10 free Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland

As the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik is the country's largest city and most populated city. Because of this and its great location on the western coast of the country, Reykjavik is a great stop for anyone visiting Iceland. It is perfect to be a base camp during your time in Iceland while you take day trips to the many nearby destinations. If you need more ideas on places to see that make great day trips from Reykjavik, check out my post of the Best of Western Iceland! But if you want to just stay in Reykjavik, I don't blame you, there is so much to do in see just in this city!


When you first get to Reykjavik, you will quickly realize it is a pretty big city for such a small country. There are many different parts of the city and the extents are pretty far, but we are sticking to downtown areas that are in walking distance to each other. Also, if you are looking for places to stay in the city, I would suggest AirBnB. Hotels in Reykjavik are pretty expensive, but we were able to find a great apartment that had a great location!

Architecture 
The city has some beautiful architecture and you are able to experience this the best by just walking around the streets. Something I really liked about Reykjavik is the the different styles of architecture that you can see all over the city, there is such a cool mix of modern, Scandinavian, European, and obviously Icelandic (which is its own style!). 


Graffiti
When you first settle in, my first suggestion would be to walk around the streets and look for some of the city's really awesome graffiti. The photos below are some of the amazing artwork I saw just walking around the streets! I ended up stumbling upon these ones, but there was even more that we didn't even get to see. I personally love the ones that take over the whole building!

Hallgrimskikja
This church is hard to miss, it is one of the tallest buildings in the area and has beautiful architecture! Along with admiring this building from the outside, walk inside! After all of that, go to the gift shop and buy an elevator ticket to go to the top of the windows. The views at the top are unbelievable! Walk around to all of the windows and enjoy, it is definitely worth the few dollars to get to the top.


Northern Coast

Even though this isn't an actual destination, don't forget to check out the northern coast! There is beautiful views of the mountains beyond the bay area and there is a nice river walk so you can walk from one end of the city to the other along the rive with those stunning views.

Solfar (Sun Voyager) Sculpture

You will find this sculpture as you take the river walk along the northern coast. There is some history to this statue but more of a meaning than a history. It reflects back to the sun and the prospect to find new hope, land, and freedom.

Harpa

The beautiful architecture of this building was inspired on off the look and crystallization of the basalt and lava structures of Iceland, which I find fascinating! This building serves as a concert hall for the city and the lobby area is open to the public. It is worth to see how pretty this building looks from the inside!


Sunsets

Seeing a sunset is always great especially when there is a clear sky! Even better than a sunset is one on the western coast of an island. Watching the sun make its way over the water horizon is so beautiful! If you are able to, there is a park all the way on the far coast of the city area. It was too far for us to walk, but it would be a perfect place to see the sunset on a clear day.

Tjornin 

Located right in the middle of the city, this lake is a great place to find while walking around the city. During the winter the lake was like half frozen over and had a peaceful feel to it and reflected the sunlight in a beautiful way. You could just sit on a bench there and hangout for a whole day! 

The Harbor

Also along the northern area of the city, the harbor is another great place to see! This area is where many of the ships dock, from small personal fishing ships to large storage boats. More than just the view, this is the location that you can find tours leave for whale watching and puffing watching! All around the harbor area you can also find amazing seafood restaurants with extremely fresh seafood. 

The Nightlife! 

Even if you do not like going out at night or that's not your thing, you need to experience a Saturday night in Reykjavik! Even if you don't drink and just go to see all of the bars, all of the people on the streets, and of course the great people watching. I'm from the states so most of our bars here don't stay open past 2am, sometimes later but I have never experiences people staying out and the bars staying open until 5am. The other thing that I could not get over was when we went to leave the bar gave us plastic cups to pour our drinks out in so we can take them with us! 

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Write a comment

Comments: 17
  • #1

    Allison Wong (Saturday, 15 April 2017 10:59)

    Iceland is at the very top of my to go list. Thanks for sharing these tips and will keep note.

