10 Reasons to visit Iceland with Kids

To Iceland with kids. A guide for the whole family.

We couldn’t agree more that traveling as a family is a great way to open up the world to our children and fill their lives with fond memories. But the reality is that kids come in all different ages, and finding something that everyone can enjoy and participate in can be a challenge. That’s why many travelers have a question: what to do with children in Iceland? There is so much to do, see and try in our country, but the hardest part is finding just the right thing for everyone in your family.

We wrote this post to help you do just that! So, straight to the point. Here are our top attractions and activities to visit in Iceland with kids.

Let’s start with what’s available to you no matter what part of the country you’re in:

  1. Public pools . They are affordable, located all over the country, and can be visited in any weather. Each facility usually includes at least one large pool, several geothermal baths, and a sauna or steam room. If you look around, you can even find a pool with a slide! Iceland’s best geothermal pools are in Akureyri, Selfoss, the Vestmannaeyar Islands, and the Laugardalslaug pool in Reykjavik!
  2. Try the skur . This local delicacy is already sold all over the world, but Iceland is still a Mecca for its lovers. Nowhere will you find as many different flavors of skur as in Iceland. Why not try them all! Skir is sold in small jars with disposable spoons – handy to take on trips. The perfect combination of simplicity and flavor!
  3. Rent a Car . A road trip with your family is the perfect day out in Iceland. You can visit the most popular attractions, including the Golden Ring with its magnificent Gudlfoss Falls, the mighty Strokkur Geyser and the historic Tingvellir National Park. Or you can just take the road wherever the wind takes you. Iceland is a safe country and the perfect place for an adventurous family vacation. Feel like real explorers as you travel through Iceland!

Where to go with children in Reykjavik

Discover the wonders of nature in Perlan

Perlan is one of Reykjavík’s most famous attractions. The complex consists of six huge water tanks supporting an interior structure and a glass dome. Perlan has an excellent restaurant, cafe, viewing platform with panoramic views and, of course, interesting exhibitions.

There you will find the largest artificial ice tunnel in Iceland, an almost exact replica of the bird rock Latrabjarg and an observation deck that overlooks the whole of Reykjavik and even the neighboring peninsula. It’s a place you’re sure to love!

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Visit the family park and zoo

In downtown Reykjavik you’ll find a small zoo and amusement park, a local gem called Fjolskyldu – og Husdyragardurinn. Icelandic horses, cows, sheep, chickens, seals, foxes and many other friendly animals await visitors there. The staff is very knowledgeable and always ready to answer all your questions. After meeting the animals, you can visit the amusement park with a playground.

Next to the zoo, in the nearby gardens, stands the charming greenhouse cafe Flóra, which offers delicious cakes and cookies.

Go to the exhibition “Whales of Iceland”.

This is one of the most modern museums in Iceland. All replicas of whales here are life-size, and next to each one there is an interactive information plaque telling visitors about these amazing creatures! The museum has a cafe where you can order whale meat as well as a souvenir shop. I love bringing my nephews here. Five points from me to this museum!

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Take a whale watching tour.

Many of the tours available in Iceland are considered unsafe for young children. Glacier climbing or scuba diving between continental plates is best postponed until they’re older. However, there are many other interesting options that are suitable for the whole family. The whale watching tour has no age restrictions. It’s a superb sea walk of a couple of hours that everyone will enjoy. You can even take one of these tours right from downtown Reykjavik! This has always been and still is the number one attraction for families with kids!

Take a hike

In Iceland, you’ll find many hiking trails suitable for different levels of fitness. Some of them, like Mount Esja, can be reached by public bus from Reykjavik. It is well signposted, with which you will have no trouble getting to the top. This is one of the most popular places for outdoor activities with the locals!

You can also drive a little farther out of town and explore the island’s even more interesting hiking trails. For families who prefer outdoor activities, a hike through the Icelandic plateau with an experienced guide might be great. The most popular of the longer trails is Löygavegur. A trip through the highlands from the magical Skaugafoss waterfall to the geothermal paradise of Landmannalöygar awaits you!

