Iceland in November: Things to do in and around Reykjavik

Iceland in November: Things to do in and around Reykjavik

smiling girl

Text by: April Harpa Smáradóttir

What are the top things to do in Iceland in November? How is the weather / temperature in Iceland during November? And can you see the Northern Lights in November?

To answer your questions, November is a wonderful time to visit Iceland!

Don’t let the darkness and the rain scare you because this is a great time to be alive in Reykjavik! Not only because my birthday is in November (hah!) But November is also 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!  If you’re in Iceland during November, consider yourself lucky because this month is one of my favorites as there are so many things to see and do! Read on to find out what a local would do in Reykjavik during November!

Updated: 24/08/ ’17


See also: Best deals on rental cars in Iceland here!


Weather in Iceland in November


Yes! The temperature in November is starting to drop so it will be cold and chances are … wet as well. But hey, you are in Iceland after all! That’s what you are signing up for!

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.


But what to wear in Iceland in November?

I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE dressing up warm and smell the beautiful scent of autumn around me. Bringing 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!


BONUS: If you plan to purchase your warm layers in Iceland, my best recommendation for an Icelandic outdoor clothing brand is Cintamani! You can visit the their Cintamani Website here. 



What to do in Iceland in November?

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.


Iceland Airwaves Music Festival

If you are in Iceland from 1st-5th. of November 2017, then you are definitely in for a treat as the biggest and most awesome music festival is ON during this time! I am of course talking about the Iceland Airwaves music festival! For three days and three nights, almost every single bar, venue and stage in Reykjavik is filled with all kinds of music and musicians from Iceland and artists from all over the world!! In 2017, there are over 200 artists confirmed for the festival. Last year I saw Björk, Of Monsters and Men and Úlfur Úlfur.

Find the Iceland airwaves website here for more info!




Natural Hot Springs in Iceland

I personally LOVE visiting natural hot springs it is one of my most favourite things to do in Iceland. I even prefer to hunt for natural hot springs during the winter rather in the summer since it’s just so nice to chill in the warm water with cold surroundings.

November is therefore the perfect time to go on a natural hot spring mission because the roads should still be good for driving (not so much ice on the roads) and you also have high chances of catching glimpses of them northern lights while in the water! WOW, try to beat that!

You can read our special Natural Hot Springs in Iceland blog for more info!


natural hot spring


See also: Wake Up Reykjavik’s best handpicked day tours from Reykjavik


Northern Lights in Iceland

… Talking about the northern lights!

Yes. Northern Lights. The incredible aurora borealis are of course a must see while in Iceland and no.1 on most people’s list before their visit. However, please be aware that this is a natural phenomenal and cannot be controlled or guaranteed. I always say, you shouldn’t plan your trip around the Northern Lights, but you are lucky if you see them!

Hit the road to escape the city lights and try to witness these natural phenomena away from the fuzz and the buzz of the city. Join an specialized Northern Lights tour or rent a car yourself, it really doesn’t matter how you do it because you are going to forget where you are anyway when you see these lights!

If you want to do a Northern Lights tour, here is my best recommended Aurora borealis tour.
And here are our best deals on rental cars in Iceland!


Northern Lights in Iceland


READ NEXT: Everything you’ll need to know about the Northern lights 


The Reykjavik Beer Tour

A dream that finally became true!

We at the Wake Up Reykjavik team have been exploring the legendary Reykjavik nightlife with fun travellers through our Reykjavik Bar Crawl – and Iceland’s local food scene with our Reykjavik Food Tour for a few years now. But for a long time we’d been itching to put together a perfect evening tour that combines the absolute best local beer venues in Reykjavik, Iceland’s fascinating beer history and the most premium beers found in Iceland.

We didn’t take putting this tour together light-heartedly, so we really took our time to make sure everything was perfect – and as of January 2017 – The Reykjavik Beer tour was ready, and we couldn’t be more happy with the outcome – Cheers and we hope to see you there!

You can fly straight to our Reykjavik Beer Tour page here!


friends drinking beer


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!

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! 

ALSO! Since you are in the country of quality outdoor clothing … you might want to stock up with some stylish and super warm outdoor clothing! One of the hottest Icelandic brands in Iceland right now is Cintamani … pay them a visit and you’ll see.


Icelandic Christmas Ornament


Go Arctic Surfing!

Are you ready?

For all ocean lovers, November is great for surfing. YES, of course it’s cold! But these waves are simply too good to miss out on!

Swell picks up during autumn in Iceland so if you are here in November, make sure to bring your board or hire one and hit those empty waves with INCREDIBLE scenery! It doesn’t get much better than this. The absolute PERFECT way to spend time in nature in the most hardcore / memorable way!

If you would like to take surfing classes or need to hire a board, then I highly recommend my friends at Adventure Vikings. They have a whole garage filled with boards of all sizes and levels. You can hire really good wetsuits from them too.  They are also the first surfing school in Iceland with super knowledgeable teachers and great customer service, so if you have always wanted to learn surfing, do it here!

Still need inspiration? Here is a short little clip of my friend Heiðar. If this doesn’t inspire you to get on that board then nothing will.



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.

As it’s getting colder and darker outside, what’s better than enjoying the warmth of our traditional lamb soup or the best seafood soup in town with an friendly 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!


lobster soup in iceland


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!

You can find more (hopefully) helpful blogs here.
And here you can find our personally best recommended day tours from Reykjavik.

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 :)


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