ICELAND IN NOVEMBER 2023
Are you thinking about visiting Iceland in November?
If so, you’re in luck!
November is a wonderful time to visit Iceland! And for sooo many reasons!
… and not only because my birthday is in November (hah!)
November is super cozy as it is getting darker outside, the music scene is booming, the Northern Lights are dancing and we usually also start getting our first sights of snow which sends all Icelanders into the holiday spirit!
Read on to find out what a local would do in Reykjavik during November!
WHY IS NOVEMBER A GOOD MONTH TO VISIT ICELAND?
I would say that November is a fantastic month to visit Iceland for many reasons!
To start with it is not one of the high seasons so the most popular travel destinations are not as crowded and accommodations are a bit cheaper, the beautiful Northern Lights come out to dance, our culture scene is thriving in November with festivals and events AND we also often get our first sign of snow in November which sets the locals in the holiday mood!
So to sum it up, YES, a great month even!
But what can expect to see and do here in November?
A great question my friend, and lets start with..
WEATHER IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER
The average weather temperature in Reykjavik in November is 1,3 °C.
But it can lurks anywhere between -1°C and up to 4°C.
This is approx. 30-39 F.
Note that the °C or °F don’t take in account the cold arctic breeze.
I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE dressing up warm and toasty only to feeling the crisp fresh air on my face.
The daylight starts go get limited in November and changes quickly throughout the month. On the 1st of November you can expect to get approximately 8 hours of daylight - then on the 30th of November it goes down to about 5 hours of daylight, but not to worry! All of our tours take that into consideration, so if you have a super fun tour liked The Golden Circle booked, our tour operators make sure to adjust the routes so you are seeing all the major stops in the most daylight as possible each time.
If you can count on one thing here in Iceland! It is that you can't count on the weather (haha!) so you can expect to experience rain, fog, sun and even snow here in November - sometimes all within the same hour!
So to bring something with you that can shield you from RAIN and cold temperature is a very good idea and almost necessary for your Iceland trip.
But also remember to bring layers of other clothing to put on too & warm hats and gloves.
You can also read our blog on what to wear in Iceland during winter here!
NORTHERN LIGHTS IN NOVEMBER
If you’re asking yourself…
Is November a good time to see the Northern lights in Iceland?
Yes. It’s one of the best months of the year to see them!
Here is a little Northern Lights motivation before reading any further:
Pretty amazing, right?!
It is possible to see the northern lights from the downtown area of Reykjavik.
But it’s really unlikely due to the light pollution of the city.
You will definitely want to get out of the city / downtown area to see the lights in their full glory.
For that, you’ll have two options:
1. GO ON A SELF-DRIVE NORTHERN LIGHTS HUNT
This can be a lot of fun and something I would definitely recommend if you’ve rented a car in Iceland.
It can be a bit tricky to decide on the perfect day of the week, time of night and area to explore.
But no worries,
We’ve written a really in depth guide to seeing the northern lights on your own.
You can find it here :)
2. JOIN A SMALL GROUP NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR
This can be a great option for travelers that really want to see the northern lights without the hassle of renting a car, driving on icy winter roads and tracking down the lights.
There are many different northern lights tours to choose from.
I have one special tour that I recommend to all my friends visiting Iceland and that is this one here :)
I’ve personally been on this tour a few times throughout the years.
I love the fact that the tour consists of local experts that monitor the weather and decide on the best spot each particular night with the highest chances of seeing the lights.
They also have really fun guides, a small group experience, that provide hot chocolate, biscuits and quick photography lessons on how to best capture the lights on film.
+ if you don’t see the lights you’re able to reschedule as many times as you’d like :)
You can read all about and secure your spot on the tour here.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER 2022
Here are a few ideas for awesome things to do in Iceland in November!
We hope it inspires you or helps you in making your Iceland holiday unforgettable!
We have also handpicked the best day tours from Reykjavik and you can see the list here.
1. ENJOY SEASONAL ICELANDIC FOOD
Icelandic food has remained a mystery to the world until very recently. Make sure that you get to know our true local cuisine during your stay in Iceland. As Reykjavik is the cultural hub of Iceland, that’s where you will find the best selection of restaurants and authentic Icelandic foods with a modern twist.
As it’s getting colder and darker outside, what’s better than enjoying the warmth of our traditional lamb soup or the freshest seafood in town with an friendly local foodie expert?
Make the most of your stay and Join our Reykjavik Food walk to explore the city in the funnest way possible while enjoying the best food found in Iceland.
You can find more info about the Reykjavik Food Walk tour here.
