Things To Do On Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland

Things To Do On .jpg

Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland
August 19, 2019

A Great Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland

Three days in Reykjavik gave us a chance to spend a little time in the city. And do some great day trips to surrounding area.

The original itinerary on our cruise through the Nordic countries with Oceania Cruises had us only in Reykjavik for a little over 24 hours. When issues with weather shortened our stay in Greenland, our time in Reykjavik was extended. This meant we had a full 3 days in Reykjavik.

We started our visit to Iceland on the north coast in Akureyri and Isafjordur. This was a great first view of the magnificent sights of Iceland. On our first day trip from Reykjavik, we toured the Golden Circle. And then on a second day trip, we added some great sights when we drove along the picturesque Reykjanes Peninsula.

We loved that we had time to wander around Reykjavik. We loved all the interesting outdoor art we found in the city. And the chance to see so many iconic sights.

Our First View Of Reykjavík From Above

After we toured around the Golden Circle, the last stop was at the Perlan Exploratoreum. There were a number of interesting exhibits at Perlan including the “Wonders of Iceland”, an indoor ice cave and a planetarium. But our stop took us up to the 360º observation deck.

Perlan Viewpoint - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

When we reached the top, we wandered around and got our first view out over Reykjavík. Off in the distance was the port where our ship was docked. When we looked towards the town, we got our first glimpse of the iconic and architecturally stunning Hallgrimskirkja church. We were certainly excited that we planned to wander in Reykjavík and get closer to this church.

Perlan Viewpoint.jpg

Perlan Viewpoint.jpg

Hallgrimskirkja Church Perlan Viewpoint - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

It was great to start our visit to Reykjavik with this panoramic view of the city. We were sure that Perlan offered many more things to see and do. But we did not have the time on this visit.

Walking On The Waterfront

We planned two long excursion days to see the stunning natural beauty of Iceland. But we saved a day and explored the city of Reykjavík. The shuttle bus dropped us on the waterfront close to downtown.

There was a lot we wanted to see. But we did not want to miss the iconic Sun Voyageur statue on the waterfront. It was our first view of the outdoor art of Reykjavík. But not the last!

Statue Sun Voyager - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

There were a few cruise ships in when we visited. But the city was far busier because we arrived on the weekend of the gay pride parade. We missed the parade because we were out on a tour. But we found evidence of the celebration everywhere we visited on our three days in Reykjavik. The stunning Harpa Concert Hall drew us down the waterway. It was our first but not last view of the colourful Pride flags.

Harpa Concert Hall - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Harpa Concert Hall.jpg

Hljomskalagardurinn Garden.jpg

The Iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church

We got our first view of the interesting Hallgrimskirkja Church from Perlan. But we knew we wanted to see more. It was an easy landmark to target on our walk around Reykjavik.

We walked around the church and looked at the architectural details. The statue of Leif Eiriksson stood guard in front. There was a church service in progress so we did not go inside.

Hallgrimskirkja Church.jpg

Leifur Eiriksson Statue Hallgrimskirkja Church - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

The Cafe Loki was located with a great view of the Hallgrimskirkja Church. So we stopped for a local treat. And we were rewarded with a great view from our seat in the cafe as the sun came out. When we left, we could not resist the urge to frame the church within the silhouette set up at the perimeter of the church.

Cafe Loki Hallgrimskirkja Church.jpg

Cafe Loki Hallgrimskirkja Church.jpg

Hallgrimskirkja Church - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

After we left the church, we saw that the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden was right beside the area. It gave us a chance to wander and see more of the beautiful outdoor are in Reykjavik.

Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden Monumentto Halgrimur Petursson Hallgrimskirkja Church - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden Hallgrimskirkja Church.jpg

 Heimir Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

We were very glad we made it to the Hallgrimskirkja Church on our three days in Reykjavik.

A Walk Through The Park

As we headed back towards downtown Reykjavík, we wandered in the Hljomskalagardurinn. This large green space was a colourful spot beside the Tjörnin pond. It was another spot where we found great outdoor art in Reykjavik.

Hljomskalagardurinn Garden.jpg

Hljomskalagardurinn Garden - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Hljomskalagardurinn Garden - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

We loved finding the flowers and green spaces on our three day visit to Reykjavík.

