10 Top Tips for a Winter holiday in Reykjavik, Iceland

1. Bring Thermals

It’s not ridiculously cold in winter (well it can go up to minus 10) but it’s not generally as cold as you might think – it tends to be around minus 1. You’ll be glad of thermals under your trousers though, as well as a good warm coat and some thick gloves but it’s totally manageable.

2. Go to the Blue Lagoon


It’s warm and brilliant and theres even a bar that you can access from the water #ideal ! Check opening dates as there is some refurbishment going on at the beginning of 2016. 

3. Buy alcohol at the airport 

You can only buy alcohol from select shops in Iceland and they have minimal opening hours as well as the alcohol itself being very expensive. Save yourself time and money and buy any alcohol for your trip in duty free at the airport. You might clink on the trip to your accomodation but it will be worth it.

4. Check the Northern Lights conditions each day


The Northern Lights are magnificent. We spent an hour or so in out of our warm cars staring at the sky and finally seeing the lights dance across the stars is something I’ll never forget. 

To have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland go to vedur.is and check conditions daily. I’d advise getting out of the city to see them.

5. Bring lip balm and moisturiser

The cold air really dries out your skin.

6. Travel on the Golden Circle route

There are stunning views:

The Geysir (Geyser)

Horses along the Golden Circle route. 

Iceland’s National Park

7. Bring snow boots 

If you go off road there can be deep snow and you’ll be glad of your snow boots! They also have excellent grip which is useful for icey pavements (especially if you nearly broke your ankle before visiting Iceland – just me? Ok). 

8. Hire a car

You’ll save on taxis and transfers and can make your own schedule. Although whoever is driving should be comfortable driving on snowy roads.


9. Walk along the harbour in Reykjavik

Great views and a lovely stroll.


10. Check the condition of the roads each day (if you’ve hired a car)


They can be pretty icey and some will be blocked off by snow. Go to: road.is for daily updates 

11. Get a hotdog from Baejarins Beztu

Bill Clinton says they are the best in the world so…


There is always a queue but it’s totally worth it.

12. Visit the Cathedral 

A great piece of modern architecture. This is the place be on New Years Eve to see more fireworks in one place than you will ever see anywhere else… probably.


13. Eat dinner at the Perlan 

A rotating glass dome restaurant overlooking Reykjavik. The food is mostly lovely, not exactly to die for but pretty yummy and the view makes up for it. Although you will feel slightly seasick until you get used to the rotating floor! 


The beef carpaccio is delicious.


Have an amazing time and let me know your recommendations in the comments below!

Do follow me on Twitter: @samanthabaines


3 thoughts on “10 Top Tips for a Winter holiday in Reykjavik, Iceland

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