Planning to spend New Year’s Eve in Iceland? You won’t regret it! There are many ways to enjoy New Year’s Eve in Iceland. It is indeed and important day in the land of fire and snow. How to spend this magical night would depend on: your budget, your travel mates (partner, children, friends…). Also if you prefer to party hard or stay at home, etc.
I will give you different options for all type travellers and budgets. However, you can stick to one of them or just mixt them up, up to you!
What’s for dinner?
Have you hardly been saving for this trip? Budget is not a problem on your visit to Iceland? Then you should go out for a splurge dinner in one of the most elegant restaurants of Reykjavik. Laekjarbrekka is a classic among the Reykjavik locals, and it has now merged with Perlan Restaurant so it is surely a good choice –right in the city center.
Tapas Barinn is a Restaurant were Icelandic and Spanish cuisine are mixed to create original and tasty dishes. Some restaurants offer a special menu for New Year’s Eve in Iceland as for example the famous Restaurant Reykjavik, where a steak buffet is offered for that night. It’s possible to book from 17:30 to 20:30 and the price for this luxury buffet is 13.900 ISK per person. You will find the Fish Market in many of the “Best Restaurants in Reykjavik” lists, and it is because of a good reason. They do open on 31st December from 18:00 and it is completely worthy to try their fresh sushi. Although the best choice for a festive meal is to try their Christmas tasting menu.
Most of those restaurants over the city offer special Christmas menus for lunch and dinner from the beginning of December, one of them is Kol Restaurant, which also offers a special menu for New Year’s Eve – they serve some of the most famous cocktails in town! It is always good to reserve a table, but on New Year’s Eve in Iceland it is a must. The menu usually includes a taster plate with Iceland specialities as goose, lamb or seafood.
For smaller budgets, there are of course other options. You can go to any bar or the typical hot dogs stalls and have a quick meal before heading the bars to start the night. Try the most famous hot dogs in the island: Bæjarins Beztu pylsur.
Are you on a really low cost holiday? Prepare some food at your accommodation or campervan and save your money to party later on.
There are also packages on sale that include dinner, party entrance and hotel night in a luxury hotel as the Gran Hotel Reykjavik or the Hilton Nordica Hotel. These hotels’ restaurants prepare amazing dishes on a really nice and relaxed atmosphere, and usually the package comes together with tours on New Year’s Eve in Iceland.
Let’s get the party started!
Most people, travellers and locals, have dinner either outside in a restaurant or in a festive family dinner and then go out to enjoy the fireworks or have the first drink before the countdown at midnight. The use of fireworks is banned during all year in Iceland, but this ban is lifted on this magical night, so the spectacle is worth watching.
Don’t rush to go out early, as most people gather at home to watch Áramótaskaup. This is a comedy show available at the national television channel where the most popular news and stories of the year go to the comical and satiric side. The show finishes around 23:30 and everyone hits the street, then around 500 tones of firework will be shooting up before and after the countdown.
It’s also traditional to set on fire a stake and gather around it, drinking and dancing. Usually there is a big one on each neighbourhood.
There is not an official party or event sponsored by the city hall, but all the big and small pubs are open until early hours in the morning. There are also massive parties at New Year’s Eve in Iceland at the Austur.
Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve in Iceland 2018
Fancy a unique experience?
If you are not on a crazy party mood and prefer another type of experience, let me suggest something: Rent a campervan and spend the last day of the year visiting some of the amazing places Iceland has to offer: Ring Road, Gullfoss or Þingvellir National Park for example. If you are lucky, on your way back to the town you might see the amazing Northern Lights! Then, buy some nice Icelandic food and reach a high point next to the city, for example on the hill Öskjuhlíð. Prepare a special dinner and enjoy while watching the fireworks spectacle and making your wishes for next year. You know what’s the good part of going early to bed? You will have all New Year’s day to enjoy at the Blue Lagoon for example, which is open from 8am. Can you imagine a better start of the year?