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See the sights of Reykjavik and beyond

Iceland is blessed with incredible scenery, with the capital city providing a great starting point for sightseeing. You won’t be disappointed with the variety of things to do in Reykjavik and the surrounding areas.

For a compact city, Reykjavik has lots to offer – discover excellent museums, a captivating art scene, rich culinary choices and vibrant nightlife. Enjoy the bold café culture, treat yourself to pioneering modern cuisine or mingle with the locals at lively late-night bars. Admire the breathtaking architecture as you explore, soaking up the culture as you go. As a natural starting point for exploring Iceland, your city break wouldn’t be complete without a day trip to one of the nearby sights. Book incredible experiences that will appeal to all ages and enjoy an array of family-friendly tours and activities.

Shopping in Reykjavik.

Shopping in Reykjavik

Get your retail fix on the main shopping street, Laugavegur. Peruse the designer stores around Kronkron, where international high fashion brands sit beside popular Scandinavian designers. Or experience Kolaportid Flea Market, a weekend gathering, set in a harbour-side industrial building – which has become a Reykjavik institution. Soak up the atmosphere, as you browse the second-hand clothes and toys. Then sample traditional delicacies, such as brauðterta ‘sandwich cake’ and hákarl ‘fermented shark’.

Northern lights.

Sightseeing in Reykjavik and further afield

A must-see for any trip to Reykjavik, the geothermal pools of the Blue Lagoon have timeless appeal - ideal for a relaxing day. If you’re planning a day trip, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Pick up a whale watching tour from the harbour. Or explore the sights of the Golden Circle Route, which include waterfalls and geysers. If you visit between September and April, you may be lucky enough to see the majestic Northern Lights. But don’t forget to soak up the incredible views from the Hallgrimskirkja church, one of Reykjavik’s most recognisable buildings.

Eating out in Reykjavik.

Eating out in Reykjavik

A haven for food lovers - Reykjavik may be known for its unusual delicacies, but Iceland’s capital is fast-becoming a culinary hotspot. You’ll find fine dining choices across the city, as renowned chefs create exciting dishes from traditional Icelandic ingredients. As well as forward-thinking cuisine, the city is rich in culinary choices and also has a bustling café culture – with a love for coffee. Make sure you join the queues for the best hotdog in town at harbour-side Baejarins Beztu Pylsur.



Reykjavik offers a huge nightlife, for a small city. Compact in size, everything is close together – making nights out stress-free. The scene is vibrant, but don’t expect clubs – instead you’ll find cafes that evolve into bustling bars and packed dance venues. Stroll from bar to bar along the main shopping street, Laugavegur. Nights out here start late, with places not filling up until around midnight. Local music is also a big part of Reykjavik’s culture, with bars and clubs around 101 regularly hosting live shows, with a broad range of musical genres.

Tips from a Ventoura Local

Locals can reveal their city’s secrets. We caught up with Carl to gather his top tips for travellers who don’t want to miss out on the best parts Reykjavik as he knows it. Connect with Carl and other locals on the Ventoura app for iPhone and Android.

Discover more about Ventoura locals
collapsedshowWander through Kolaportid flea market
Flea shop.

Wander through Kolaportid flea market

In the heart of Reykjavik’s old harbour area is the Kolaportid flea market, where you’ll find a smorgasbord of Icelandic and vintage wares. Amongst stalls selling antiques you’ll find sellers of Kleinur – a fried pastry popular in Iceland for nibbling on with coffee.

collapsedshowPlay a game at Freddi
Shots shots shots shots.

Play a game at Freddi

While the age of the arcade might well be over for the rest of the world, in Reykjavik the 80s live on in Freddi. This revamped arcade will immerse you in a decade long past, where you can channel your inner child and while away the days on vintage games, or simply pop by for a step back in time.

collapsedshowCatch live music at Paloma or go drinking at Vinbarinn
Culture centre.

Catch live music at Paloma or go drinking at Vinbarinn

Dance plays an important part in Icelandic culture, so make like a local and head out for an evening of music and dancing. At Paloma the cosy space, wooden bar and pumping dance music makes for an infectious party atmosphere. For wine aficionados Vinbarinn is an unmissable stop, where a carefully curated wine list will satisfy even the most particular of palettes.

collapsedshowHead to Nauthólsvik beach
Nauthólsvik beach.

Head to Nauthólsvik beach

The golden sands of Nautholsvik beach attract Icelandic locals year round. This geothermal beach is not an oddity of nature, but rather a manmade structure designed to bring Icelanders outdoors. Nestled on the shores of Nauthólsvik, the beach offers a warmer swim than the sea, thanks to geothermal heating. Nauthólsvik beach is a hidden paradise, but a well-known secret amongst locals.

collapsedshowWilderness tour
Wild Carl.

Wilderness tour

Follow Carl as he takes you to some of the most remarkable sites you’ll see in Iceland (or the world!) that often go overlooked by tourists. His knowledge of the surrounding countryside will ensure you don’t miss out on the amazing frozen waterfalls, rivers, mountain scenes while enjoying some authentic Icelandic snacks and tales of our history.

Our favourite Reykjavik experiences

Book your Iceland sightseeing tours before you go.

Northen Lights.

Iceland is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis - one of nature's most spectacular displays. Visible from autumn to spring, you may be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights if you’re visiting between September and April. After pick-up, you’ll leave the city behind you, for an unforgettable evening tour. Set off with your English-speaking guide, on a hunt for the mysterious Northern Lights - one of the world's most amazing natural phenomena.

See the Northern Lights from Reykjavik

The Blue Lagoon.

Combine two tours, in one experience - see the highlights of Reykjavik in the morning, then spend the afternoon relaxing at the Blue Lagoon. Visit Bessastadir, the presidential residence and explore Hofdi house. Then end your morning with a tour of the sports and recreation area in Laugardalur, a geothermal heated outdoor swimming pool. In the afternoon, you’ll travel to the Blue Lagoon – where you can relax in the famous blue-green waters, have a steam bath or go for a walk and take in the spectacular surrounds.

Book your Reykjavik sightseeing tour

North of the wall.

See some of the famous Iceland locations used in the HBO TV series Game of Thrones on this six-hour tour. Explore the White Walkers’ stomping ground at Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Soak up the incredible Lake Thingvallavatn scenery, which acts as a backdrop to Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station. See Thjorsárdalur valley and head to the site where a village was massacred by the Wildlings. Led by a local guide, you’ll also hear stories about the popular show, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels.

Pre-book your Game of Thrones experience

Whale-Watching tour from Reykjavik

Learn about some of Iceland’s most majestic native wildlife on this memorable whale watching tour from Reykjavik. Leaving from Reykjavik's Old Harbor, you’ll embark on your search for harbour porpoises, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales and humpbacks. Throughout your cruise, listen to the knowledgeable guide's insightful commentary, and have your camera ready for action. We’d recommend that you wrap up warm – although you can warm yourself up inside the cosy viewing area, where coffee, tea, hot chocolate and light refreshments are served.

Go whale watching from Reykjavik

South Iceland

This full-day tour from south Iceland, with transport from Reykjavik, takes you on an extraordinary adventure - where you’ll get to see some of the area’s natural wonders. Visit Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, two famous Icelandic waterfalls. Stroll along the black-sand beach of Reynisfjara to see its basalt rock stacks. Explore the 700-year-old Sólheimajökull glacier and admire its rock formations. And visit Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla volcanoes (weather depending) as well as the Westman Islands across the ocean.

Enjoy a south Iceland tour from Reykjavik

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