Christmas in Iceland is a magical time, where the streets are lit up by Christmas lights and the atmosphere is filled with peace and joy. But Christmas is also a time of holidays, and some things will be closed. So one has to wonder what to do for Christmas in Iceland?
Well, we at What’s On have done the research for you, and we can tell you that there are plenty of things to do, both in town and out in the countryside.
What to do for Christmas in Iceland
Have Hot Chocolate at 10 Dropar
Baby it’s cold outside! You have been walking in the cold for quite a while, looking at Christmas gifts and you’re getting tired. Drop in at 10 Dropar (10 Drops) and have one of the best hot chocolate you can find in town. It feels as though your Icelandic grandmother had made it – the interior at 10 Dropar is like being at an old, Icelandic home.
See the Golden Circle!
Exploring the national park Þingvellir, the hot spring Geysir and the Golden Waterfall (Gullfoss) in the winter time is b-e-a-utiful. You can add snowmobiling or a natural hot spring which makes the experience more unique. The bus and the super-jeep are running at Christmas and you can book your tour online or rent a car and drive yourself.
Taste the Variety of Icelandic Christmas Beer
Iceland has a great variety of good Christmas beers. Víking, Kaldi, Einstök jólabjór, Stekkjastaur (named for one of our thirteen Santa Clauses) and Steðji are some examples of beers. Sit down at Skúli Craft Bar for a nice, relaxing evening where you can taste Christmas beers from Borg brewery, as well as trying some other exotic beers.
Enjoy a Christmas Market
Every year there is one Christmas market down by lake Elliðaárvatn and another one on Ingólfstorg square in the very heart of Reykjavík. Everyone is full of the season’s cheer, and there is an undefinable excitement in the air.
Have a wander either in the romantic woodland scenery or enjoy the joyful atmosphere in downtown Reykjavík! The Elliðaár market will be open every weekend of Advent, November 28-9, December 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20, and the schedule will be accessible on their Facebook page.
Swim in a Thermal Pool!
It is lovely to go to the thermal pools and soak in the hot tubs when the weather is cool. Watch the stars in the darkness and maybe feel the snow on your face as it pours down. Contrasts of hot and cold; Iceland’s speciality.
Go Diving or Snorkeling
From hot to cold. Sounds crazy. And it is! Who would go diving in 3° weather, and in 2°C water? Many have, and had an amazing experience! The dry-suit will keep you from freezing, the water is clear, with up to 100m visibility, and it is beautiful on a still day when the snow is covering the earth. Diving and Snorkeling tours are running throughout the Christmas season.
Go Horseback Riding
Start your Christmas day off by going horseback riding in the Icelandic countryside, not far from Reykjavík. Probably a bit unconventional, but hey, when in Iceland! Horse riding tours are running throughout the holidays!
Hunt the Northern Lights!
What an amazing Christmas Eve – to get to see the Aurora Borealis! If you’re in Iceland for the winter time it’s essential to take a chance on the nature’s wonders. Some Northern Lights Tours run every day through Christmas, as long as the forecast is good!
Go See a Concert
There are a lot of exciting Christmas concerts at the Harpa concert hall this Christmas. Many Icelandic artists throw Christmas Concerts. For example Sigríður Thorlacius and Sigurður Guðmundsson, who published their first Christmas album a short while ago, will be playing in Harpa on the 17th of December. The most famous band throwing a Christmas concert is the beloved band Boney M!
For further information, send us an email or drop by our office at Tryggvagata 11. Enjoy your time in Iceland – and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!