Iceland is one *cool* destination! It’s a super *chill* spot and the locals are so friendly- you’ll never get the *cold* shoulder. Ok- enough, Iceland puns. The bottom line is that Reykjavik, Iceland is an incredible city with tons of natural beauty, charming streets, and a welcoming atmosphere. If you’re headed to Reykjavik, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you and put together this four-day itinerary.
Whether Reykjavik is a stopover on your way through Europe or Iceland, or you’re hoping to immerse yourself in the rich Icelandic culture, make the most of your time in the city with this four-day Reykjavik itinerary.
Reykjavik Itinerary: Day 1
- Arrive at Keflavik Airport and head straight to the Blue Lagoon
Don’t waste any time and straight your Reykjavik journey as soon as you hop off the plane! First things first- unwind at the famed Blue Lagoon spa.
Pro-Tip: Reserve your spot on a shuttle that will bring you directly from the airport to the resort, then return you to downtown Reykjavik.
The Blue Lagoon spa is known for the natural hot springs surrounded by a black lava field. Take a dip in the warm waters while you admire the rocky peaks and rolling hills. The intense, mineral-rich, blue waters promote healthy skin. Be sure to try a silica mud mask for deep cleansing or the algae mask for anti-aging. Finish your visit at the Icelandic sauna or steam room and reap the benefits of the waters.
- Check in to your accommodations in downtown Reykjavik
Your Blue Lagoon shuttle will bring you to downtown Reykjavik to check into your accommodations. Wondering what area you should stay in? Here are the highlights of the best spots to stay in Reykjavik:
Midborg: The Midborg neighborhood is in central, downtown Reykjavik so it’s often the most popular place to stay, especially for Iceland newbies. The area is pedestrian-friendly and boasts popular attractions like the National Museum of Iceland and the Church of Hallgrímur.
Hlidar: The area of Hlidar is further out from the city center, while still being close enough to be convenient, which means it’s great for travelers on a budget. There aren’t as many restaurants and bars here, but areas full of restos and spots to grab a drink are very accessible. This neighborhood also counts the quirky Icelandic Phallological Museum as an inhabitant.
Vesturbær: This charming neighborhood is more residential, but an up-and-coming tourist destination. It’s full of cozy cafes and close to the sea. It’s a little quieter, which can be great for those looking to get away from the crowds at the end of the day. Plus, downtown Reykjavik is within walking distance or a short bus ride away.
- Sample Icelandic street food for dinner
After a jam-packed day of hitting the spa and taking in the sights of Reykjavik, sample some Icelandic comfort food at Icelandic Street Food. This resto is the first fast-food concept in Iceland with traditional Icelandic food. This spot allows tourists to experience homemade, traditional, Icelandic cuisine without breaking the bank! Taste authentic fare like lamb and fish stews, Icelandic Pancakes & Happy Marriage cake.
Address: 8, Lækjargata, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Open daily, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Reykjavik Itinerary: Day 2
On day two in Reykjavik, it’s time to get out of the city and see some of Iceland’s incredible nature. Embark on a day tour of Thingvellir National Park– where the Games of Thrones filmed, and witness the stunning power of Iceland’s wilderness.
- 8:00 a.m. Start the day with a hearty breakfast
Before venturing out to Thingvellir National Park, be sure to eat the most important meal of the day- breakfast! Here are two local joints that we suggest checking out:
Early in the Morning: This breakfast restaurant is open at 7:00 a.m. so if you’re looking to get an early start to the morning, head here. You’ll find classic dishes like sausage and eggs, pancakes, and smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on the menu here.
Address: 9, Veghúsastígur, Reykjavík, Iceland
Open daily, 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Café Babalú: Pick up a quick breakfast in this cozy and cheerful cafe. Grab a sandwich or coffee in this funky shop.
Address: 22, Skólavörðustígur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Open daily, 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
- 9:00 a.m. Game of Thrones day tour
Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and known as the site of Iceland’s parliament (from 930 – 1798). However, it’s also recognizable as a filming location for the Bloody Gate in Game of Thrones. The park is located in the rift valley between North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, meaning that hikers are straddling the line between continents when trekking the area!
