Free Things To Do in Reykjavik – 5 Budget Friendly Adventures

Want to save some money on your dream trip to Iceland? Maybe you’re saving to visit the Blue Lagoon, or maybe because $40 felt like a little much for a bus tour, either way here are our favorite Free Things To Do in Reykjavik. Enjoy!

Reykjavik is the capitol of Iceland and home to 2/3’s of the country’s population. For these reasons alone it is worth at least a few days of every traveler’s time. Being in such a large city can be expensive so we created a list of  things to do in Reykjavik. All these locations are worth at least a smidgen of your time and some are an absolute must.

These spots could all be knocked out in an afternoon, and would be a perfect way to get acquainted with the city. Most are within walking distance of downtown and all are perfect for travelers of every age. After you save a couple bucks the first day you can splurge on some more breathtaking Adventures in Iceland!

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Without further ado, we give you our list of Five Free Things to Do in Reykjavik!

Explore the Harpa Concert Hall

Opened in 2011, the Harpa Concert Hall has won numerous awards for its stunning design and architecture. Geometric steel framework dotted with different colored glass panels splash color across the halls. The building also contains a hotel, two restaurants, and numerous shops.

Harpa sits proudly in the heart of Reykjavik along the harbor’s edge. Ironic, because its funding and building left many locals enraged. The concert hall was being built during one of the largest economic depressions in history and citizens were concerned with the lofty price tag. The city went ahead with its plans, and in turn created a masterpiece of social, and cultural significance.

Visit Hallgrimskirkja Church

A statue of Leif Eiriksson stands guard over the harbor in front of Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland’s famed steeple. Shaped to look like the hardened magma columns dotting Iceland’s countryside the church tops out at 244 feet tall. For $7, you can book a tour to climb to the top of the tower. Those brave enough are awarded with a fantastic view of the city.

Inside the church, the sanctuary remains wide open. 5,275 pipes protrude from the organ and climb the back wall. Music fills the cavernous space and visitors are welcomed warmly. At over 40 years in the making, the church is a masterpiece of stone and steel. Please be respectful of any services.

Walk Down Laugavegur Street

On the old “Wash Road” Reykjavik’s primary shopping street is home to bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and shops of all kinds. Perfect for just walking around, window shopping, or sampling the local cuisine.

Wash Road refers to Laugavegur Street’s history as the local “laundry route”. The local women used to walk the path to the area’s hot pools to wash their clothes. Over time, shops sprung up and in 1885 the road was constructed. Now it is a mecca for tourists looking for an authentic slice of Iceland. It also happens to be one of our favorite free things to do in Reykjavik!

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The Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager is often mistaken as an ode to Leif Eriksson and his Viking ships. It is actually intended to represent hope, progress, freedom, and undiscovered territory. Regardless of your interpretation, on a clear day this is a must.

Looking west out across the bay towards Mt. Esja the Sun Voyager looks ready for launch. Upon closer inspection, the glass floor reflects the bright blue skies and the structure almost appears seaworthy. Minus the gaping holes in the sides! The sculpture is only steps from the Harpa Concert Hall so be sure to pair the two during your stop.

Hike Around Perlan Observatory

Many people visit the Perlan Observatory for its phenomenal views of downtown Reykjavik, and rightfully so they’re incredible! However, along Perlan’s hillside there’s a myriad of abandoned WWII bunkers waiting to be explored. The views of Reykjavik along the path all rival those at the top of the observatory.

Perlan itself went under a massive renovation in 2017/18 and now features an Aurora Borealis Planetarium and Wonders of Iceland Exhibit. With the remodels we believe prices have increased. The former cluster of hot water tanks has become a world renowned observatory and museum.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our Favorite Free Things to Do in Reykjavik for later 🙂

Iceland is famous for it's scenic landscapes, wonderful people, and for being so incredibly expensive! If you're looking to do Iceland on a budget then our guide on 5 Free Things to Do in Reykjavik is perfect for you. We detail our five favorite places to tour Reykjavik on a budget. Enjoy! www.theagapecompany.com #budgettravel #iceland #visiticeland #icelandtravel #reykjavik #visitreykjavik

As you can see, there are some absolutely incredible free things to do in Reykjavik.

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to Iceland? Which free activity sounded the best to you? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

If you want to read more about the Land of Fire and Ice, check out these other posts about Iceland!

