11 Free and Cheap Date Ideas to Try in Reykjavik

Reykjavik in the Summer, Iceland | © Utemova Ekaterina/Shutterstock
Reykjavik in the Summer, Iceland | © Utemova Ekaterina/Shutterstock
Photo of Camille Buckley
20 December 2017

While Iceland is notoriously expensive, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great experience for you and your date without breaking the bank. With the gorgeous landscape surrounding the town, exploring nature is definitely a low-cost excursion that can be mesmerizing and inspiring.

Northern Lights Walk

After checking out the Northern Lights forecast, your likelihood of viewing them from anywhere in Reykjavik is pretty high. Because Reykjavík’s light pollution is so minimal, you can spend a romantic time just chasing the Aurora around town.

Northern Lights above Reykjavik in Iceland at Night, Iceland | © badahos/Shutterstock

Einar Jónsson Sculpture Park

This free outdoor sculpture park features incredible early 20th-century and late 19th-century works inspired by Nordic mythology from one of Iceland’s oldest and most well-known sculptors, Einar Jónsson. His works are set in a lovely park next to Hallgrímskirkja that is free to enter.

Wrestlers | © Thomas Quine/Flickr

Hike Mount Esja

Only a half-hour bus ride from Reykjavik, this moderate sloping hike will take you to the top of Esja, through wooded ravines and rocky outcrops, to an outstanding view of the surrounding bay and an encompassing view of Reykjavik.

Mount Esja in springtime, Iceland | © Baraar/Shutterstock

Cheap Seats at Harpa

At the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, the prices for concerts and events can be expensive, however, even for the most expensive events, there is always a cheap seat. You may be craning your necks to see the opera singer, but you’ll definitely experience the great acoustics in this architectural gem.

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland | © KeongDaGreat/Shutterstock

Movie at Bío Paradís

This relic of a movie theater in downtown Reykjavik is one of the last of its kind, showing European and Arthouse cinema. The seating lounge full of vintage and newly remade movie posters is a great place for happy hour, as well.

Courtesy of Bio Paradis

Sunset at Grótta

This birdwatching area at the tip of Seltjarnarnes peninsula, a neighboring part of Reykjavik, is an excellent place to watch the sunset. There is a beautiful view of Mount Esja and the surrounding North Atlantic Ocean, and you can experience it all while relaxing with your feet in the geothermal footbath named Kvíka that was installed by the Icelandic artist, Ólöf Nordal.

Lighthouse at Sunset, Grotta, Iceland | © Simon Lukas/Shutterstock

Geothermal Swimming Pool

Any of the city’s public swimming pools would make a cheap, interesting, and relaxing date option. You can perhaps spot the Aurora or the sunset while you’re at it.

Sandy Geothermal Sea Spa in Nautholsvik Raykjavik Iceland | © luciezr/Shutterstock

Reykjavik Botanical Gardens

Beautiful during any season, the Reykjavik Botanical Gardens, located in Laugardalur, a short bike or bus ride from the city center, has excellent walking paths and well-maintained garden landscapes. Check out Floran Garden Bistro, an excellent place for brunch, which is located within a greenhouse that you can easily find on the winding paths.

Reykjavik Botanical Gardens, Iceland | © vvoe/Shutterstock

Reykjavik Zoo

Located next to the Reykjavik Botanical gardens, the Reykjavik Zoo is not very expensive and will take you and your date through a bucolic setting featuring the native animals of Iceland, including the elusive arctic fox.

Arctic Fox | © Elizabeth Ellis/Flickr


Perlan, a former water storage facility has gone through many incarnations, but for now, it hosts a newly renovated cafe and restaurant on the top floor, a glass dome with incredible views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you go for dinner, coffee, or a glass of wine, the views make this a great date location and experience.

Perlan Dome of Reykjavik city, Iceland | © KeongDaGreat/Shutterstock

Viðey Island

Take the five-minute ferry from the Reykjavik harbor to this small island which features a cozy restaurant in one of the oldest stone houses in Iceland at 250 years old. You can also explore the church from 1774 with the original interior still intact, walk on the hiking trails and on the beaches and coves. There is also significant contemporary art by Richard Serra and Yoko Ono on the island.

Videy and Esjan in Reykjavik, Iceland | © Eirikur Kristjansson/Shutterstock

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