Did you know? The Reykjavik Food Walk is currently the no.1 Food & Drink activity in all Iceland on Trip Advisor!
2. GO ON A NATURAL HOT SPRING ADVENTURE
Is there anything cosier then relaxing in a super unique warm natural hot spring in cold snowy weather?
Well, not really.
It really is a must while in Iceland so I really hope you find a spot on your itinerary for this.
November is the perfect time to go on a natural hot spring hunt and you also have high chances of catching glimpses of them northern lights while in the water!
I don’t know if you know this but …
Iceland has countless different hot springs all around Iceland.
If this is something that you’d enjoy then I’ve written a special blog post just for YOU.
You can read our special Natural Hot Springs in Iceland blog for my absolute favorite how springs in Iceland – and where to find them!
We also have a tour that does the Golden Circle route and then ends up in the super unique Secret Lagoon. One of the oldest natural hot springs here in Iceland. A fun fact, The Secret Lagoon has been a place where Icelanders have learned to swim since 1891!
If that sounds like something you would enjoy read more about that tour here!
3. CHECK OUT THE LIVELY CULTURE EVENTS HAPPENING IN REYKJAVÍK
Reykjavík definlety is a trendy city!
With tons of cultural events happening every month. November has been one of the busier months for such events with the iconic Iceland Airwaves festival happening,sadly due to covid the festival will mostly be streamed this year but a little birdie told us that there will still be some events happening in downtown Reykjavík!
So if you are here from the 3rd - 6th of November, check out their events!
Other cool things to check out in November would be:
The Reykjavík Dance Festival, Mál og Menning (an old book store turned coffee house / bar) has events happening every week, the iconic Harpa show, How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes , Bíó Paradís (the super quirky movie theater that allows you to bring beers into the cinema) and so much more!
If you take a cozy stroll through the main road of Reykjavík, Laugavegur, you are bound to stumble upon a cool artist opening, new restaurant pop ups a unique indie concert and so much more!
4. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN ICELAND
Christmas is just around the corner!
And Reykjavik is filled with beautiful shops to get a hold of some really unique Christmas decorations and gifts that are hard to find elsewhere in the world.
Reserve an evening entirely for shopping little Santa Claus statues and Christmas tree decorations to bring back home to your country!
A great spot to hit up a lot of local stores is Skólavörðustígur (yikes, what a name!), or las we like to call it, The Rainbow Street or The Church Street! Since it has a rainbow on the start of the street that leads up to Reykjavík's nr. 1 landmark, Hallgrímskirkja!
If you are doing The Reykjavík Food Walk, you can expect to walk this street so be sure to ask your foodie guide about their favorite shops on the street!
Pro tip: If you are in Reykjavik on a Saturday or Sunday it might be wise to visit the fun Reykjavik flea market.
It is called Kolaportið and it is located right next to the famous Icelandic hot dog stand. You can google “Kolaportið” or ask our guides to show you the exact location in any of our local tours. In Kolaportið flea market you will find all kinds of interesting stuff, but the highlights are a great quality of wool-sweaters (normally better prices than anywhere else), Icelandic lava jewelry & a nice food market!
CAN YOU SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER?
Absolutely! The sunset in November is rather early, around 4:30pm. Which makes November one of the best times of year to see the Northern Lights.
IS NOVEMBER A GOOD TIME TO GO TO ICELAND?
November is a great time to visit Iceland. The pricing on accommodations, flights and tours tends to be less expensive than the peak summer season. November is also one of the best times for music festivals, northern lights and much more.
HOW COLD IS IT IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER?
The weather in November in Iceland ranges from 30-39 fahrenheit. Iceland is a lot warmer then a lot of travelers expect due to the warm gulfstream.
IS THERE SNOW IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER?
It is rather common for Iceland to get it’s first snowfall towards the end of November. But it really does differ from year to year. The first snowfall can arrive anywhere from early October to late December.
CAN YOU DRIVE IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER?
Definitely. To be on the safe side, I always recommend getting a 4×4 vehicle if you’re planning on renting a car in Iceland during the winter months. But it’s usually not until January-March when Iceland experiences large snow storms.
WHAT TIME IS SUNSET IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER?
The sun sets at 5:00pm in the beginning of November. Towards the end of the month the sun will set around 4:00pm.
TO SUM IT UP …
November is simply a WONDERFUL month in Iceland and I hope you will love it here.
I do also hope that this small little blog post of mine helped you with your planning and/or gives you a better idea for what’s coming!
Also, if I can help you with anything else – Please don’t hesitate to shoot us a line or ask me any questions in the comments below :)