Hjartartorg square holds a Christmas market during the month of December in Iceland

The Best Reykjavik Christmas Markets 2023

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Where are Iceland's best Christmas markets? Picture by Óli Haukur Mýrdal

Where are Christmas markets in Reykjavík? What happens at Christmas markets in Iceland? Find the best Christmas markets in Reykjavík here.

Christmas markets have, for the longest time, been an attraction all over Europe, and people flock to snowy countries with tall mountains in search of wooden cabins, snow-covered pine trees and mulled wine to find the perfect Christmas spirit.

It might then come as a surprise that markets are not at all common in Iceland. The population is just too small to make a regular market thrive, and the only longstanding market in Reykjavík that's open all year long is the Fleamarket Kolaportið.

But that's all changing, and pop-up markets are happening all over the city!

Following is a list of the Christmas markets you can visit in Reykjavik.

For your information, the Icelandic Advent begins 4 Sundays before Christmas Day. In 2023, that means the first in Advent is Sunday, the 3rd of December, and the last in Advent is 23rd of December. During this period, there are dozens of pop-up one-day markets, Christmas buffets, and live Christmas concerts all over town.

Ice Skating on Ingolfstorg Square | The Classic Christmas Market

Ice skating rink in downtown Reykjavík during Christmas time

Picture by Óli Haukur Mýrdal

Alpin-like wooden huts, Christmas lights twinkling above, and an ice rink right in between - the perfect Christmas picture!

For a few years running now, there has been a man-made ice rink put up on Ingolfstorg square, right in the middle of downtown Reykjavik. The telephone company Nova puts the ice rink up and rents out ice skates and helmets. To enter the ice rink costs 1490 ISK, with a helmet and skates included. Children 5 years old or under can skate for free.

Of course, you can simply soak up the atmosphere without pulling on any skates. There is Christmas music playing, the smell of roasted almonds in the air, and a positive air of festivity all around.

Christmas Market Opening Times:

Open every day from the 1st of December until the 23rd of December from 12 PM to 10 PM.

26th of December: 12 PM to 8 PM

31st of December: 12 PM to 4 PM

Christmas Village in Hafnarfjordur | The Big Christmas Market

Jólaþorpið, The Christmas Town, in Hafnarfjörður - Iceland

Hafnarfjordur is a suburban town next to Reykjavik, known for being the town of elves and the town of lava and for their annual Viking Village celebrations. But they are also known for being the town of Christmas! Of course, elves and trolls are closely related to Christmas traditions in Iceland, so it's fitting that the town takes on a big Christmas theme each year.

There's been a Christmas market in the town for over 20 years, which makes it the longest-running one in the capital area. Expect around twenty Christmas huts selling all sorts of biscuits, cookies, hot drinks, local handicrafts, and festive decorations. Horse carriage rides are available, and lots of live music and other live entertainment.

A recent addition to the festivities is the Hjartasvellid ice rink in town, next to the library. It costs 1500 ISK and is open from 4 PM to 9 PM on weekdays, from 12 AM to 9 PM on Saturdays, and 12 AM to 6 PM on Sundays.

Christmas Market Opening Times:

Open every Friday from 5 PM to 8 PM.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 1 PM to 6 PM during Advent.

On the last day of the Christmas village 23rd of December, it's open from 1 PM to 9 PM.

Inside the Heidmork Forest | The Natural Christmas Market

Right on the outskirts of Reykjavik is a beautiful nature reserve called Heidmork. Surrounded by a small forest, snow, and beautiful scenery, you can enjoy a Christmas market each weekend during Advent in a tranquil area.

Expect live music, reading from books by Icelandic authors, a children's corner with entertainment, local handicrafts for sale - and, of course, you can buy your Christmas tree here. The Christmas tree sale is sustainable and eco-friendly, conducted by the Reykjavík Forest Service.

Christmas Market Opening Times:

Every Advent weekend from 12 PM to 5 PM.

Christmas at Arbaer Open Air Museum | The Traditional Christmas Market

Learn about Iceland's Christmas traditions inside an authentic turf house at Árbær museum

Picture from Árbær Open Air Museum

If you want to get to know how Icelanders used to celebrate Christmas a few decades or even centuries ago, then be sure to head to the Arbaer Open Air Museum. A great museum to visit any time of year, but during the Christmas Season, they put on an additional Christmas program.

Try your hand at knitting, crafting some Christmas decorations, or cutting out patterns in a traditional leaf bread. Have a taste of the traditional Skate (normally eaten on the 23rd of December) or the smoked lamb (Hangikjöt), which is often served as Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Or you can learn how to make candles. Just make sure they don't get stolen by Kertasníkir - one of the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads that may be hanging out in the area.

You can also buy some handicrafts and confectionary or simply sing and dance around a Christmas tree.

Christmas Market Opening Times:

The museum is open daily from 1 PM to 5 PM, but the Christmas program takes place on the first three Sundays in Advent, the 3rd, 10th, and 17th of December.

Christmas Forest in Reykjavik City Hall | The Indoor Wonderland

Reykjavik City Hall has a indoor Christmas forest that is worth visitingThe Reykjavik City Hall in downtown Reykjavik is not just where the offices of the mayor of Reykjavik are, it also hosts various events such as art exhibitions, functions, or live music. During Christmas, the Tjarnarsalur hall (The Lake Room) gets decorated for Christmas, creating a fantastical Christmas forest in the month of December, with a view of the Tjornin lake just outside.

Every year, different local artists are trusted to create a beautiful festive space that's worth visiting, especially if the weather outside is particularly cold. It's a nice indoor option to get in the Christmas spirit.

Christmas Valley in Laugardalur | The Valley of Lights

Laugardalur valley in Reykjavik gets decorated in lights during the Christmas seasonBeautiful Christmas lights have been installed all over the park of Laugardalur, making it a great place to go for a walk, especially during the dark days of December. From Friday to Sunday, from 5 PM to 8 PM, people can visit the Christmasland in the valley and take a ride on the colorful carousel.

Nearby, you will find the Reykjavik Botanical Garden, where you can explore Icelandic winter flora, and grab a hot cocoa or coffee at Café Flóra, which is open from 10 AM to 3 PM during December.

Hjartartorg Christmas Market | Market in the Heart of the City

Hjartartorg square holds a Christmas market during the month of December in IcelandAccessible from Laugarvegur main street, you will find the Christmas market at Hjartartorg square. There would find a wide selection of various vendors with small goods, delicious food and other Christmassy things for sale.

Look out for surprise entertainment events throughout December taking place at the square, bringing a jolly festive cheer for all.

Christmas Market Opening Times:

Open every weekend in December until Christmas from 1 PM to 6 PM.

Open December 21st to the 23rd from 4 PM to 8 PM.

We hope everybody has a wonderful time during Christmas in Iceland. Gleðileg jól!

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