Reykjavík for the Seasons

Summer

In the days of the midnight sun, Reykjavík becomes a city that never sleeps. Popular summertime activities include whale watching, sea angling, horseback riding, and trips to the many natural wonders just outside the city limits.

Perhaps one of the more remarkable summer destinations within Reykjavík City is the geothermal beach at Nauthólsvík, where you can spend the afternoon enjoying a picnic or swimming in a heated ocean lagoon. Sea swimmers can enjoy the cooler waters of the Atlantic and warm up afterwards in the sauna or the large hot tub on the beach.

One of the best things about Reykjavík is its abundance of exceptional coffeehouses, staffed with talented baristas. On a hot and sunny day, the thriving coffee culture often spills out onto the streets – particularly around Austurvöllur square, where a coffee-loving crowd can be found sipping coffee, hot or iced, while soaking up the sun.

Autumn

Reykjavík’s calendar of events goes into high gear during autumn, with festivals, conferences, and other cultural events taking place. Kicking off the season at the end of September is the Reykjavík International Film Festival, which highlights independent filmmaking and showcases the work of up-and-coming filmmakers.

Fans of peace, love, and John Lennon won’t want to miss Yoko Ono’s annual Imagine Peace Tower ceremony in October, where she invites everyone to join her for the illumination of a super beam of light on Viðey island. The work of art is dedicated to Lennon’s vision of peace and is lit every year on his birthday.

In early November, you can experience the Icelandic music scene’s crowning glory, Iceland Airwaves – the coolest music festival of them all! The five-day music extravaganza draws top performers, countless festivalgoers, and media attention from around the globe.

Winter

There’s never a dull day in Reykjavík during wintertime, even if it’s dark! Apart from occasional snowfall and regular displays of northern lights, there’s also a full calendar of cultural events and festivities; concerts, plays, and many seasonal exhibitions.

Christmas season is always celebrated with great splendour. The city’s buildings, trees, and streets are decorated with countless twinkly lights, ornaments, and Christmas displays. Christmas concerts and events are popular, and it’s a wonderful time to be in Reykjavík.

Winter sports enthusiasts will find many exciting winter tours available from Reykjavík, including superjeep tours, horseback riding, dogsledding, and snowmobiling on a glacier.

In February, you can enjoy the tasty Food & Fun festival, followed closely by the Winter Lights Festival, which always delivers a packed programme full of special events for the whole family.

Spring

In between sunshine, showers, and dustings of snow, the first blooms peek out at the botanical garden in early April, and the new generation of farm animals arrives at the Reykjavík Family Park & Zoo.

As the ice melts on lake Tjörnin, you’ll also notice the nation getting back to their outdoor routine, donning their jogging shoes, climbing back on their bikes, and firing up their grills for outdoor BBQs. It’s a great time to visit the outdoor areas of Reykjavík, and after a long day of activities, Reykjavík’s geothermal swimming pools are relaxing and soothing for tired travellers.

March is dedicated to Icelandic design, with the DesignMarch festival transforming the city into one big venue for exhibitions, fashion shows, and other design-related events. Other events on the festival calendar include the Children’s Culture Festival, the First Day of Summer celebrations and the Day of the Icelandic Horse.