What to do in Reykjavik in December 2024

Why you should visit Reykjavik in December

Reykjavik in December is a magical experience, offering a unique blend of winter activities, festive celebrations, and opportunities to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. The city’s charming streets are adorned with holiday decorations, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere amidst the winter chill. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local traditions and explore the breathtaking natural wonders of Iceland, making December an ideal time to experience the best of Reykjavik‘s charm.

Reykjavik Weather in December

In December, Reykjavik experiences winter weather with average temperatures ranging from -1°C to 3°C (30°F to 37°F). Days are short, with only about 4-5 hours of daylight, but the city is illuminated by festive lights, creating a cozy and enchanting atmosphere. Travelers should come prepared for cold, wet, and windy conditions, making it essential to dress warmly and be ready for potential snowfall.

Reykjavik Events in December

Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival

The Winter Lights Festival, typically held in early December, transforms Reykjavik into a captivating display of light and art. The city’s landmarks, streets, and squares are adorned with enchanting light installations and projections, creating a vibrant and magical ambiance that delights visitors of all ages.

Christmas Markets

Throughout December, Reykjavik hosts charming Christmas markets, offering a delightful array of handcrafted gifts, local delicacies, and festive entertainment. Visitors can enjoy the cheerful festive spirit, indulge in traditional treats, and find unique souvenirs to bring a piece of Icelandic holiday charm back home.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Reykjavik‘s New Year’s Eve celebrations are legendary, featuring colorful fireworks that illuminate the night sky, reflecting on the surrounding mountains and the sea. Locals and visitors gather to enjoy the dazzling display, creating a joyous and unforgettable atmosphere as the city bids farewell to the old year and welcomes the new.

Reykjavik’s top places to visit in December

Hallgrímskirkja Church

Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik‘s iconic church, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes. In December, visitors can enjoy the stunning winter vistas from the church’s observation tower, capturing the city adorned in festive lights and possibly witnessing the Northern Lights dancing in the night sky.

The Blue Lagoon

Relaxing in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon is a must-do experience, especially during the winter months. Embracing the warmth of the milky-blue waters in the midst of the wintry surroundings is a truly rejuvenating and unforgettable experience. The surrounding snow-covered lava fields add a touch of magic to the lagoon’s soothing ambiance.

Golden Circle Tour

The Golden Circle route takes visitors on a remarkable journey to some of Iceland’s most spectacular natural attractions, including the famous Gullfoss waterfall and the geothermal marvels of Geysir and Strokkur. In December, the landscape is transformed into a winter wonderland, offering breathtaking scenes that are simply enchanting.

Downtown Reykjavik

Exploring downtown Reykjavik during December allows visitors to experience the city’s festive charm up close. The charming streets, adorned with sparkling decorations and festive lights, offer a delightful atmosphere for leisurely strolls, shopping for unique gifts, and indulging in the city’s vibrant culinary scene.


Visitors are advised to book accommodations and tours well in advance, as December is a popular time to visit Reykjavik due to its unique winter festivities and natural attractions.

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