Reykjavík is the most child-friendly place in Iceland simply because it has a great variety of attractions and facilities. Most kids also find the whole country an adventure with its wide-open spaces, wildlife and science projects brought to life.
Iceland is a fairly easy place to travel with children, and the dramatic scenery, abundance of swimming pools and friendliness of the locals help to keep them happy. Parents will find a country that's free of most urban dangers, but do keep kids away from those cliffs and unfenced waterfalls!
If your children like science and the natural world, they will love the bird colonies, waterfalls, volcanic areas and glaciers. A number of activities can keep them busy, such as short hikes, super-Jeep tours, horse riding, whale watching, boat rides and easy glacier walks (for the latter, the minimum age is around eight to 10 years).
Families should check out the highly informative Íslandskort barnanna (Children's Map of Iceland; 980kr), aimed at young kids and published by Forlagið with text in Icelandic and English. Buy online or at the Mál og Menning bookshop.
- For kids, admission to museums and swimming pools varies from 50% off to free. The age at which children must pay adult fees varies from place to place (anywhere from 12 to 18 years). The Reykjavík City Card has a children's version.
- On internal flights and tours with Air Iceland Connect (www.airicelandconnect.is), children aged two to 11 years pay half-fare and infants under two fly free.
- Most bus and tour companies offer a 50% reduction for children aged four to 11 years; Reykjavík Excursion tours are free for under 11s, and half-price for those aged 12 to 15.
- International car-hire companies offer child seats for an extra cost (book in advance).
- The changeable weather and frequent cold and rain may put you off camping as a family, but children aged two to 12 are usually charged half-price for camping, hostel, farmhouse and other accommodation. Under two-year-olds can usually stay for free.
- Many places offer rooms accommodating families, including hostels, guesthouses and farmstays. Larger hotels often have cots (cribs), but you may not find these elsewhere.
- Many restaurants in Reykjavík and larger towns offer discounted children’s meals, and most have high chairs.
- Toilets at museums and other public institutions may have dedicated baby-changing facilities; elsewhere, you’ll have to improvise.
- Attitudes to breastfeeding in public are generally relaxed.
- Formula, nappies (diapers) and other essentials are available everywhere.