time in Reykjavík. Enjoy!

Aerial view of Reykjavik with sunset

Tour the City with a Local

You probably would expect me to say that, given that I’m a local guide with Gray Line Iceland. However, in all seriousness, exploring the city with a local guide is the best way to experience it. We’ll take you to the best sights. You won’t miss anything. We’ll also share local knowledge on the best places to try when it comes to enjoying the unique atmosphere of Reykjavik. Our guest Carly, who visited earlier this month said via TripAdvisor

“Although Reykjavik itself is small, I highly recommend a tour using Gray Line. We were very fortunate to have great weather and each stop was spectacular, great views and sufficient time at each stop! This trip has been one of a lifetime and would recommend Iceland to everyone. Shout out to Darren.” 

Three women holding ice cream cones

Get a Taste of the City

For a city of its size, Reykjavik has a fantastic selection of restaurants with all sorts of fabulous cuisine to try. You won’t be short of options. However, if you want to try something Icelandic, look out for local delicacies like cod’s head cooked in chicken stock. By the harbor, you’ll find seafood restaurants and bars with a lively atmosphere and a view of the old harbor. The flea market also sells fermented shark meat but we’re never sure whether this is a delicacy or a dare! 

Fermented shark meat

Enjoy the View

Hallgrímskirkja is the largest church in Iceland. Its design is inspired by the columnar basalt formations found throughout the Icelandic landscape. You can climb or take the lift to the top of the church for a wonderful panoramic view of the city. Perlan, a glass dome which is built on the city’s hot water tanks, has a viewing platform that also gives a fantastic 360-degree view of the city. 

Aerial view of buildings in the city of Reykjavik

Höfði House

This historic house dates from 1909 and is where Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov met for a summit in 1986, effectively marking the end of the Cold War. 

Höfði house – a large white house

Check Out the Wildlife

From Reykjavík harbor, you can head off on an Icelandic whale-watching trip on Faxaflói bay. You’ll see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat as well as some wonderful birdlife including puffins.

a whale pokes its head out of water near a whale watching vessel

Sólfar/Sun Voyager

Bring your camera because this is a wonderful photo opportunity. Called Sólfar in Icelandic or the Sun Voyager in English, this graceful steel structure on the waterfront is styled after a Viking Long Ship as a nod to the Viking influence on our country. 

Sun Voyager, a metal sculpture in the shape of a viking ship

Step Out Into the Nightlife

In one of our previous posts, we mentioned that Reykjavík has earned a reputation as a party city. At the weekends, our clubs stay busy until 4 or 5 am. The atmosphere is even better during one of the city’s festivals or celebrations such as Iceland Airwaves music festival, Beer Day, Pride or New Year’s Eve. Even if you don’t want to party until the sun comes up, there’s a great choice of relaxed and chilled bars to try. Ask your guide which one is best to suit your mood!

Aerial night view of the city with city lights

Take a Dip in the Blue Lagoon

Once you are finished touring the city, head out to the Blue Lagoon – a wonderful geothermal spa. The blue-green algae and minerals in the lagoon’s water are great for your skin, not to mention the saunas, massages, and facials. And it is all set in the middle of a rocky lava field making it a uniquely Icelandic experience. You can read more about the Blue Lagoon here

Man and woman seen from the chest up in blue water

Play a Game

For something completely different, why not challenge yourself to 60 minutes of problem solving and teamwork hosted by Gray Line Iceland. In the Prison Break live game, you and your teammates have been framed for murder. Your only chance to escape death row is to break out of prison by solving a series of problems and challenges. Sounds interesting?! 

Get Out of Town!

Reykjavik is a wonderful base for exploring the rest of our country. From here – head out to experience the beauty of the northern lights and Reynisfjara black sand beach, the amazing Geysir geothermal area, hot springs and powerful, gorgeous waterfalls, such as Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. And when you’ve had your fill of gorgeous natural wonders, come back to experience more of the friendly atmosphere of our capital city, Reykjavik. 

Reynisdrángar rock formation and black sand beach

How Gray Line Iceland Can Help You Explore Reykjavik and Iceland  

If you are planning to visit Iceland, then talk to our team at Gray Line Iceland – our passion is helping you discover our country. We offer tours of Reykjavik, many amazing tours around Iceland, vacation packages and airport transfers

Visit our website at for full details and find out what guests thought about us over at our TripAdvisor or Facebook pages.

Recent articles

How to make the most out of a stormy day in Reykjavik

Has the weather had an impact on your plans for sightseeing in Iceland? If your day tour to any of Iceland?s natural and historical sites has been cancelled due to weather, here are a few suggestions for things you can do in Reykjavik:

4 Stories of Trolls who turned into Rocks

Trolls were creatures that were greatly feared for centuries; gigantic monstrous creatures that could only travel during sundown, since sunlight turns them into solid rock. Therefore, isolated rock formations who seem to be out of place, were often said to be petrified trolls. Here is a list of some of Iceland?s most well known rocks who are claimed to have been trolls a long time ago, and the story of their troll lives:

How's the weather in Iceland?

The most unpredictable thing in Iceland is the weather. Sometimes we check the weather forecast many times each day and it's different each time. The temperature can change dramatically, specially in winter so it's no wonder that the first thing an Icelander will do when meeting someone is to talk about the weather!