Best attractions in Iceland: Top 20

Iceland’s national attractions are so numerous and varied that they make a trip here an informative and interesting adventure. If you have also decided to organize a visit to this hospitable country, you should know in advance what to see in Iceland. Otherwise you may miss out on unique cultural monuments and unique objects of art.

What’s the first thing to see in Iceland?

Let’s talk about what sights in Iceland should be seen first. By studying the recommendations of experienced guides and reviews of experienced travelers, the following rating can be compiled:

1. Husavik

Husavik is a town in the northern part of Iceland

The interesting places in Iceland begin with this small town, rich in museums, natural beauties and temples. You can pay a visit to the Ethnographic and City Museums, the Museum of Whales and the old wooden church - the symbol of faith of the indigenous people of the country. Adult tourists are encouraged to visit the museum of phalluses. Here is an exhibition of preserved reproductive organs of various animals of the world.

Once in Husavik, you will see the best sights in Iceland, surrounded by lakes and waterfalls. Be sure to swim in the geothermal pools, whose healing waters cure many diseases.

2. Gudlfoss waterfall

Gudlfoss Falls in the southern part of Iceland

Excursions in Iceland rarely go without a visit to the country’s largest, most full-flowing and beautiful “golden” waterfall. Two steps height of 11 meters and 21 meters and a depth of water fall up to 70 meters have made this attraction one of the most visited and loved by tourists. When you come here, you will be able to take unique photos. Location of the site is no less interesting - the glacial river Hvitau. You can get there both by sightseeing bus and by private car - on a good asphalt road (near the waterfall there is not only a cafe, but also free parking for cars).

3. Tingvellir National Park

Panorama of Tingvellir National Park

If you don’t know what to visit first in Iceland, come see the famous canyons, valleys and lakes (including Lake Tingvallavatn) of the National Park. The natural site, rugged with volcanic faults, is a UNESCO Heritage Site. No survey can capture all the beauty of these places.

Here is the world-famous Lake of Wishes and the “Canyon of Penny”. If you have a cherished wish, just throw a coin into the lake. If it reaches the bottom, your dream is sure to come true.

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4. Hadlgrimskirkja

Hadlgrímskirkja is the main church in Iceland

Iceland’s major landmarks are not only natural, but also historical. Such as the masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture, the Lutheran Cathedral of Hadlgrímskirkja. The huge height of the building allows you to see it from anywhere in Reykjavik.

But don’t limit yourself to a cursory glance; visit the sanctuary in person, and enjoy the imposing appearance of the church from the inside. The interior of the structure is decorated with a traditional nave and huge Gothic windows. If you’re lucky, you can buy tickets to the theocratic performances, poetry evenings, concerts and other secular events held here in addition to Lutheran rites.

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5. Dettifoss Falls

View of Dettifoss Falls

Your trip to the country will not be successful if while sightseeing in Iceland you do not see the most powerful and “most bubbling” waterfall in Europe. The natural monument is located in the Jokulsaurgluvur National Park. The shooting of the fantastic film “Prometheus” by R. Scott was exactly here. According to the legend of the film, the waterfall was the place “where life itself was born”.

Feel the atmosphere of Iceland in this beautiful video!

6. Cape Deerhaulay

Cape Dirholaey

The description of the cape says that this is where you can see the pride of Icelanders - a bird sanctuary of dead-heads. Equally interesting are the original arches and pinnacles shaped by the ocean and wind, and the Black Volcanic Beach of Reinisfjara.

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7. Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a unique thermal pool

Various attractions in Iceland bear this name - and the popular geothermal resort that every tourist in the country has heard of. And a mineral-rich man-made lake called a natural wonder.

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8. Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a beautiful natural phenomenon

In order to see the mesmerizing spectacle and the incredible cosmic phenomenon, you should choose hotels in Iceland near Hlomskalagardur Park, Perlan House or Grotta Lighthouse. In addition, guides in Iceland can offer you a private trip, jeep or bus tour in pursuit of Aurora Borealis.

