Free things to do in Reykjavik Iceland

When most people think of Iceland, they immediately think of the breath-taking natural beauty that the island boasts. But did you know that there are lots of free things to do in Reykjavik Iceland, the capital city of Iceland? From exploring the city’s vibrant history to taking in its unique culture, there’s so much to see and do in Reykjavik—all without spending a dime! Read on to learn more about the best free things to do in Reykjavik.

It’s a popular tourist destination for those who want to explore the country’s unique landscape, experience its rich heritage, and soak in its geothermal hot springs. However, a trip to Iceland can be quite expensive, and many visitors find themselves wondering how they can make the most of their stay without spending a fortune. Fortunately, there are plenty of free things to do in Reykjavik that will help you save money while experiencing the best the city has to offer.

In this article, we’ll explore the top free activities to enjoy in Reykjavik. From natural wonders to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city. If you are looking for in depth guide and all the things to do in Reykjavik then it also covered in a different post.

Free things to do in Reykjavik Iceland

photography of white swan floating on water body - Free things to do in Reykjavik Iceland
Free things to do in Reykjavik Iceland

Free Walking Tour of Reykjavik

Join the City Walk Reykjavik Tour

The City Walk Reykjavik Tour is a free walking tour that takes you through the heart of the city. The tour is led by knowledgeable and friendly guides who are passionate about Reykjavik and its history. You don’t need to book in advance, just show up at the meeting point and join the tour.

Discover Reykjavik’s Most Famous Landmarks

During the tour, you’ll see some of Reykjavik’s most famous landmarks, including the Hallgrímskirkja Church, Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, and the Icelandic Parliament Building. You’ll also get to explore some lesser-known areas of the city that are off the beaten path.

Learn About Icelandic Culture and History

The tour is not just about sightseeing; it’s also a great opportunity to learn about Icelandic culture and history. Your guide will share fascinating stories about the city and its people, and you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what makes Reykjavik such a unique and special place.

Tips for the Tour

The tour lasts around two hours, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Bring a bottle of water and a snack if you need it. The tour is free, but tipping your guide is always appreciated.

Overall, the City Walk Reykjavik Tour is an excellent way to explore Reykjavik and learn about its history and culture. It’s a fun and informative experience that’s suitable for all ages and interests. So, if you’re looking for a free and enjoyable activity in Reykjavik, don’t miss the City Walk Reykjavik Tour.

Explore Reykjavik’s Art Scene

Reykjavik is a city with a thriving art scene, and there are plenty of free things to do that allow you to explore it. Here are some of the best ways to experience Reykjavik’s art scene without spending a dime:

Visit Reykjavik Art Museum

The Reykjavik Art Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum has three locations in the city, and all of them are free to enter on Thursdays. You’ll find a wide range of art, including contemporary Icelandic works and international pieces.

Check out Street Art and Graffiti

Reykjavik is known for its vibrant street art scene, and you’ll find murals and graffiti all over the city. Take a walk around the downtown area, and you’ll discover some incredible artwork that’s free to enjoy.

Attend Free Art Events and Exhibitions

Reykjavik has a busy calendar of art events and exhibitions throughout the year, many of which are free to attend. Check out listings in local newspapers or online to find out what’s happening during your visit. Some popular events include the Reykjavik Arts Festival and DesignMarch.

Artistic Inspiration at Harpa Concert Hall

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre is not just a stunning piece of architecture, but also a hub for artistic inspiration. You can explore the building and its public spaces, which feature beautiful lighting installations and sculptures.

Enjoy the Natural Beauty of Reykjavik

Reykjavik is a city that’s surrounded by natural beauty, and there are plenty of free things to do that allow you to enjoy it. Here are some of the best ways to experience the natural wonders of Reykjavik without spending a dime:

Walk along the Reykjavik Waterfront

The Reykjavik waterfront is a picturesque area that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the ocean, as well as the mountains in the distance. Along the way, you can stop at Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, which is an architectural masterpiece that’s worth seeing.

Visit Tjornin Pond

Tjornin Pond is a small lake located in the heart of Reykjavik. It’s a popular spot for bird watching, and you’ll see ducks, swans, and geese swimming in the water. The pond is surrounded by beautiful gardens and walking paths, making it a peaceful place to relax.

