As the readers of this magazine may have discerned, being stuck in Iceland isn´t always so bad. This is especially true for New Year’s Eve in Iceland which is a really fun night hereþ

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The main attraction is, of course, the massive fireworks that go on from 11 and beyond midnight.

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Before New Year’s Eve fireworks are sold to the general public. They are an integral part of any Icelandic New Year’s party. Fireworks are mainly sold by the ICE-SAR, Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, to raise funds for that incredible volunteer association. In the past year, there has been a considerable backlash against fireworks. So it might well be that fireworks in the coming years will be much more controlled. The noise and pollution are just too much.

Fireworks in front of the Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral in Reykjavik, Iceland
Fireworks in front of the Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral in Reykjavik, Iceland

And I am not talking about any small crackerjacks. Massively large fireworks are bought by all and sundry so Reykjavik and larger towns in Iceland have huge but really unsynchronized firework displays on new years eve.

Catch New Year in Iceland while you can

I say unsynchronized since the people firing off the fireworks are rowdy Icelanders determined to have a good time when they are celebrating New Year’s Eve. But don´t worry, things are a bit loud and people are rowdy but you don´t have to worry about anything but the sparks and getting champagne spilled on you.  However, many feel that the pollution and noise are simply too much. So it may be changes coming to this Icelandic tradition. Perhaps we will have a more controlled scenario for fireworks in the near future and I would not mind that at all. But I suppose we should all enjoy it while it lasts.

Celebrating the New Year in downtown Reykjavik
Celebrating the New Year in downtown Reykjavik

You can also go the bonfires that are set up around Reykjavik on New Year’s Eve, these are lit around 8 in the evening and people gather around them to set off fireworks and sing songs.

Partying while celebrating New Year’s Eve in Iceland

When the fireworks have petered out by say 00:30 head downtown for the partying which won´t stop until early morning. If you have the energy for it that is.

Where is the fun?

So if you like a bit of craziness check out Iceland on new years eve. I personally recommend being right next to Hallgrímskirkja cathedral in the center of Reykjavik when the clock strikes midnight. It is an experience you won´t forget!

How to get there 

Just follow the explosions and the crowd in the center of Reykjavik. Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral towers over the city center so you can´t really miss it but here is a map anyway 🙂


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