A Quick Walk Through Downtown Reykjavík

We continued our walk along the Tjörnin pond towards downtown. We saw City Hall and some of the downtown buildings.

City Hall.jpg

Free Church - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

City Hall - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

As we walked through the downtown area, we saw more outdoor art in the squares. And much variety in the street art murals that we found everywhere!

Statue Jon Sigurdsson - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Streetart Ravens - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Streetart Chickens.jpg

There was much to see on our visit to Reykjavik when we walked around downtown.

Day Trips From Reykjavik

On our first day in Reykjavik, we did a long day trip around the Golden Circle. It was a stunning view of the natural beauty outside of the city. We stopped at the Thingvellir Lava Fields (Pingellir in Icelandic), the Haukadalur Geysir Geothermal Fields and the Gullfoss Waterfall.

Gullfoss Waterfall Golden Circle Day Trip - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

Geysir Strokkur Golden Circle Day Trip.jpg

On our second day in Reykjavik, we did a day trip around the picturesque Reykjanes Peninsula. We started our day with a stop at the small coastal area of Hafnarfjordur. We stopped at the Kleifarvatn Lake, the Eldraun Lava Fields and at the shore by the Reykjanesvíti Lighthouse. During our day we visited first the Krysuvik and then the Gunnuhver Geothermal areas and saw the bubbling mud pools and steam.

Kleifarvatn Lake Reykjanes Peninsula Tour.jpg

Krysuvik Geothermal Reykjanes Peninsula Tour - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

The geothermal spots we visited were for viewing only. Our final stop at the Blue Lagoon finally showed us hot springs that were enjoyed for swimming. But unfortunately we ran out of time to actually get in the water.

Blue Lagoon Reykjanes Peninsula Tour.jpg

Blue Lagoon Reykjanes Peninsula Tour - Three Days In Reykjavik Iceland.jpg

When we spent 3 days in Reykjavik, we made sure to see as much as we could in the city and outside.

A Busy 3 Days In Reykjavik Iceland

We were so excited we got to spend 3 full days in Reykjavik. From the ship we got a great view out to the hills that surrounded the harbour. At night we were graced with beautiful sunsets. Even if we did not get any Northern Lights on this trip. A great reason to plan a return visit.

Harbour View.jpg

Sunset Harbour View.jpg

We wrapped up our visit to Iceland, with three days in Reykjavik. Our two day trips ensured we saw more of the great natural beauty that Iceland offered.

Many people spend much to their time exploring the outdoor wonders. But we were glad we saved a day and explored Reykjavík. The architecture was stunning and the outdoor art offered so much variety.

We were sad when we left Iceland. But we knew we would be back. The next stop on our Nordic country cruise provided another fascinating outdoor site at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. A first great stop as we explored Ireland from north to south.

Would you enjoy 3 days in Reykjavik Iceland? What should be on our itinerary for a return trip to Iceland?

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  1. I absolutely want to spend some time in Iceland when I go to Europe. The Hallgrimskirkja Church is indeed quite striking, the architecture is very elegant and I love the sculpture framing the silhouette of the church in the garden. What a clever idea! I would probably spend more time outside of Reykjavik but at least it’s good to know there is plenty to do there!

  2. That is a great list of places to see. The sculpture garden has such amazing creations! The art on the walls are so colorful and such wonderful themes. Wonderful day trip opportunities too. The urge to get to Iceland just got stronger.

    • Indrani, We were glad we made the time to spend some time in Reykjavik. It was tempting to head out to the natural beauty. But lots to do in the city too. Linda

  3. I didn’t realize that Hallgrimskirkja is a church. I thought it’s like a government building. Also, I found the Perlan Exploratoreum is a good place to learn about the country, from the culture to its nature. Are all the people at the geothermal and waterfalls from the cruise? That’s a lot.

    • Umiko, The geothermal and waterfall sights were open to all. They are really popular. So pretty busy! We were the only cruise ship in port and we were a small cruise ship. Linda

  4. I went to Iceland a couple years back with university. We spent 3 days in the country and pretty much did the same things you did! The golden tour was phenomenal as I went during winter so it was literally a frozen wonderland with the waterfall frozen in place! It’s nice to see your photos as mine are completely different in contrast from the cold weather

  5. Iceland is so beautiful. I’m sure its such a cliche but I am always surprised to see it without being covered in ice and snow! The art and architecture is so beautiful. I especially love the style of the Hallgrimskirkja Church.

