top of page

Your Roadmap for Things to Do in Keflavik

“Hidden in plain sight” is the best way to describe this Icelandic gem. Even though the town isn’t the biggest or busiest part of Iceland, there are plenty of things to do in Keflavik that will either begin or end your holiday on a high note.


The things to do in Keflavik range from fine dining to a deep dive into Icelandic culture and history. Keep your eyes on the page to discover how to enhance your Icelandic holiday.


Keflavik – the Gateway to Iceland


Keflavik is a town on the western tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula in the municipality of Reykjanesbaer. It used to be a small fishing village until the U.S. built an airbase here during WWII to control the transport routes of the North Atlantic. NATO later took over the airbase, but they left in 2006. Since then, the connected buildings have been taken over and turned into housing and businesses, laying the foundation for a commercial boom in the area.


So, what is Keflavik known for? It is where the well-known Keflavik Airport is located, and it has become the first contact most visitors have with Iceland. Since it is close to the capital, it is sometimes misnamed as Reykjavík Airport (which is problematic since it’s another airport entirely, dealing mostly with our domestic flights).


So, if you ask any of the locals about things to do near Reykjavík Airport, you might not end up where you thought you would. But for the best things to do near Keflavik Airport, we’ve got you covered:


Keflavik


The Best Things to Do Near Keflavik Airport


Just landed and can’t wait to get your Iceland adventure started? Then check these out:


Rock and Roll Museum


The top pick for most locals and visitors is the Rock and Roll Museum. As you might know, Iceland has an incredibly strong cultural scene that nurtures and encourages expression in various ways. Music is one of the cornerstones of Icelandic culture, which you will quickly realize as you walk through the Rock and Roll Museum in Keflavik.


Here, you’ll be able to see, read, and touch the history of Icelandic pop and rock, showcasing international success stories such as The Sugarcubes, Björk, and Of Monsters and Men.





Vikingaheimar


Even though the Icelanders are friendly and hospitable, there was a time when they were anything but that. The Icelandic Viking is a character you will bump into in many different shapes and forms all over Iceland’s heritage sites, even when you visit Keflavik.


Therefore, one of the best things to do in Keflavik is to visit Viking World, or Vikingaheimar as it is called in Icelandic. Here, you can check out Islendingur, the massive replica of an old Vikings ship dating back to 870 A.D., as well as read up on how the Vikings explored the world.




Stekkjarkot


Finding out about how Vikings traveled and explored the world is one thing. Seeing how they lived and what they built in Iceland is another.


Stekkjarkot is close to Viking World, and here, you can see with your own eyes what the old houses looked like. As Vikings adapted to the harsh weather of Iceland, they built strong turf houses, which have been restored and rebuilt here.


On the site, the same race of goats and sheep the Vikings brought over have been carefully taken care of for generations, keeping them the same as when the Vikings had them. On the list of things to do in Keflavik, visiting cute Viking goats and sheep must be at the top!





Kaffi Duus


The absolute winner in terms of the cozy and down-to-earth Icelandic atmosphere in town. Kaffi Duus has been busy serving locals and visitors for over 20 years. You must come here if you want to experience some of the most authentic Icelandic seafood in the country. When it comes to things to do in Keflavik, this is our top pick for dining.





Duus Museum


Right next to Kaffi Duus lies the art center of the area – the Duus Museum. With a rich history, this is one of the things to do in Keflavik if you want to understand the rich modern history of the area. Here you’ll find everything from written history to modern art exhibitions! Opposite the street, you can also see some naval history pieces that carry the modern Icelandic history. 





The Giantess in the Mountain


In the far northern part of Keflavik sits a giantess in a large rock house. She welcomes everyone who wants to visit and doesn’t mind having children in her lap. If the children have toys they no longer want, she will happily use them to decorate her home. The Giantess in the mountain sits on a rocking chair next to the window in her kitchen. From there, she can keep an eye on Keflavik and help anyone in need.


If you are traveling with children, this is a must for things to do in Keflavik. The character comes from a beloved children’s book series and has been very popular all over Iceland. It’s very interactive and is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.




The Blue Lagoon


Even if the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is not technically IN Keflavik, we will put it as one of the things to do in Keflavik. This magical lagoon is one of the top Iceland hot springs and is world-renowned for its healing properties and serene environment. In general, this is a must for anyone visiting Iceland. Keep updated with their news on the recent eruptions and operating hours on the Blue Lagoon website.


Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Where to Stay in Keflavik


Regardless of if you tick off things to do in Keflavik or are just passing through, accommodation might be necessary. Below are some suggestions of places to stay when you’re in the neighborhood.


  • Hotel Keflavik – A classic all-round good hotel in Keflavik.

  • Hotel Berg – Charming boutique hotel next to the marina.

  • Hotel Aurora – Right on the doorstep of the airport.

  • Guesthouse 1x6 – A boutique guesthouse in the heart of Keflavik.

  • Kef Guesthouse – The convenient option for the traveler on the go.

  • Hotel Duus – Perfectly placed next to the café and Museum.


Is Keflavik Worth Visiting?


As you now know, there are many things to do in Keflavik. This is where you will be entering and exiting the country, but there is no reason to only pass through it without stopping.

Keflavik is rich in culture and friendly people, so make sure to rent a campervan in Reykjavík and make this your first stop. It’s well worth the detour.

25 views

Comments


bottom of page