Top 10 Cheap things to do in Reykjavik
Looking for some cheap things to do in Reykjavik? Are there any free activities in Reykjavik? Would you like to try some unusual things in Reykjavik? Looking for some non-touristy things to do in Reykjavik?
Iceland can get expensive, that’s true. Even for us locals! But the myth that you can’t visit the country without a pretty fat wallet is not true, because remember- money can’t buy happiness and Iceland isn’t anything else than a big wild playground! So play!
If you’re on the budget side of life but still would love to do some cool stuff around Reykjavik (After you have tried our awesome Reykjavik Food Walk and Pub Crawl’s of course!) then you should try out some these fun activities!
(This is actually what we broke local students do in our free time, ha!)
The budget range we’ll be working with for all of these ideas is from FREE to 2000 ISK (approx. 16 USD.)
In this blog about “Cheap things to do in Reykjavik ” you will find the following information
- Unusual things to do in Reykjavik
- Non-touristy things to do in Reykjavik
- Free things to do in Reykjavik
- Cheap activities in Reykjavik
Hike in Iceland
We put this one first on the list because these small mountain tops are simply spectacular! especially on a good day. They are all very close to the city, easy to hike and have incredible views. The is a regular activity for your average Icelander on a budget.
Monitor the weather forecast before your day of hiking here.
Go swim bare-skinned in the Atlantic Ocean
Sounds crazy. Well, Icelanders can get a bit crazy and we enjoy doing extreme stuff! Stroll down to our local, man-made beach (please don’t laugh, we are very proud of it) named Nauthólsvík, strip down and take a dip in the ice cold ocean. It’s incredibly refreshing and very healthy for your nerve and vein system and also a great way to clear your head. Afterward you can relax in one of our geothermal hot tubs which is right on the beach with a beautiful view.
Nauthólsvík is 10 minutes driving – 30 minutes walking from downtown Reykjavik and located right here.
The Icelandic hot dog
Visit the famous hot dog stand and then have ice cream
The local poor student cuisine: A ridiculously delicious pylsa (hot dog) with an incredible mix of different sauces and tasty deep fried crispy onions to die for – swallowed down with my personal favorite drink of choice- Chocolate Milk. Try it! And then when you’ve finished, you order another one. Because one is not enough… one is never enough.
Afterward, head to one of our many many many Ice cream parlors (We recommend Valdís and Vesturbæjarís) and get yourself a scoop, whatever the weather. The colder and windier outside, the better.
Of course, both of these local gems are included in the Food Walk!
Price: Pylsa 420ISK and ice cream from 500 ISK and up to how greedy you are!
You might also like: Everything about the Icelandic hot dog
Swimming in Iceland
Visit a local swimming pool, or ‘Sund’ as we would say in Icelandic
Here is a fun fact: Iceland has the highest number of swimming pools per capita in the world! There are geothermally heated pools everywhere- and we need MORE. We are hot tub maniacs. Nothing beats some relaxing me-time in boiling hot water, especially when its super cold outside and your hair freezes. Head to one of our many many swimming pools and catch up with the locals. Its actually a thing: Visit a hot tub and speak to strangers. It’s fun.
Our top 3 favorite pools:
Laugardalslaug located here
Vesturbæjarlaug locate here
Árbæjarlaug located here
Price: 1000 ISK
Natural hot springs in Iceland
If you get a chance to look up from your average guide-book and do a little research yourself, you will discover that Iceland is filled with incredibly relaxing and beautiful Natural Hot Springs. You don’t need to pay a fortune to enjoy our earth. Go on a mission to find one of those springs (we recommend Seljavallalaug, Reykjadalur and Hrunalaug.)
You might also like: Natural hot springs and geothermal pools in Iceland
Stunning views of Reykjavik city!
Perlan, or the pearl is that giant glass boob on the hill that can be clearly seen from downtown Reykjavik. We don’t really know what actually goes on inside but we’ve heard that they often have book markets and art exhibitions in there … Anyway, they offer a 360° view all over the city that can be incredibly enjoyable on a lazy day.
Psst! On their 4th. Floor there is a super delicious nice little cafeteria!
Northern Lights in Iceland
If you are visiting Iceland during winter, don’t miss out on the northern lights!
Oh, the Northern lights. One of our proudest treasures. To be completely honest, you don’t need to be rich to witness this. What price tag can you put on a sun stroke that hits the earth electron field which creates magical patterns in the sky? None, if you ask us!
When the dark creeps in after long summer nights, and after you’ve had your pylsa and bonded with a local in a hot tub- take a walk on a dark winter night right outside of Reykjavik- away from the city lights and find a spot with a blanket and enjoy.
TIP 1: To see the Northern Lights, you’ll require dark and partly clear skies (the clearer the better.) Along with some Northern Lights activity. We measure the Northern Light activity from 1 to 9. The higher activity number the more likely your chances of seeing the magical lights. To check out today’s current Northern Light activity, we recommend this website!
Tip 2: Even though it can be possible to see the lights from the city – You’ll often get a much clearer and better view a bit outside of Reykjavik. To make sure that you’ll get the best possible chances of experiencing this incredible natural phenomenon we do highly recommend that you’ll either drive to a clear ski spot out side the city with your rental car or that you book a northern lights tour. Just whatever you do- DON’T MISS THEM!
You might also like: Everything about the northern lights in Iceland
Flea Market in Reykjavik
Super hip and the cheapest place to shop in Reykjavik!
Don’t be shy to use your haggle skills! Its a small market, but somehow you can easily manage to spend a whole day in there, browsing through other people’s stuff.
Hey! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
Kolaportið is open Fridays – Sundays from 11pm-5am and is located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik right here.
Price: No entrance fee!
Museums in Reykjavik and graffiti
Yeb Yeb- we are arty. You’ve heard our music, you’ve read our books. Now check out our art! With a day of walking around Reykjavik, you will witness mounts of beautifully decorated walls, statues and other weird things that not all of us understand- but is still quite cool! And oh, make sure not to miss the first and only penis museum in the world with a human penis in it. You don’t want to miss out on that!
Price: City art is free and entry fee to museums range from 1000-2000 ISK
You might also like: Our favorite museums in Reykjavik
Feed the children…. birds.
Every kids favorite memory- to go and feed the birds at Tjörnin or the Reykjavik pond! Grab the leftovers of your sandwich and enjoy feeding other gods creatures. It’s something soothing about this activity and nice to do, especially if you’re traveling with children.
Price: FREE + bread
Obviously, there are many things in Reykjavik you can do without spending a dime! Those who are nature lovers shouldn’t worry at all and those who are more for the urban things should also find many things to do in Reykjavik! Know about something cheap to do in town? Share the idea with us in the comment section below!
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