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How to Spend 1 Day in Reykjavik

How to Spend 1 Day in Reykjavik

Reykjavik, the far-flung yet surprisingly cosmopolitan capital of Iceland, is filled with more attractions than its compactness might suggest. And its small size means you can see a lot in a single day, from historic landmarks and Viking influences to mountains and geysers. Here are a few ways to spend one day in Reykjavik.

Morning: Take in the City’s Sights

Reykjavik is a highly walkable city, making an on-foot tour an enjoyable way to see the sights. Most walking tours comprehensively cover the main landmarks, such as Hallgrimskirkja Church and Harpa Concert Hall, with enlightening commentary. To get just outside the city center, opt for a bike tour or book round-trip transport from the Blue Lagoon. Private or group minibus tours, on the other hand, cover even more ground in less time, while hop-on hop-off bus tours have the added benefit of allowing you to set your own itinerary and pace.

Afternoon: Experience Otherworldly Landscapes

Although it’s impossible to see all of Iceland in one day, you can still see some of Iceland’s famed geysers, hot springs, and lava fields from the air. Helicopter tours leave from Reykjavik’s domestic airport (conveniently located downtown) and typically fly to Thingvellir National Park and Thorisjokull glacier, or to Eyjafjallajokull glacier and Katla volcano. Some helicopter tours focus on Iceland’s geothermal landscapes while others allow for mountain summit landings. If you’d rather stay on the ground, off-road quad biking tours can give you a taste of the wilderness in a short time.

Night: Marvel at Iceland’s Night Sky

If traveling in summer, long daylight hours mean you can fit in more activities. Take advantage of the midnight sun to get out of the city on an evening Golden Circle tour that departs from Reykjavik and travels to Thingvellir, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Winter, on the other hand, brings the aurora borealis. You have several options for northern lights tours: travel by coach, boat, or Super Jeep. Most tours head out into the countryside and away from light pollution, and some offer a free second chance if you don’t see the aurora that night.

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12 Tours and Activities | All Reykjavik Tours

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Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

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Seize the opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles during this evening Reykjavik Northern Lights tour. Hop into a climate-controlled coach with an expert guide, and venture deep into Iceland’s darkness-cloaked countryside, far from the electric glow of any towns. Stop at different locations to scan the ink-black skies for the legendary lights, and with luck, catch a dazzling display that you’ll remember forever. Taking a Northern Lights Iceland tour is a must for anyone visiting Reykjavik in winter, so don’t miss out!
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  • 3 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$57.19
From
$57.19
Taking safety measures

Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik

Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik

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Search the skies for the Northern Lights on a guided boat cruise from Reykjavik. The still waters of Faxaflói Bay make an ideal spot for stargazing and catching the sometimes elusive Northern Lights. Learn all about Mother Nature’s fireworks display from a guide, sip a warm drink on board (own expense), and enjoy hassle-free hotel pickup and drop-off (if option selected).
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$91.26
From
$91.26
Taking safety measures

2hr Twin Peaks ATV Adventure from Reykjavik

2hr Twin Peaks ATV Adventure from Reykjavik

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Get ready for an Icelandic off-road adventure on this quad bike tour of two Icelandic peaks. Zoom off on a single-seater or double-seater ATV to see natural attractions like Lake Hafravatn during the tour. Admire panoramic vistas of Reykjavik and the Blue Mountain range from the summits of both mountains. Feel the thrill of cruising across the rugged wintry wonderland and up and down steep mountain tracks. Use of all safety gear and round-trip transportation from Reykjavik hotels is included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$190.00
From
$190.00
Taking safety measures

Mountain Helicopter Tour with Summit Landing from Reykjavik

Mountain Helicopter Tour with Summit Landing from Reykjavik

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Enjoy awe-inspiring aerial views of Reykjavik and its mountains on this Iceland helicopter tour. Choose a morning or afternoon flight, and thrill as your helicopter whirrs upwards and soars over Reykjavik and the mountains north of the city. Touch down on the flat summit of Mt Esja or a nearby mountain, step out of your helicopter, and take photos of the panoramas that stretch down over Reykjavik, the Atlantic and the nearby peaks. These Iceland helicopter tours take off from and touch back down at the Reykjavik domestic airport.
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  • 30 to 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$331.25
From
$331.25
Taking safety measures

