Fun things to do in Reykjavik in February

Most tourists land in Iceland and head straight to its epic nature, and while this is bucket list worthy, I think Reykjavik is well worth a city break in its own right – even in February. 

I recently went on a February trip to Reykjavik to see exactly what there is to do in this city in the dark depths of winter. It turns out, quite a lot!

Here’s everything that I got up to in Reykjavik in February. 

I’ve been to Iceland in winter twice, but my February trip was hosted by Jet2 Holidays, with some activities hosted by Visit Iceland. All opinions are my own.

What’s Reykjavik in February like? 

Reykjavik in February might be cold, but it’s still welcoming!

The city’s packed full of museums, has a thriving cafe culture and excellent restaurants, so there’s plenty to occupy tourists if the weather doesn’t play ball. 

Nonetheless, I was able to walk around the city, do a tour and see plenty of the al-fresco sights on a February Reykjavik break! 

Plus, sunrises in Reykjavik are mesmerising, and they’re at a social hour (around 9 – 9:30am) in February. 

What’s the weather in Reykjavik in February like? 

Here’s a table with the average February weather in Reykjavik: 

MonthHigh Temperature (°C / °F)Low Temperature (°C / °F)Rainy Days
February3° / 37.4°-2° / 28.4°13

As you can see, it’s not actually that cold (thanks to the jet stream) but it can be rainy or snowy! We had snow when we landed in Reykjavik but it started to melt later on in our trip.

Generally, expect it to snow, rain or sleet on and off but you may also get some lovely brisk winter weather. 

Things to do in Reykjavik in February

Below are all the things that I did on my February trip to Reykjavik. 

City walking tour 

I love a walking tour (I actually met my partner on one, but that’s a story for another day!) and provided one of the best walking tours I’ve ever been on.

Our guide, Asi, fascinated us with tales of Icelandic folklore and modern culture. It is technically free, but it’s common courtesy to tip at the end (guides rely on tips for their income). We tipped 5,000 ISK, which is around 28 GBP, for two people. 

Walk along the statues and sculpture walk

You’ll see most Reykjavik attractions, including Rainbow Street, Lake Tjornin and Arnarholl Hill on the walking tour, but it doesn’t go to the Statues and Sculpture Walk – and I’d highly recommend taking a walk down here for sunrise (around 9-9:30am in February). 

During sunrise, Reykjavik bay basks in a glorious winter glow, with snow-covered mountains just across the water. 

As the name suggests, there are a few statues to see along the walk. There’s the famous Sun Voyager statue, which people think is meant to represent a Viking ship – but I was told last time I was here that it actually represents a worship of the sun after a long winter. 

There’s also a small yellow lighthouse, which is perfect for photos!

At the end is the Harpa Concert Hall, where many Icelandic musicians perform. 

Eat at Kopar Restuarant

Reykjavik’s a surprisingly foodie-friendly city and many of its restaurants have fantastic vegetarian options! 

Our favourite was Kopar Restaurant. This harbour restaurant serves up dishes with a modern twist. We shared the battered broccoli tempura and arancini to start, and my partner had fish while I had a mushroom Wellington for mains. I finished with a brownie and we split a bottle of wine. 

The bill came to $130, which we didn’t think was too bad for Reykjavik! 

Northern Lights tour

Of course, February is a popular time to see the Northern Lights. In fact, while December has the longest nights (around 20 hours) February almost seemed more popular for people taking Iceland trips to see the aurora – perhaps because the longer days mean that there’s a chance to see Iceland’s other attractions too. 

You can see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik in a few ways: 

  1. A boat tour from Reykjavik Harbour: I did this on my first trip to Iceland and got a fantastic display of the lights, plus I enjoyed being on the boat more than being cramped into a coach! Click here to see the tour that I did.
  2. Bus tour from Reykjavik: This is the most popular Reykjavik Northern Lights tour – you’ll leave the city and drive into Iceland’s interior to areas with less light pollution. We were booked on this on our February trip to Reykjavik, but it was cancelled due to high cloud coverage (of course, seeing the Northern Lights is never guaranteed). Click here to read more about it.
  3. Self-drive: Of course, if you have your own vehicle, you could drive to places where the aurora is supposed to be strong! I recommend Thingvellir National Park on the Golden Circle. Do be mindful of driving in Iceland’s snow with little experience, however – personally, I wouldn’t drive in Iceland in the colder months. 
  4. Walk around Reykjavik harbour: Sometimes the lights are visible from Reykjavik harbour (but you do have to get lucky). When I went on the boat trip to see them, they were just about visible from the harbour, but they were very faint. Typically, they won’t be very strong at the harbour. 

Reykjavik’s thermal baths

Another one of the best things to do in Reykjavik in February is to visit the thermal baths. 

These are different to Sky Lagoon or the Blue Lagoon (I do recommend visiting one if it’s your first time in Iceland) –  a few of these thermal baths are dotted throughout the city center and they are outdoor leisure centers with all have thermally heated waters, hot tubs, swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms. 

They’re much cheaper and less crowded than the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon – they’re visited by locals.

I visited: 

  • Sundhollin: Located near Hallgrimskirkja and a 10-minute walk from the city centre, these are the oldest continuously operating baths in Iceland, dating back to the 1930s.
  • Laugardauslaug: As Reykjavik’s largest public pool, it features a 50m outdoor pool, several hot tubs and water slides.
  • Árbæjarlaug: Situated a bit further out of the city (we took the bus there) this bath is in a residential area but was our favourite. 
  • Vesturbæjarlaug: Located close to Reykjavik city centre, it’s a small neighbourhood pool with hot tubs and a heated outdoor swimming pool. 

