A 2-day trip to Reykjavik offers the chance to fully explore the cosmopolitan capital of Iceland and also get a taste of the wild landscapes that are just a short distance away. From historic landmarks to natural wonders, here’s how to spend two days in Reykjavik.
Day 1: The City and Its Natural Wonders
Morning: Spend your first hours in Reykjavik getting your bearings and doing some sightseeing. Walking and biking tours are greats way to familiarize yourself with the city and hit the highlights, while coach and hop-on hop-off bus tours cover more ground in less time with the chance to customize your stops.
Afternoon: Get out on the water on a whale-watching cruise from Reykjavik’s Old Harbour. If visiting in summer, you can combine whale watching with a cruise to Akurey to see its puffin colony. If you’d rather stay on land, consider Blue Lagoon tickets or a horseback riding tour close to Reykjavik—hotel transfers are generally included.
Night: Summer offers extended daylight hours so you can take an evening tour of the Golden Circle, which brings the benefit of smaller crowds at the attractions. In winter, you can choose from a coach, boat, or Super Jeep tour for a northern lights hunt.
Day 2: Into the Countryside
Morning: You can spend the whole day exploring the Golden Circle on a private or group tour that includes an activity such as snowmobiling on a glacier or a visit to the Secret Lagoon. Some longer full-day options also take in Iceland’s south coast or Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Alternatively, take a shorter morning or afternoon tour that focuses on Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall.
Afternoon: A helicopter tour is a great way to get a sense of Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes. Tours typically depart from Reykjavik’s downtown airport and offer sightseeing over Thingvellir National Park and Eyjafjallajokull glacier.
Night: Reykjavik is famed for its lively nightlife. Beer- and food-themed tours offer a taste of local drink and food culture as well as insight into the best spots to spend the rest of your evening after you leave your tour guide.