If you’re staying in central Reykjavík, the obvious choice would be to attend Sundhöll Reykjavíkur, situated only a few hundred metres behind the mighty Hallgrímskirkja Church. This swimming pool, housed in a building dating back from 1937 (the oldest pool within Reykjavík) was renovated in 2017 with a brand new outdoor pool, hot tubs and a sauna. Previously it only had an indoor pool and 2 outdoor hot tubs, but now has both an indoor and outdoor pool, 2 saunas, 3 hot tubs, one children’s pool and a cold tub.
Another popular pool for people staying in central Reykjavík is Vesturbæjarlaug, the swimming pool in the west part of the city. This is an outdoor pool with a few hot tubs and a couple of saunas; a popular hangout spot for locals and travellers alike. There’s also a lovely café situated right across the street from the pool, Kaffi Vest, that is perfect for a warming cuppa after relaxing in a hot tub.
A third one, and the largest pool in Reykjavík, is Laugardalslaug pool. This one is situated within Reykjavík’s recreational centre, Laugardalur, where you can also find: a sports hall, a botanical garden, a family park & zoo, a sculpture museum, a large gym (World Class), a spa (Laugar Spa) and a skating rink. Given the wealth of attractions on offer here, Laugardalslaug is the perfect place to bring the whole family.
Given the sensibilities of our foreign guests, one thing to be aware of is that you will be required to get naked with the locals before entering the pools. This is not some peculiar ritual, but strictly hygiene. The showers are gender separated, but since there’s a very low level of chlorine in the swimming pools, everyone is required to wash thoroughly before taking a dip. If you try to avoid it, you will most certainly be told off by a local or even one of the bathing guards!
Perhaps the best thing about Reykjavík’s swimming pools is that they can be enjoyed all year round and in every type of weather. You can perfectly enjoy a soak in an outdoor hot tub, even if it is -5°C outside and snowing! Check out the above map to find your nearest swimming pool.
Visit Hallgrimskirkja Church
Towering over the centre of Reykjavík is Hallgrímskirkja church, visible from almost every angle of the city and therefore making it very easy to find. At the top of this 74.5m expressionist building is a viewing platform boasting 360° views over the entire city. Along with the view from Perlan on Öskjuhlíð hill, this is probably the best view you will get of the city, save for from air.
The tower is open daily, except on Sundays when there are services for mass. This is an operating church so the tower may sometimes be closed due to services or concerts being held inside. Entry to the top is 900 ISK for adults but 100 ISK for children aged 7-14. Travelling to the top is free for younger children.