Christmas is warmly welcomed by Icelanders; colourful lights brighten the dark winter days, homes are filled with the smells of sweet-baked treats and familiar festive favourites play on the radio. People all over the country keenly anticipate one of the more traditional customs to accompany Yuletide celebrations: the quintessential Christmas concert.

And there are many to choose from! At this time of year, famous Icelandic musicians will travel to small towns across the country to spread the festive cheer so wherever you are in Iceland, be sure to check if there’s a concert happening near you!

The bulk of the performances, inevitably, occur in the capital city Reykjavík, and here at Guide to Iceland Now, we have compiled a list of all the musical events happening in and around the city centre.

Find out more about Christmas in Iceland here.

Many of the shows will be in Icelandic but you do not need to understand the words to enjoy the breadth of talent and Christmas cheer on offer. Let the music take you on a Yuletide journey and find the right Christmas concert for you, here:

Wednesday 12 December

Hildigunnur Einarsdóttir & Guðrún Dalía Salómonsdóttir. Salurinn Concert Hall, Hamraborg 6. Kópavogur. 12:15. FREE

Experience the ethereal voice of mezzo-soprano Hildigunnur Einarsdóttir as she sings traditional Icelandic Christmas songs over gentle piano played by Guðrún Dalía Salómonsdóttir in the warm settings of Salurinn Concert Hall, Kópavogur. Only a 20-minute drive from downtown Reykjavík, this midday concert is guaranteed to leave you feeling festive.

Christmas Jazz Concert, Harpa Concert Hall. 21:00. 2500 ISK. Book tickets here.

Get into the holiday spirit with some well-known jazz tracks performed by some of Iceland’s most talented jazz musicians. Baby, it is cold outside, so warm up your body and soul with some smooth Christmas jams.

Thursday 13 December

Photo Credit: Facebook/Ylja, Teitur Magnússon & Elín Ey – Jólatónleikar

Ylja, Teitur Magnússon & Elín Ey, Bryggja Brugghús, Grandagarður 8. 21:00. FREE.

Look forward to Christmas songs as well as original material played by some of Iceland’s most talented singer-songwriters within the welcoming craft bar and restaurant, Bryggja Brugghús. Entrance is free but it is recommended you book a table to ensure a seat! The venue opens at 17:00, and as well as offering local craft beers, the bar doubles as a restaurant, so why not grab some dinner beforehand?

If you cannot make this event, don’t fret! There will be another performance on Thursday 20th December.

Eyþór Ingi Christmas Concert, Lindakirkja Church, Kóavogur. 20:00. 3500 ISK. Book tickets here.

Enjoy traditional Icelandic Christmas songs sang by the nationally acclaimed Eyþór Ingi, who’s tender but powerful voice promises to move you to tears. In a good way. The concert will take place within Lindarkirkja church only 30-minutes drive from the city centre in the suburb of Kópavogur.

Friday 14 December

Nordic Christmas Jazz, Stína Ágústs & Marína Ósk, Harpa Concert Hall. 21:00. 2500 ISK. Book tickets here.

Stockholm-based jazz vocalists Stína Ágústs and Marína Ósk come together to perform an array of lesser-known Nordic Christmas songs translated into Icelandic for the very first time. Backed-up by a selection of talented local jazz musicians, this dynamic duo will wrap you up in cool harmonies with a bow on top.

Saturday 15 December

Christmas at the Symphony, Harpa Concert Hall. 14:00/16:00. 2700-3200 ISK. Book tickets here.

This entertaining concert is perfect for families or anyone wishing to fully immerse themselves in the folklore of Icelandic ‘Jól’. Watch the Iceland Ballet Academy act out traditional Yuletide stories to the sounds of Reykjavík Girls’ Choir. The Litlu Sprotanir Sign Language Choir will also be in attendance, ensuring a Chrismas experience for all.

The evening is hosted by Hildur the Clown and is a guaranteed afternoon of fun!

There are a total of four performances on the 15 & 16 December. Check the website for details.

Sunday 16 December

Christmas at the Symphony, Harpa Concert Hall. 14:00/16:00. 2700-3200 ISK. Book tickets here. 

Check above for details.

Wednesday 19 December

Photo Credit: Facebook/Sissel Kyrkjebø

Christmas with Sissel, Harpa Concert Hall. 17:30/20:00. 6,990-13,990 ISK. Book tickets here.

Sissel Kyrkjebo is a Norweigan soprano and she returns for her third year to sold-out crowds to perform Christmas songs with a collection of internationally acclaimed performers. Tickets are still available so don’t miss your chance catch her magical stage presence in the impressive Harpa Concert Hall in downtown Reykjavík.

Thursday 20 December

Ylja, Teitur Magnússon & Elín Ey, Bryggja Brugghús, Grandagarður 8. 21:00. FREE.

See 13 December for details.

Friday 21 December

Christmas Concerto – Schola Cantorum Chamber Choir, Hallgrímskirkja. 12:00. 3000 ISK. Book tickets here.

Experience the awe-inspiring acoustics of Iceland’s most famous church, Hallgrímskirkja, and delight in a diverse selection of choral and Christmas music performed by the Schola Cantorum Chamber Choir. Starting at noon, this is the perfect event to precede or follow a festive lunchtime feast in the heart of Reykjavík.

Jón Jónsson Christmas Concert, Háskólabío, Hagatorg. 20:00/23:00. 7000 ISK.  Book tickets here.

A former footballer and singer-songwriter, Jón Jónsson is a popular contemporary artist in Iceland today and his annual Christmas concerts have repeatedly sold-out. Playing this year in Háskólabíó cinema, Jónsson’s infectious energy is bound to have the room singing along and guarantees to leave you feeling full of the spirit of the season.

Saturday 22 December

Valdimar Christmas Concert, Bryggjan Brugghús, Grandargarður 8. 22:00. 4500 ISK. Book tickets here.

This six-part electro-indie band is a household name in Iceland and their first two albums received critical and commercial acclaim. Valdimar will play original songs as well as Christmas favourites in this cosy venue promising a more rock ‘n’ roll approach to festive favourites. Start the evening with some excellent food and book a table for dinner here.

If you’re looking to do some sightseeing in and around Reykjavík, check out our large selection of great value tours here.