New Year's Celebrations In Reykjavík

27. Dec 2017 |2 min read

The new year is upon us! One more year down and one more year closer to death... Yes, that's right! Here at Northbound, we have an extremely positive outlook on life. I'm just joking, of course. It really means that we're closer to the WORLD CUP!

New Year's celebrations in Iceland are CHAOTICALLY AMAZING! As soon as the clock surpasses midnight, you will not hear yourself think for at least an hour. The deafening fireworks will leave you startled for days. If you have asthma, then I strongly advise that you keep your inhaler close! The best possible spot to see the fireworks is from Öskjuhlíð hill, here you will have a great view of Reykjavík and surrounding areas. Last year, I took a photo from just outside of Reykjavík (Grafarholt). You can see that photo below. 



From 22:30 to 23:30, Reykjavík will be pretty calm as Icelander's tune into the annual TV programme called 'Áramótaskaupið'. This TV show highlights and mocks notable events of the past 12 months. The show is in Icelandic, but if you still wish to try and watch then you will find it on the Icelandic channel RÚV (Channel 1). 

There is a New Year's Eve Bonfire and Fireworks tour which I recommend checking out. You will be taken to see the bonfires and fireworks going on around the city, and be supplied with a glass of fine sparkling wine whilst doing so!

As previously stated, there are many bonfires happening around the city! You will find them at:

  • Ægis - Ægissiða, 20:30
  • Skerjafjörður - Opposite Skildinganes, 21:00
  • Suðurhlíð - Below Fossvogur church, 20:30
  • Laugardalur - Below Laugarásvegur 18, 20:30
  • Geirsnef - North Geirsnef, 20:30
  • Suðurfell - Elliðárdalur valley, 20:30
  • Rauðavatn - North coast, 20:30
  • Gufunes - Gufunes farm and recreational area, 20:30
  • Kléberg - Kjalarnes, 20:30
  • Úlfarsfell - On the site of Fisfélagið on top of Lambhagaveg, 15:00


*Tip: Try heading to Grótta, It's great for a relaxing view of the fireworks and you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. 

It used to be common for restaurants and bars to close for New Years, to allow staff to enjoy the celebrations with family and friends. However, nowadays almost everything stays open due to the increase in tourists and the higher demand for dining out on new years. 

Around 1 AM, you will see the local youngsters and not-so-youngsters heading downtown in search of a hangover for the first day of the new year. Celebrations will be wild, loud and extremely exciting. There will be fun and laughter all over with everyone in good spirits. Expect a life-chat with a local who has now become your best friend over a few shots of tequila. 

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