Swimming culture in Iceland?


Hi, I have been hearing that Icelanders are really into swimming pools, and was wondering about what is so special about them and if it is really worth my time to make a visit. What is the best swimming pool in Reykjavik?


The pools are awesome! There’s pretty much a pool in every village.There’s a lot of them in Reykjavík as well, and they’re always warm. I know it’s strange to go to the pool in winter, but in Iceland the pools are geothermal, so the water is nice. They also have hot tubs that are very warm and people go there to just sit and chat. I’d recommend going in the morning, and try and join the conversation :slight_smile:
One thing is a bit strange: you have to shower naked before going in. They even have people in the changing room to check if you’re doing it! And there are communal showers! (ok, gender segregated, but still everyone togeather). But it’s ok, because the pool is so super nice!
My favourite pool is Vesturbaejarlaug near ReykjavĂ­k central.


Icelandic swimming pools would be considered spas in many other countries in the world. Almost every single swimming pool in Iceland also has at least one hot tub, and often a sauna as well. At some of them you can book a massage as well. Many of them (especially the ones in the countryside) have a stunning view as well.

Locals meet up at swimming pools or go together as it is a nice and relaxing, cheap and healthy way to spend time together, as opposed to meeting up for a drink at a bar. The entry fee to a swimming pool is about as much as one beer in a bar.

The biggest pools have both indoor and outdoor pools, multiple hot and cold tubs, water slides, sauna, steam room, open playgrounds or sunbathing decks - and all that for just a few hundred ISK. The pools are very reasonably priced, much cheaper than going to the Blue Lagoon or other actual spas in Iceland. They are open all year round, often until late at night (10pm sometimes).

Like Unnur mentions then you do have to shower naked before entering the pools, in order to make sure the water stays clean, as there is not much chlorine in the water. Some pools have even less chlorine (or none at all) and just saltwater instead.

Laugardalslaug is the largest pool in Reykjavík, but my personal favourites are Sundhöllin and Vesturbæjarlaug.

In the countryside, the infinity pool at HofsĂłs has the best views, and the pools at Akureyri and in the Westman Islands have plenty of slides and are fun for kids (and adults that like slides) :wink:

Read more about the best swimming pools in ReykjavĂ­k here, and the best swimming pools in the Icelandic countryside here.


Thank you everyone for your reply! The infinity pool in Hofsós was really nice and kind of unexpected since the town itself is such a small town. It was also really nice dipping in the hot pool while watching the birds fly around the cliff! The bathroom was not the cleanest when I visited, but maybe that’s just my luck :confused:

In Reykjavik I went to Sundhöllin in the end because it is the closest one to the place I was staying at but they were doing some construction and the hot pools outside were unfortunately closed! I look forward to visiting Sundhöllin again when the construction is completed, and maybe also Vesturbæjarlaug! Hopefully they don’t raise their prices again haha :sweat_smile:


Thank you so much for that fascinating icelandic x1000 gfci pump sharing.

Pools are literally horrible. it seems wondering and relaxing.