  • #2

    Ania (Saturday, 15 April 2017 11:12)

    Thanks for sharing this list of free things to do in Reykjavik! I know that Iceland can be an expensive country to visit, so this list is super helpful :)

  • #3

    Lolo (Saturday, 15 April 2017 11:52)

    I'm DYING to go to Reykjavik! Nice to know the church has an elevator to the top for that amazing view!!! #blogpostsaturday

  • #4

    Sara (Saturday, 15 April 2017 14:30)

    I've always wanted to go to Iceland and explore! The Icelandic architecture is suppose to be amazing and your post just confirmed that. I'll definitely be saving this post for when I go there!

  • #5

    Dominick Jones (Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:33)

    Iceland is on my bucket list. Ever since I've seen pictures of the beautiful country I've always wanted to go and experience it. I love taking pictures and Iceland looks so photogenic haha.
    I also really want to go to the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, it looks so nice.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Dominick

  • #6

    Ketki (Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:41)

    Good tips. I see a lot of posts on Iceland and I can't wait to read each of them. It's been on my bucket list for long and I hope i tick it off soon.

  • #7

    Bri (Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:45)

    Iceland is near the very top of my bucket list and this just makes me want to go even more!

  • #8

    Helen (Saturday, 15 April 2017 16:02)

    I loved Reykjavik, we didn't go to the top of the church and didn't see much nightlife (because 8am pickups for daytrips) but the architecture is great and it's got such a cool feel. Harpa and the Sun Voyager were my favourites.

  • #9

    Danielle (Rose Passport) (Saturday, 15 April 2017 16:21)

    Thanks for all of the comments and love everyone!! ❤️�
    Helen, I feel your pain, we had to specifically not plan anything on Sunday so we could go out on that Saturday but that was like the only night we got to really enjoy it and stay out late!

  • #10

    Christina (Saturday, 15 April 2017 20:20)

    ahh this post makes me miss Reykjavik so much! It's an awesome city, but definitely not the cheapest so it's great that you made this list of freebies. The street art and Harpa were highlights for me, especially because they were both things I wasn't expecting to see. Will have to check out the nightlife next time :) I've heard those Icelanders know how to party.

  • #11

    Rhiannon (Saturday, 15 April 2017 20:44)

    Iceland has been at the top of my bucket list for such a long time! It's good to know there's some awesome free activities to do, too! :D

  • #12

    Sally (Saturday, 15 April 2017 20:58)

    Awesome! We are always looking things to do on our family travels, and free is good! Thanks for this! Iceland looks amazing!

  • #13

    laagan kaayo (Sunday, 16 April 2017 10:55)

    Wow those are beautiful pictures! I'd definitely bookmarked this for future use <3

  • #14

    Alaska (Sunday, 16 April 2017 14:14)

    Man, I really adore that sun voyager sculpture. It looks like such a regal throwback to the grand viking ships, and there's something so haunting in its ghostly skeletal figure. I'd love to see that in real life. And I love the architecture in Iceland. The colourful houses are too cute. Thanks for sharing!

  • #15

    Riely (Monday, 17 April 2017 13:39)

    Iceland is becoming quite the place to visit! Great list of cheap places to see while in Reykjavik. I have heard so much about the Hallgrimskikja church and so must see when I make it. As well walks among the city and along the river would be a highlight. Thanks for sharing!

  • #16

    Anita (Monday, 17 April 2017 19:39)

    Bookmarking this that's for sure. I've put off Iceland for quite some time due to financial reasons but now with the budget airlines with free stopover making it so easy to get there, I think this dream will come to fruition very soon.

  • #17

    Suruchi (Tuesday, 18 April 2017 03:41)

    A complete guide to Reykjavik. This place has so much to offer. I loved the sun voyager sculpture as well as the mountain views behind the river. The church also seems huge and the views from top surely will be amazing. The architecture and concept of Harpa building too looks fascinating. Will bookmark this post for my future reference.