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Top 13 Things To Do In Iceland

Things To Do In Iceland

Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is a top destination for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty. From its breathtaking landscapes to its vibrant culture, there’s no shortage of things to do in Iceland. Things to do in Iceland is your guide which will walk you through the must-see attractions, activities, and tips to make your Icelandic adventure unforgettable.

1. Discover the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is one of the most popular routes for tourists, offering a snapshot of Iceland’s diverse beauty. The three main stops are:

  • Thingvellir National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage site where you can walk between two tectonic plates.
  • Geysir Geothermal Area: Home to the famous Strokkur geyser, which erupts every few minutes.
  • Gullfoss Waterfall: A stunning two-tiered waterfall that captivates visitors with its raw power.

Exploring the Golden Circle is one of the essential things to do in Iceland, providing a perfect introduction to the country’s natural wonders.

2. Experience Reykjavik’s Vibrant Culture

Reykjavik, the capital city, is a hub of culture and activity. Here are some highlights:

  • Hallgrimskirkja: This iconic church offers panoramic views of the city from its tower.
  • Harpa Concert Hall: A stunning piece of modern architecture that hosts concerts and cultural events.
  • Laugavegur Street: The main shopping street, full of boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.

Immersing yourself in Reykjavik’s culture is among the top things to do in Iceland, offering a mix of history, art, and modern life.

3. Chase the Northern Lights

One of the most magical things to do in Iceland is witnessing the Northern Lights. The best time to see this natural phenomenon is from September to April. Ideal spots include:

  • Thingvellir National Park: Away from city lights, it’s a great location for viewing.
  • Kirkjufell Mountain: Known for its picturesque scenery and frequent aurora sightings.
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon: The reflections on the ice create a mesmerizing spectacle.

Catching the Northern Lights should be on every traveler’s list of things to do in Iceland, as it provides an unforgettable experience.

4. Relax in Geothermal Spas

Iceland is famous for its geothermal spas, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. Notable spots include:

  • Blue Lagoon: The most famous geothermal spa, offering milky blue waters rich in minerals.
  • Myvatn Nature Baths: A quieter alternative to the Blue Lagoon, located in the north.
  • Secret Lagoon: One of the oldest natural pools in Iceland, offering a more rustic experience.

Visiting these spas is among the most relaxing things to do in Iceland, allowing you to soak in the warm, healing waters.

5. Explore the South Coast

The South Coast is home to some of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks. Key attractions are:

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: A unique waterfall you can walk behind for a different perspective.
  • Skogafoss Waterfall: A majestic waterfall with a powerful cascade and a rainbow often visible.
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach: Known for its dramatic basalt columns and powerful waves.

Exploring the South Coast offers some of the most scenic things to do in Iceland, with its diverse and dramatic landscapes.

6. Hike in Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar, in the Highlands, is a hiker’s paradise. Known for its colorful rhyolite mountains and geothermal activity, it’s perfect for:

  • Day Hikes: Various trails offer different levels of difficulty and stunning views.
  • Laugavegur Trail: A multi-day trek considered one of the best in the world.
  • Natural Hot Springs: After a day of hiking, relax in the natural hot springs.

Hiking in Landmannalaugar is one of the adventurous things to do in Iceland, providing a unique blend of scenery and activity.

7. Visit the Westfjords

The Westfjords are a less-traveled part of Iceland, offering solitude and unspoiled beauty. Highlights include:

  • Dynjandi Waterfall: A series of waterfalls cascading down a mountain.
  • Latrabjarg Cliffs: Home to millions of seabirds, including puffins.
  • Rauðisandur Beach: A red sand beach offering a stark contrast to Iceland’s usual black sands.

Exploring the Westfjords is among the most peaceful things to do in Iceland, ideal for those seeking a quieter experience.

8. Whale Watching Tours

Whale watching is a must-do activity in Iceland, with several locations offering tours:

  • Husavik: Known as the whale-watching capital of Iceland, offering high success rates.
  • Reykjavik: Convenient tours departing from the capital.
  • Akureyri: Located in the north, providing a unique perspective.

Joining a whale-watching tour is one of the thrilling things to do in Iceland, giving you a chance to see these majestic creatures up close.

9. Explore Ice Caves

Ice cave tours are a unique way to experience Iceland’s glaciers. Key locations are:

  • Vatnajokull Glacier: The largest glacier in Europe, offering spectacular ice cave tours.
  • Langjokull Glacier: Home to the man-made ice cave, accessible year-round.
  • Katla Ice Cave: Located under the Katla volcano, offering dramatic ice formations.

Exploring ice caves is among the most unique things to do in Iceland, providing a surreal experience inside the glaciers.

10. Adventure in the Highlands

The Icelandic Highlands offer rugged terrain and breathtaking landscapes. Activities include:

  • 4×4 Tours: Explore the rough terrain and remote areas with a guided tour.
  • Volcano Tours: Visit active and dormant volcanoes, such as Askja and Hekla.
  • Camping: Experience the wilderness by camping in designated areas.

Adventuring in the Highlands is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Iceland, perfect for thrill-seekers.

11. Visit East Fjords

The East Fjords are a hidden gem in Iceland, offering tranquility and stunning scenery. Key attractions include:

  • Seydisfjordur: A picturesque town known for its colorful wooden houses and artsy vibe.
  • Hengifoss Waterfall: One of Iceland’s highest waterfalls, surrounded by basalt columns.
  • Vestrahorn Mountain: A striking mountain range with black sand beaches and dramatic landscapes.

Exploring the East Fjords is among the most serene things to do in Iceland, ideal for those seeking natural beauty away from the crowds.

12. Tour the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is often called “Iceland in Miniature” because it offers a bit of everything. Highlights include:

  • Snæfellsjökull National Park: Home to the famous Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano.
  • Kirkjufell Mountain: One of Iceland’s most photographed mountains.
  • Arnarstapi and Hellnar: Charming fishing villages with scenic coastal views.

Touring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the most diverse things to do in Iceland, showcasing a variety of landscapes and natural wonders.

13. Visit the Westman Islands

The Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) are a volcanic archipelago with a rich history. Key experiences include:

  • Heimaey Island: The largest and only inhabited island, offering volcanic landscapes and puffin colonies.
  • Eldfell Volcano: Hike to the top of this volcano, which erupted in 1973, reshaping the island.
  • Sæheimar Aquarium: Learn about the local marine life and see rescued puffins up close.

Visiting the Westman Islands is among the most intriguing things to do in Iceland, offering a unique blend of nature and history.

Practical Tips for Visiting Iceland

  • Travel Insurance: Essential for covering unexpected events and medical emergencies.
  • Clothing: Dress in layers and bring waterproof gear, as the weather can be unpredictable.
  • Currency: The Icelandic Krona (ISK) is the local currency, but credit cards are widely accepted.
  • Driving: Renting a car is the best way to explore, but be aware of road conditions, especially in winter.


Iceland is a destination like no other and one of the best places to visit in Europe, offering a myriad of activities and sights for every type of traveler. From the awe-inspiring Golden Circle to the serene Westfjords, there are countless things to do in Iceland. Whether you’re chasing the Northern Lights, relaxing in geothermal spas, or hiking in the Highlands, your adventure awaits in this land of natural wonder.

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