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What to see in Reykjavik and surroundings in 7 days


Reykjavik in addition to being the Icelandic capital is a reference for the whole country, main and the only point of arrival and departure for visiting Iceland and an excellent base for discovering many nearby attractions such as lagoons, waterfalls and glaciers.
It is not a big city, just think that the historic center can be crossed in 20 minutes, and for this reason it will take you about 3 days in Reykjavik to then enjoy incredible tours such as the Golden Circle, the South Coast and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and take part in whale, puffin or Northern Lights spotting excursions.

Discover our itinerary e what to see in Reykjavik and surroundings in 7 days!



Index

  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. 6 day
  7. 7 day
  8. How much is a week in Reykjavik
  9. Before leaving: useful tips
  10. User questions and comments

1 day

Assuming that you can visit Reykjavik very calmly, given the proximity of the attractions and the moderate size of the city, in the morning we start from Whales of Iceland, a center dedicated to whales (every day from 10:00 to 17:00 / admission ISK 2.900,00, about € 20,00) and to stay on the subject, continue with the Reykjavik Maritime Museum dedicated to the Icelandic sea and flora, fauna, stories and legends (every day from 10:00 to 17:00 / admission ISK 1.740,00, about € 12,20).

For lunch we recommend Bryggjan Brugghus with craft beers and menus with burgers, soups and salads, at an average cost of € 40,00 per person.
After lunch continue with theAurora Reykjavik, the center dedicated to the Northern Lights which explains the phenomenon from a scientific point of view (every day from 9:00 to 21:00 / admission ISK 1.800,00, about € 12,60). Then visit one of the symbols of Reykjavik, the Harpa Concert Hall. With its immense glass structure reflecting on the waters of the bay, this building is absolutely worth a visit. Open from 8:00 am to midnight (closing times which vary according to the events organized), the guided tour costs ISK 1500,00 per person (approximately € 12,00).
Immediately afterwards, start moving towards Seltjarnarnes, the neighborhood that hosts the next attraction: the lighthouse! Arrived at Lighthouse Cave Island Lighthouse, enjoy a beautiful suggestive sunset or, in winter, if you are lucky the Northern Lights as you are in one of the best spots in Reykjavik to spot them.

For dinner we recommend Félagsheimilið Seltjarnarnesi (average cost € 55,00 per person) where you can stop even after as it offers evenings with live music.



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 9,6 km / 1 h 58 min
  • Places visited: Whales of Iceland (€ 20,00), Reykjavik Maritime Museum (€ 12,20), Aurora Reykjavik (€ 12,60), Harpa Concert Hall (€ 12,00), Island Lighthouse Cave (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 152,00
  • Lunch at Bryggjan Brugghus (Get directions), Dinner at Félagsheimilið Seltjarnarnesi (Get directions)

2 day

The second day is dedicated to the Old Town starting from Austurvollur Square, the main square of Reykjavik, where the statue of independence of Jon Sigurdsson stands. Nearby is also the Cathedral, a simple church in perfect Icelandic architectural style.
Finally visit theIcelandic Punk Museum, an alternative museum dedicated to history, music and the punk lifestyle (daily from 11:00 to 19:00 / admission ISK 1.144,00, approximately € 8,00).

For lunch we recommend Lobsterhouse for a typical fish-based meal at an average cost of € 125,00.
In the afternoon, head to Hallgrimskirkja, the famous church with its particular elongated shape (every day from 9:00 to 17:00 / free admission), then continuing with a very particular museum, the Phallological Museum (every day from 10:00 to 18:00 / admission ISK 1.700,00, about € 11,80, 200), where as many as male genitalia of Icelandic mammals are exposed. Finally move to the Sun Voyager, a steel boat located on a kind of waterfront which offers a beautiful view of the sea and the coast.

End the day with a typical dinner at the Hereford (around € 52,00 per person) and a walk on the lively and populated via Laugavegur which offers a wide choice of various venues to spend the rest of the evening.



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,4 km / 45 min
  • Places visited: Austurvollur Square (free), Reykjavik Cathedral (free), Icelandic Punk Museum (€ 8,00), Hallgrimskirja (free), Phallological Museum (€ 11,80), Sun Voyager (free), Laugavegur (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 196,60
  • Lunch at Lobsterhouse (Get Directions), Dinner at Hereford (Get Directions)

3 day

The morning begins with some relaxation in the south of the city Nautholsvik geothermal beach, with golden sand and natural pools (always open / admission ISK 650,00, about € 4,50). You can immerse yourself or simply stroll admiring the beautiful landscapes. Returning to the city, visit the Perlan (daily from 9:00 to 22:00 / admission ISK 2.600,00, approximately € 18,00), a super modern building with an observatory that projects light and sound shows, then continue towards the Reykjavik Art Museum and discover the largest art collection in the country (daily from 10:00 to 17:00 / admission ISK 1.840,00, approximately € 12,80).

