I had heard that Reykjavík is home to one of the best New Year’s Eve firework shows in all of Europe, so I had high expectations for the holiday when we were there in December. I’ll go ahead and immediately say that I was NOT disappointed.
A Special Holiday Dinner at The Fish Company
Our celebration began at The Fish Company (Fiskfélagið), where we indulged in a special four-course meal. During our first course, we dined on pan-fried cod that was glazed with honey and served with wild cauliflower. Our second course included caraway-cured salmon with a dash of Brennivín, which is Iceland’s signature spirit that’s often lovingly referred to as “Black Death”. The salmon was served with pickled rhubarb and shredded, smoked char. That dish was followed by a fried lamb sirloin and glazed lamb press with celeriac puree. We finished off our meal with a white chocolate brownie and crème fraiche ice cream. Obviously, we left The Fish Company full, happy, and ready to see some fireworks.
Another great thing about The Fish Company and Iceland in general: it’s a travel destination and stopover for so many different people of different cultures around the world, especially people throughout Europe. During our NYE dinner at The Fish Company, as we sat at our cozy table, we could hear languages and accents all around us from places like Germany, Sweden, England, France, etc. It felt great to share a New Year dinner with so many people from different parts of the world.
The Amazing Fireworks We Viewed from Downtown
Around 10:45 p.m., we walked from our apartment near the harbor to Hallgrímskirkja to get ready for the show. For more than an hour, we stood with thousands of people, watching some of the most beautiful fireworks I’ve ever seen. It was breathtaking. And, despite there being a ton of people around, it was a peaceful experience. Everyone seemed to be on their best behavior, making the event perfect for couples, groups of friends, solo travelers, and families alike.
What to Consider When Preparing to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Reykjavík:
+ Hotels will book out well in advance, so plan your trip early.
+ Not all restaurants are open during New Year’s Eve, meaning the ones that are get booked out quickly. So, make your reservations as soon as you can.
+ You’ll need to make reservations if you want to eat New Year’s Eve dinner at The Fish Company. Please note that they only offer their prix fixe holiday menu that night, and the menu changes every year. Prices are around 11.900 Icelandic Króna ($98) per person. Alcohol is extra. If you have dietary limitations or preferences and let them know in advance, they are happy to accommodate you. I highly recommend dining here for a celebratory New Year’s Eve meal.
+ On New Year’s Eve, and especially on New Year’s Day, many restaurants, bars, shops, and museums are closed around Reykjavík.
I can’t recommend celebrating New Year’s Eve in Reykjavík enough. An already gorgeous city is lit up by stunning, colorful lights. With a little planning, you can enjoy an incredible meal. And, you can experience a fun holiday with friendly Icelanders and travelers from all over the world.
Get in Touch
Have questions about spending NYE in Reykjavík? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!