Plan to visit Iceland in November if you want to embrace the cold and fun across the island! Look up to the skies for the Northern Lights or explore the brilliant ice caves. Learn some Icelandic or check out our fantastic music scene!
Whatever experience inspires you, Your Friend in Reykjavik wants to share the best of our home with you! Let us show you around on one of our walking tours of Reykjavik, or ask us for some tips on what to do and where to go.
Dance, Read, and Speak Icelandic in November!
November Festivals and celebrations in Iceland are as unique as we are. The beginning of the month is usually when Iceland Airwaves takes over Reykjavik. The weekend-long music festival features local and international performers from Björk to Vampire Weekend. Unfortunately, 2020’s festival has fallen to COVID-19, but you can still get your groove on at one of our many live music spots!
You might want to discover the Reykjavik Book Fair for more quiet contemplation, which usually occurs from mid to end of November. Again, it looks like it’s cancelled for 2020. Still, you can discover why Reykjavik was named a UNESCO City of Literature with a visit to Reykjavík City Library.
And for a truly immersive experience, November 16 is Dagur íslenskrar tungu or Icelandic Language Day. We celebrate our literary father, Jónas Hallgrímsson’s birthday and our mother tongue by encouraging everyone to speak Icelandic. Join one of our walking tours, and we’ll help you get fluent in no time! Or at least pick up a few key phrases!
Northern Lights in Iceland in November
November is ideal for catching the Northern Lights in Iceland. You get plenty of night hours to search for that dazzling light show from Mother Nature with the short days! Dark skies mean you get a better chance of seeing the sun particles’ results hitting the gases in our atmosphere for beautiful playful greens, blues, and reds. Although you can probably catch them in the city, you may want to venture a little way out of town to avoid light pollution. Also, check the weather report before you head out. Cloud cover can block your view! There are a few exciting Northern Lights tours to try out if you do not want to try and find them on your own. You can join an ATV/Northern Lights tour, Northern Lights by Boat, and a small group tour. We recommend you make the most out of your day and join us for a Food Lovers Tour and then go on a boat tour after waters.
Christmas starts in November in Iceland!
Well, not quite. But your Christmas shopping can begin! Toward the end of November, a couple of towns start getting their holiday spirits going. Make your way about half an hour south to Hafnarfjörður for their excellent Christmas Village, complete with Yule Lads and Santa and shopping. All surrounded by lava fields and the ocean! Or head to the Heiðmörk woods outside Reykjavik for a traditional Christmas Market.
Best things to do in Iceland in November
The weather getting colder in Iceland is perfect for checking out the ice caves. Believe it or not, it would be too warm to try earlier in the year! The formations from the massive glaciers around Jökulsárlón lake are about five hours along the coast from Reykjavik. Or head further inland to Vatnajökull to Europe’s biggest glacier and the spectacular Sapphire Ice Cave. And there’s plenty of gorgeousness on the trip up to these caves and more!
And if you want to stay in the city, no problem! There are so many things to do in Reykjavik in November or year! Eat your way through Hlemmur Food Hall, or check out a performance at Harpa. Or you can get a private walking tour and spend time on the stuff you want to see here.
Weather in Iceland in November
November in Iceland is ideal if you want a wintry wonderland experience without too extreme weather. And you can still get home for Christmas! The weather usually averages around 35°F (1.6°C). Pleasantly brisk but not fully freezing. The winds kick up quite a bit starting around now, and you may get some rain or snow. So, pack properly!
As for daylight, November is when you might feel the drop to extremely short days. The month begins with about 8 hours of sun and ends with only around 5 hours.
What to pack for November in Iceland
Winter is ramping up, so layers are definitely your best bet. Don’t have enough cold-weather gear? How about a shopping trip to Reykjavik! This is a perfect reason to pick up one, or more, wool items made by our fabulous four-legged friends. Since you may have to face some rain or snow, even if you stay in the city, make sure you have some weather-proof gear. And if you’re not used to short days and long nights, you may want to bring eye-coverings or whatever you need to help you sleep.
Your Friend in Reykjavik can’t wait to see you in November!
When you plan your trip to Iceland, we hope you’ll stop by and see us! Your Friend in Reykjavik offers the perfect walking tours of our capital city. From folklore to food, and everything in between, get to know our hometown as we do – our guides can’t wait to share their favourite spots with you!