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10 FREE and Awesome Things to do in Reykjavik

Let’s face it, traveling can be expensive! But you’re in luck my friend, because not only is the Northern-most capital in the world one of the most adorable cities I’ve ever seen, it offers some pretty awesome things to do that won’t cost you a dime.

Good news, now you can spend your hard earned money on other things…like trying the incredibly delicious Icelandic lamb!

Here are my favorite FREE things to do in Reykjavik.

Window shop on Laugavegur

Laugavegur is the most famous street in Reykjavik. It’s easy to walk around and swoon over the adorable buildings. You can stick to window shopping, get a quick bite to eat if you’re hungry, or grab some awesome Icelandic souvenirs.

 

 

Old Harbor

The old shipping harbor is right along the seaside close to the town center. Super cute harbor with old fishing boats and a great view of the skyline.

Extra fun if you get ice cream first! (I promise both of those aren’t mine, I’m holding my husband’s while he takes picture!)

 

Walk around the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall

The Harpa is a gorgeous glass building right along the ocean that hosts concerts and plays. There is no charge to walk around inside and marvel at the design. Plus, it’s a great spot to catch a view over the harbor and Mt. Esja!

 

Capture the iconic Sun Voyager

Known to Icelanders as Sólfarið, this ship sculpture is a tribute to the sun and represents discovering uncharted territory, progress and freedom. With Mt. Esjan across the sea, this is a photo op you don’t want to miss! I don’t think I’ve ever passed by without seeing at least 5 tourists taking photos!

 

Admire Hallgrimskirkja

Perhaps the most iconic part of the Reykjavik skyline and top of every tourist’s list is this stunning church. The columns around the church were inspired by Svartifoss black waterfall in South Iceland. If you want to go up to the top for great photo ops of the city, admission is 900kr / ≈7 USD.

 

 

Stroll around Tjörnin

Tjörnin is a natural pond surrounded by the beautiful Icelandic architecture in the heart of Reykjavik. It is a really popular pond to feed ducks and geese as well!

READ MORE:   Iceland Stopover Itinerary - 5 Things To Do

Browse through City Hall

While this might not sound like your idea of fun, I encourage you to stop into City Hall after your trip around Tjörnin. There are always different culture or historical things on display, and a huge 3D map of Iceland that is so awesome to look at!

Take a FREE tour of the city

While there are plenty of paid guided tours, City Walk is FREE! You learn a lot about the history of Reykjavik and get to walk through some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. To top it off, Marteinn is a fantastic guide with tons of knowledge about Iceland and also has a great personality that makes it really fun and interesting!

*Make sure to reserve your space ahead of time at citywalk.is

A photo posted by City Walk (@citywalkreykjavik) on

 

Get into nature at Elliðaárdalur

When I first visited Elliðaárdalur I honestly couldn’t believe I was in the middle of Iceland’s capital city! This huge nature reserve is a dream for a sunny afternoon stroll or bike ride. Not to mention there are waterfalls at every turn which makes this walk one you don’t want to miss (yes, waterfalls in the middle of the city – so amazing!)

Check out my list of 10 free things to do in Reykjavik + download my FREE guide book to 7 budget friendly restaurants in Reykjavik! | Life With a View

Check out the street art around the city

Iceland is known for it’s creative and artistic culture, and the street art around the city is evidence of just that. There are endless displays of colorful street art on the fences and sides of buildings with more popping up all the time. Be on the lookout!


Question: What are you looking forward to most in Reykjavik?

Happy planning,

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  • Susan Braidwood
    November 30, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    We are planning a trip to Iceland in August 2016. I love ideas on how to keep the costs down! Thanks.

  • Jeannie
    November 30, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Susan, I’m so glad this post was helpful for you! That is so exciting that you are planning a trip! I hope you have a great time in Iceland 🙂

  • sharon
    January 20, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I visited in 2014 and would love to again.I somehow missed the sculpture garden and the Nature reseve but enjoyed everything else on your list.I do want to visit again so thanks for the ideas.x

    • Jeannie
      January 25, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Sharon, it is so hard to do everything in one trip there is so much to see! If you make it back to Iceland you will surely have another full itinerary 🙂

  • Ashley LaMar
    June 17, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Ahh so beautiful!! I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland, I do hope I get there someday.

    • Jeannie
      June 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks Ashley! There’s lots to do and see in Iceland – I hope you get to see it someday too!

  • Renee Rasanen
    August 7, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Hello!
    I enjoyed this article. I would like to add that in most banks and some libraries, you can get free coffee while you wait or while you read a book or magazine.

    When you order coffee in a place like Te og Kaffi, you might not know that if you are not getting a brew to-go, you can ask for a refill for free. I mean, paying over 400 ISK for regular filter coffee seems like a lot but you can actually get two for that price 😀

    There are a few places where you can get free admission, like the sculpture museum that you listed above. Another one that I know for sure is free is the photography museum (sixth floor) in the main branch of the public library in 101.

    My little family and I moved here and four years on I couldn’t dream to be anywhere else.

    • Jeannie
      August 19, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Hi Renee, thanks so much for your awesome tips! So great that you love Iceland as well and are happy with your decision to move here 🙂 I did not know you can get a refill on your coffee at coffee shops, such a great piece of information! I still need to check out these museums, can’t beat free!

  • Jessica Lam
    December 22, 2016 at 12:25 am

    This is such an awesome list, I literally wrote everything down! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m so excited to visit Iceland!

    • Jeannie
      January 3, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Yay Jessica! Thanks for following along – so happy to help! Have a great trip 😀

  • Sarah
    March 16, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Just a note. The cost for the elevator to the top of the church is now $9. 🙂