There are plenty of activities you can participate in on a wet and cloudy day in Reykjavík without sacrificing your adventure in Iceland. It’s easy to want to cuddle in bed with a good book or movie. I get it. Been there, done that. But you’re in Iceland! Don’t let the unpredictable weather stop you from experiencing this exciting and beautiful country worth exploring.
So start up your Happy Camper and get exploring the cultural side of the capital. To begin your day, park at Hallgrímskirkja and head to the top for a panoramic view above the city and then look to my top recommendations on what to do in Reykjavík on a rainy day.
In my opinion, you should take advantage of the downtown cafés. There’s a place for everyone. Just order a coffee, log into the free wifi, and chill out. A few of my favourite haunts are Mokka Kaffi for great hot chocolate, Stofan Café for delicious cakes, and Café Babalú for its unique interior. For something completely different, spend your afternoon playing old school arcade games at Freddi Arcade & Toys.
No matter your interest, there is a museum to keep you occupied. There’s the Whale Museum, Settlement Exhibition, and the one-of-a-kind Phallological Museum (yes, a museum dedicated to the penis!) to name a few. If you’d prefer to take a seat, head to Bío Paradís or Harpa for a handful of internationally recognized local films and performances. Last but not least, if you’re in the city over the weekend, the flea market Kolaportið is a unique destination to explore and buy souvenirs.
Although you might think it odd, visiting the local swimming hole is one of the best activities on a rainy day (hey, you’re going to get wet anyway!). Laugardalslaug, Sundhöllin, and Vesturbæjarslaug are the most notable spots in or around the city centre. I’d recommend testing out the hot pots (tubs) ranging in temperatures from 38-44°C to keep nice and warm. My personal favourite is the sea pot at Laugardalslaug, a tub filled with water direct from the ocean. But others might find the cold pot at 5°C even more chilling and thrilling.
If bathing in a hot pot isn’t your thing, consider visiting Skautahöllinn (Skate Palace) for recreational ice skating or the bowling alley at Egilshöll where you can embrace your inner Lebowski (a fictional character loved by all Icelanders). Find yourself at the alley on a weekend evening? Catch their complimentary ride downtown so you can continue a fun night out! Just don’t forget to pick up your Happy Camper the next day.
There’s no nightlife like Reykjavík nightlife. And the restaurants, bars, and clubs are so close in proximity to each other there’s no reason not to make a night of it, even in the rain. So, whether you’d like to sip craft brews at Micro Bar, dance at Húrra and Prikið, or sample a bit of everything with a bar and club crawl, do as Icelanders do and get wild!
And there you have it. I hope my top recommendations for a rainy day in Reykjavík will make your trip a little more interesting and easier to plan when something as unpredictable as weather gets in the way. Is there something more to add? Feel free to comment your personal suggestions below!
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To read more about Lea’s Happy Camper Adventures in Iceland check out these articles:Snorkeling in Silfra with Scuba IcelandReykjavík’s Best Ice Cream Shops According to Happy CampersHappy Campers’ Basic Guide to Icelandic