Visiting Reykjavik in March: Tips, Things to do & Local advice

Visiting Reykjavik in March: Tips, Things to do & Local advice

Are you visiting Reykjavik, Iceland in March? If so, your next questions might be: What can we do in Reykjavik in March? Is there snow in Iceland in March? Is March a good time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland? How is the weather? What clothes do I need for Reykjavik in March? And so on …

If you have found yourself on this page because you are asking some of these questions then you are in luck! In this short post I will do my absolute best in sharing my best Reykjavik in March tips with you!

A picture of the writer

Text by: Sam Daniels

To whom this may concern,

My name is Sam Daniels, a writer from the UK who moved to Iceland a few years ago and have been in love ever since. March marks a beautiful time for Reykjavik and Iceland as a whole and is a fantastic time to visit!

 
Today we are going through my absolute favourite reasons for why it is awesome to visit Reykjavik in March as well as some top tips on making the most out of your stay in Iceland!

So sit back, relax and let me guide you through the truly amazing experiences you can have in Iceland in March!

 


In this guide about our favourite things to do in Reykjavik, Iceland in March, you will find the following info:

  • Visiting Reykjavik in March
  • Reykjavik: Events in March 2019
  • How is the Weather in Reykjavik in March?
  • Can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland in March?
  • Best Tours from Reykjavik in March
  • In conclusion / I can’t wait to see you!

 


Visiting Reykjavik, Iceland in March

What is so special about March?

Ah, it’s the time of year when the white coat of winter begins to loosen its grip on the country and it reveals a beautiful green dress that was hiding underneath. Perhaps more importantly than this much-needed shift in weather is the fact that in Iceland, March is home to my personal favourite,”bolludagur’” which in English would translate to “bun-” or “cakeday”! Yes, you read that right, cake-day!
This alone should be a good enough reason to visit Reykjavik in March but believe it or not – there is more.
March in Iceland is packed full of events for visitors to experience, has the perfect “Iceland weather” and is technically still in low season – meaning you might have better luck with finding cheap(er) accommodation, flights and tour bookings. Plus, the Northern lights are still rocking it’s best! It is also a time when improving weather conditions makes exploring the country an incredible experience. As the Ice thaws, you begin to see the vibrancy that was hidden underneath and the country can turn from a monochrome white to a dazzling spectacle of colour almost overnight.

View from Hallgrimskirkja Reykjavik

Photo by: Wake Up Reykjavik

Are you ready for Reykjavik, Iceland in March? Here we go!


Reykjavik: Events in March 2019

The best place to begin when exploring the benefits of travelling to Reykjavik at any particular time of year is the events. As we have mentioned, March is jam-packed full of amazing things to do that are great for you or groups of any size. No matter who you are and who you travel with, there will absolutely be something for you!

 

Food and Fun festival

I am cheating slightly with this first entry as the food and fun festival technically begins at the end of February. It does end in March though so we believe it definitely deserves a spot on this list. The Food and Fun festival brings an explosion of flavour to Reykjavik. Highly renowned chefs journey to the city to take over the menu at some of the best restaurants in Reykjavik.

2019 will include names such as David Varley, Brian Canipelli, Rita Chen and many more!
If you love good food, then this is the festival for you!

Read more about Food and Fun in Reykjavik here.
If you want to join the fun or receive our best local recommendations. Shoot us a line and we will reserve a table for you! 

Icelandic food today

Söngvakeppnin 2019 finale

Oh yes! Söngvakeppnin is the singing competition that Icelanders run every year in order to find the best possible act to send to the European song contest, Eurovision. While this may not sound like a large event, Icelanders are absolutely crazy for Eurovision. Both following the national competition closely and choosing their favourite song carefully. If you happen to be visiting in early March, you should expect to hear about the contest … Maybe you will even end up at one of the many local Eurovision viewing parties if you have friends here!

The next three days will be taking place in March 2019 but as they are tied to Easter the dates are liable to change every year.

 

Bolludagur – Cake Day!

Bolludagur is the first of three consecutive days of fantastic food and festivities in Iceland. This day is the “cake-day” we mentioned at the start of this blog and is whole day where Icelanders eat delicious cream puffs called Bolla. As with many Icelandic holidays, Bolludagur is no exception to this idea. Technically speaking you are not supposed to buy your own Bolla but rather someone has to buy the Bolla for you. In order to ensure that this happens, you need to spank someone on the rear before they get up in the morning thus meaning they owe you a Bolla! … Not strange at all, huh?
There is also a tradition where children decorate a stick with various coloured ribbons that they can use to spank their parents whilst shouting “Bolla!” over and over with similar results.

 

Bolladagur cakes. March 2019

Sprengidagur

Day two of the March holidays is Sprengidagur which translates to “Blast day”. Traditionally, this is the last day before lent which is typically a time of fasting and as such Icelanders are supposed to eat until they burst. However, the tradition of fasting in Iceland is long forgotten although this day is still celebrated today.
In particular, the day is used to eat as much as you possibly can of vegetable and lentil soup accompanied by a special traditional. salted lamb.

 

Öskudagur

The final day of celebrations is Öskudagur, which would directly translate to “Ash Wednesday”. On the Christian calendar, Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent which begins the countdown to Easter.