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Verse of the Week: Job 19:25

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

For those of you acquainted with Job’s story, you know the suffering he endured. If you’re unfamiliar we encourage you to read the trials he suffered through. Yet, even through his suffering he continued to worship God. He never turned his back on him, even though he was told to do so, and never cursed him, even though he was told to. The Lord is still active in our lives. Even when it feels like you’ve been abandoned or forgotten, we promise you he’s right there with you. In the end, when we are unable to wage the war on our own, he will return to set us free. This week, focus on the good God has done for you and praise him even when it’s hard. He is coming back after all!

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Adventures in Iceland – 7 Incredible Experiences

It’s tough to see everything Iceland has to offer, especially so if you only have a few days. That’s exactly why we compiled our 7 Favorite Adventures in Iceland. If you have the time and the funds, you have to check them out during your trip! Enjoy!

Some travelers like to pick a location and stay there for the duration of their vacation, but not us. We like to get out and explore! Most of the time this means we spend a lot of time in the car driving. After all that downtime we tend to pick some fairly adventurous activities at our next stop. These seven adventures in Iceland are just that, adventures!

These activities are found all around Iceland’s ring road and are in no particular order. They’re just seven places/tours/things that we would love to try given the chance. Some are well within are budget, and some we’ll have to save for. Either way, we’re sure there’s an adventure in Iceland that’s within your budget and your time constraints!

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Want to learn more about Iceland? Check out our other posts on the Land of Fire and Ice!

Ice Cave Tour

While dreaming about the endless adventures in Iceland, the ice caves were immediately added to our itinerary. Too bad we didn’t look at the price until we started actually planning. These tours are still fairly reasonable, around $150 to $250 a person, but at the time we couldn’t spare the cash.

On the bright side, most ice cave tours last between 3 and 5 hours. If you really splurge, you can go for the full-day volcano and ice cave tour. It lasts for around 11 hours and should be included on any bucket list. After pick up in Reykjavik, you visit epic landscapes, hike on glaciers, tour the ice caves, and watch the roaring river rush down Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. Any number of tour companies offer great services, just give it a search and see which fits your budget!

Helicopter Tour

If you haven’t already guessed, this activity also got crossed off our list for the price. Iceland is exceptionally unique from the ground, but seeing the landscape from above would be magical! If you do have the funds by all means try it out. Most tours leave right from Reykjavik and last for 1-2 hours.

While the tour its self is breathtaking, the price will also leave you gasping for air. A quick 1 hour jaunt will cost you upwards of $250 per person. Want to head further inland? Get ready to fork over around $1,500 a person. While at the time it wasn’t in our budget, if we get the chance to return we’ll make it a priority. We better start saving!

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall in southern Iceland, is probably Iceland’s most famous waterfall. Sure Skogafoss and others are incredible, but just look at that! The Seljaland River falls almost 200 feet into the pool below and it really is a sight to behold. The best part, they built up a boardwalk to let visitors walk behind the falls!

Most day tours from Reykjavik include a stop at the falls but to truly appreciate it try arriving earlier than the crowds. During the day you’re bound to be surrounded by tourists, but come early and you may get lucky. The falls are located just off the Ring Road so the drive is doable in any vehicle.

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Glacier Hike in the Highlands

**F-Roads are Iceland’s most dangerous roads, but they take you to some of the most incredible places. If you plan on visiting the highlands, you MUST rent a 4×4 vehicle. Two wheel drive vehicles are not allowed, as some roads are impassable without four wheel drive. Be cognizant of road closures as F-Roads are not open year-round, so be sure to check your route and avoid any closed roads.

The highlands are chalked full of canyons, waterfalls, hot pools, and glaciers. It’s like walking in a dream. To really get a feel for the most unique adventures in Iceland you have to go into the highlands. If you go through a tour operation, guides will even take you out onto the massive glaciers to see Iceland at it’s finest. If you go it alone, stay on designated trails and be sure to rent a 4×4 vehicle.

Whale Watching Tour

While Icelandic wildlife on land is somewhat lacking, the waters surrounding are a different story. It’s very common to spot humpback whales, orcas, belugas, porpoises, seals, and much more patrolling the local waters. The endless fjords of West and North Iceland are the best spots for an up close encounter. In fact, we spotted whales just 100 meters off the shore in our car driving through the Westfjords.

