East of downtown Reykjavik, Laugardalur is a favorite park among locals. Laugardalur means “hot spring valley,” and its hot pools were once the city’s main source of hot water. Up until the 1930s, women would come here to wash laundry. Today, you’ll find sports facilities, a music venue, playgrounds, and more.
Laugardalur has everything you would expect from the capital’s largest recreation area. The centerpiece is a geothermally heated swimming pool. There’s also a soccer stadium, music venue, sports hall, running tracks, and an indoor ice rink, as well as the city’s only campsite, and an abundance of playgrounds, and picnic and barbecue areas. Some city sightseeing tours, including the hop-on hop-off bus, include a visit to Laugardalur.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Laugardalur is a must-visit for outdoor and sports enthusiasts.
- Laugardalur is one of the easiest geothermal pools to get to if you’re staying in Reykjavik.
- Entrance to the park is free but there is an admission fee for the pool.
- The pool has seven hot tubs (one filled with salt water) and a sauna.
How to Get There
Laugardalur is around 4 miles east of downtown Reykjavik. If you’re staying in the city center, bus No. 14 will take you to there.
When to Get There
The park is open every day, year-round. The swimming pool is most popular during warm summer days, but the hot tubs are equally appealing for warming up on a cold and frosty day.
Botanical Gardens and Zoo
Laugardalur is also known for its botanical gardens—home to a variety of arctic plants and flowers—and its small zoo, the only one in Iceland. The zoo houses common Icelandic farm animals, such as sheep and Icelandic horses, as well as seals, minks, reindeer, and arctic foxes. The gardens and zoo are open year-round, and there is a fee to enter the zoo.