Top events in Reykjavik

September
24

First held in 2004, this festival has fast established itself as Iceland's biggest and most important film festival. Visitors to the event are...

November
04

Hosted in disused warehouses, airplane hangars, clubs, bars and an assortment of other unusual venues around Reykjavik, this annual music festival...

December
31

New Year’s Eve is traditionally a major excuse to party in the city. Shops and restaurants open in the morning and visitors can take a New...

Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik
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Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik

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Reykjavik travel guide

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Reykjavik Local time

Backdropped by the hulking Mount Esja and perched on the southern shores of Faxaflói Bay, nature is never far away in Reykjavik.

Yet, despite its obvious natural beauties, the world’s most northerly capital is a vibrant place that’s home to rows of colourful houses and a populace that gives the concept of living for the moment a whole new meaning.

Reykjavik is where the great outdoors takes centre stage with sea, mountains, rivers, woodlands, parks and geothermal swimming pools, all intimately connected.

Start with a trip to the artificial beach at Nauthólsvík, where golden sands and a geothermal-heated sea water lagoon combine to pleasant effect. If you want something more energetic, activities like cycling, hiking, horse riding, sailing and fishing can all be enjoyed on Reykjavik’s doorstep.

Though, these natural wonders can belie the fact that the city has much to offer in the way of urban attractions too. Reykjavik's nightlife attracts legions of tourists keen to sample its legendary bars and clubs, and as nightspots tend to stay open until the early hours of the morning, visitors will need plenty of stamina as well as money.

During the day, Reykjavik is a far more sedate place with trim houses, rubbish-free streets and an easygoing pace of life. There are bountiful cultural attractions from museums to art galleries, many show pictures of Iceland's historic volcanic eruptions. Those volcanoes, although still prone to the periodic eruption, have become part of the quintessential Iceland experience and are easily reached from the capital.

So too are the country’s many hot springs and geysers, while lurking offshore are vast pods of whales – many of which politely surface as whale watching boats approach.

Scandinavian in its egalitarianism, naturally beautiful and just plain old good fun, Reykjavik is a place you’ll keep coming back to.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.