  6. Reykjavik is such a great place to explore Iceland from. The Golden Circle is definitely worth doing! I did like Reykjavik itself too, especially the waterfront. I missed the sculpture garden outside the church though – what a shame! Taking a day trip down to Vik is also a great thing to do.

  7. So glad i stumbled upon this. Iceland is where we plan on visiting first after Covid. The golden circle looks so amazing and i cant wait to visit the the Eldraun Lava Field. I have to say though the blue lagoon has been on my list forever! looks incredible. Your photos have made me even more excited to visit! looks like you had a wonderful trip

  8. We spent quite a bit of time in Iceland but only popped in to Reykjavik for an afternoon. Indeed it is a very attractive centre. The church is such a recognisable feature of the city and the outdoor art is great to stroll around and inspect. I remember having some great coffee from a few independent roasters and the Hafnarhúsið Art Museum was superb.

    • Paul, We were certainly glad we spent a little time in Reykjavik. There are so many great spots to visit. Wish we had more good coffee on our visit. Will have to check out the Hafnarhúsið Art Museum on our next visit. Linda

  9. Reykjavik is such a beautiful city. I was there for two weeks and did a lot of day trips from Reykjavik. I also loved strolling around the city to see all those viking dolls and statues in front of the shops. My favourite hang out place in those two weeks was that church. It was so huge and different, absolutely loved it. I also did lot of adventurous activities like snorkeling in Silfra and going down a dormant volcano – such great fun.

  10. Iceland has been in our wishlist since long. We are still yet to get our international drivers permit and it is almost pointless to depend on public transport there. As someone who loved outdoor public art, I’m sure I have a lot to see here. Hallgrimskirkja Church looks magnificient. I esp. love that street-art that frames the church’s silhouette. With so many day-trips, no wonder your 3 days trip was super busy.

    • Bhushavali, Renting a car and driving on your own is a great option if you want to explore at your own pace. We were happy with our tours. But there are still a lot of things to explore when we return. And we will likely drive then. Hope you get to visit. Linda

  11. We’ve always passed through Reykjavik on the way to somewhere else instead of stopping to admire the history and beauty it has to offer. We might just have to pause here for a few days before carrying on, because I’m now dying to see Hallgrimskirkja and Lava Fields in person. Plus, there’s clearly a lot of city and nature to explore to keep us busy for much more than a few days!

  12. Iceland is just gorgeous! The outdoor street art is very neat looking! I have never seen the Harpa Concert Hall before- WOW! That is just an amazing looking building. I can only image what it looks like from in the inside looking out! Iceland has always fascinated me. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Iceland!

  13. Iceland has always been on top of our bucketlist but we haven’t found the opportunity. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. The Harpa Concert Hall is indeed stunning. It would also be nice to see the Hallgrimskirkja Church. Can’t wait to visit really soon. 🙂

  14. Reykjavik has interesting architecture with so many uniquely shaped buildings. After having your anture tour and having the view of whole city from Perlan Exploratoreum must be interesting. Also viewing number of interesting exhibits at Perlan with “Wonders of Iceland”, in an indoor ice cave and a planetarium sounds fun and my kids would love to have this experience. That glass building Harpa Concert Hall really looks unique with those colorful Pride flags.

  15. Nice pictures from Reykjavik. You did see a lot in a short time. We went to Iceland last summer and enjoyed it a lot.

    • We were glad that the change in our itinerary gave us extra days in Reykjavik. We loved some time in the city. But our visit to Iceland reinforced we need to head back for a long visit for more of the outdoor delights.

  16. I missed so many spots during my visit to Reykjavik, but I was only a few hours there. One of the best places is the architecturally stunning Hallgrimskirkja church. I was delighted by its beauty. I had no time to see Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden. It’s fabulous! I hope to be back there one day. Golden Circle is fantastic. I also visited Thingvellir Lava Fields, the Haukadalur Geysir Geothermal Fields, and the Gullfoss Waterfall. It’s spectacular.

    • We were glad our visit to Reykjavik was longer than originally planned. There was indeed so much to see in the city and on day trips. We will go back again one day.

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