On the shortest day of the year, Reykjavik sees about four hours of sunlight. As winter draws to a close, the city is ready to celebrate the longer days as spring approaches. The Winter Lights Festival relieves Reykjavik of the hours of darkness with its annual festival that lights up the entire city.
The Winter Lights Festival incorporates art, music, industry, environment, history, sports and culture into one electric event. It truly is a community event – all the major museums participate, along with a popular spa and the local ski resort. Even more exciting? Everything is free.
The festival kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 4 with a light installation at Harpa Concert Hall. This year’s design is interactive, allowing visitors to decorate the Hall by throwing virtual paint from their phone. Afterward, a ski and snowboard party at Arnarhóll opens, supplemented by vibrant DJ’d music.
On Friday, visitors can participate in the highly acclaimed Museum Night, a festival favorite. All museums in Reykjavik open their doors, offering fashion shows, dance, theatre, lectures, live music, film, literature readings and more. Visitors will be shuttled from museum to museum via free bus transportation.
Saturday is Pool Night, where one of Reykjavik’s most popular thermal spas, Klébergslaug, opens its pools for the festival. Take a relaxing soak in one of Iceland’s geothermal springs, a wonderful, relaxing (and warm!) way to swim outdoors in the winter cold.
Check out a full list of Winter Lights Festival events here. Are you heading to Reykjavik for the festival? Tell us in the comments below!