In Iceland, the day was once celebrated as a day of love where young women would attempt to covertly tie a small bag of ash to their would-be suitors without them knowing. The men also had to perform a similar task with their woman of choice but with a small bag of pebbles instead.
Öskudagur in Reykjavik and all over Iceland today is a very different to how it was in the past. For as long as we remember, the day is now celebrated as a kind of an Icelandic Halloween type day, where children will dress up in costumes, walk around town and sing in stores in exchange for candy.
If you are lucky enough to be in town for Öskudagur, particularly before or around noon – prepare to see the town more alive than ever, filled with Icelandic children singing, dressed as superheroes, royalty, cartoon characters or celebrities!

Reykjavik Öskudagur


Weather in March

March can definitely be seen as a turning point in the weather in and around Reykjavik. Looking at general weather trends the average high daily temperature begins to increase and more importantly, the number of hours of sunlight per day begins to increase dramatically!
Even the amount of snow and rain begins to decrease in March making it one of the months where the conditions in Reykjavik could be considered the most “normal”.

 

Just because the temperature is rising though doesn’t mean you should leave the warm clothes at home though! We are still talking about most days being in ‘minus temperatures’. You should definitely make sure to have a waterproof coat, sturdy walking shoes as well as your hats, scarves and gloves!
This advice goes double if you are arriving towards the start of March, trying to catch some of the final glimpses of the northern lights before the season ends.

 

Visiting Reykjavik during winter

Photo by Hurtigruten.com

 

Can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland in March?

The beautiful Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) can very often been seen right from down town Reykjavik. However, you might want to look into joining a Northern Lights tour to maximise your chances while visiting Iceland during winter.

The best time to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik (or Iceland in general) is between September and April. This is usually called the ‘high season for Northern Lights’. The Northern Lights are actually up and running, dancing and lighting up the sky all year round but conditions have to be “perfect” for them to be visible for us, looking up from planet earth. The main conditions that we follow are Northern Lights activity, level of darkness and wether the skies are clear or cloudy.

March is still a relatively dark month – and weather tends to be even better than the months before – so it is considered a brilliant time to visit Iceland if you want to experience the Northern Lights.

Please keep in mind though, that the Northern Lights are an incredible natural phenomenon and their visibility is completely out of human control. Therefore, I recommend that you plan your Reykjavik/Iceland trip with plenty of amazing things to do and see, so that if you get so lucky to see the Northern Lights, it will be a bonus :)

Northern Lights in Reykjavik in March


Best tours from Reykjavik in March

With the increase in sunlight, March is a pretty great time to visit Reykjavik to do some tours. Thankfully, Reykjavik is only too happy to deliver. There are hundreds of potential experiences that every traveller can take part in!

One of a kind Northern Lights experiences

As we mentioned above, April marks the end of the northern lights season. But don’t let this scare you away from taking a trip to see them. March and April are often absolutely great when it comes to Northern Lights, they like to go out with a bang!
While there are many different ways to see the Northern lights from Reykjavik, you need to make sure you have a clear night sky with minimal light pollution. For help in finding some good spots, I would recommend you go to Iceland’s metrological website to get more info and make hunting the lights a breeze.

Of course one of the simpler ways to hunt the lights would be to do so with the professionals. And if you are only in town for a few days, taking a tour with a Northern Lights expert will maximise your chances of actually seeing the lights! You can take the guesswork out of finding the ideal spot to view this natural phenomenon with the Wake Up Reykjavik Northern Lights tour!

A picture of the Northern Lights

Reykjavik Food Tour

There is no better way to enjoy and really get to know Reykjavik than by doing the Reykjavik Food Walk tour. Meet awesome locals, see the highlights of Reykjavik and eat some great Icelandic food.

The Reykjavik food tour offers all this and even more. Spend some time learning to eat like a local while also learning about life in Reykjavik from a real Icelander. Here are some of my personal highlights from my experience:

  • Having an Icelandic meat soup
  • Locally made cheese
  • Iceland’s “National cuisine”, hot dogs
  • Home made Ice cream

All this and more awaits you!

You can check out the Reykjavik Food Walk tour here.
If you want more information on local food before you go, you can read about Icelandic cuisine eaten in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik Food Walk march

the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is in my opinion the one essential Iceland tour.

Regular departures leave Reykjavik on a regular basis every day of the week. This day tour combines stunning nature with a tremendously rich history. It will all come alive in front of you as you journey from location to location.

The Golden Circle will take you to three ultra-hot locations in the Southern part of Iceland. Thingvellir national park, where the world’s first parliament was formed. The Great Geysir, the exploding hot spring which gives us the English word Geyser. Gullfoss, the golden waterfall that originates from the nearby Langjokull glacier.

For those who want to experience the Golden Circle then I will highly recommend this Golden Circle tour here. I highly enjoyed it plus it is the no.1 rated Golden Circle tour on Trip Advisor and it’s a small-group tour.

 


In conclusion

March is a fantastic time to visit Reykjavik.

You are guaranteed to be absolutely blown away by the sheer amount of things to do. We may have covered quite a lot already but believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg!
For even more events to dazzle and amaze you check out this website. It is stuffed full of ideas for great things to do during your March visit to Reykjavik. I mentioned three tours above, but any of the tours on this page would be a great choice for March.

I hope to see you soon!

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