When it comes to welcoming the New Year with an extraordinary celebration, Reykjavík stands out as a top destination. In recent years, the Icelandic capital has gained a well-deserved reputation for its spectacular New Year’s Eve festivities, which include massive firework displays, community bonfires, and non-stop revelry throughout the night. What makes this celebration truly unique is the longstanding tradition of allowing locals to set off their own fireworks, creating a stunning spectacle that lasts for approximately a week leading up to and following New Year’s Eve. This extended period of celebration provides an opportunity for Icelanders and visitors alike to engage in a thrilling pyrotechnic extravaganza while contributing to a meaningful cause.
One of the most exciting aspects of Reykjavík’s New Year’s Eve celebration is the immense firework show that paints the night sky. What sets this display apart is the active participation of locals who are permitted to purchase and launch their own fireworks. This tradition is not only a time-honored cultural practice but also serves as a substantial source of funding for the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (Landsbjörg). The invaluable support provided by fireworks sales ensures that Landsbjörg can continue its vital work in safeguarding the safety and well-being of all Icelanders and visitors.
The tradition of lighting bonfires on New Year’s Eve in Reykjavík dates back over a century. Its origins can be traced to 1791 when young students from Hólavallaskóla, Reykjavík’s first public school, kindled a bonfire near their institution. Over time, this practice gained popularity and evolved into a citywide tradition that has now persisted for more than a hundred years. Reykjavík’s New Year’s Eve bonfires represent a symbolic cleansing of the past year’s hardships and misfortunes, paving the way for a fresh start in the coming year.
On New Year’s Eve, the city of Reykjavík hosts bonfires at ten distinct locations. These gatherings typically commence at around 20:30 and continue until 23:30. According to local folklore, attending these bonfires carries a special significance. It is believed that witnessing the fires helps individuals cast away the negativity of the past year, symbolically purifying themselves and setting a positive tone for the year ahead.
To fully immerse yourself in Reykjavík’s New Year’s Eve traditions, consider joining our private Bonfire Tour. This guided experience offers you the opportunity to visit one to three major bonfire locations throughout the city. By participating in this tour, you can gain a unique insight into the heartwarming customs of the Icelandic people and truly experience New Year’s Eve as a local. As you witness the glowing bonfires and partake in the festivities, you’ll create lasting memories and feel the spirit of renewal that defines this enchanting Icelandic celebration.
Embrace the magic of New Year’s Eve in Reykjavík by reserving your spot on our private Bonfire Tour. Join us for a remarkable journey as we explore the bonfires and welcome the New Year in the company of locals.
Reykjavík’s New Year’s Eve bonfires are celebrated at ten distinct locations throughout the city, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of light and warmth. This cherished tradition begins at approximately 20:30 and continues well into the night, concluding around 23:30. Local folklore suggests that attending these bonfires holds special significance. It is believed that witnessing these fiery beacons enables individuals to cast away the burdens and negativity of the previous year, providing a fresh start and a renewed spirit for the coming year.
To fully immerse yourself in the magic of Reykjavík’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, we invite you to join our private Bonfire Tour. This guided experience offers an opportunity to visit one to three of the city’s most significant bonfire locations. By participating in our tour, you can gain a unique insight into the heartwarming customs of the Icelandic people and celebrate New Year’s Eve like a true local. As you bask in the warm glow of the bonfires and join in the festivities, you’ll create lasting memories and embrace the spirit of renewal that defines this enchanting Icelandic celebration.
Don’t miss the chance to experience the enchantment of Reykjavík’s New Year’s Eve bonfires by reserving your spot on our private Bonfire Tour. Join us on a remarkable journey as we explore these captivating celebrations and welcome the New Year like a local.
The tour starts at 8:30 PM and we will bring you back to the hotel before midnight, approx. 11:30 PM, so you can have some time to get ready to celebrate the new year.
1) Big bonfire near Ægisíða.
2) Small bonfire at Skerjafirði.
3) Small bonfire at Suðurhlíðar, below Fossvogskirkjugarð
4) Small bonfire at Laugardalur, below Laugarásveg 18 street.
5) Big bonfire at Geirsnef.
6) Small bonfire at Suðurfell.
7) Big bonfire at Rauðavatn Lake, the northern part of it.
8) Big bonfire at Gufunes near Gufunesbæ.
9) Small bonfire near Kléberg in Kjalarnesi.
10) Small bonfire at Úlfarsfell near Lambhagavegur road.
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Monday to Friday
9:00 – 17:00 (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday – Sunday
9:00 – 16:00 (9 AM – 4 PM)