Free things to do in Reykjavik: Nauthólsvík Beach

Nauthólsvík beach, so good it has to have it’s own blog, a part of our Free things to do in Reykjavik series.

Tucked away from downtown, and very walkable from the hostel, Nauthólsvík beach is a favorite among the people of Reykjavik on warm summer days. And even if the weather is not so warm, you’ll still find some determined locals in their bathing suits trying to catch some rays or soaking in the water.

Reykjavik beach Iceland

Nauthólsvík beach on a sunny day

Nauthólsvík is a man-made beach. What this means is that a part of the cold North Atlantic Ocean has been closed off in a lagoon and warmed up to a degree people are able to play and lounge in, and it’s so, so nice. The facilities include a huge hot tub as well as grills where you can BBQ yourself a nice meal (you can even buy hot dogs there and grill them!).

Nautholsvik beach Iceland

The path to the North Atlantic Ocean.


The beach is not as populated during non-summer days but it’s still a great place to visit. The hot tub is warm and the surroundings are spectacular.

Of course, the ocean is right outside the lagoon and a lot of people take advantage of that and go swimming… in any kind of weather… year round. We know, it’s crazy, but this activity is considered to be good for the body as well as the soul. If you’re feeling brave, give it a shot—it’s something worth writing home about. How cool is it to have bathed in the freezing cold North Atlantic Ocean in ICELAND? Pretty damn cool.


Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach Reykjavik

Nauthólsvík beach on a not so sunny day. Photo by

The area is also a very popular outdoor area in Reykjavik with Öskjuhlíð hill close by. There you can always see walkers, runners and bikers enjoying nature. The beach and outdoor area are maybe about a 15 minute walk walking distance from Bus Hostel.

Nautholsvik beach

The hot tub area on a sunny day. Photo by Visit Reykjavik

The bathing area is free for all during summer. Be aware that the changing rooms are not open at all times during the winter. For more information, head on over to

So, go check it out, friends.  If you have been there let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The Bus Hostel team

Free Things to do in Reykjavík

Whether you’re running low on funds after exploring Iceland, or you just want a low-key day downtown, there are always cool and free things to do in this city. If you’ve got a couple days to walk around, here are some fun things you can do without spending money.

Explore the street art throughout the city

You probably already know Reykjavik is an enchanting little city of colorful homes, but have you noticed our street art scene? Large murals by local and foreign artists are all over the city; just take a walk downtown to discover these great art pieces!

Free things to do in Reykjavik

Visit the Museum of Photography

If museums are your thing, head over to the library in town, where on the top floor sits this museum. It has exhibitions with beautiful photographs that totally reflect the country’s unique spirit. Also, this isn’t the only museum that’s free. There’s a sculpture garden by Hallgrimskirkja, too.

Free things to do in Reykjavik

Take a walk around Tjörnin the largest pond in Reykjavik

It has a park that surrounds it and of course, a lot of happy ducks that may ask you for some bread. After feeding time, head into the town hall to check out a sweet 3D map of the entire country.

Visit Harpa, Reykjavik’s concert hall.

You can’t miss this architectural wonder when you’re in town, but it’s not enough to just take pictures of the outside! During the day, Harpa shines with the natural daylight; however, during the evening, this hall is illuminated with dancing lights. And if you are lucky, you can search online and maybe get a chance to see some free events, like the Icelandic symphony rehearsals.

Free things to do in Reykjavik

Go to the Flea Market.

If you are in town during the weekend, visit Kolaportið down by the harbor. You’ll find all kinds of crafts, books and of course food such as fermented shark. If you do have some money left, or you’ve been holding out for an Icelandic sweater, this is the place to find the cheapest ones.

Concerts and pub quizzes!

There are concerts by jazz and indie musicians for free all over town every single night. Pub quizzes are also frequent, with the most well-known one being the movie quiz held at the Lebowski Bar on Thursday nights. There’s no cover charge or entry fee to join in, either.

These are just a few of the things you can do without spending money while you’re in town, and it just goes to show that you don’t need to buy something to go deep into Icelandic culture.

Now, no more excuses: Iceland isn’t only about Geyser and volcanoes, it’s city life, too!

P.S. Check out our blog on Nauthólsvík, the geothermal beach in town, and super close to the hostel! So free, and so awesome that it deserves its own post 🙂