If you have the chance we’d recommend starting your tour up North in Akureyri or Húsavík. Your chances of seeing whales are extremely high regardless of the season and the prices are comparable to others in the area. Most tours are around $75 to $100 per person and last 3 to 5 hours.

Myvatn Nature Baths

Myvatn Nature Baths is the North’s answer to the Blue Lagoon. Located  between Akureyri and Egilsstaðir, it offers many of the same amenities as the Blue Lagoon, but is much farther the airport and thus there are fewer tourists. The lakes surrounding the lagoon are pristine high alpine pools and leave the view to the surroundings unimpeded.

You can enjoy these views via the expansive infinity pool at the lagoon. The crowd is a nice mix of locals and tourists (a rarity in Iceland!). After a relaxing dip you can enjoy the dining options on campus or begin your journey home. You can expect to spend an hour to return Akureyri or two to Egilsstaðir.

See the Northern Lights

The northern lights are most visible in Iceland between November and April (when there’s the least amount of sunlight per year). Unfortunately for us, we went in mid-May, and were unable to catch a glimpse of the famed light show. We undoubtedly will return to experience this adventure in Iceland some winter!

There are many agencies that offer “northern lights tours”; however, they cannot guarantee that you will see the aurora borealis. We suggest seeking out the northern lights on your own. To do so, try:

  1. Getting out of the city and into an area that isn’t affected by light pollution. The darker the sky the better.
  2. Pick a night that isn’t cloudy and doesn’t have a full moon.
  3. Check out http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/ for an accurate aurora forecast.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our guide to Seven Adventures in Iceland for later 🙂

Looking for awe inspiring adventures in Iceland? From Iceland Northern Lights to Glacier Hikes and Helicopter Tours in Iceland, we've got you covered! Our guide lists seven bucket-list adventures in Iceland for you to try. Enjoy! www.theagapecompany.com #icelandtravel #visiticeland #luxurytravel #adventuretravel #iceland

As you can there’s an adventure for almost every budget and everyone. From whale watching to hiking the rims of volcanoes, these are the seven adventures in Iceland we would love to try!

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to Iceland? Which adventure in Iceland would you like to try? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

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Verse of the Week: Mark 8:36

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, but forfeit his soul?”

You can often tell what people value by how they spend their time and money. It’s very easy to look form the outside and say, “I’ll be happy when I’ve done…” or “when I have…”. Part of that is the rise of social media, and always seeing the “perfection” of other’s lives. Instead of chasing fleeting happiness in a trip, new car, or even a 100 likes on a post, search for eternal joy. There is a Savior that loves and cares for you. Devote not only your heart, but your time, and money to him and his kingdom. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This week, dedicate not only your time to Christ but make an effort to give to his works as well.

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What NOT to Do in Iceland – 5 Places to Skip

Iceland is a beautiful country with no shortage of places to stop and tour. Most stops are worth your time, but several are better off left alone. From barren stretches of desert to unique restaurants, we’ll tell you exactly What NOT to Do in Iceland!

After driving over 2,400 miles around Iceland’s Ring Road, we saw a ton of what the country has to offer. This included both the good and the bad. When we return, there are definitely a few places we would skip. So if you’re trying to find what to do in Iceland, or more importantly what not to do, you’ve come to the right place!

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Here’s our list of things we wouldn’t go out of our way to see again:

Drive Through Northern Iceland

If you plan on driving the Ring Road counterclockwise (like most people do) there’s really not much to see between Höfn and Akureyri, Iceland’s “capital of the north”. The coast is always pretty, but as soon as you start driving inland, there’s little to see and no towns for miles. Certainly, at first the views do not disappoint but eventually the dark brown earth starts to blur into one giant rock field. Sounds kind of like Nebraska minus the corn!

If you do go North, make sure to fill up on gas beforehand and pray for no car problems. When we say you’re on your own up there we mean it. Even with a very fuel efficient vehicle you’ll be running on fumes between towns. Additionally, be sure to buy “Pre-Paid” gas cards as many pumps do not take credit cards and don’t have actual stores attached to them.

