New Years in Iceland
Iceland is one of the best places to celebrate New Years. Icelanders go crazy with the fireworks, people gather by the bonfires and party until dawn.
Bonfires have been a tradition in Iceland for a long time. They are in several neighborhoods in Reykjavík and usually the largest one is at Ægisíða. Bonfires are held all over the country and people gather around to enjoy the fire and meet others. It´s a unique experience and great atmosphere.
Icelanders go crazy on New Years with fireworks. Every family buys at least one package with fireworks and sparklers. Only certified organisations can sell fireworks – rescue teams, sports clubs, etc – so all the money spent on fireworks goes to a good cause. At midnight the sky is one big firework – an amazing sight and a great way to start the new year.
After midnight and having spent a lovely evening with family and friends, people go to parties at private homes and/or go to special New Years parties at clubs and pubs that last until dawn, or even longer!
Gala ball 1st January
Gala dances on the 1st January have been popular for the past years. Tux or suit with a tie for the gentleman, a long dress or a cocktail dress for the lady. It differs from one year to another where the gala dances are held and are usually not advertised until just before New Years.
Restaurants & stores
Restaurants are well aware that foreign guests are discovering Icelandic New Years and are increasingly offering great menus and dinner parties. You won´t starve although most supermarkets close at 6pm on the 31st December. If you are planning on buying beer, wine or something stronger for the evening, it´s important to know that it´s not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages in supermarkets. ATVR are special wine stores with special opening hours so please make sure to check the opening hours in advance so the doors won´t be shut when you show up.
Relaxation & adventures
When in Iceland over New Years, we recommend you come a few days before or spend the first days of the new year in Iceland, relax and enjoy what Iceland has to offer. The Northern lights are truly magical and Dec/Jan is usually a good time to see the beautiful aurora. Snowmobiling, The Blue Lagoon or relax at Laugarspa are only a few options to choose from. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!