Pay a visit to Gullfoss Waterfall, an impressive waterfall in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. The massive falls feature cascading waters that plunge into a jagged canyon. If you’re lucky, you may catch sight of a double rainbow spreading across the tiers of water. Stop at Almannagjá Gorge and recognize the Bloody Gate of the Eyrie.
Complete your tour at the Thjorsárdalur Valley, and take in the peaceful village atmosphere. You may recognize this area as where the Wildlings and the Thenns attacked Olly’s village.
- 6:00 p.m. Tour returns to downtown Reykjavik
- 8:00 p.m. Fill your belly with Icelandic hot dogs
Haven’t heard of Icelandic hot dogs? You’re in for a treat! These dogs aren’t your typical ketchup and mustard footlongs, locals smother their lamb, beef, or pork hot dogs in raw white onions, crispy fried onions, ketchup, pylsusinnep (sweet brown mustard), remoulade (a mayo or aioli-based sauce), capers, mustard, and other herbs. Here’s where you can try an Iceland hot dog for yourself:
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur: This is probably the most popular hot dog resto, in fact, their name translates to ‘The best hot dog in town’! It’s been serving locals and travelers alike since 1937. There are a few locations to choose from as well, so check their official site for more info.
Address: Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Friday, Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 a.m.
Reykjavík Sausage Company
Address: Laugalækur 8, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
Open daily, 12:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
The Hot Dog Shake and Pylsa Stand
Address: Austurstræti 8, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
- Abide the dude and grab a cocktail at Lebowski Bar
Your second day in Reykjavik demands a cocktail, so make your way to Laugavegur, the main shopping street in Reykjavík. Here, you’ll find Lebowski Bar, a ‘Big Lebowsi’ themed bar with trivia nights and tasty bites. Pay homage to the film and try one of their signature Kahlua cocktails like a ‘Jackie Treehorn’, a ‘Woke up in Russia’, or a ‘Banana Russian’.
Address: Laugavegur 20a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Friday, Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 a.m.
Reykjavik Itinerary: Day 3
Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on day three of your Reykjavik itinerary. On day three, head out from Reykjavik to Solheimajokull to hike and climb a glacier. Cap off the day with dinner and drinks.
- 7:00 a.m. Get an early start and a tasty breakfast
You’ll need all the energy you can get for your day of glacier hiking so don’t skip breakfast. Get up early and carbo-load at one of these early morning spots:
Bergsson Mathús: Find simple, classic meals created with fresh ingredients at this popular spot. For breakfast, try ham and cheese on toast with a soft boiled egg and a side of yogurt with granola and orange juice.
Address: Templarasund 3, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Monday – Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sandholt: Does the mention of warm, freshly-made sourdough bread make your mouth water? Then head to Sandholt, a bakery and eatery in Reykjavik. Grab a coffee and croissant or cinnamon bun, or go for lunch and devour a robust soup and sandwich or salad.
Address: Laugavegur 36, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Open daily, 7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
- 9:00 a.m. Meet your tour group and travel to Solheimajokull
At 9:00 a.m., meet your tour group and venture off to climb a glacier in Solheimajokull! As you arrive at Solheimajokull, you’ll witness a rugged landscape of frozen water and ice ridges. Catch glimpses of several ice formations and sinkholes surrounding the area.
After getting fitted with your safety gear, find an ice wall on the glacier and try your hand at ice climbing. Your adrenaline will be pumping as you scale the peaks. After hiking along the icy terrain, arrive at magnificent Skogafoss Waterfall. Gaze in awe at one of the biggest waterfalls in the country, with a drop of more than 60 meters.
- Return to downtown Reykjavik at 7:00 p.m.
- 9:00 p.m. Treat yourself to late-night dinner and drinks
After a long, active day of traversing the Icelandic landscape, unwind with a few cocktails and local food. Here are two Reykjavik restaurants we suggest checking out for dinner:
Sjávargrillið: Fresh seafood is a must-try while in Iceland. Iceland offers up saltwater fish like cod, shark, catfish, halibut, and mackerel- just to name a few. Find yourself at Sjávargrillið Seafood Grill to dine on dishes like lobster tacos, sashimi, and shellfish soup, as well as uniquely Icelandic meals like grilled minke whale and grilled puffin.
