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 price of anything in Reykjavik Iceland.
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!
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.
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 so 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.
Essentials for Winter in Iceland [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B015PJIVJM” locale=”US” src=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51eufURZ4oL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”wyldfamilytra-20″ width=”160″]
- Waterproof Coat
- Waterproof boots
- Thermals, both pants and t-shirt
- [easyazon_link keywords=”Beanie” locale=”US” tag=”wyldfamilytra-20″]Beanie[/easyazon_link]
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
City Walk Tour Highlights Include: [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”175″ identifier=”0241306515″ locale=”US” src=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51SpvU6EkPL.jpg” tag=”wyldfamilytra-20″ width=”125″]
- Icelandic Parliment
- City Hall
- The Oldest Street in Reykjavik
- The Tree of the Year
- Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. world famous hot dogs
- Arnarholl Park
- Laugavegur Street
- Hallgrimskirkja Church
- The Harpa Concert Hall
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 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.
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
- 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
Like most City walk tours they are ‘free’ but you are encouraged to pay what you believe the tour was worth. We happily left a payment in Eric’s backpack for him as we think he was one of the best tour guides we have ever had!
Follow along below with our picture journey of the amazing City Walk Reykjavik.
Travel to Iceland
- Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland. Keflavik International Airport is 50 kilometres from Reykjavik. 6.8 million people travelled through Keflavik airport in 2016,
- The main carrier at Keflavík is Icelandair
- You can check the prices of international flights to Iceland with CheapOair. Domestic flights are operated out of Reykjavik city airport which is 2 km from the city
- The Airport Express return service between KEF airport and both Reykjavik and Akureyri is operated by Gray Line Iceland. Book your transfer book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
- You can reserve a rental car and have it waiting for you at Keflavik International Airport.
Getting around Iceland and Reykjavik [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”9935936910″ locale=”US” src=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51OXT5cMMbL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”wyldfamilytra-20″ width=”114″]
- 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 ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=” (opens in a new tab)”>More information is available here
Where to stay for your Reykjavik Walking Tour
- Reykjavik has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
- Hostels in Reykjavik can start from as little as 25 Euro a night for a shared dorm room.
- You can search Airbnb for there Iceland offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE
- Hotels in Reykjavik generally start from around $209.00 a night for a double room 3star and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards the 5-star average price of $271.00.
- You can compare and book your stay on Agoda, Hotels.com, Hotels Combined and Expedia
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support .