At lunchtime, move to the National Museum of Iceland (Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 00pm / admission ISK 17, around € 00) stopping to eat in the nearby Studentakjallarinn pub for around € 2.000,00. 14,00 per person, then visit the museum and the its large exhibition of various kinds of objects related to Iceland's past. You are also close to Lake Tjornin, a spectacular body of water in the middle of the city. Take a walk in the direction of the historic center passing by the unmissable viewpoint of the lake which offers a beautiful view.

For dinner we recommend the characteristic Skuli Craft Bar (about € 55,00 per person) where you can stop even after and spend the evening with excellent drinks. If you are in Reykjavik in winter, however, then you prefer a night tour that goes hunting for the Northern Lights around the city.



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 6,7 km / 1 h 27 min
  • Places visited: Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach (€ 4,50), Perlan (€ 18,00), Reykjavik Art Museum (€ 12,80), National Museum of Iceland (€ 14,00), Lake Tjornin (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 139,30
  • Northern Lights cruise Iceland: Northern Lights bus tour
  • Lunch at Studentakjallarinn (Get directions), Dinner at Skuli Craft Bar (Get directions)

4 day

You begin to explore the surroundings of Reykjavik, which can be visited independently by renting a car or with complete tours, starting with the most famous tour, that of Golden Circle, which hides the best landscape beauties of Iceland. In the morning we leave with the Thingvellir National Park (always open / admission ISK 1.000,00, about € 7,00) located on two tectonic plates that are slowly moving away. We then continue towards Geysir where the Strokkur geysir is located with a hot water jet of 20 meters.

Have lunch at Supa Geysir for a quick refreshment with around € 21,00 per person.
After lunch we proceed towards Gullfoss, one of the most famous Icelandic waterfalls, majestic, spectacular and with beautiful light reflections, in fact it is also called the Golden Waterfall. The tour ends in complete relax in the Secret Lagoon, one of the oldest geothermal pools in Iceland (always open / admission ISK 3.000,00, approximately € 21,00).

Return to Reykjavik and rest of the evening in the streets of the historic center, where we recommend a dinner at the Bastardur Brew Pub with craft beers, sandwiches and excellent drinks for an average cost of € 35,00 per person, ideal for staying after dinner and enjoying the evening.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 211 km / 3 h 8 min by car
  • Places visited: Þingvellir National Park (€ 7,00), Geysir Strokkur (free), Gullfoss (free), Secret Lagoon (€ 21,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 84,00 / full tours starting from € 70,00
  • Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon Golden Circle and Kerid Crater Glacier and Golden Circle tour by snowmobile
  • Lunch at Supa Geysir (Get directions), Dinner at Bastardur Brew Pub (Get directions)

5 day

In the morning we start with a tour of South Iceland, a tour that will take you through breathtaking natural landscapes, from green hills to snow-capped mountains, passing through rivers and glaciers.
After a short time by car you reach the Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, very high with the possibility of walking beyond the water jet. Then continue towards the Skógafoss waterfalls where you will be amazed by their jump of 60 meters.

We stop to eat at the Skogar Restaurant at an average cost of € 48,00 per person and then take your time proceed towards the Sólheimajökull glacier for a 3-hour excursion on the glacier to be done compulsorily with an expert guide. Finally you reach it Vik, a quaint and charming town, to visit Reynisfjara Beach formed by black sand and rocks with basalt columns. From here you can see the Dyrhólaey cliff with its particular arch shape.

Return to Reykjavik and rest of the evening in the streets of the historic center. This time we recommend the Lebowski Bar, an American-style fast food restaurant that serves burgers, beers and milkshakes with an average cost of € 28,00 per person. The menu is also full of cocktails and shots, so if you want you can continue the evening there.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 399 km / 5 h 45 min by car
  • Places visited: Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls (free), Skógafoss Waterfalls (free), Sólheimajökull Glacier (free), Vik (free), Reynisfjara Beach (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 76,00 / full tours starting from € 75,00
  • South Iceland 1 day tour
  • Lunch at Skogar Restaurant (Get directions), Dinner at Lebowski Bar (Get directions)

6 day

This day is dedicated instead to a day tour in the Snaefellsnes peninsula, in the north-west of Iceland, another very natural area rich in northern flora and fauna.
You start by visiting the Snaefellsnes National Park, with rock formations, a volcano with a frozen top and black beaches including Djúpalónssandur where you will have the chance to spot a colony of seals.
At the end, continue towards the characteristic and green village of Arnarstapi where you will stop for lunch.

After a good hot meal at Arnarstapi Center and Snjofell Restaurant at a cost of about € 30,00 per person, we continue towards the particular triangular-shaped mountain, Kirkjufell, famous for being used as a model in the "Game of Thrones" series, where at its feet there are the homonymous waterfalls, the beautiful Kirkjufellsfoss, and all around other spectacular landscapes.

