Our Blog RSS

The ins and outs of New Year´s Eve in Reykjavik

Busy Rooms header  - NYE
28/12/2023 13:12

New Year's Eve in Iceland is a cozy, fun filled affair, whether you are celebrating with family, friends or both. Families and friends in Iceland usually gather at home for a New Year's Eve meal, followed by the annual Áramótaskaup. A sort of Icelandic SNL it is an Icelandic comedy show that pokes fun at the past year's events in Icelandic society, whether it's our politicians, public figures and local celebrities or whatever natural phenomena our island has conjured up this year like volcanic eruptions for example.

Once the comedy show is over and as the clock nears midnight, Icelanders gear up in warm layers, armed with fireworks bought from the Icelandic Association for Search, Rescue & Injury Prevention, supporting a good cause. Icelanders will spend large amounts for these explosives, making it one of the biggest expenses in Icelandic households over the holidays. Not the food or the wine (although that is a pretty big expense here), but these ephemeral smokey firestarters that over the years have caused many an injury big and small.

At midnight, the entire sky in the capital area lights up as locals ignite their own fireworks – a legal and lively tradition. The funds from these purchases aid in supporting the rescue association, they are volunteer based which means that these funds help keep both Icelanders and visitors safe as they travel around the island, get stuck in snow drifts, get lost on the highlands or get too close to active eruptions, making the celebration even more meaningful.

Choosing where to enjoy this impressive firework display is part of the fun, you need an elevated area with good visibility. Popular spots include Hallgrímskirkja which gets quite crowded but doesn´t offer a good viewpoint over the whole capital area, Arnarhóll does offer a good view over the west part of the city but not over the whole area, the path from Harpa to the Sun Voyager gives a wider range of views onto the bay and over the capital, in our personal opinion the areas in front of the University of Iceland, and the Perlan area over the best views over the whole capital area, also the path along the street Ægisíða. So we encourage you to give some serious thought to where you would like to enjoy the firework display and remember to wrap up warmly.

After the spectacle, the night continues with some opting for home parties while others venture downtown, where the festivities keep going. The bars will be open until late in the night somewhere between 4 and 5 am but be advised that taxis are a hard commodity to come by at this time so be prepared to walk if you can or be patient and dress warmly. New Year´s Eve in Iceland is a night filled with joy, laughter, and a dazzling display of fireworks against the Icelandic sky. And we cannot wait for you to enjoy it the way we do!

Kvöldvaka: The Tradition of Icelandic Storytelling
Picture a time before technology—yes, we know, it's hard and a bit daunting. What would we do without our phones and tablets to keep us entertained on long, dark winter nights? Find out more in this blog.
Winter's Farewell: Exploring Icelandic traditions from Þorri to Góa
Now that the holiday season has wrapped up, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring in Iceland. As we bid farewell to winter, we have special dates like bóndadagur (husbands day), konudagur (women's day), and Þorrablót (the feast of þorri) to look forward to.
5 Inviting kaffihús: Finding Comfort in Reykjavik's Stormy Weather
Part of the charm of Iceland lies in its unpredictable, sometimes wild, and always dramatic weather. When rain or snowstorms are in full force, finding a warm and inviting spot becomes a necessity. Here's a list of five cozy coffee places in Reykjavik to weather the storms.
The ins and outs of New Year´s Eve in Reykjavik
Will you be staying in Iceland over New Year´s Eve and you´re not quite sure what to do or where to go? Well let us guide you through one of the most fun filled holidays of the year to make the best of your stay as we say goodbye to the passing year and greet the new one.
Parking in Reykjavik Made Simple: Tips and Tricks for a Hassle-free Experience
Are you planning to rent a car during your visit but feeling uncertain about where to park and how much it might cost? Fear not, as we've compiled some helpful tips to streamline your parking experience in Reykjavik. Additionally, for those staying at any of the Center Hotels properties, we have included specific information about parking options at each location.
We use cookies to personalize content and to analyze our traffic. Please decide if you are willing to accept cookies from our website.