Looking for a vacation destination this holiday season? There is no better place than Reykjavik to visit for Christmas. With illuminating decorations, concerts and carols, pop-up Christmas markets and charming sights, the city has become a must-see location to get into the holiday spirit. Throughout the month of December, the city will offer a spectacular program of events. Take a look at just some of the festive happenings going on in Reykjavik during the Christmas season!
Ice Skating at Ingólfstorg Square: A new ice-skating rink is set to open in Ingólfstorg Square, courtesy of Nova, Samsung and Reykjavík City. The unveiling of the rink will take place on December 1st and will stay open daily until January 1st. Admission is free, and you can rent skates and helmets at the rink or bring your own. There will also be a Christmas village surrounding the rink, with kiosks selling hot refreshments, food and other goods.
Advent at Harpa: Throughout the holiday season, Harpa, Iceland’s renowned concert hall, will offer over 35 Christmas concerts. Every Saturday, Harpa will host an advent concert program, including music from the Nutcracker and other Christmas classics. Admission is free, and shows are perfect for the whole family.
Laugardalur Christmas Valley: Plan an all-day outing to the Laugardalur Christmas Valley, where exciting activities await you. Take a stroll around the Botanic Garden, visit the animals at the Reykjavík Family Park and Zoo, tour the Ásmundarsafn Sculpture Museum or relax in the Laugardalslaug thermal-pools. Be sure to watch out for Jólakötturinn, the Yule Cat, in the woods!
Winter Woods Wonderland at City Hall: Take a tour of the sculptures, trees and decorations in the Winter Woods Wonderland at Reykjavik City Hall, which opened for the season on December 1st. Here, you will find a miniature replica of the Höfði Peace Centre and all of the Christmas Creatures. As a way to honor Icelandic folklore, City Hall will use the Christmas Creatures in their decorations, including the thirteen Yule Lads, the mountain trolls Grýla and Leppalúði and the famous Yule Cat.
Holmsheidi Christmas Tree Forest: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city during the holidays and head out to the beautiful Holmsheidi Forest, open every every weekend in December. Here you can pick out and cut down your very own Icelandic Christmas tree. For every tree chopped down, the Reykjavík Forestry Association will plant 30 new trees. Enjoy the hot chocolate and cookies that are served to all who visit, and sit by a warm fire as you take in the peaceful surroundings of this winter wonderland.
Árbær Open Air Museum: The Christmas program at the Árbær Open Air Museum offers a unique chance to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture. Strolling between the many charming houses, you’ll find plenty of activities for all ages. Try your hand at wood whittling, knitting or making leaf bread, a holiday tradition in Iceland. There will also be entertainment performed by the Christmas Lads, a service at the Church, and singing and dancing around the Christmas tree.
Some other festive Icelandic events include the Oslo Christmas Tree Lighting, workshops held at the Nordic House or a Christmas market in Heiðmörk Woods. Christmas is just around the corner, so book your flight to Iceland now!