Return to Reykjavik and the rest of the evening in the streets of the historic center where we recommend the excellent Sushibarinn for a dinner with an alternative gastronomic proposal and fresh fish with a total cost of around € 70,00 per person.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 465 km / 6 h 40 min by car
  • Places visited: Snaefellsnes National Park (free), Djúpalónssandur (free), Arnarstapi (free), Kirkjufell (free), Kirkjufellsfoss (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 101,00 / full tours starting from € 110,00
  • Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Bus Tour Snaefellsnes Peninsula Super-Jeep Day Trip Snaefellsnes: Full-Day Peninsula Tour
  • Lunch at Arnarstapi Center and Snjofell Restaurant (Get directions), Dinner at Sushibarinn (Get directions)

7 day

In the morning we leave for the last amazing hike to Langjokull Ice Cave from Reykjavík, moving north.
Usually this tour, from a certain point on, involves moving by snowmobile up to the glacier where you then enter it on foot, necessarily with an expert guide, to discover the natural ice cave, first enjoying a suggestive and particular walk between thick walls of ice with magnificent colors and reflections.
Usually for this visit it takes around 5 hours, then all morning, and then stop for lunch at Sumar Camp, a restaurant at the foot of the glacier where you spend more or less € 35,00 per person, and finally return to Reykjavik.

And to round off your trip in style, we recommend that you spend an afternoon of total relaxation at the wonderful Blue Lagoon: you can reach the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal area with swimming pools and a spa. It is possible to reach it easily from Reykjavik thanks to the scheduled buses or, even more convenient, using a transfer that will take you directly to your destination, starting from the BSI bus terminal of the city (return service cost € 29,00 per person, departures hourly). Calmly enjoy a few hours of total relaxation, the facility is open every day from 8:00 to 21:00. The cost of admission varies according to the services offered, in addition to the simple entrance you can choose between different treatments. Tickets start from € 40,00 upwards.

For dinner this time we recommend the Frederiksen Ale House with an international menu and excellent beers and drinks where you can spend the rest of the evening. Average cost of dinner € 25,00 per person.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 398 km / 6 h 32 min by car
  • Places visited: Langjokull Glacier (free, tou from € 150,00), Blue Lagoon (€ 40,00) and return transfer from Reykjavik (€ 29,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 130,00 / full tours starting from € 150,00 for the glacier
  • Langjokull Glacier: Snowmobile and Ice Cave Classic Tour in the Langjökull Glacier Tunnel Blue Lagoon: Access with return transfer from Reykjavik Blue Lagoon: Round-trip transfer from Reykjavík
  • Lunch at Sumar Camp (Get Directions), Dinner at Frederiksen Ale House (Get Directions)

How much is a week in Reykjavik

NB: The prices expressed in the table above are to be intended "per person".

Reykjavik, like all of Iceland, is a fairly expensive destination where low cost is possible but obviously you have to limit some activities and prefer an alternative travel style, for example sleeping in a hostel and eating with food taken at the market. The costs are really above average for us Italians, for example a bed in a hostel with shared room costs from € 35,00 per night while a hotel room starts from at least € 70,00, the minimum you go to spend to eat in pubs and restaurants is € 25,00, car rental starts from € 70,00 per day, excursions have prices between € 50,00 and € 200,00 for half-day to two-day tours, and finally attractions and museums have very high admission prices.

The ideal would be leave as a group in order to divide the costs of everything and buy services whose price is fixed and not calculated per person so as to be able to divide it among the members of the group, for example car rental rather than excursion packages, apartments instead of hotels and eat at home while shopping instead than eating out.

  • starting from € 122,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per room -
  • From Reykjavik: South Iceland full-day tour Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon: tour from Reykjavik Langjokull Glacier: snowmobile and ice cave
  • Total cost of a week, flight included: from € 1.352,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Reykjavik: summer (July and August) for temperatures (between 10 ° and 15 °), however for the Northern Lights and snow-related activities winter is the best season - find out more
  • Keflavík International Airport connects Reykjavik to the rest of the world with flights from Italy with Iceland Air, KLM, EasyJet and Lufthansa companies (average time of 5 hours and with at least one stopover, usually Amsterdam, Frankfurt or London). From the airport you can reach the city with the private companies Airport Direct, Airport Express and Flybus (approximately 4271 ISK / € 30,00 each way) or by public bus (1993 ISK / € 14,00). Alternatively, you can book a private transfer online
  • Midborg is the heart of nightlife with a great choice of restaurants and clubs of various kinds with prices in the Icelandic average. Hlidar is the cheapest district with hostels for low cost travelers but also less offer of tourist services. Vesturbær is the most central but also the most expensive district, ideal for being close to all the major attractions
  • Getting around: the historic center is quite small, in 20 minutes you can get from one end to the other, but the city still enjoys an efficient bus service managed by Strætó that travels in the center, in the suburbs and outside the city (single ride 469 ISK / € 3,30) - find out more
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