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20 Top Things To Do in Reykjavik in Your 20s

DCS_1194 | © Ben Sutherland/Flickr
DCS_1194 | © Ben Sutherland/Flickr
Picture of Camille Buckley
Updated: 30 June 2017
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While Iceland is a great place to visit for all ages – and really, who is to say that you can’t do these things at any stage in your life – here is our list of things especially suitable to do in your 20s. Reykjavik, in particular, has plenty to explore for this explorative time of life and beautiful places to contemplate.

Look at Art

There are many great art museums and galleries to be found in Reykjavik featuring contemporary artists from Iceland and abroad, as well as museums devoted to Icelandic art historical figures.

Listasafn Einar Jonssonar Museum, Reykjavik
Listasafn Einar Jonssonar Museum, Reykjavik

Learn About History

Reykjavik has great settlement exhibitions and museums devoted to the fascinating history of the island.

Watch the Sunset

There are many great places from which to view the long display of sunset, including parks or by the ocean in Reykjavik. The midnight sunsets can be especially stunning.

Stroll Through Hólavallagarður

Listed as one of Europe’s loveliest cemeteries, it includes the gravesites of many famous Icelandic poets and politicians.

cemetery in Reykjavik
cemetery in Reykjavik

Be Inspired by Icelandic Literature

Stop by a bookstore and pick up a classic Icelandic novel, such as one by Iceland’s only Nobel Peace Prize winner, Halldor Laxness.

Bookshelves of Halldor Laxness
Bookshelves of Halldor Laxness

Be Inspired by Icelandic Music

Stop by one of many record stores downtown and let the helpful staff assist you in finding something unique.

Bad Taste Record Store
Bad Taste Record Store

Relax in a Hot Tub

Reykjavik’s many public geothermal swimming pools all have hot tubs of varying temperatures; a great way to relax during your visit.

Vesturbaejarlaug Swimming Pool
Vesturbaejarlaug Swimming Pool

Jog/Cycle/Walk Along the Shore

The shoreline around Reykjavik’s coast is lined with a fantastic paved path with gorgeous views of mountains, distant glaciers on a clear day, and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland

Shop for Vintage Clothes

Reykjavik is a vintage enthusiast’s dream, with many second-hand stores as well as boutique design stores.

Secondhand and vintage shop
Secondhand and vintage shop

Try a Local Beer

Reykjavik has great bars for trying a span of local beer varieties. Try Microbar, Skúli Craft Bar, or Mikkeller & Friends.

Go to a Yoga Class or Try Pop-Up Yoga

Relax and stretch in one of the many yoga studios in Reykjavik, or try a Pop-Up Yoga class in the open air.

Attend a Film Festival

If you visit in October, the Reykjavik International Film Festival is a great opportunity to experience a variety of films. If you visit in March, Stockfish Film Festival displays a variety of collaborative film projects.

Experience a Music Festival

Reykjavik has a music festival for almost every month of the year. Try Iceland Airwaves in November, Secret Solstice in June, or Dark Music Days in February.

airwaves2011_Hjaltalin
airwaves2011_Hjaltalin

Experience an Art Festival

The Reykjavik Arts Festival happens each May, showcasing an exciting array of installations, performances, and exhibitions around the city. Cycle Music and Arts Festival is on every September, devoted to interdisciplinary music and art collaborations.

Dancing on the walls
Dancing on the walls

Eat a Delicious Burger

For a small capital, Reykjavik is brimming with delicious burger joints. Try Búllan or Kex.

Burger joint, Reykjavik
Burger joint, Reykjavik

Dance All Night

Icelanders are notorious for dancing until the early morning – perhaps it is because of the variety of venues featuring late night DJs. Kaffibarinn, for example.

Watch a Movie at Bíó Paradís

Bíó Paradís (Paradise Cinema) is the first art house cinema in Iceland and the only cinema that will show Icelandic documentaries and shorts. The repertoire consists mostly of independent films with occasional retrospectives of classic films.

Courtesy of the author 

Try Brennivin or Other Local Spirit

Brennivin, or ‘black death,’ is a classic Icelandic schnapps made from anise. There is also Reykja Vodka or Himbrimi Gin.

Bjarki Sigursveinsson
Bjarki Sigursveinsson

Try a New Ice Cream Flavor

Reykjavik has great ice creams shops with unique flavors like licorice and Danish pepper. You can also try organic, liquid nitrogen ice cream at Joylato.

Iceland, Ice cream shop in mall
Iceland, Ice cream shop in mall

Chat with Friendly Locals

Try striking up a conversation with a friendly local for more insight on this tiny nation’s capital.

Hundred thousand people
Hundred thousand people
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