Cool, cloudy summers and cold, snowy winters are typical of Iceland's colourful capital.
Reykjavik is the world's most northerly capital city, located in the south west of Iceland, and is one of the safest, cleanest and greenest cities on Earth. Tourists come see the Aurora Borealis in winter, as well as Iceland's incredible landscape and marine life. Reykjavik is the starting point of the famous "Golden Circle" which is a 300 km route that takes in some of Iceland's most famous sights including national parks, waterfalls, geothermal springs, geysers, volcanoes and glaciers. The city itself is a cultural hotspot worthy of any European capital with museums, galleries, churches, festivals, restaurants and a lively nightlife.
Iceland lies in the stormiest region of the North Atlantic and is frequented by low pressure systems throughout the year. This makes its climate very changeable with periods of wet and windy weather interspersed with drier, more sunny interludes. The gulf stream also affects the climate, bringing a current of relatively warm water. As a result, Iceland has surprisingly mild winters compared to similar latitudes.
Reykjavik weather averages and climate information
When is the best time to visit Reykjavik?
Due to it's position just south of the arctic circle, Reykjavik has cold, dark winters and cool, cloudy summers. Reykjavik is rarely considered warm, the highest recorded temperature only 25 Celsius! One interesting function of its latitude is that during the summer months it remains light all night. In the far north of Iceland the sun never sets around the summer solstice! Equally the winter months bring much less daylight, but this can add to the drama as long twilight periods can be observed. The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) can occur all year round, however the midnight sun in the summer prevents thetrm from being seen. The longer nights through the winter optimise your chance of seeing them on a clear night, which is a great reason for visiting at this time of year!
Reykjavik's weather is changeable all year round, and is often very windy. Visitors should be prepared for some wet weather, even in the summer. Precipitation falls almost exclusively as snow through the winter months, but Reykjavik is drier than more mountainous inland areas of Iceland where ice and snow lies all year round, forming many glaciers.