When in Iceland, all weathers can be expected even within the same day. Ever experienced all four seasons in a day? We have! It comes in highs and lows and you never really know how the forecast will pan out until last minute, so let’s weather the storm and be prepared.
TWO KEY POINTS
Visit The Icelandic Meteorology offices website to see the weeks forecast or have a look through Safe Travel for information on road conditions and closings, hazards, and weather.
DRESS IT OFF
Some have said, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Iceland’s design scene is booming with good, high quality outdoor wear from brands like 66 NORTH who have been keeping Iceland warm since 1926. Iceland’s storms often mean a lot of rain and wind (lots of wind!). This means that umbrellas do not work so well. What you need is a really good waterproof jacket. Every Icelander has one. 66 North have developed and tested their clothing for the Icelandic conditions. Go shopping (tax free for visitors!) when you arrive to keep you prepared for whatever Iceland throws at you.
WHAT TO DO IN REYKJAVÍK IN BAD WEATHER?
1. VISIT THE GALLERIES
To me, there’s nothing better than spending a rainy or stormy day in museums. The atmosphere is relaxed and the coffee is warm. Entrance to Reykjavík Art Museum gives you admittance into three museums; Hafnarhúsið, Kjarvalstaðir and Ásmundarsafn, perfect amount for a days worth of museums. Safnahúsið is another gem found in a stunning white building on Hverfisgata. After wandering through their Points of View exhibition, enjoy a nice cake and coffee in their café Júlía & Júlía. Entrance to Safnahúsið also gives you entrance to the National Museum. For a even better bargain visit the recently renovated, award winning Marshall house, housing Ólafur Elíasson permanent exhibition, Kling & Bang and the Living Art Museum – entrance free!
2. GET UP HIGH
Gain a new perspective in the top of Hallgrímskirkja church tower with views all over Reykjavík or visit Perlan for yet another 360 degree view over the city in their rotating restaurant. In case of strong winds hold onto your hats! Perlan also currently has an amazing exhibition where you can learn all about ice caves and glaciers in Iceland.
3. VISIT THE CINEMA
Because why not?! Visit Bíó Paradís, an independent cinema in the middle of the city centre, screening mostly European, Icelandic and U.S. independent films with occasional retrospectives of classic films and an educational film program for children. Kick back, order a beer and pop corn at the bar and enjoy the film!
4. GO SWIMMING, WHATEVER THE WEATHER
Icelandic people like their swimming pools a fair bit and I know nothing better than relaxing in the hot tub with rain or snow falling down. There is just something about it! Recently re-opened Sundhöll Reykjavíkur, Icelands oldest public swimming pool with it’s original charm is a great one to visit as well as Vesturbæjarlaug, a small and friendly neighbourhood pool within walking distance from the city centre.
5. GO OUT FOR FOOD
What better way to wait off a blizzard than sitting inside the warmth of a nice restaurant having delicious food? Hlemmur Food Hall is a great one with views over the streets where you can actually watch the weather pass by. You can even join a small group for a food walk or beer crawl around downtown Reykjavík.
6. STAY IN BED
If the weather is that bad, keep your PJ’s on and wait for the storm to pass before exploring the city or the incredible sights around Iceland. While you are waiting for the sun to come out, use your time to make a plan for the good days. Have a browse through our selection of tours here or get in contact with us and we can help you with your planning.
Hi I’m Dagný Björg, a twenty-something Reykjavík-dweller, mother, designer and freelance journalist who loves getting lost in nature, coffee and easy Sunday mornings.