Located about 75km (46mi) north of Reykjavik, Borgarnes is a small, friendly town of approximately 2,000 inhabitants. Situated between the capital and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the city’s economy relies heavily on tourism and industry. Here are some ideas for what to do in Iceland when you visit Borgarnes.

View of Borgarnes coast overlooking the water

Culture and museums

The Borgarnes Settlement Museum offers two permanent exhibitions: one on the Saga of Egill and one on the settlement of Iceland. The exhibits are based on two books, “The Icelandic Book” and “The Settlement Book”. The exhibition tells us more about the discovery of Iceland, the arrival of the Norwegian Vikings and the establishment of the world’s first parliament, the Alþingi. Visitors will go on a journey of discovery via storyboards, sounds, shows, theater, and sculptures. You can also get an audio guide which is available in English, Spanish, French, Icelandic, and nine other languages. In addition to this, they have an excellent coffee shop offering local and homemade products. We strongly recommend a visit to this museum as it is one of the more interesting highlights of Iceland’s attractions. The museum is open all year round from 10am to 9pm.


The Outdoors

The Borgarnes Swimming Pool is a nice place for everyone. Whether you are young or old, alone or with family or friends, want to swim or simply soak up the hot water, this is the place for you. There is an indoor pool, an outdoor pool with sea views, two water slides, a sauna, and four jacuzzis with temperatures around 40 °C (104 °F). Grab your towel and swimsuit and hop on in!

People swimming at Borngarnes Swimming Pool

The Borgarnes Museum is a fascinating place for those who are curious about Iceland. You will be able to travel back in time to Iceland at the beginning of the 20th century. You can also visit a peat house which will give you an idea of how everyday life was for Icelandic families at that time. The exhibition ‘Oh, to be a bird!’ is quite lovely. The museum is open from 1pm to 5pm during the four summer months and until 4pm the rest of the year.

For a breathtaking view and hearty breakfast, the Geirabakarí bakery is the perfect option. You can also enjoy the local and seasonal produce of the Ljómalind Cooperative, open every day from 10am to 6pm (12pm to 5pm in winter). For those who love to hike, climbing up Hafnarfjall Mountain (2.5 hours to reach the summit) is a good option. You can also take nice walks along the marked trails at the Einkunnir Nature Park and have a picnic or barbecue.

Hafnarfjall mountain near Borgarnes

For family-friendly activities, you can stroll through Skallagrímsgarður Park or visit Bjössaróló’s Playground. This children’s play space was created in 1979 by the carpenter Björn Hjörtur Guðmundsson using only recycled materials. An environmental pioneer, he wanted to instill in children the idea that nature requires attention and respect. The Brúðuheimar Puppet Center is also a fun and engaging activity to do with your children!

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