Blue Lagoon Return Bus Transfer from Reykjavik

Blue Lagoon Return Bus Transfer from Reykjavik

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The Blue Lagoon is widely considered among Iceland’s top natural attractions, but reaching it without your own wheels can be tricky. On this simple coach transfer service, spin through the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula in comfort and reach the site with ease. Perhaps soak in the warm waters or indulge yourself with a soothing massage, then return to Reykjavík or Keflavík International Airport (KEF).
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  • 1 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.00
From
$33.00
Taking safety measures

Reykjavik City Sightseeing by Minibus

Reykjavik City Sightseeing by Minibus

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See all of Reykjavik's landmarks on this comprehensive minibus tour. Great for travelers with just a short time to spend, this guided excursion hits all of the city's important highlights. Visit the Harpa Concert Hall, the presidential residence at Bessastadir, and Hallgrimskirkja. Enjoy engaging commentary from your local guide and round-trip transportation from your hotel.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$53.54
From
$53.54
Taking safety measures

Reykjavik City Walking Tour

Reykjavik City Walking Tour

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Get to know the spirit of Reykjavik on this walking tour of Iceland's capital. Follow your guide to the city's most important landmarks, including the Sun Voyager (Sólfar) sculpture, Harpa Concert Hall, the Old Harbour, the multicolored Thingholt houses, and the Hallgrímskirkja Church. Along the way, learn about the city's culture, history, and traditions through your guide's entertaining commentary. All entrance fees and light refreshments are included.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.23
From
$60.23
Taking safety measures

City Sightseeing Reykjavik Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Reykjavik Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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Discover Reykjavik by City Sightseeing bus, and explore the Icelandic capital on a hop-on hop-off tour. Your voucher is valid for 24 hours, so use it to ride around Reykjavik and visit the attractions that interest you most. Hop off to visit Laugardalur Valley, Harpa Concert Hall and more, or stay on board for a full loop and listen to the audio commentary to learn about the city.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.50
From
$36.50
Taking safety measures

Reykjavik Helicopter Flight: Geothermal Landscapes

Reykjavik Helicopter Flight: Geothermal Landscapes

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Soar above the rugged geothermal landscape of Iceland on a thrilling helicopter tour from Reykjavik. Learn about the area’s volcanic history while taking in an amazing aerial perspective of steaming geysers, vents, craters and hot springs. Fly over the otherworldly lava fields of Hengill geothermal area for Icelandic homes on this unforgettable ride.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$517.14
From
$517.14
Taking safety measures

Helicopter Flight from Reykjavik: Thingvellir National Park and Thórisjökull Glacier

Helicopter Flight from Reykjavik: Thingvellir National Park and Thórisjökull Glacier

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Get a birds’-eye view of Iceland’s unearthly scenery with a 1.5-2 hour helicopter flight from Reykjavik to Thingvellier National Park and Thórisjökull Glacier, and swoop above volcanic craters, craggy peaks and jostling glaciers. Leave the city behind and peer into a gaping crack that divides the American and European tectonic plates, then land on the slopes of the country’s second-largest glacier. Hover above a vast shield volcano that dominates the rugged skyline before flying back to Reykjavik’s domestic airport.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,024.50
From
$1,024.50
Taking safety measures

Private Sightseeing Tour in Reykjavik

Private Sightseeing Tour in Reykjavik

Unveil the secrets of the world’s northernmost capital city on this private 2-hour tour of Reykjavik. Enjoy a customized itinerary and the undivided attention of a private guide as you visit the landmark Hallgrimskirkja church, stroll the Botanic Gardens and wander around the lively Reykjavík Harbour. After ticking off the top sights, escape the city for the tranquil park and thermal pools of Laugardalur, or pay a visit to Árbæjarsafn Folk Museum or the National Museum of Iceland.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$252.80
Price varies by group size
From
$252.80
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Helicopter Flight from Reykjavik: Eyjafjallajokull Glacier and Volcanoes

Helicopter Flight from Reykjavik: Eyjafjallajokull Glacier and Volcanoes

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Soar above Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull Glacier and craggy volcanoes on a 2-hour helicopter flight from Reykjavik, and get an aerial view over the country’s rugged landscape. See a steaming geyser from above, fly over the Thórsmörk ridge, then touch down for a walk between looming peaks and ice. Return to civilization along the stark coast, watch waves crash on dark sand beaches and steer above the rolling Blue Mountains that shelter Reykjavik’s southern edge.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,407.47
From
$1,407.47
Taking safety measures