Even though Icelandic nature, with its thundering waterfalls, exciting geysers and imposing mountains, is what most people come to see, dedicating some time to exploring Reykjavík is never a bad idea. Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, is the largest city (actually the only city) in Iceland. It boasts interesting museums, luxurious geothermally heated swimming pools, mouth-watering restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops, just to mention a few points of interest.
While it can be fun to get to know the city on your own, it’s never a bad idea to enlist the help of someone who is more familiar with the place than you. For those who are interested in exploring Reykjavík, there are a few options for a guided tour around town. The most popular ones are probably the Hop On-Hop Off Sightseeing Bus and the free City Walk. If you’re wondering which option is a better fit for you, here’s a quick look at what each tour brings to the table.
Tours like these are great to make the most of what Reykjavík has to offer, and depending on your preferences, you can choose either of the tours or even take them both if you have the time!
Hop On, Hop Off Sightseeing Bus
- First of all, the obvious upside: this tour goes by bus instead of walking. This is especially nice when the weather is bad.
- Going by bus also means that the tour covers a larger area of Reykjavík. Great for getting a good idea of the size and layout of the city.
- The buses leave every 30 minutes, all day long, so as the name suggests, you can hop off, have a look around, and then hop back on again when the next bus arrives. Each ticket is valid for 24 hours, so you have a free ride for an entire day.
- The hop on-hop off feature means that the bus ride can be combined with other activities, such as a visit to the Laugardalslaug pool, going to the top of the Hallgrímskirkja, visiting the Whales of Iceland exhibition or the Maritime Museum, Perlan, Kringlan, and so much more!
- It’s free! Tipping is always welcome, but that still means that you set the price, depending on what you thought of the tour.
- All you have to do is sign up on their website and then go to Austurvöllur, the square in front of the Alþingi (the Parliament building)
- The guides, Marteinn and Eiríkur are studying history, and have a lot of information about the history of Reykjavík (and Iceland).
- Walking around a city gives you a much better opportunity to experience it than sitting in a bus would.
- The tour covers most of the old town, where most of Reykjavík’s most interesting places to see are located. The tour groups are kept small and intimate which means the tour feels very personal, and the guides are very likeable and funny.