The capital city of Iceland may be much smaller than most capital cities, but don’t let the small size fool you, the area is packed full of fun activities for the whole family. Some are absolutely free and others are very budget-friendly. Kids will enjoy strolling around the colorful downtown area, visit landmarks, feed the ducks and much more. Here are a few of our favorite budget-friendly activities for the whole family.
1. Go to Top of Hallgrímskirkja for spectacular views
A great activity to kick off your time in Reykjavik, head to the top of Hallgrímskirkja to take in some of the best views over Reykjavik. At 74.5 meters high, the famous church Hallgrímskirkja is both the tallest church in Iceland, and one of the tallest towers in the country, so you know there is going to be some great views at the top.
2. Walk Around Tjörnin
A short walk or drive around downtown Reykjavik and you will notice the lovely large pond located in the middle of the city. This large pond is called Tjörnin and it is a great place to spend some time walking the pathways, saying hello to the ducks, playing on the playgrounds, or even just relaxing on one of the benches to enjoy the view.
With a range of playground equipment and activities in this area it is a very family-friendly spot for all the children in your group. An added bonus, the charming houses and buildings surrounding the pond, they add to the beautiful scenery and make this location a great spot for some family pictures.
3. Get Cozy in an Icelandic Cafe
Embrace the Scandvian hygge culture with a visit to one of the many cozy cafes you will find along the streets in downtown Reykjavik. One thing Icelanders don’t mess around with is their coffee, you will be sure to find a delicious cup of coffee to warm up with while enjoying a tasty Icelandic pastry. We recommend trying some Icelandic favorites such as vínarbrauð, marriage cake, and kleina.
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A few cafes and bakeries to check out in downtown Reykjavik are:
● Sandholt Bakery - one of the most popular bakery in town they have rows of treats to choose from.
● Brauð og Co. - Instagram famous for its bright colorful building, foodie famous for its amazing cinnamon rolls.
● Mokka Kaffi - one of the oldest cafes in the city, go here for delicious Icelandic waffles.
4. Visit the Beautiful Sun Voyager
A stroll along Reykjavik’s scenic waterfront will take you to the Sun Voyager, a large steel structure along the sea that has become a must stop for a picture of the iconic views of Mt.Esja. Your kids will enjoy climbing around the structure while you take in the views of the mountain landscape combined with the sea. If you are hoping for a great family picture from your Iceland trip this is the place to get it!
5. Hit the Swimming Pools with Locals
The act of going to the swimming pools is deeply rooted in the Icelandic culture. Winter or summer you will always find Icelanders enjoying their pool time. It is an activity loved by the entire family! And once you jump into the relaxing geothermal water and see the buzz of life and activity in the area you will see why they love it so much too.
The pools are free for children to the age of 5, around 1.50 USD for children 6-17, and around 10 USD for adults. At the different pools you will find well maintained locker rooms that will include all you need for your babies and toddlers from baby bathtubs to high chairs you can take into the shower or use to sit the baby in while you get changed.
There are several local pools that would be fun for your family to visit. A few that we recommend are:
● Vesturbæjarlaug - this pool recently underwent renovations all while keeping the charm the local pool has that the locals love. This pool is always full of Icelanders catching up with friends and family while relaxing.
● Sundhöll - the oldest pool in Reykjavik, this location right in downtown and is always a fun one to check out.
● Árbæjarlaug - with several different pools in a range of temperatures, slides, play areas, and a small indoor pool this location is great to go with a family.
As we said, Reykjavik may be a small city but it has plenty of fun to offer for the entire family! Head over to this blog post for more ideas and tips on activities to do with your family in Iceland.
Book your Iceland family holiday now!