The Arctic Henge

Per #1 on our list, the Arctic Henge is one of the attractions that drove us to northern Iceland in the first place. Located just 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the megalith is in Raufarhöfn, the northernmost city in the entire country. On good nights, the stars and Aurora Borealis above the Arctic Henge are unimpeded by any light pollution. On bad nights, the clouds, cold, and unbelievable wind keep away even the hardiest travelers.

The attraction is not yet completed, but when it is, it will become a main attraction for Paganism in the world. While we respect the local cultures and religions, we are weary of the Arctic Henge because of this. Regardless of your views, in its current state the attraction is not worth the drive.

DC-3 Plane Crash at Sólheimasandur Beach

In 1973 a US Navy DC-3 airplane was forced to crash land on this black sand beach in southern Iceland. The years have not been kind to the plane. Harsh weather has worn away all recognizable marks and only the hull remains. Rumor has it a local farmer sold the tail years back for some quick cash.

Social media has exploded the popularity of the old wreck and in such expedited its demise. The thousands of new visitors are now expected to hike 2 miles across the sand to the wreck. Short yellow sticks guide the indeterminate pathway and wind kicks up the sharp volcanic sand the entirety of the hike. It was very cool to climb and crawl around the plane but you need to be very careful. Sharp metal fragments and wires jut out in every direction.

Want to learn how to save hundreds on flights? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you our exclusive guide for free! In it, we share our favorite secret travel hacks that consistently save us hundreds of $$$ on airfare. Sign up to save for yourself!

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Eat at The Viking Café (Höfn)

Though not too far out of our way, the Viking Café was an unnecessary stop. We originally came to see Vestrahorn and enjoy some “World Famous” waffles. Upon arrival we found you had to pay to park, pay to walk down by the beach, and pay to breathe… kidding! Not to mention they had stopped serving waffles 🙁

Vestrahorn and Stokksnes are by no means a let down. In fact, they were a highlight of our trip. The steep mountain peaks rising abruptly out of the ocean floor were just as incredible in person as in picture. Be on the lookout for high winds and any incoming storms!

Hike to Hengifoss and Litlanefoss

In Icelandic, “foss” means waterfall. So whenever you pass a road sign with the word foss on it, you should always stop! The last location on our list is located in northeastern Iceland (see a trend here?). Litlanefoss, like many waterfalls in Iceland, is framed by basalt columns of hardened magma. While as stunning as any waterfall in Iceland, it comes with its own downside. The hike.

The path to the falls walks uphill on an unpaved goat trail for about 2 miles. The word steep does not convey the magnitude this hike entails. On the path to Hengifoss you pass just above Litlanefoss— but you can’t see it. It can only be seen from across the gorge from untracked farmland. The falls themselves are gorgeous, but the work and hazardous trail aren’t worth the effort.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our guide of What NOT to Do in Iceland for later 🙂

Iceland is full of incredible waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, and canyons. With so many incredible attractions it can be tough to prioritize what to see or do. We put together 5 places to skip in Iceland to help with that! The guide details 5 things NOT to do in Iceland so you can spend more time at better locations. Enjoy! www.theagapecompany.com #visitIceland #Iceland #Icelandtravel #Europetravel

 

Want to read more about what to do in Iceland? Check out these posts!

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Verse of the Week: Ecclesiastes 3:11

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

It’s funny to me that we are able to assign places as wildly beautiful as these as, “not worth your time.” They were certainly worth God’s time when he created them. In the same way, I often find myself think others are “not worth my time.” I’m certain they were worth God’s time as well… so why not mine? That appears to be the drawback of human nature, the need to compare and compete on every front. From places to people, my judgement is all based off a snapshot from a single moment in time.

God’s plan can’t be viewed through that lens. We were created for an eternity and not a single moment. The same God that formed the wildest places on earth formed everyone around you. The journey you’re on, and the journey others are, is not defined by a single moment. Instead of rushing to judgement, let’s focus on the long term. Just because your neighbor didn’t want to go to church last week doesn’t mean you don’t ask them again this week. Just because you heard a teenager swear doesn’t mean they’re past saving. Just because someone’s dirty and unkempt doesn’t mean you don’t show compassion. Appreciate every opportunity you’re given to make an impact, because, while a single moment doesn’t define you, it can begin to shape God’s plan in another’s life. This week, see what impact you can make on other’s who may not have been “worth your time.”

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