Averages for Reykjavik in January

What's the weather like in Reykjavik in January

The weather in Iceland is very changable, you may well get four seasons in a day, similar to the weather in New York. Outdoor activities go on as usual throughout winter so you can still horse ride, swim outdoors and the weather is ideal for snowy outdoor activities in January. The Northern Light winter tours are popular at this time of year. Experience authentic Iceland in January but be sure to pack your weatherproo...

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  • Temperature Temperature 0°C 32°F
  • High Temperature Holiday Weather 3°C 37°F
  • Low Temperature Holiday Weather -3°C 27°F
  • Sunshine Hours Sunshine Hours 1 hrs
  • Rainfall Rainfall 50 mm
  • Rainfall days Rainfall days 19 days
  • Sea Temperature Sea Temperature 5°C 42°F

Daily averages for Reykjavik

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Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
°C 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 0 1 2 2 3 3 2 2 1 2 2 2
°F 34 34 34 36 0 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 36 34 34 34 0 34 36 36 37 37 36 36 34 36 36 36

What's the weather like in Reykjavik in January

The weather in Iceland is very changable, you may well get four seasons in a day, similar to the weather in New York. Outdoor activities go on as usual throughout winter so you can still horse ride, swim outdoors and the weather is ideal for snowy outdoor activities in January. The Northern Light winter tours are popular at this time of year. Experience authentic Iceland in January but be sure to pack your weatherproof outdoor clothing. 

Temperature

January is the coldest month in Reykjavik, the daily average temperature sits around 0°C. Don't let this put you off visiting as the weather shouldn't stop you getting involved in the range of activities avaliable. The lowest temperature expected is -3°C and the highest is 3°C. 

Rainfall 

January is the wettest month of the year in Reykjavik, there will be on average 55mm of rainfall and 19 rainy days. Remember your umbrella so you don't get soaked in a down pour.

Sunshine Hours

There is on average 1 hours of sunshine per day in January. It can be lacking in daylight but by the end of the month there will be around 4-7 hours of daylight. Lack of daylight isn't actually all that bad as it means more chance of seeing the Northern Lights. 

Sea Temperature 

In January the sea temperature is at its coldest, measuring around 5°C. There is no need to swim in the sea as the wonderful Blue Lagoon is the place to relax, with its warm water at around 37-39°C.

Snow

Snow can come as early as September and linger till May in Iceland, so expect lots of snow in January. The winter road closures can make access to some areas difficult so plan your journeys beforehand. Check the weather before heading out because there have previously been snow storms in January.

Weather warnings

There could well be storms in Winter and these could be with or without snow. The weather in Iceland is very changeable and the snow or rain could accompany storms depending on how bad the weather is. Definitely don't drive during a storm, they have previously been strong enough to blow cars off the road. However, you will still be able to enjoy Reykjavik during a storm, here are some ideas.

Length of the day 

January and December are when Iceland has its shortest days, the day length is approximately 4 hours and 24 minutes in January.

Reykjavik Hotels in January

A few years ago you could book very cheap rooms in January but now it has become a popular time to visit magical Reykjavik. Although, there are still some reasonably priced options for accommodation in the city and many options for those who want to splash out and have a luxurious treat. 

If you're looking for something with a reasonable price, Kex Hostel is a trendy social hostel, housed in an old biscuit factory. The great value accommodation is central and the dorms are bright, spacious and comfortable. Women only dorms are ​available and cards are given to guests to access their rooms. Choose from single, double, family or twin rooms; or for something more luxurious, pick a double plus bedroom (including a private WC and breakfast).

At the heart of Kex Hostel is the Sæmundur í Sparifötunum gastro pub, serving delicious food based on Icelandic heritage. The Gym & Tonic multifunctional hall is another advantage of the hostel; conferences, meetings, concerts and private parties are held here. 

