It’s no secret that it gets dark in Iceland in winter, but Icelanders don’t let the darkness get them down. The dark winter nights have their own special charm about them and celebrating this darkness and the returning of the light is what the Winter Lights Festival is all about.
The festival offers an array of sparkling events, where the many faces of Reykjavík culture come together. Art and industry, environment and history, sports and culture are combined when all the major museums, the swimming pools, and art galleries put on an amazing variety of events, all over the city.
Opening night is on February 1st, when beautiful lights will be lit all around the Capital Area. Regular features of the Winter Lights Festival, like the Museum Night and Pool Night, will have their place on the program.
There will be plenty of exciting events, such as a Museum Night Lottery at Seltjarnarnes Library, Twilight Karaoke at Reykjavík City Library, a long exposure photo booth at Listastofan and the WOW Northern Lights Fun Run, starting at the Harpa Concert Hall!
On Museum Night, February 2nd, the museums across the whole Capital Area will open their doors to the public at 18:00, and stay open till 23:00.
Museum Night is not only a chance to visit your favourite museum, free of charge, but most museums are also putting on special events and offering their visitors a chance to see, hear and even taste the museum in a different way.
Special Museum Night busses will transport guests between museums, also free of charge! See the program and the bus schedule on the website of the Winter Lights Festival.
There aren’t many things that beat sitting in a geothermal hot tub underneath the stars feeling toasty warm. On Pool Night, February 3rd, nine of the largest pools in the Reykjavík capital area open their doors to visitors. Entrance is free of charge from 18:00 till 23:00.
During the evening, many of the swimming pools will host special events, creating a unique atmosphere, encouraging guests to take part, dance, sing, or just relax and enjoy the moment.
Other cool events
The Perfect Light
Date and time
1st February 16:30 – 18:00
Kjallarinn, Hard Rock Café Reykjavík
Lækjargata 2a, 101, Reykjavík
The development of light and lighting has always been about the search for the “Perfect” Light. Unlike any light source development before, LEDs have superseded all other sources and potentially rendered them obsolete. Is LED therefore the Perfect Light? Are we in the middle of the greatest revolution since the invention of the light bulb? A film by Light Collective Supported by Citizen.
List i ljosi Festival
Date and time
2nd February 19:00 – 23:59
Hverfisgata 15, 101, Reykjavík
List i ljosi Festival in collaboration with experience design company Nocturnal (NZ) present the work ‘Echo’ for Vertarhátíð Reykjavíkur on Safnahúsið (Hverfisgötu 15). Lighting up each night from 19:00 – midnight on the 2nd and 3rd of February. Nocturnal’s resident audio-visual artists Samuel Miro and Delainy Kennedy were born into the arts industry, they have lived their lives at events of all genres across New Zealand and abroad. ‘Echo’ will bring Safnahúsið to life in an audiovisual experience intertwining New Zealand and Icelandic heritage through abstraction and realism. Presented through the art of video projection mapping and rhythmic soundscape.
Tales of the Unseen: Flashlight Guided Tour
Date and time
2nd February 18:30 – 19:30
Kjarvalsstaðir Reykjavik Art Museum
Flókagata 24, 105, Reykjavík
Exhibited are works by artists who have been inspired by folktales and adventures or created their own hidden worlds. Different generations of artists meet here: Alfreð Flóki (1938–1987) Ásta Sigurðardóttir (1930-1971) Jóhanna Bogadóttir (1944) Kristinn Pétursson (1896–1981) Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir (1977) Sigurður Ámundason (1986) The event will be held in Icelandic. Free with admission.