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Though you’ll find the most action in the rugged landscape surrounding the city, Reykjavik still provides many diverse ways to pass the time, from fascinating museums to geothermal hotpots.

Things to do in Reykjavik

Einar Jónsson Museum

Iceland’s most celebrated sculptor’s work – an assemblage of Icelandic folklore and Norse mythology – is on display in this eponymous art house.

Eiricksgata, 011-354-551-3797,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | history | museum

Grasagarður Reykjavikur (Reykjavik Botanical Gardens)

The country’s unique flora and fauna – including arctic fireweed and gyrfalcons – are on display at this lush oasis on the city’s outskirts. Hit up the adjacent indoor ice rink when you’ve had your fill of wildlife.

Skúlatún 2, 011-354-553-8870
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | culture | wildlife

Grótta Lighthouse

Rent a bike at Borgarhjól in the city center and pedal out five miles to this vacant, 1897-built lighthouse for stunning views of the city from afar.

Hverfisgata 50, 011-354-551-5653
Tags: biking | things to do | outdoors


Ascend Iceland’s largest church – and one of its most recognizable landmarks – for a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the city. At 244-feet high, the oversized work of art was built to resemble volcanic basalt formations.

Skólavörduholti, 011-354-510-1000,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | architecture | history

Hot Pots

If you don’t have time to make the 25-mile trip to the Blue Lagoon yet fancy a dip to warm yourself up, try one of the city’s prevalent hotpots – outdoor tubs that remain above 100 degrees to keep the Icelandic chill at bay. While you can throw a dime and hit a dozen, our pick is the city’s biggest and best at Laugardalslaug, with its accompanying geothermal pool.

Laugardalur, 011-354-553-4039
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | culture

Kolaportið Flea Market

This harbor-side warehouse attracts Iceland’s treasure hunters each weekend with myriad odds and ends – from second-hand clothing and handcrafted jewelry to traditional Icelandic candy and fermented shark cubes.

Tags: things to do | culture | culinary

National Gallery of Iceland (Listasafn)

This converted ice house houses a wide collection of 19th- and 20th-century Icelandic and international art. Best of all, admission is free (an oddity in one of the world’s most expensive cities).

Fríkirkjuvegi 7, 011-354-515-9600,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | history | museum

Perlan (The Pearl)

This five-level, dome-like complex includes restaurants, bars, a garden, a historical museum, and more. It also provides the best panoramic view of Reykjavik and the surrounding mountains. 1.5 miles from the city center, you may want to travel by car or bus (take No. 7).

Oskjuhlio Hill, 011-354-562-0200,
Tags: family | art | things to do | culture | history | culinary

The Culture House

Check out impressive medieval manuscripts, learn about the origins and history of Iceland’s geothermal activity, and view temporary exhibitions.

Hverfisgata 15, 011-354-545-1400,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | history | museum

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