City Walk Reykjavik tour reviewed

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On a cold January day in Reykjavik, we found ourselves standing with a group of 30 others waiting to start the City Walk Reykjavik tour. The popularity of the Reykjavik walking tour has a lot to do with the prices in Reykjavik Iceland.

Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world and a free tour is a must for affordable travel in Iceland and a must-do if you are travelling Iceland on a budget. A northern lights tour will cost money, a golden circle tour will cost money but not a free walking tour.

Where do I meet the Reykjavik walking tour guide?

The meeting point was Austurvöllur in front of the House of Parliament (Alþingi). January in Iceland is pretty cold with only a few hours of light at this time of the year.

Mind you, you would never guess it is the house of Parliament. No guards, guns or dogs in sight which really surprised the majority of us in the group. Just a historically old looking stone building in downtown Reykjavik.

We were later to learn that a previous Icelandic government was toppled by protestors throwing bananas at the building, it made for a great way to break the ice at the start of the CityWalk tour!

City Walk Reykjavik

Reykjavik walking tour was funny and informative

Back to the City Walk Reykjavik. Eric was our guide on this day and a funnier more informative guy you would not meet. Some of the stories he told had us all completely in stitches. I would love to tell you some but I am not sure how they would come across in writing. The tour takes you on foot around the heart of Reykjavík starting as we said in Austurvöllur and finishing at the Harpa Concert Hall.

The main focus is the history of Iceland from the landing of the Vikings and how the country was populated (now that’s a funny story told by Eric.) We learn of Reykjavík as a town and its quirks such as the “Tree of the Year” competition, when you visit you will totally understand.

City Walk Reykjavik highlights

Eric will also go into more detail about Vikings and their way of life as they are very important to Iceland. After all, they settled this country. Statues of prominent Vikings are found throughout Reykjavik. Eric will also tell you about the famous Elves of Iceland and how they are so much a part of the Icelandic way of life.

They are well respected and often roads are diverted as to not destroy their homes. The stories of the Elves are great for the kids and even the adults. It makes you look for them everywhere you go as you wander the city.

City Walk Tour highlights include

You visit the famous Reykjavik hotdog stand where you talk about food, nightlife, music and discuss the part Iceland’s banks played in the financial crash of 2008. Reykjavik walking tour tells the full story of the Icelandic capital

reykjavik walking tours highlights

City Walk Reykjavik is the best 2 hours you will spend in this city

The Reykjavik walking tour is heavily comedic with stories, tales and yarns about Iceland and its people. The guides happily poke fun at themselves and their country in a light-hearted and still informative style.

This is a must-do activity when in Reykjavik Iceland and something not to be missed. Trip Advisor ranks CityWalk Reykjavik this is the number one activity in Reykjavik with over 2900 excellent reviews and it gets a huge thumbs up from us here at Wyld Family Travel!

You might enjoy our article on Travelling in Iceland

The Reykjavik walking tour is an easy walk with time to rest if you need it. Make sure you have some water with you though as you do get thirsty wandering the streets and there are times you are away from shops.

reykjavik walking tours highlights

It is an easy walk for the kids too and ours loved Eric and his stories. If you need to Eric will point you back in the direction you need to go in after the city sightseeing Reykjavik tour has ended.

Facts about Reykjavik

Going on a Reykjavik walking tour will give you some of the little known facts about a city that are really only known by locals. As most of the tour guides are locals or people who have lived in the city for an extended time there are always some really interesting things to learn on a walking tour.

reykjavik walking tours highlights
  • Reykjavik is the northernmost capital on the planet
  • Steam rising from the area’s hot springs gave Reykjavik its name, which literally translates to “Cove of Smokes”
  • Of Iceland’s 332,750 residents, 64 per cent, or 213,760, live in the Reykjavik region
  •  In 2011, Reykjavik was the fifth city named a City of Literature by UNESCO
  • Reykjavik is believed to have been the first permanent settlement in Iceland
reykjavik walking tours highlights

What do I need on the Reykjavik walking tour

  • Waterproof Coat
  • Waterproof boots
  • Thermals, both pants and t-shirt
  • Beanie
  • Gloves
  • Backpack

Is the Reykjavik walking tour really free?

Like most City walking tours they are ‘free’ but you are encouraged to pay what you believe the tour was worth. We happily left payment in Eric’s backpack for him as we think he was one of the best tour guides we have ever had!

reykjavik walking tours highlights

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reykjavik walking tours highlights

Know before you go! Our top Reykjavik travel tips

Travelling to Iceland requires a lot of planning. Not only is Iceland one of the most expensive countries to visit it is absolutely amazing. Once you are travelling in Iceland you feel like you have to do it all while you are there. Below are the best things to have prepared before you leave for your vacation to Reykjavik.

