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Plan Your Trip to Reykjavik: Best of Reykjavik Tourism

What is Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travellers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
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Reykjavik, Iceland

For most visitors, Reykjavik is a gateway to the out-of-this-world natural sites that make up the Golden Circle, like Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall and Thingvellir National Park. But the city itself deserves a few itinerary days to help you get a feel for Icelandic culture. Start by digging into Nordic food (order anything with fish or lamb), then dive into Reykjavik’s legendary music scene—it’s a hub for the indie and electronic musicians that fuel its nightlife. Afterwards, recharge in one of the area’s many hot springs. You can’t go wrong with a soak in the Blue Lagoon, though locals often prefer the casual Sundhöllin public baths.

Travel Advice

How to do Reykjavik in 3 days

From waterfalls to bar crawls, the perfect itinerary
Read on

A parent’s guide for bringing teens to Reykjavik

It’s tough to keep the jaded youngsters happy on the family holiday, especially when they are in the teenage years. But Iceland is cool enough to get even the moodiest teen off their phones for a while - and then will provide plenty of Instagram opportunities as well.
Hilary Meyerson, Seattle, WA
  • Perlan
    An excellent first stop to get the lay of the land, literally. Iceland is a unique geographic island, and volcanoes and glaciers and geysers have shaped both the land and the people. The Perlan building itself is an architectural gem, and the virtual lava show and (real) ice cave will be a hit with anyone who blows hot and cold. Grab a bite at the glass-domed restaurant for great views of the city.
  • Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
    Probably the most famous eatery in Iceland is the modest hot dog basket that has been serving up wieners since 1937. Don’t be alarmed by the line, it moves fast. Dogs are made with lamb meat, and are best with crispy onions. Who doesn’t love a good dog?
  • Hallgrimskirkja
    This stunning church on the hill can be seen from anywhere in Reykjavik. It’s the largest church in Iceland, and source of pride for Icelanders. Pay the extra fee to go up the tower for the best views of the city, and it’s OK to pretend you’re a Norse god in Valhalla.
  • Laugardalslaug
    Iceland sits directly on top of the meeting of two tectonic plates, creating more than 200 volcanoes and making earthquakes a common occurrence. The plus side? Cheap geothermal energy, and thus amazing public geothermal pools. Jump between hot, hotter and freezing pools, enjoy the sauna and waterslides along with the locals. Children under 16 are free.
  • Sun Voyager
    This impressive sculpture, reminiscent of the bones of a Viking ship, is worth a visit. It’s a modern work by artist Jón Gunnar Árnason. It’s been described as an “ode to the sun” and the artist says he wanted to convey the “promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom.” It’s free to visit, and the setting on the waterfront is unmatched. It’s particularly impressive at night, when it’s lit up.
  • Lauga-as
    For authentic Icelandic cuisine, especially seafood. The lobster soup is always a hit, and when we visited the special was minke whale. But they also have burgers and chicken nuggets for those not looking for adventures in dining.
  • Icelandic Riding
    The Icelandic horse is a source of national pride. Icelandic law prevents the breed from being imported into the country and exported animals are not allowed to return. The breed is hardy and small (more like a pony) and they have an extra gait (the “tolt”) that is unique (most horses just have the walk, trot, canter/gallop) and makes for smooth riding. Take a riding tour and get to see some of the unique scenery from horseback.
  • Vera Food Court
    This upscale food court houses eight different restaurants, so even the pickiest eater will find something. Nice views of the water too. We recommend the Bang Bang and their dumplings.
  • Blue Lagoon
    Before you hit the airport to depart, stop by Iceland’s most famous spa destination, the Blue Lagoon. It is not a natural hot springs, but instead was created from the runoff from a nearby geothermal power plant. Still, it’s worth the trip to enjoy the luxurious spa environment and have a hot soak. Applying the white silica clay to your face is great for the skin and makes a nearly required photo for Instagram. The restaurant serves up healthy gourmet fare in a sleek modern atmosphere.