Frequently Asked Questions
Okay. I’m in Reykjavík. What should I see and do?
There are so many fabulous things to see and do, with a selection of museums and galleries, countless shops and restaurants, and plenty of interesting architecture and outdoor activities. The city centre is close to the Old Harbour and stretches from Reykjavík’s oldest street, Aðalstræti, all the way up the hill to the end of the main street, Laugavegur. The city also boasts a beautiful nature, historical buildings and some thoroughly eclectic sculptures on the nearby island of Viðey.
Get your hands on a Reykjavík City Card for free access to museums and pools, a ferry ride to Viðey and numerous discounts in city shops and restaurants.
Most people are quick to notice popular landmarks such as Hallgrímskirkja Church, the Pearl, Tjörnin (the pond) and Mount Esja rising over the city, which can all be reached on foot or by bus.
Where can I go?
You are of course not confined to the delights of Reykjavík. There’s plenty to do outside the city centre with an impressive selection of sightseeing tours, day tours, coach trips, flight tours and even glacier tours. The most popular sightseeing tour is without a doubt The Golden Circle, which stops at Thingvellir National Park, Geysir hot springs and the magnificent waterfall Gullfoss.
The South, West, North and East regions of Iceland are only a bus-trip or flight away. Each area has its own collection of natural wonders and attractions which can be explored via package sightseeing tours or by travelling at your own pace on scheduled coaches or by taking a flight to your destination.
For shorter excursions, you can visit the Blue Lagoon or many of the other natural attractions on the Reykjanes peninsula. Other areas of interest close to Reykjavík include Heiðmörk, Hengill, Kjós and Kleifarvatn.
There are countless tours available from the city ranging from puffin and whale watching tours to literature walks, with some special activities too such as a beer school and cooking classes. If you have something particular in mind then send us an email and we’ll help you organize your adventure!
Where is the main shopping street?
Laugavegur is the main shopping street and runs through the city centre.
Is there a mall/shopping centre?
There are two large shopping malls, Kringlan and Smáralind. Kringlan is located just east of the city centre and about 10 minutes by bus from the city centre. To get to Kringlan you can take bus number 1, 3, 4 or 6 from Hlemmur or Laekjartorg bus stop. Smáralind shopping mall is located in Kopavogur and about 30 minutes by bus from the city centre. To get to Smaralind you can take bus number S2 from Hlemmur central bus station.
How can I get to the Blue Lagoon?
Several coach companies offer trips to the Blue Lagoon including, Iceland Excursions, Reykjavík Excursions and Bus Travel Iceland, with admission included in their price. These companies also offer trips to the lagoon from Keflavík airport, giving you the option of visiting either when you arrive or before your trip home.
Where and when can I see the Northern Lights?
The best period to see the Northern Lights is from October to March. Please note that although Northern Lights forecasts with intensity ratings are available, aurora activity can be unpredictable. Apart from cloudy weather or a full moon, light pollution can also affect viewing quality, which is why it’s always best to go out of town. You don’t need to go far; for example, the car park by the sea at Grótta in Seltjarnanes is a perfect platform for viewing the Northern Lights.
Where can I horseback ride near Reykjavík?
Experiencing the Icelandic countryside on horseback is an unforgettable experience and there are several companies and farms offering trips ranging from short one-hour tours to longer tours for more experienced riders.
Where can I go whale watching and will I see whales?
The ocean around Iceland is a natural habitat for many different types of whales. Commonly sighted on whale-watching tours from Reykjavík are Minke whales, White-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and Humpback whales. In the North of Iceland, a lucky few have had the rare glimpse of a blue whale or two.
The main whale watching season runs from April to October: winter whale watching tours are scheduled from November throughout March while the puffin season starts in mid-May and lasts until mid-August. Note that although marine mammals are almost always sighted on whale watching trips, no guarantees are offered.
Which restaurants can you recommend?
Reykjavík has an astounding variety of restaurants, offering both traditional and international cuisine cooked using the finest ingredients. The pride of Icelandic cuisine is the fresh fish and the delicious lamb, which we cheerfully claim is the best in the world.
How about an insider’s tip on a nightclub or bar?
Reykjavík is famous for its vibrant nightlife and there’s a selection of everything from trendy bars and nightclubs to rock ’n roll establishments in Reykajvík, most of which are open until the early hours of the morning. The main nightlife area is on and around the main street Laugavegur, and the party starts around or after midnight.
Where are your swimming pools?
Most swimming pools in Reykjavik are within walking distance of the city centre; others are just a bus trip away. The swimming pools are filled with geothermal water and most of them are outdoors, which is traditional in Iceland.
With the Reykjavík City Card, you get free access to all the swimming pools in the capital.
Where can I go skiing close to Reykjavík?
Bláfjöll is the ski resort which is closest to Reykjavík. It´s less than an hours drive from the city centre. The skiing area is open when weather and snow conditions allow.
What is the exchange rate?
The Icelandic Krona is the currency of Iceland, the currency code is ISK and the symbol is kr. The exchange rate is determined in the interbank market for foreign currency which is open from 9:15 to 16:00 on business days.
Where can I exchange money?
At any bank. The banks are located in the city centre and around the city as well as at Keflavík airport. Note that the banks in Reykjavík are usually closed on weekends.
Where can I claim my tax refund?
You can claim your tax refund (15% of the retail price) at Keflavík airport, which is open during departing flights, from around 6:00 - 18:00. Note that the payslip for individual refunds of 6,000kr and over will need to be stamped at the customs office at Keflavík Airport. Goods purchased generating 6,000kr and over in refunds will also need to be inspected at the same time. These rules do not apply to purchases of woollen goods.
Where can I find Luggage Lockers?
Luggage Lockers are available in the BSÍ bus terminal, the Reykjavik Domestic Airport, Traðarkot Car Park and Holtagarðar Bus Terminal.