Hike Mount Esja

If you’re up for a challenge, hike Mount Esja. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and the views from the top are breathtaking. The hike takes around 4-5 hours, so be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes.

Relax in Reykjavik’s Hot Springs

Reykjavik is famous for its hot springs, and there are several that are free to access. One of the most popular is the Reykjavik Hot Pot, which is located in the residential area of Vesturbær. It’s a great place to unwind after a day of exploring the city.

Since Reykjavik is actually famous for Hot Spring and you wish to explore the most popular one then Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon would be one Hot Spring which you can not miss.

Learn About Icelandic History and Culture

Reykjavik is a city steeped in history and culture, and there are plenty of museums and attractions where you can learn more about Iceland’s fascinating past and present. Here are some of the best places to visit to learn about Icelandic history and culture:

Visit the National Museum of Iceland

The National Museum of Iceland is the perfect place to start your exploration of Icelandic history. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts, ranging from Viking-age swords and shields to traditional Icelandic clothing and household items.

Explore the Settlement Exhibition

The Settlement Exhibition is located in downtown Reykjavik and is built around the remains of a Viking-age longhouse. The exhibition provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Iceland’s early settlers, with interactive displays and multimedia exhibits that bring the past to life.

Learn about Icelandic Literature at The Culture House

The Culture House is home to Iceland’s largest collection of artifacts and artwork, including a vast library of Icelandic literature. The museum also has an impressive collection of historical documents, manuscripts, and photographs that offer a unique insight into Icelandic culture and history.

Visit Reykjavik City Hall and its Model of Iceland

Reykjavik City Hall is a modern building that’s home to a large, detailed model of Iceland. The model is a great way to get a sense of the country’s geography and to learn more about its history and culture.

Discover Reykjavik’s Quirky Side

Reykjavik is a city with a quirky side, and there are plenty of unusual attractions that are sure to pique your interest. Here are some of the best quirky things to do in Reykjavik:

Visit the Penis Museum

The Icelandic Phallological Museum, also known as the Penis Museum, is a one-of-a-kind attraction that’s sure to make you laugh and cringe in equal measure. The museum has a collection of over 280 penises from various species, including whales, seals, and even a human.

Check out the Elf Garden

Icelandic folklore is full of stories about elves, and you can get a taste of this mystical world by visiting the Elf Garden. Located on the outskirts of Reykjavik, this charming garden is home to a variety of elf houses and other mystical structures.

Visit the Phallological Museum

If you’re fascinated by the Icelandic Phallological Museum, you can also visit the smaller Phallus Museum, which is located inside the Bar Ananas cocktail bar in Reykjavik. This museum has a collection of around 50 penises, including some unusual ones, like those of a hamster and a polar bear.

Watch the Northern Lights

While not exactly a quirky attraction, the Northern Lights are a natural wonder that’s uniquely Icelandic. Watching the dancing lights in the sky is a magical experience, and you can do it for free by heading outside of the city on a clear night.

Visit the Reykjavik City Library

The Reykjavik City Library is one of the most beloved attractions in the city. Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, the library is filled with books, magazines, and other media that are available to browse and borrow. The library also has a number of events and activities that are free, such as readings, lectures, and workshops. It’s a great place to spend a few hours exploring and learning about Icelandic culture.

The library also offers free Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected to the internet while you’re in Reykjavik. Plus, the library has a cafe, so you can grab a coffee or snack while you’re there. The library is open seven days a week, so you can visit anytime.

FAQs about Free Things to Do in Reykjavik

Are the hot springs really free?

Yes, there are several hot springs around Reykjavik that are free to access.

How do I get to Mount Esja?

You can take a bus to the base of Mount Esja and hike up from there. It’s a challenging hike, so be sure to wear proper hiking gear.

Is the Penis Museum really worth visiting?

It’s definitely a unique experience, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re curious, it’s worth checking out.


Reykjavik is an incredible city with plenty of free things to do and see. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s vibrant history and culture or taking in its natural beauty, there are lots of opportunities for you to experience Reykjavik for free. So next time you’re visiting Iceland’s capital city, don’t forget to check out all the amazing free things to do in Reykjavik.

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