New years in Reykjavík


I’m thinking about coming next new years eve to Reykjavík. I’m thinking when I need to start booking and planning. Also, what parties should I attend? is there like a place where people gather? I was also told I can buy fireworks, do I need any identification or something to license?
I’m staying for a week. What else can I do while I’m there?


Hey, Unnur! Reykjavík is very popular during New Years so the sooner you book the better. Icelanders usually celebrate like crazy on New Years eve and if you’re lucky a complete stranger might invite you in for a party. Almost all the pubs, cafés, nightclubs and bars in downtown Reykjavík have a party of their own. You’ll have to buy tickets at the door, though.

People usually gather around bonfires between 8 and 10 pm and by the Hallgrímskirkja Church around midnight. But basically anywhere you’ll go, you’ll see locals blowing up fireworks. You can buy fireworks from special dealers between the 27th of December and the 6th of January. They set up shop all over town and you can’t really miss them. Be sure to bring your ID for proof of age.

Here’s a really nice blog on New Year’s eve in Reykjavík and here’s a whole article on Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Iceland.

I hope this helps! Have a happy New Year!


Hi Unnur,

I was lucky to celebrate New Years Eve in Reykjavik in 2016 as a foreigner (I’m from Belgium). My experience is that you have to book really soon because the hotels/restaurants in Reykjavik are fully booked during this period. We even had to stay at a AirBnb!

We visited a bonfire and saw the Northern Lights dancing at the sky. We will never forget that night!
It’s true that Icelandic people are crazy because they start shooting fireworks from 5 pm till 1 am creating a fog over Reykjavik downtown.

I totally recommend a visit to Reykjavik on New Years Eve!


Hey Unnur,

New Years Eve is one of the best nights in Iceland, in my opinion. My first New Years, we were stood outside Hallgrimskirkja (the big church on most of the Reykjavík postcards) and the atmosphere was amazing, with everyone so enthusiastic and feeling the community. It seemed half the city had showed up. When the fireworks started properly, it was even more unbelievable.

It can’t be called a firework display as such, as there was no coordination or anything like that, but it was best show of them I’ve ever seen. I have never ever seen that many going off at once, at any event or time anywhere in the world. From the church, you can see them from every angle. The photographs you can find of what’s going on are no exaggeration. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen one that truly demonstrates the scale of the event.

Of course, so many crowded people setting off so many fireworks at night has its dangers, but there are goggles on sale around the time you can protect yourself with - major injuries from the fireworks come when something hits an eye. Even if you don’t want to stand in goggles on New Years Eve, if you are travelling with children, it might be wise for them!

The fireworks are on sale all over, but the Rescue Team is one of the biggest sellers. As a volunteer organisation that every day saves visitors and locals from sticky situations, its one of their most important times for raising funds, so I recommend buying off them.

After the fireworks, the party tends to stay on all night, like most other places. Prepare for some crowded bars and steep drink prices, but an amazing atmosphere and a wealth of fun people. Its also a great night to meet locals rather than just largely tourists, as most Icelanders want to make the most of the turn of the year too.

Hope that helps and you have an amazing time over here!




If someone is looking for a splendid time in magnificent parts of the world then the best place to be is in Reykjavik Iceland. It is one of the places where we can celebrate New Years. Last year my brother went to this city and he shared with me his experience. He told me that nobody can celebrate New Year’s Eve like an Icelander. We can discover the special traditions and strange folklore connected to the magical New Year’s Eve in Iceland. He enjoyed his trip with the help of Discover Iceland. This year I will go to Reykjavik for celebrating New Year.