Wintertime in Reykjavík can be quite magical! The days may be short, but when the weather is clear, there is a mesmerising crisp light in the sky punctuated by burnt orange sunsets. In the dark, you can see the stars and, if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights illuminating the sky as they dance and shimmer in the moonlight. So, why not go for a romantic winter walk in Reykjavík?
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Romance comes easy in such conditions, especially when accompanied by a fluffy blanket of snow as well as a chill to the air, encouraging you both to get a little closer.
Oh, baby, it may be cold outside but don’t let that stop you getting into the fresh air and enjoying the beauty of wintertime in the world’s northernmost capital!
So, if you’re travelling with somebody special, make the most of Reykjavík’s many winter wonderlands and explore some hidden gems on one of these romantic walks!
Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavík, Tjörnin pond is as convenient as it is beautiful. It is home to a large number of bird species, even in the wintertime. Feeding the ducks is a favourite local pastime so if you choose to go, maybe take something along for our feathered friends?
The beautiful architecture of the surrounding buildings adds to the elegance of the pond, and there are several bridges from which to take the perfect photo. It’s just as romantic at night when the lights from the surrounding buildings twinkle over the still water.
The body of water stretches from Reykjavík’s town hall to the BSÍ bus station, and there are several different routes you can take. When it’s really cold, the water freezes, and it’s a tradition for locals to go ice skating and play games on its frozen surface. You could have a go walking across it; it’s certainly bound to make you hold onto your partner that little more tightly.
Given its proximity to downtown, you can create a perfect romantic evening and begin with a meal at one of Reykjavík many fine dining establishments before a stroll by the pond, hand in hand.
Sculpture Park of Einar Jónsson
Few places are better suited for a romantic winter stroll than this garden nestled beside the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church. The park features 26-bronze cast sculptures inspired by stories from Norse Mythology as well as basic facts of life such as love, ageing and death.
The garden is the perfect spot in the wintertime as the high walls provide ample shelter from any strong winds and a dusting of snow adds to the elegance of the captivating sculptures.
See Also: Viking & Norse Gods in Iceland
The impressive art-deco house which towers over the garden is where the artist, Einar Jónsson, lived with his wife Anna and has since been converted to an Art museum dedicated to the sculptor. Although entry to the garden is completely free, there is a small admission fee for the museum but it’s highly recommended and an ideal place to warm up!
Given its downtown location, you could incorporate this stunning destination into a more extensive exploration of the area. You could include Hallgrímskirkja church and the charming shopping street, Skólavörðurstígur. If you find you need warming up, it’s only a 10-minute walk to the most central pool in Reykjavík, Sundhöllin, where you and your partner can unwind in a hot tub.
A wooded area not far from the centre of town, Öskjuhlíð is a perfect place for an intimate amble among the trees. It is possible to walk there from the city centre although it is recommended that you take a bus or drive if you’ve hired a car.
The woodland at Öskjuhlíð fans out around one of Reykjavík’s most iconic buildings; Perlan, or, ‘The Pearl’, a dome structure that sits upon six, now disused, water tanks. Inside Perlan there are exhibitions, a coffee shop and a restaurant as well as a viewing deck with impressive panoramic views of the entire city.
To avoid getting lost, it would be best to plan your romantic jaunt during daylight hours and wrap up warm! The dense thicket of trees promises to protect you from aggressive winds and help to evoke a feeling of privacy that you and your partner can relish. There are many different trails, but a popular option is to walk via a WWII bunker and fortress built by the Americans during their occupation of Iceland.
It’s possible to walk straight down to the beach from Öskuhlíð for a view of adorable houses of the nearby town Kópavogur.
Elliðaádalur is the name of a beautiful valley that surrounds a river of the same name, and it’s one of the most popular walking spots within Reykjavík. Follow the river and enjoy its beautiful wintertime state: frozen in places with delicate touches of permafrost and lattices of ice on its banks.
It’s too far from the city centre to walk, so drive if you have a car or take the number 12 bus from the central bus station Hlemmur. It only takes around 15-minutes, and it’s well worth it.
See Also: The Best Swimming Pools in Reykjavík
Once again, it’s recommended that you go during the day and be sure to wrap up warm. If you fancy quite a long walk, you can follow the water all the way down to Árbjærlaug pool which is known for having one of the best views out of all Reykjavík’s swimming pools.
This broad valley promises many nooks and crannies you and your partner can discover together and the gentle sound of the river is surprisingly soothing. There’s even a small waterfall – see if you can find it!
Grótta Nature Reserve
Grótta is the name of a beautiful lighthouse as well as the nature reserve on which the landmark stands. Located on the tip of the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, this area is just a short drive or bus ride from the city centre and makes for the perfect spot to go for a walk or as hunting grounds for the Northern Lights.
Grótta is somewhat of a local romantic make-out spot; teenagers who have just passed their driving test will invite their crush out for a drive with a stop at the ice cream store (ísbíltúr), and if all goes well, they might end up at Grótta.
Given its position right by the sea, be sure to thoroughly layer up and wear a hat so as not to get cold. If you’re looking for somewhere romantic to cuddle up with your partner and wait for the Northern Lights; there is no better place than this stretch of beach.
Some insider tricks include dipping your feet in the small geothermal pool not far from the parking lot as well as checking the tide tables before walking out to the lighthouse as people have been known to get stranded there.