Icelandic Culture
Practical info
4 December 2017

Spending Christmas in Iceland? Read a few tips from the Blue staff!

We often get asked for tips about spending the holidays in Iceland, and we’re always happy to help! Here are answers to the most common Christmas related questions we get from travelers.

Make dinner reservations well in advance

Christmas in Iceland - tips

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More and more restaurants are offering Christmas and New Years dinners, at least in Reykjavík. A few years ago, there was barely anything open at that time. But now, since there are more travelers in Reykjavík over the holiday, restaurants stay open. That doesn’t mean that you can just walk in, though. So, make sure you contact the restaurants you want to eat at well in advance and secure your spot.

Double check what’s open

We’ve already talked about the restaurants, but the same goes for everything else. If you plan on going on tours, visiting museums, cafés, swimming pools or shop for clothes and gifts, look at the websites or contact them directly to learn about their opening hours over the holidays.

The general rule of thumb is:

  • On December 24th, most stores are open until noon. Some attractions are closed, but many restaurants stay open.
  • On December 25th, mostly everything is closed except a few restaurants and maybe a handful of convenience stores.
  • December 31st is like the 24th, where mostly everything is open until noon.
  • On January 1st, almost everything is closed except for a few restaurants.

You should check extra carefully if you’re not in Reykjavík or other larger towns during those days since there’s a greater chance that stores, restaurants, and attractions are closed.

Soak in the Icelandic Christmas spirit!

Stay warm and cozy. Drink hot chocolate at a café and munch on gingerbread. Walk downtown, admire the decorations and see if you can find fun Christmas related activities. Ask around if there are any Christmas markets, concerts