Address: Skólavörðustígur 14, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Open daily, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Tapas Barinn: For a bit of a fusion, try Tapas Barinn. Their menu consists of Icelandic tapas like Icelandic Arctic Charr, smoked puffin, Icelandic lamb, and lobster tails with garlic sauce. Ready to book your reso yet?
Address: Vesturgata 3b, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 5:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Reykjavik Itinerary: Day 4
- 10:00 a.m. Eat breakfast at Iceland’s oldest restaurant
Located right on the harbor, Kaffivagninn was founded in 1935 and is Iceland’s oldest operating restaurant. A beloved institution by Iceland-natives, the resto was (and still is) popular with local fishermen. For breakfast, order the Icelandic smoked salmon, tuna melt, or a hearty porridge.
Address: Grandagarður 10, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- 12:00 p.m. Meander through a museum
Before you take off, be sure to make time to visit one of Reykjavik’s museums. You can see a few of our handpicked museum options here, but one in particular we recommend checking out is the Alfaskolinn Elf School. It’s not quite a museum, more of a school, but it is entirely dedicated to the Icelandic belief and culture in elves and other creatures like fairies, trolls, and dwarves. Icelandic culture is heavily influenced by this supernatural belief and if you’re interested in gaining insight into this intriguing facet of Iceland’s culture. Head to their official site for more info on pricing and their schedule.
- 2:00 p.m. Delight in a late lunch
Make your way to Cafe Paris for a late lunch and a little pick-me-up treat! The cafe’s quaint interior is Parisian-inspired, as is the decadent menu. Try the chicken and waffles, a smoked salmon salad, or if you’re hungry for comfort food, a traditional burger and fries.
Address: Austurstræti 14, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday, Saturday: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
- 4:00 p.m. Check out the Hallgrimskirkja Church
One of the major Reykjavik landmarks is Hallgrimskirkja Church. It’s the largest church in Iceland and one of the tallest structures in the country. Construction on the church began in 1945 and lasted until 1986. One of the most notable features of the church is the massive pipe organ. The steeped, modern facade is an Icelandic icon and one of the most popular attractions for tourists. The church is still functional and hosts services and events like ‘Meditation with Organ Service’.
Admission to the church is free, however, you must pay to enter the tower. The stretched, vaulted ceiling of the church is a breathtaking view. While not elaborate or intricately decorated, the church is a striking example of clean, minimalist design.
Address: Hallgrímstorg 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
October – April, open daily: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (tower closes at 4:30 p.m.)
May – September, open daily: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (tower closes at 8:30 p.m.)
The tower is closed on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Adults: 1000 ISK
Kids: 100 ISK
- 5:00 p.m. Head out to the airport
After a full day in Reykjavik, it’s time to head back to the airport to head home. Be sure to check out our Transportation Guide for more info on how to make your way around Reykjavik and get back to the airport from downtown.
Bonus itinerary item: Stare in awe at the northern lights
If you’re there at the right time, we highly recommended booking a tour to admire the northern lights phenomenon in Reykjavik. Unfortunately, the northern lights appear from October – March, so if you’re traveling during the winter in Iceland, be sure to book a northern lights viewing tour. Here are a few tours from Reykjavik we recommend checking out:
Iceland Northern Lights Exploration Half-Day Tour: Venture out into the Icelandic wilderness and appreciate the colorful northern lights show while you sip on hot chocolate.
Northern Lights Cruise Tour from Reykjavik: Sail out from Reykjavik on a cruise along the coastline of the city. Look up to witness the light show.
Iceland Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik: Head to the Arctic Circle and embrace the Reykjavik countryside while you check out the aurora borealis.
We’ve distilled it down to help you maximize your time in the city, but we suggest click over here to view our list of 10 Essential Things to do in Reykjavik to add to your itinerary. This is just a fraction of the activities, sights, landmarks, and locations to visit in Reykjavik, Iceland. Reykjavik has so much to discover and explore- this is just the tip of the iceberg!