9. The Great Geysir

The Great Geysir

Not sure where to go in Iceland? Head in the direction of Lugerfalla Hill and Hecla Volcano. In addition to these unique places, you can see the very first and largest geyser of the Golden Ring.

10. Askia

Lakes Eskuvatn (left) and Viti (foreground) in the caldera of the volcano Askja

If you’re primarily interested in the mysterious sights of Iceland, visit the center of the island, and your eyes will be opened to the geological phenomenon of Askja Volcano. Locals say that scientists go missing here. Your path will pass among equally interesting vast lava fields.

11. The colored mountains of Landmannaloygar

The Colorful Rocks of Landmannaloygar National Park

Incredible scenery and a unique riot of color are all the colorful valley of Landmannaloygar. Boiling and soaring puddles juxtaposed with wonderfully beautiful multicolored mountains - the valley takes pride of place in the list of “the most beautiful and colorful natural attractions in Iceland.”

12. Skaftafetl National Park

Waterfall in Skaftafetl National Park

Tourists love this park because of the favorable local climate. If sightseeing in Iceland makes you tired of bad weather, come here. The park, whose mountains are lost in the clouds, is home to the famous Black Waterfall and a delightful birch forest.

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13. Yokulsarlon Lagoon

Glacial Lagoon in Iceland

The country’s largest glacial lagoon, which is the island’s calling card. If you don’t know what to see in Iceland in 1 day, come here. Unique northern landscapes, glacial lakes, ice and icebergs await you.

14. Westfiordier

The picturesque landscape of Vestfirdir

A region that allows you to get a closer look at the national traditions and culture of Icelanders. In recent years, the locals have actively developed the field of tourism: you will not be left without amenities and new experiences.

15. Skogafoss Falls

Skogafoss Falls against a background of green rocks

We end our talk about the must-see attractions in Iceland with a mention of the island’s most visited waterfall. As you know, on sunny days in the country you can see not the usual, but a double rainbow. So it is possible to contemplate it here. Skogafoss is interesting in any weather: its water dust and splashes produce unusual phenomena.

Sightseeing in Iceland: what else to see in Iceland?

Now you know what to see in Iceland is a must. If you have free time left, spend it on a visit to other, slightly less famous monuments of nature, architecture and history.

16. Lucky Volcano

Lucky Volcano in Skaftafetl National Park

We recommend attractions in Iceland such as the Lucky Volcano. It is often called the “bloodthirsty villain,” as it has more than 10,000 human lives claimed.

17. Perlan

Perlan - Thermal Boiler House floheinstein

If you want to take a break from seeing natural monuments, visit the city’s Perlan Boiler House. It is a majestic building with a cupola roof, its own conservatory and observation tower, and even stores. The location is Oskulid Hill.

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18. Loygavegur

Mesmerizing landscape of Loygavegur

Loygavegur is a famous hiking route, with the highest point on the trail of more than 1 thousand meters. During the walk, which lasts 2-4 days, you can see the sights of Iceland, such as the glacial valley Toursmork, the Icelandic plateau and the National Nature Reserve of the country.

19. Harpa Blue Hour Concert Hall

Harp Concert Hall - a masterpiece of modern architecture Marco Nurnberger

Or head to Harpa Blue Hour Concert Hall. The main feature of this five-story building is the architectural design of the four concert halls at once. Here are festive events, symphonic and ethnic music performers.

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20. Surtsey

Surtsey Island CanonS2

The young island of Surtsei ends our list of things to visit in Iceland that would be a must-see. It’s also listed as a Natural World Heritage Site. A unique feature of the island is that it is a volcano. Unfortunately, the site is now closed to tourists.

To summarize

When you come to the island, you can give yourself an encounter with natural treasures, cultural monuments and architectural masterpieces. In order not to miss it all, hire a qualified guide or make a travel itinerary in advance.

Also read about the best sights in Scotland and get inspired for your next trip around Europe!