Where to stay in Reykjavik

You’ll never be short of options for your accommodation in Reykjavik. In Reykjavik, you find a range of hotels, apartments and hostels. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families and groups on every budget. If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Trip Advisor and Hotellook to find the best prices in Reykjavik.

reykjavik walking tours highlights
  • Luxury: Located in the city centre of Reykjavik is the Opel Premium Apartments. Featuring rooms for singles, doubles and 2 bedroom suites for families. Your family can free Wi-Fi in all rooms if you arrive early luggage storage is available along with, car parking and airport transfer.
  • Mid-Range: Singles, Doubles and family rooms for 4 featuring Tv’s, Wi-Fi, refrigerator and coffee maker is waiting for you. Fosshotel Baron is located in the Reykjavik City Centre area of Reykjavik. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk and facilities for disabled guests
  • Budget: If you like communal living then the Reykjavik Hostel Village might be the best budget bet for you in the city center. Featuring rooms for all number of visitors, free Wi-Fi, kitchen and BBQ for cooking. The city center is 300 m away from the hostel.

Do I need travel insurance in Iceland?
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Get your travel insurance now to protect your epic holiday in Iceland from any small hiccup.
For Australian travellers, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance
For worldwide travellers, we recommend AXA Travel Insurance

reykjavik walking tours highlights

Reykjavik apartment alternative for your stay

If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Reykjavík then an apartment is the best choice for you on your vacation to Iceland. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well when you visit Reykjavik. Check out the map below to find the perfect Reykjavik apartment for your vacation in Reykjavik. ​

Book your Airbnb apartment in Reykjavik

How to get to Reykjavik

  • Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland. Reykjavik is located in South Iceland. Travel to Iceland is via Keflavik International Airport. The airport is 50 kilometres from Reykjavik. 6.8 million people travelled through Keflavik airport in 2016. Search your flights to Iceland with Kiwi.com
  • Smyril Line car ferry M/S Norröna sails between Seyðisfjörður in Iceland, Hirtshals in Denmark and Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands once a week. This allows you to bring your car and drive to Reykjavik.
  • You can reserve a rental car and have it waiting for you at Keflavik International Airport

How to get around Reykjavik

  • The city buses in Reykjavík are yellow. The Icelandic word for them is strætó, which is short for strætisvagn (streetcar). These buses are the only public transport in the city.
  • The Reykjavik Hop on hop off bus is another excellent option for seeing the sites of the city and surrounding area. Check the current prices HERE
  • The Reykjavik City Card entitles you to entry to some of Reykjavik’s major attractions and free public transport on the buses. More information is available here

Reykjavik City Card

The Reykjavik City Card helps visitors save money on Reykjavik attractions around the city. Sightseeing in Reykjavik and Iceland is pricey and adds up quickly. The city card helps keep the costs down with free entries and discounts to top Reykjavik attractions, free transportation and discounts at restaurants. You can get a Reykjavik City Card for 24-, 48- and 72-hour duration. Buy your city card for your Reykjavik trip today

reykjavik walking tour highlights

Do you need a sim card for your trip to Iceland?

Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling in Iceland can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact with who you need is a top priority when you are on vacation in Iceland. Plan your trip to Reykjavik out and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data, and calls on your vacation to Reykjavik.

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Iceland. There are so many things to do in Iceland when you visit that will have you entertained and inspired on your vacation. The Reykjavik walking tour is one of the best ways to see some amazing sights in Reykjavik. If you are travelling to Iceland on a budget then the Reykjavik walking tour should be at the top of your list.

For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Iceland click through to our Iceland Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.


More travel inspiration for your trip to Iceland


Author bio:

Father, husband, traveller and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not talking about travel or planning travel you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months old, through to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

Having a beer in Pilsen Czech
Mark Wyld

Content Creator

7 thoughts on “City Walk Reykjavik tour reviewed”

  1. We opted for a Blue Lagoon and outside tours rather than a city tour when we had our day in Reykjavik. I regret not having seen that iconic church!

    Reply
  2. Reykjavík is a compact small city that is very much walking friendly. There’s no better way to explore the city centre on foot. Walk along the Harpa and to the Viking ship sculpture, the view of the Harbour and Mountainous terrain is simply amazing.

    Reply
  3. I haven’t been to Reykjavik, but from your photos and this post it sounds like a free walking tour is a great way to see the city. I’ve done walking tours in other cities, and I love how I can learn a little bit and get some bearings to how things are set out.

    Also I love learning that bananas toppled a previous Icelandic government. Iceland sounds like a pretty quirky country; one I’d love to visit myself.

    Reply
  4. What an interesting walking tour. I love a good walking tour, such a great way to get to know a new city. Eric sounds like a riot.

    Reply
  5. Reykjavik is so beautiful. The architecture (the instrument like shaped) looks so grand and beautiful. Although the weather is gloomy, the beauty reveals itself!

    Reply

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