12 Free Things to Do in Reykjavik

By Michelle Yastremsky


Visiting most of Iceland’s natural wonders are free – so why shouldn’t the capital city be? Here are 12 things you can do in Reykjavik – for free!


1. See the Northern Lights

If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying a vacation to Iceland in the winter, escape the bright lights of the downtown area and head to the harbor for increased chances of seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky!

2. Sample Viking snacks at the Flea Market

On weekends the Kolarpotid Market comes alive with vendors peddling wares from books to antiques to clothing to Iceland’s favorite snack – dried fish! Be sure to stop by the food section of the market, where vendors happily offer samples to visitors.

3. Educate Yourself on Local Culture at the National Library of Iceland

Iceland prides itself on being a culture of literature, and what better palce to acquaint yourself with this side than at the National Library? The library also frequently showcases free exhibits on the first floor.

Bonus: stop by the (free) Photography Museum, located on the sixth floor of the main branch.


4. See a Show at Harpa

That amazing building in the middle of Reykjavik's downntour area is none other than the event hall Harpa. Check out the venue's website for upcoming free events.

5. Go on the Hunt for Street Art

The streets of Reykjavik are covered in street art – you just need to know which ones! Go on a hunt for the murals decorating the walls of the city.

Tip: there are many murals in the area around the Old Harbor. Walk all the way to the end and start there!

6. Enjoy Sweeping Views of the City at Perlan

Head to the viewing desk of the Perlan restaurant for panoramic views of Iceland’s capital city.


7. Explore the Iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church

Visiting the famous church is also free! While entering has no charge, going to the top has a fee.

8. Find a piece of the Berlin Wall

Discover a 2,000 pound section of the Berlin Wall in the midle of Iceland's capital! Take a walk in between the old harbor and the new harbor to stumble upon this sizeable historical monument.

9. And Discover World War II Remnants

Continue your hunt for history with a visit to Oskjuhlid, a lush hill that used to be the site of an United States Army occupation force. Find remnants of the old bunkers dotted around the hill!


10. Go Bird Watching at Tjornin

Spread your own wings and fly - or walk - to watch and feed the birds at this small lake in the city. Iceland is home to a diverse and vibrant community of birdlife, so be sure to charge your camera!

11. Unleash Your Wild Side at Ellidaardalur

Fish, hike, or simply lose track of time at Reykjavik's own nature reserve.

12. Unwind at Nautholsvik Beach

After a day of exploring, hit the waters at this artificial beach. Enjoy a dip in the lagoon, relax in a hot tub, or simple while away the day relaxing under the Icelandic sun.

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