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
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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