How to Spend a Weekend in Reykjavik

Reykjavik waterfront by night
Reykjavik waterfront by night | © Max Delaquis / Flickr
Whether you are just in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik for a stopover weekend between North America and Europe or on an extended visit, there is a perfect itinerary to explore everything cultural and gastronomical in this city. Let us be your guide.


Reykjavik knows how to do brunch. Perhaps it is the longstanding party culture that notoriously lasts until early the next morning. Whether you are looking for a hangover cure or just a delicious offer of Reykjavik’s best food options, we recommend Snaps, a French-Icelandic bistro nestled in the old part of downtown, where you can drink a mimosa amid the cozy atmosphere of ample windows and hanging plants, and choose from a vast menu of egg styles from Eggs Norwegian to Eggs Benedict.

Cozy interior of Snaps Bistro © Snaps Bistro


After brunch, we recommend lounging in one of the many public swimming pools dotted around the city and at its outskirts. With Iceland’s plethora of geothermal heated water, the pools reflect the long-standing tradition of the public bath as a social place. Enjoy the Art Deco style Sundhöllin, for example.

Museum or gallery

After a relaxing lounge in the pool, check out some of the city’s many museums and art galleries. Check out our list of galleries and exhibition spaces in Reykjavik for an idea of all your options. If Icelandic history and Vikings are more your style, check out the National Museum.

Silver Jewelry at National Museum of Iceland © Tanya Hart/Flickr


After all that lounging and strolling, you have probably built up an appetite. Depending on your mood, Reykjavik has something for everyone. If a greasy burger slathered in blue-cheese in a nondescript joint off the Main Street is your style, check out Vitabarinn. If you want to try some local seafood of great quality by the harbour, check out Kol.


After dinner, a concert at one of the city’s many music venues is in order. If you’re looking for a contemplative sit-down affair, check out Harpa Concert hall, the massive architectural facade reflecting the Atlantic Ocean close to the harbour. There you will find opera, classical music, but sometimes rock concerts. If you are more in it just to dance, head to Húrra bar for local upbeat music and dance with a crowd.


After a full day, your weekend in Reykjavik wouldn’t be complete without a hike to get a view of the city from a completely different perspective. Check out the hiking trails at Mount Esja, only a short public bus ride outside of town, where you can climb up the mountain through forests and along winding streams to the top for a breathtaking view of the Atlantic and Reykjavik. Afterwards, of course, we recommend the pool.