Take a trip to an Icelandic farm

There are so many amazing farms scattered throughout Iceland that invite families with children to come visit and meet the animals. Some of them even offer overnight accommodations, a great way to get to know farm life better. In addition, many farmers also sell their own produce right on site. That way, you can taste freshly made cheese, ice cream and other natural products right there and now.

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Meet the Icelandic horses

The Icelandic horse (not a pony, which is important if you don’t want to hurt the locals) is one of the most beloved animals on the island. These friendly creatures have been with us since the island was settled, and the bond between us is very strong. In winter, they grow a thick layer of fur to keep warm and look like funny balls of fur. And in summer, horses shed their wool and become graceful again, just as they should be.

Visit Fákasel Park and see their amazing show, which presents the Icelandic horse in the most interesting way! If you wish, you can go on a horseback ride. The Icelandic horse is famous for its unique allure of the tölt . It is gentle but can be fast. This is a horse ride you will never forget.

Go berry picking (August-September)

Every local resident looks forward to the berry season, when the hills are covered with blueberries and lingonberries, and everyone can enjoy these tasty and healthy berries in plenty. Some people pick them by the pound and just freeze them for the winter. Enjoy!

Visit interesting museums

In case of bad weather, it’s a good idea to have a list of interesting museums handy. Iceland’s museums range from archaeological and historical to niche museums like the Witchcraft Museum in Hólmavík, the Rock and Roll Museum in Keblavík, and the Lava Museum in Hvolsvödlúr.

See the northern lights

During the winter months, the northern lights delight the Icelandic people with their neon lights dancing proudly across the dark, frosty sky. Early and late season aurora borealis sighting tours are usually late in the evening, but if you decide to tuck the kids in later in the season, you’re in for an extraordinary thrill of seeing the phenomenon! Mid-season tours usually leave at 8 or 9 p.m. and usually last until midnight.

Throughout the country you will be offered many northern lights tours led by real experts who will find the most suitable places for it. The northern lights should definitely be on your bucket list!

Exploring a natural ice cave

Luckily, the minimum age to visit an ice cave tour is usually pretty low. You travel all the way to the cave on a super jeep. The caves change every year, but they never cease to amaze! It is one of the many privileges the locals can enjoy on their glaciers, and a worthy sight you will never forget.

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A little English-Icelandic vocabulary for a family trip to Iceland

Interesting facts for parents traveling to Iceland with children

  1. You can buy diapers and formula in even the smallest grocery stores. But if you plan to travel to the plateau region, you’ll have to stock up.
  2. Many Icelandic children’s books have been translated into English, French and German. If there is a desire to purchase one, I personally recommend Gudrun Helgadottir’s books. They are full of amazing stories about trolls and the hidden inhabitants of Iceland.
  3. The locals perceive breastfeeding to be perfectly normal. No one will stare at you and ask you to cover up. If it happens, it’s usually tourists from other countries. Enjoy the freedom to feed your baby anywhere at any time!

  1. You should not worry if you see a stroller with an unattended baby sleeping in it on the street. This is a perfectly normal part of child development in Iceland. It is believed that sleeping outdoors helps to strengthen the immune system. In addition, children are very warmly dressed, and they usually have baby monitors in their strollers.

  1. Children in Iceland are very fond of the local misingur paste . It could pass for Icelandic Nutella, but it tastes more like caramel and is made from milk. It’s really delicious!
  2. Here are two websites that are essential for any trip around Iceland, but especially if you take your most precious cargo out in the car: en.vedur.is (weather) and road.is (road conditions). Check these sites especially often if you’re traveling in the winter.
  3. The minimum age to visit the famous Blue Lagoon is 2 years old.

  1. If interested in children’s clothing, here are the best Icelandic brands: 66 North, Cintamani, Zo-on, Tulipop, As We Grow, Farmer’s Market, Moi and Iglo+Indi. Many of these stores are located on the main shopping street Löygavegür in downtown Reykjavik.
  2. Iceland Travel offers special tours with activities suitable for the whole family.

