Christmas markets across Europe, known for their allure with snowy landscapes, wooden cabins, and mulled wine, have attracted crowds for years. However, it may surprise many that Iceland lacks a widespread market culture due to its small population. Reykjavík’s only year-round market, the fleamarket Kolaportið, stands as an exception.
Nonetheless, the tide is turning, and sporadic pop-up markets are emerging. The recent influx of food halls also promises to revolutionize the city’s market and culinary scene.
The tourism industry has also brought enough visitors to downtown Reykjavík to support the growth of Christmas markets. Here are some of our favourite Reykjavík Christmas markets!
Hafnarfjörður Christmas Market
Downtown Hafnarfjörður turns into a festive market every Christmas season. Hafnarfjörður residents and local companies will participate in making this year’s Christmas Village the biggest one yet. Thorsplan plaza is transformed into a Christmas market selling everything from Icelandic design and crafts to snacks and hot drinks, there will be plenty of concerts and events, and an ice-skating rink. It is easy to get to Hafnarfjörður from Reykjavík – just jump on the no 1 bus, which will take you on a 20-minute ride straight to the downtown area for a wonderful Christmas experience.
Hjartatorg Square Christmas Market
The Christmas market at Hjartatorg Square is a classic Christmas market following the European tradition. Handicrafts, delicacies, knick-knacks, and hot chocolate are sold by a diverse selection of retailers. The goods will be sold from delightful wooden booths and Christmas decorations and lights everywhere will ensure the Christmas spirit is all around. Hjartatorg Square is just off the main walking street, Laugavegur, behind the 66 North clothing store.
Dec 2 – 3 1:00 – 6:00 pm
Dec 9 – 10 1:00 – 6:00 pm
Dec 16 – 17 1:00 – 6:00 pm
Dec 21 – 22 4:00 – 8:00 pm
Dec 23 4:00 – 9:00 pm
Ice Skating and Christmas Market at Ingólfstorg Square
Ingólfstorg Square is in the heart of downtown on Austurstræti and 100,000 light bulbs will light up the beautiful square. In addition to the Ingólfstorg ice-skating rink, a Christmas market will be also located at Ingólfstorg square surrounding the ice rink and down to Austurstræti street, where both refreshments and merchandise will be for sale. Helmets and skates can be rented on-site. A great place for family fun!
Open on weekends in December, then the week up to Christmas. Find more information on opening times here.
Christmas Market in Heiðmörk Forest
The beloved wooded area on the outskirts of Reykjavík, Heiðmörk, is normally a place for hiking and mountain biking. But on the weekends leading up to Christmas, you can find a Christmas market hidden in the trees. The vendors here focus on products made with natural materials and objects inspired by or made from the forest. What better place to get in the Christmas spirit than a winter wonderland?
Open Dec 2-3, 9 – 10, 16-17. 12:00 – 5:00 pm.
Christmas at Árbær Open Air Museum
If you’re keen on discovering how Icelanders celebrated Christmas in past decades or centuries, a visit to the Árbær Open Air Museum is a must. While it’s an excellent museum to explore at any time of year, during the Christmas season, they offer an extra program dedicated to the holiday.
Engage in activities like knitting, crafting traditional Christmas decorations, or creating intricate patterns in leaf bread. Experience the taste of traditional Skate (typically eaten on December 23rd) or smoked lamb (Hangikjöt), often served as the Christmas dinner on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Delve into candle-making, but beware of Kertasníkir, the Candle Snatcher, one of the 13 Icelandic Santa Clauses who might be around the area.
Additionally, explore the opportunity to purchase handicrafts and sweets or partake in joyful singing and dancing around a Christmas tree!