Winter Lights Festival – Four Days of Art in the Capital Area

The Winter Lights Festival is held the first weekend of February every year, from Thursday to Sunday. It is not only held in Reykjavík but all nearby municipalities as well; Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Seltjarnarnes and Mosfellsbær. In 2022, the festival is held 3.-6. February.

The festival’s motto is “light in the dark” and was first held in 2000 when Reykjavík was a European Capital of Culture.

Photo: Winter Lights Festival/Raggi Th

The festival always opens with a light artwork which is projected onto Hallgrímskirkja Church at the top of Skólavörðuholt. Then there are various other light exhibitions around the city and other artworks. The Festival’s Program is here.

Last year we had a virtual walking tour, showing you some of the displayed artworks.

The Winter Lights Walking Path

Light installations will be illuminated between 18:30 and 22:00 every night of the festival. It is a good walking tour to find all the light installations. Remember to dress warm because it is cold outside so you can enjoy the festival regardless. However, a good rule of thumb in Iceland is to always be dressed in layers!

Last year, we did a guided online walking tour showing the festival lights, check it out below and get a feel for the it.

App for Outdoor Artworks

Reykjavík Art Museum operates the Reykjavík Art Walk Mobile App about outdoor works in Reykjavík. In a fun and straightforward way, you can learn about all the outdoor works that the Reykjavík Art Museum oversees in the city. The app is free of charge for iOS and Android and is in both Icelandic and English. Therefore more people can enjoy Iceland’s outdoor art!

The Reykjavík Art Museum oversees about two hundred works of art in the city, and with the app, you can access information about all the artworks.

Electronic Literature Walks

The Reykjavík City of Literature also has an app called Electronic Culture Walks where you can find guided tours in Icelandic, English, Spanish, German, and French. As the walks are electronic, you could just as well “walk” them from the comfort of your sofa if you wanted. That means you don’t have to be in Iceland to enjoy the literature walks! The app is both available for iOS and Android.

Under normal circumstances, Museum Night and Swimming Night is held on the Friday of the festival, but it has been cancelled for the past two years due to Covid.

Museum Night

The Museum’s that take part in the Museum Night keep their doors open until midnight, and all entrances are free.

Many lectures, performances and concerts are generally available for Museum Night.

There are many museums in the capital area which offer vastly different experiences, such as:

The National Gallery of Iceland

Reykjavík Art Museum

The National Museum of Iceland

The Saga Museum

Árbær Open Air Museum

Reykjavík Maritime Museum

The Settlement Exhibition

Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Aurora Reykjavík: The Northern Lights Centre

Culture House

The Iceland Punk Museum

The Phallological Museum

The Natural History Museum of Kópavogur

The Living Art Museum

The Hafnarfjörður Centre of Culture and Fine Art

And countless other galleries and small museums.

Swimmingpool night

Swimming pools are open longer with performances and concerts.

There are 18 swimming pools in the Capital Area, and most of them take part in the event.

This weekend event is perfect to check out after a walking tour with Your Friend in Reykjavík!

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