Wintertime in Reykjavík

Photo: © Visit Reykjavík / Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson

Despite the relatively short history of Iceland, modern Reykjavík is home to an impressive collection of attractions. There’s never a dull day during the wintertime, even if the days are dark! Apart from the occasional fall of luminous snow and regular displays of Northern Lights there’s also a full calendar of cultural events, concerts, plays and many seasonal exhibitions.

Stepping off the pavements and taking a break from culture and civilisation is a must for residents of Reykjavík and its visitors. Iceland’s number one skiing area, Bláfjöll Ski Resort, is just a half hour drive away from Reykjavík.  Bláfjöll is especially known for its spectacular views and varied landscapes. It’s open when snow and weather permit.

If there is one thing not to be missed while in Reykjavík it has to be taking a dip in the amazing thermal pools. Experience Iceland’s pure thermal energy is not only a great source of natural therapy but an important part of our culture and a tonic for the body and mind. An outdoor soak is an essential part of experiencing this great city, not only as a source of natural therapy but an important part of the Icelandic culture.

Reykjavík is a hotbed of activity all year around with a remarkable number of annual festivals and seasonal events, attracting countless festival goers and media attention from around the world. Apart from the city’s superb official annual events, there is also a diversity of critically acclaimed film festivals, design events, fabulous fan-fests and music festivals; celebrating everything, from the arrival of summer to the city’s wealth of fascinating culture.

Reykjavík Winter Light Festival is an annual celebration of lights and culture, with a special emphasis on illuminating those dark days of winter with a collection of sparking events such as Pool Night and Museum Night with all geothermal pools and museums open until late night. The city has a growing reputation as an alternative Christmas destination and has exceeded all expectations with regular displays of enchanting Northern Lights along with otherworldly illuminations and extravagant decorations.

In 2010, the City of Reykjavík decided to honour Iceland’s storytelling tradition by using the Christmas Creatures in the city’s Christmas decorations. This was done to encourage people to tell stories about those funny creatures from the past but Reykjavík has been a UNESCO City of Literature since 2011. As part of the Advent celebrations, residents and visitors are invited to take part in a fun activity to hunt for the Christmas Creatures. The goal is to locate at least five of the Creatures.

Photo: © Visit Reykjavík / Roman Gerasymenko

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