Reykjavík is supposedly one of the most expensive cities in the world. When you stay in the capital on your vacation, you want to see as much as possible and spend as little money as possible. See how you can explore Reykjavík on a budget.
Good Morning! We hope it is a beautiful day with not too much wind. But to be sure, check the weather forecast to see if you need rain pants and a rain jacket today.
Costs: Coffee + Pastry = ca. 1.200 ISK/ 8 USD/ 7 EUR
After a good cup of coffee, lets head to Tjörnin, the pond. Watch seabirds gathering on the small island. Maybe you spot our favorite swan “Silly Neck” wish a crooked neck, he/ she is always a bit away from the big bird crowd.
In winter you can walk on the frozen pond, and watch others ice skating. The deepest part of Tjörnin is 80cm (2.4 feet). Warm water is pumped in one corner of the lake, to make sure the birds have a spot of water left.
The Old Harbour
Watch fishing and whale watching boats heading out to see, take a stroll on the ocean. Many cafes and restaurants popped up in recent years, which makes the harbor a popular place for visitors to try the famous lobster soup or fish and chips.
If you are not in a hurry, pop into the city library. Books and a great view over the harbor from the upper floors invite you to spend a few moments there.
On the weekend, you should check out the local flea market, Kolaportið. While some people sell junk, you can also find treasures, try Icelandic foods, and buy a Lopapeysur, the Icelandic wool sweater with a great discount.
Costs: Around 2.000 ISK, if you stop for lunch: 14 USD/ 12 EUR
For the full Iceland experience, don’t miss out on the famous Icelandic hot dog at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur.
We recommend you to check out the settlement exhibition. It lets you take a look into the Viking Age, with archaeological remains dating back to before AD 871±2, and info about the history and culture. Very interactive and definitely work to check out.
If you buy a city card, the Settlement Exhibition is free of charge.
On your way there, take a look at Althingi (Alþingi), the parliament building. Althingi is the nation’s oldest institution and the highest. Its foundation at Thingvellir (National Park) in 930 AD marks the birth of the Icelandic nation.
Costs: 1.740 ISK admission for the exhibition: 11 USD/ 10 EUR
On the way to your next adventure, you can stop at the Sun Voyager, and enjoy the view of Mt. Esja. There is nothing more relaxing than watching the sea surrounded by mountains.
If you look for adventure, we recommend a trip to Viðey. You should go by bus or car, to reach the Skarfabakki, where the ferry stops. Remember, in winter the ferry only operates on the weekend.
Viðey offers unspoiled nature, various bird- and wildlife, and the well known Imagine Peace Tower. Please stay on the walking path to not disturb the birdlife and vegetation. Generally, we recommend a stay between 1-2 hours.
It is a good option for everyone that wants to explore Reykjavík on a budget, but off the beaten path, away from the crowds.
Costs: 1.650 ISK/ 12 USD/ 10 EUR for the ferry
Back in the city, you can end your adventure with a soak in the hot tub. Sundhöll Reykjavíkur close to Hlemmur offers new facilities and several hot tubs.
You can visit other swimming pools in the capital, they usually open until 10 pm. Remember to bring your bathing suit and a towel, to save the costs of renting.
Costs: Around 1000 ISK/ 7 USD/ 6 EUR
Get familiar with the pool rules, and that everyone has to shower without a swimsuit before entering the pool.
Buy the Reykjavík City Card for 4.000 ISK (29 USD/ 25 EUR) to get free access to the swimming pools, Viðey Ferry, and the Settlement Exhibit. If you want to visit more museums and see Reykjavík on a budget, it makes sense to buy the 48h card for 5.600 ISK.