Hotel Borg overlooking the stunning Austurvöllur square in the heart of Reykjavik has become a landmark of Reykjavik. Ideal for reaching restaurants, businesses, galleries and shops, Borg is a convenient place to stay. Hosting 99 rooms and suites with beautiful Art Deco the hotel is popular among tourists. It is just 45km from the international airport. You will have the choice of single, double, superior or deluxe rooms. For those looking for something a little more luxurious, the suites and tower suites are a plush option. An added bonus is the Borg Spa, this alone may persuade you to book your stay here; it offers a hot tub, steam bath, sauna, relaxation area, fitness room and amazing range of treatments. 

Hlemmur Square Hotel and Hostel combines an upscale hostel with a luxury hotel all under one roof. The hotel is located on the fifth floor with 18 luxury, elegant, modern rooms. Every room has a fitted en suite and most have balconies with stunning landscape views of the city and mountains. Enjoy a king-sized bed, flat-screen TV, stocked up mini bar (with local goods) and spacious living area.

The hostel part of the Hlemmur Square is located on the 3rd and 4th floor and has dormitory style accommodation. Quality linen for the beds, big rooms, large lockers, black out curtains and spacious seating areas are highlights. Hostel guests can access food services, the bar with happy hour and lounges. Most importantly, you will have a place to cook, relax, and meet other travellers. 

Bars and Restaurants

The iconic Hverfisgata 12 pizzeria offers a buzzing atmosphere, perfect to enjoy a well cooked cheesy pizza. You will be spoilt for choice here as there are too many amazing pizzas to choose from. Top off your Italian style meal with a recommended creamy creme brulee. This place is not just ideal for dinner, but also for brunch; the brunch pizza is mouth-wateringly good and cures a hangover instantly. Upstairs is the magnificent bar, Mikkeller & Friends where you can order a refreshing draft beer or a fancy cocktail. 

Prikið is the oldest restaurant/cafe in Reykjavik and therefore, a must visit. The American style burgers and other unhealthy but absolutely delicious meals are definitely fit to fill you up for dinner. Many tourists love the saloon ambience of the place and visit more than once. Luckily, for vegetarians and vegans there is a selection of great alternatives. In the evening hip-hop music plays and people dance. On Fridays and Saturdays it's open till 4.30am and 1am on other nights of the week. If you'd prefer to visit in the day, the 'hangover killer' breakfasts are cheap and always recommended.

Ölstofa Kormáks og Skjaldar Bar is an atmospheric pub, it opened in 2002 and has now become a landmark in the Icelandic social scene; with its choice of 25-30 beer brands. There is no other place like it. It's perfect for enjoying an Ölstofan Icelandic beer and having a long conversations. For those who don't like beer, the fine spirits are also an impressive option.

Things to do in Reykjavik in January

The Northern Lights are a must see in Iceland and if you're visiting in January you're in with a good chance of seeing them. They are formed from electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with gaseous particles in the Earth's atmosphere; this causes bright, colourful lights that practically dance in the sky. Seeing the lights is both magical and unique for all age groups. Look out for white, green, pink and purple colours in the sky and don't forget your camera or phone to capture your special experience!

Prepare to be fascinated by the Myrdalsjokull Glacier, located in the south of the Icelandic highlands. It's the countries fourth largest ice cap and is known for sitting on top of Katla Mýrdalsjökull, the explosive volcano in the village of Vic. No eruptions are immediately imminent, meaning ice caving tours and snowmobiling still take place (departing from Reykjavik).

Far and Ride in Reykjaví​k offers amazing horse riding routes all around Iceland. In the south you can see the incredible glaciers and experience riding in the snow in the North. There is even a chance of seeing the famed northern lights, which would be an experience that you'll never forget. Riding horseback is a unique way of seeing the stunning sights of Iceland. There are different itineraries to choose from, with options for experienced and inexperienced riders alike. On some of the itineraries, there's even the option to visit horse breeders, competitions and shows.

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