Visit the city’s many museums

There are so many museums in Reykjavik! 

We used a Reykjavik City Card on our trip to access the Iceland National Museum, which delves into the country’s fascinating history, with snippets about the first settlers to the country and how they’ve adapted to Iceland’s harsh nature over the centuries, to how it’s become one of the world’s most forward-thinking countries in terms of women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights. 

Another hilarious museum we visited (not included in the Reykjavik City Card) was the Icelandic Phallological Museum.

Yes, this is a museum dedicated to exactly what you think!

It was started by one of the world leaders in phallalogy after he received a bull penis as a joke from one of his students. This became a running joke, and ultimately it became a collection – the founder, Sigurður Hjartarson was once quoted “I was never interested in collecting stamps!”.

It’s a collection of phalluses from different Icelandic animals and even some mythical creature. It is educational in a peculiar way and it definitely takes the crown for the strangest museum in Reykjavik – and possibly the world! 

If I went to this museum again (although once was probably enough!) I would avoid the £17 entry fee and just head to the cafe for a coffee or waffle (three guesses for what they’re shaped like…). You can get a sense of the museum from the cafe and see some of the exhibits, and you’ll save money this way. 

Sky Lagoon 

It is quite expensive nowadays, but I adored Sky Lagoon

Set against the rocky sea panorama with views to Reykjavik in the distance, this pool was mesmerizing – and it’s only just on the outskirts of the city. 

Sky Lagoon is well-known for its celebrated seven-step ritual, including sauna, steam and body scrub – I found this a little less serene than it could be due to the crowds, but it was still very fun (and the sauna, with floor to ceiling windows, was epic!). 

At the Lagoon’s bar, the price of drinks was a little steep ($12-$15) – but the experience of sitting in thermal waters, watching the crashing waves and sipping on a cold sparkling wine is unmatchable!

It’s perfect for February’s chilly weather – the thermal waters will warm you up, and you can still enjoy Iceland’s nature without braving the elements entirely. 

Buy tickets to Sky Lagoon by clicking here.

Lava Show 

Iceland is the land of Fire and Ice

As its moniker implies, there are a lot of volcanoes and there’s a lot of lava. 

This lava show is a safe way to see and learn about lava without actually going to a volcano. 

It’s an hour-long experience where they pour real lava into a room and they show you how it reacts in different ways – you learn a lot about both volcanoes and lava! 

We had the premium package for the lava show, so were served a complimentary drink on arrival in the lounge (a volcano-inspired cocktail). 

People with premium tickets sit at the top, which gives the best view of the lava as it erupts. 

The volcano expert led us through what to expect and explained a bit about volcanoes in Iceland before she introduced the lava maker – who makes all the lava and has to wear a highly protective suit that’s similar to what astronauts wear! 

Then,  it was time for the lava to come into the room – at first it was 1,100C and was a very small-scale volcanic eruption. The volcanologist showed us how the lava reacts with different substances as it cools, along with telling us everything we needed to know about volcanoes – which was especially topical given the volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula had erupted just a week before.  

There were a couple of other highlights with the premium experience as well – you get a free lava rock that you can take home and a backstage tour to see how the lava is made.

Click here to read more about the Lava Show.

Top of Hallgrimskirkja 

View of the buildings of Reykjavik spanning from the top of Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland

One of my top recommendations for visiting Reykjavik any time of year is to climb to the top of Hallgrimskirkja

It opens at 10:00am every day, so I’d especially recommend visiting it if you’re visiting in early February, as the sunrise views are magnificent. 

It’s free to see the interior of Hallgrimskirkja, but costs about $7 to ascend to the top. 

FlyOver Iceland

FlyOver Iceland is perfect if you’re visiting the capital and the weather isn’t great. 

It’s a virtual flight over the entirety of the country; obviously there’s no comparison to seeing Iceland’s nature up-close, but honestly, this vantage point is epic in its own right. 

You’ll visit to a lot of places that you literally can’t access otherwise, especially in the winter.

Apparently, a lot of Icelandic people have gone in and have seen places in their country that they didn’t even know existed!

Visit the Flea Market

Right by the Iceland Phallalogical Museum, you’ll find a flea market. This is only open on Saturdays and Sundays and unfortunately, we got there at 5:05 and it closed at 5:00, so we didn’t have a chance to look inside!

However, we were told by Asi, our guide from the free walking tour, that this is an excellent place to buy Icelandic souvenirs. So, if you want to purchase something that’s not too expensive and traditional to Iceland, this is where to look. 

It’s also next to the very famous Bæjarins Beztu hot dog stand – we didn’t try this because they didn’t have veggie sausages, but I have since heard that there’s a hot dog stand that serves veggie dogs!

Where to stay in Reykjavik in February

We stayed in Midgardur by Center Hotels, and enjoyed its Nordic-style, minimalist rooms, delicious breakfast and spa facilities.

It was also only a 10-15 minute walk from the city centre and all its attractions.

Click here to read more about it.

What to pack for Reykjavik in February

Here are some things to remember to pack for Reykjavik in February! 

  • Thermal underwear
  • Waterproof winter coat (make sure it’s waterproof!)
  • Wool or thermal socks
  • Waterproof boots (again, waterproof-ness is key here)
  • Hats, gloves, and scarves
  • Swimsuit
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack
  • Portable charger
  • Water bottle
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Moisturizer
  • Camera or smartphone for photos
  • Travel adapter for Iceland (Type F)
  • Warm sweaters or fleece
  • Warm trousers
  • Daypack for excursions
  • Reusable shopping bag

Are you ready to visit Reykjavik in February? 

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, take a look at my YouTube video for more information. 

Otherwise, do check out the rest of my Iceland winter posts on this website!

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