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Updated: Jan 30, 2022

How to plan our holiday in the festive period?

In 2020 we spent the end of year in Iceland and we ran into inconveniences because of being not prepared: closed stores, shortened opening hours, limited services. This year in 2021 we have carefully studied the websites of stores, supermarkets, restaurants, tour operator companies etc., sent questions and received answers about the festive opening hours and services. Now sharing our guide with those who also plan their trip to Iceland at Christmastime.

Iceland, and mostly the capital, Reykjavík is a popular Christmas destination, a record number of visitors are expected, so it is necessary to plan programs on time, arrange bookings if needed.


We are going to visit our favorite restaurants in Reykjavík: Seabaron and Café Loki. Seabaron makes the most delicious lobster soup and grilled fish, Café Loki serves traditional Icelandic meals at reasonable prices. They will be open every day of the last week of 2021, reservation is offered for groups. More details on their websites:

Sky Lagoon spa

We are going to spend the afternoon of Christmas day at Sky Lagoon, the new and popular spa of Reykjavík. They are open on 24th Dec: 10.00-15.30, 25th, 31st: 10.00-16.30, 26th: 11.00-21.30, 27th-30th: 12.00-21.30, 1st of January: 13.00-22.30, but most of the tickets have already been sold for New Year's day, because many people start the new year with bath or spa visit. The same goes for Blue lagoon spa.

Perlan museum and experience centre

Exhibitions and observation deck of Perlan are must-visit places in Reykjavík. They will be closed on 25th December and 1st of January. More info:

Bus transport

Public bus transport is limited during the festive period, buses drive on Saturday or Sunday timetable. More details: Flybus from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik city center is available everyday:

Festive events at Hallgrímskirkja church

Hallgrímskirkja church in the capital offers festive events at christmastime: midnight mass at Christmas Eve, organ concert at Boxing day, brass and organ concert at New Year’s Eve.

Shopping in Iceland during the festive period

After you arrive in Keflavik airport, you can find a non-stop 10-11 shop in the arrival hall with a good selection of groceries, ready meals, hygiene products. It's really expensive to shop there, but it can be lifesaving when all other stores are closed.

Across the country Bónus supermarkets limit their opening hours end of December: on the 24th, and 31st December shops close early and are closed on 25th and 26th December. Opening hours of Krónan shops is similar, all of them closed on 25th Dec and 1st of January, but most of them open on Boxing day, 10.00-19.00 (see in attached picture)

Fuel stations, shops and restaurants

All self-service fuel stations are open 24/7. Inside N1 stations, the shops and Nesti food and grill restaurants will be open according to this list:

Programs in the capital

Christmas market, ice skating, advent, christmas and new year's eve programs in Reykjavík:

Opening hours of Krónan supermarkets in 2021


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