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6 Top Places to see Northern Lights in Reykjavík

6 Top Places to see Northern Lights in Reykjavík

Northern Lights Iceland

Are you planning to visit Iceland in the winter for a few days and mainly stay in the capital? Or you won´t have a rental car while you are here? So you are wondering: What are the best places to see Northern Lights in Reykjavík? We tell you where to catch Northern Lights in Reykjavík. Don’t forget to check our Ultimate Guide to Northern Lights in Iceland.

1. Grandi/ Harbor Area

There are many spots without light pollution in and around the old harbor, giving you a chance to spot Northern Lights while walking on the shore. This area is easily accessible just in the center of downtown. While you are there, don´t miss out on the dining option and cute coffee shops. Closeby bus stops are Harpa, Mýrargata, Grandi, and Grandagarður. 

Northern Lights from the old Harbour
Northern Lights from the old Harbour in 2019

2. Vesturbaer by the ocean

This spot is a bit further away from downtown, about a 20-30 minute walk. If you stay in Saga Raddisson Blue, it is very close. Get ready with lots of layers and a thermos flask filled with hot chocolate. Now you only need to be patient looking out in the sky. Closeby bus stops are Hjarðarhagi/ Dunhagi, Hofvallagata/ Ægissíða.

Northern Lights from Vesturbær beach in Reykjavík.

3. Sun Voyager 

Popular during the day and an excellent spot to look out for auroras during the night. If you stay downtown, this place is a few minutes on foot and right to set up your tripod if you are going to take professional pictures. 

4. Öskjuhlíð Hill

A bit further from downtown but still in the center of town, you can walk up the highest hill in Reykjavík to find yourself in a small forest, perfect for observing the night sky. Find a dark spot and get a glimpse of Northern Lights. Psst.. you will most likely spot some bunnies as well.

5. Nautholsvík Geothermal Beach 

Close to Öskjuhlíð Hill, about 10 minutes by foot through the forest path, you find yourself on a man-made beach looking over the ocean. The Geothermal beach will most likely not be open in the later hours, but you can enjoy a dip in the hot tub while looking out to the water during the day.

While you are in the area, you have a pretty large view of your surroundings, making it a perfect spot to watch Northern Lights.

6. Grotta Lighthouse – Northern Lights Hotspot

The most popular viewing place and therefore the least one that we recommend. It is crowded with people and sometimes impossible to find a parking spot if the aurora forecast is good. However, the lighthouse scenery allows incredible shots, should the lights appear.

Best places to see Northern Lights in Reykjavik
Photo by Neil Thomas: A stunning aurora display on Grotta Lighthouse.

YES, it is possible to see Northern Lights from Reykjavik. I have seen them multiple times. You don’t need a car to get around, and walking keeps you warm in the cold winter nights. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #honesticeland when you spot Northern Lights in Iceland.

See Also
Reynisfjara Iceland Warning Sign

Check out our podcast Episode about Northern Lights.

Steffi & Aðalbjörn
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