In 2018 Leashia and I decided to go to Reykjavik for a few nights taking in the new year. We had a wonderful meal at Forrettbarinn and then while most of the population were watching Áramótaskaupið on the telly we retreived our bottle of bubbly from our accomodation [which we had kept cold on the window sill] and headed to Hallgrimskirkja.
Our verdict: New Years Eve in Reykjavik is absolutely bonkers! They go firework crazy. It seems that anyone can let off fireworks anywhere in the city on a scale I have never seen before. Money raised from the sale of the fireworks goes to the mountain rescue charity so it’s all for a good cause.
The display at Hallgrimskirkja attracts a large crowd and that is where we went, bubbly in hand, after a lovely dinner at Forretbarrin. When I say display – it does not appear to be an organised event, with locals letting off their own fireworks when they wanted! Luckily, the sky was clear and the rain had stopped but it was bloody cold. Outside of the city there are many local community bonfires and displays. You could also choose to watch the fireworks from different parts of Reykjavik, such as the harbour or Perlan.
The fireworks started off well before midnight as if the locals were saying goodbye to the year and welcoming in the new one meaning there was no sponatious celebration at midnight which we found odd. The fireworks were in full swing by 11.30, an incessant barrage of explosions and colour that lasted for over an hour. The firework debris rained down on the crowd like nuclear fallout. There was no sign of any health and safety standards being enforced at all.
When the display finally started to quieten down around 1am, the crowd slowly dispursed, heading for the pubs that were reopening but we were happy to head back to our Airbnb for a warm drink.