Reykjavík is bustling with activities, from famous attractions to small hidden gems. And we have busted our balls, pushing ourselves to our physical limits—have you seen how many mountains we hiked?—to compile this list of what you need to do to experience Reykjavík to the fullest (and most authentic). So, here are the winners of our Best of Reykjavík 2021 Activities awards, all of which are recommended by our panel of locals. Although there is still a pandemic going on, all these places have been accessible and safe throughout the restrictions. So sanitise those hands, put on a mask and enjoy.
Best Place To See The Aurora
Seltjarnarnes, 170 Seltjarnarnes
Grótta is something of a hidden gem. At the end of the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, not far from the centre of Reykjavík, there’s a lonely, windblown, red-topped lighthouse, with a walkable causeway that’s only accessible at certain times, depending on the tide. There’s a black beach, a miniature hot pot, and a nature reserve. Now, to find the Northern Lights, it’s rather complicated. Basically, you stand on this picturesque beach, open your eyes, and look up. There you go. Pure happiness. Note: Be aware of the tides if you’re gonna cross over and check out the lighthouse. You could get stuck overnight.
Hávallagata 14-16, 101 Reykjavík
This spot is a sneaky one. It’s smack downtown, but yet there’s magically enough darkness there to spot the aurora if it’s burning up above the city. Where is it, you ask? Find the Catholic Church—there’s only one—and walk to the bench behind it. That’s it. Now, pull out your flask and enjoy the green fire in the sky.
West of Hveragerði
Reykjavík’s coastline path features a gorgeous sculpture called Sólfar (“The Sun Voyager”). There, take a seat and soak up the dark ocean as you enjoy the dancing lights above you. It’s a simple spot that can be surprisingly secluded.
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