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Iceland with small children – is it worth it?

marlitos ” 30 Sep 2017, 08:47

Hi all! My husband and I have been on fire to visit Iceland, but there is one problem. More precisely, two problems: 2 and 5 years old I have not met any reports on the forum about trips with small children. Can you advise whether it is worth it to go? Of course, there are a lot of things we can not see, but would agree to an educational trip So, has anyone had experience traveling with the kids? What sights are realistic to visit with a stroller? Are they letting kids on the big ship in search of whales (you can’t go on the boat, I get that already)? We want to fly in August 2018. For 7-10 days. Thanks in advance for the answers!

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Re: Iceland with small children – is it worth it?

ElAv ” 30 Sep 2017, 17:43

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Re: Iceland with small children – is it worth it?

Filippych ” 30 Sep 2017, 18:23

It’s perfectly feasible to drive the Golden Ring and Road N 1 in a circle (even in 7 days is fine, and even more so if it’s 10 days). Golden Ring – asphalt paths everywhere, on the first road asphalt to lookouts a lot, and if not – there are normal paths 100-200 meters on the ground. Stroller does not roll, but the legs with the baby to go quite possible. Children, I think, should like waterfalls (Gullfoss, Detifoss, Seldyalandsfoss, Skogafoss), Ice Lagoon, thermal area at Miwan, thermal pool there, still will be delighted with the geyser. It’s all quite affordable.

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Re: Iceland with small children – is it worth it?

Otta08 ” 30 Sep 2017, 21:54

I think less than 10 days is not worth it. And more thermal springs in the itinerary to score. The kids will love it for sure! And they’ll love the horses and the sheep! And be sure to plan a dead end. Fumarols and steaming earth, too, I think, will interest, and geysers. In general – have no doubts and go. Read reports and lay out a preliminary route – we will help you.

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Re: Iceland with small children – is it worth it?

marlitos ” 30 Sep 2017, 22:06

Otta08 wrote(a) on 30 Sep 2017, 21:54: Read the reports and post a preliminary itinerary – we’ll help, we’ll advise.

Re: Iceland with small children – is it worth it?

vakhmorka ” 30 Sep 2017, 23:29

Experience of traveling with young children is pretty decent: and the north of Norway, and in biking in Finland, and many other places, so I’ll try to advise))

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Two children – no problem, they are goraaaaaazd much easier than one. Take my word for it.

Why not? Don’t wait until they’re of age.) Don’t make long drives so the kids don’t get bored sitting in the car. Adults can enjoy the scenery ad infinitum, but children get bored. It is necessary to find some entertainment for them. It is the organization of leisure, interesting to children, difficult to travel with the younger generation. But it is true for a trip to any country. In Iceland, children will love the horses, sheep. Put a visit to a horse farm, perhaps a horseback ride, into the trip. Find legends, fairy tales, sagas retold for children, of course. Well, and pools, thermal springs. And then there are the cul-de-sacs. That’s a hit for sure!

Marlitos wrote(a) 30 Sep 2017, 08:47: Clearly there’s a lot we can’t see.What sights are realistic to visit with a stroller?

Why won’t you be able to do much? Especially a lot of walking in Iceland just in contrast to Norway, is not necessary. And passability of fords does not depend on presence of children)))). With the stroller to pass extremely problematic everywhere, tracks dirt – more on itself the stroller will pull. Better to walk, and for safety net or sling, or backpack to carry children look for friends and acquaintances.

marlitos wrote(a) 30 Sep 2017, 08:47: Are they letting kids on the big ship looking for whales (you can’t on the boat, I get that already)

Purely IMHO, but whales will not be appreciated by kids. All the stories I heard were of the “we ended up seeing a whale’s tail” series. Kids need to see animals up close. It’s much more important to feed a goat, a sheep, pet a horse than to hang out at sea for hours and see only the tail. Once again, I would recommend the puffins. They can be seen at arm’s length, you can see the birds kissing.

And a few general thoughts. If it’s August, it’s better in the first half. Otherwise it can be cold. And the kids will have no problem with clothes for the trip! As a rule, small children have waterproof pants, and bafs, and pants-jackets from the rain))).

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Saint Augustine Iceland as if for the first time. 8 days with kids

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