6 Blue Lagoon alternatives in Reykjavik and around

Whether you want to save money or avoid the risk of being close to a volcano eruption site, here are some excellent Blue Lagoon alternatives!

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in Europe. 

The warm silica waters attract over 700,000 visitors each year. 

However, it’s incredibly pricey, and recent volcano eruptions close to the site have caused it to close to visitors. 

But don’t worry, there are so many Blue Lagoon alternatives in and around Reykjavik – on my recent trip there, I spent a couple of days visiting as many as possible! 

So, here are the best Blue Lagoon alternatives. 

This article draws from my two trips to Iceland. One trip was hosted by Jet2 Holidays, with some activities hosted by Visit Iceland. All opinions are my own.

Blue Lagoon alternatives

The best Blue Lagoon alternatives include: 

  • Thermal baths in Reykjavik (public baths)
  • Sky Lagoon 
  • Secret Lagoon

If you want to avoid the chance of being close to a volcano eruption or the hassle of rescheduling your slot if the lagoon is closed, or are merely searching for budget-friendly alternatives, these are perfect!

In this article, we’ll go into all of them! 

You can also take a look at my YouTube video…

Public Thermal Baths in Reykjavik 

Reykjavik’s public thermal baths are among the best Iceland hidden gems. 

They’re cheap (a rarity in expensive Iceland!) and unlike Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, they are most visited by locals. They do have some tourists visiting, especially in the peak seasons, but you’ll find that these baths are local-first! 

@clairesfootsteps ICELAND ON A BUDGET? It's possible! Here's how you can save money in Iceland by visiting Reykjavik's public thermal baths that cost LESS than 9€. These thermal baths in Reykjavik are all over the city centre – just type them into Google maps to find your nearest. While they ARE cheap spas in Reykjavik with thermal waters, spas and saunas they do have slightly leisure centre vibes. But if you're looking for cheap things to do in Reykjavik, they're incredible! If you're looking for Blue Lagoon alternatives due to closures or it being too expensive, check these out. #iceland #icelandadventure #reykjavik #visiticeland ♬ original sound – Claire: travel blogger 🌏


Sundhollin were the first baths I visited in Reykjavik; they’re near the Hallgrimskirkja which was around a 10-minute walk from my hotel (Midgardur by Center Hotels).

Sundhollin is the oldest Bath House in Reykjavik, dating back to the 1930s. It’s also the oldest continuously operating Bath House in all of Iceland – but there is one that is a bit older and was established in 1890.

Here, there’s one swimming pool separated into lanes where you can do lengths, heated to around 25°C.

To me, it did feel a bit chilly, although sort of once I got in and was submerged, it felt much warmer than being outside (it was about -1°C outside). 

Then there were two warm warmer pools, one was heated to about 40°C which was lovely!

There is also a steam room, but it was out of action when I was there. 

Additionally, there’s an indoor pool and what are called hot pots, (like hot tubs). 

While Sundhollin is small, it’s the perfect bathouse if you’re staying in the city centre and just want a quick dip! 


Laugardaslaug is the largest public pool in Reykjavik. 

It has a 50 m outdoor pool for swimming (heated to around 28°C), a large pool for relaxing (heated to around 38°C) numerous hot tubs (heated to up to 44°C) and even water slides! 

It’s not quite as scenic and certainly has a different atmosphere, but water-wise and facility-wise, Laugardaslaug is probably the closest Reykjavik thermal bath to the Blue Lagoon. 

The do sports events and swimming galas at Laugardaslaug, so there is a small chance that it will be closed when you’re there. 


Arbaejarlaug is a bit further out of the city; unless you have a car, you’ll need to take the bus there. We took the number 5 bus from Laugardaslaug. 

It’s in a much more residential area than the rest of Reykjavik’s thermal baths, so it feels even more local (which we loved!). 

Pool-wise, Arbaejarlaug has a few hot pools and relaxation areas set around a swimming pool, with an indoor swimming pool close to the changing rooms and sauna and steam facilities. 

We really liked the vibe and layout of this pool; despite it being furthest from the city centre, it was probably our favourite! 

Top tip: take a walk around the park that’s adjacent to Arbaejarlaug. We found a beautiful waterfall! 


Vesterbaejarlaug is back in Reykjavik city centre, bout a 15-minute walk from the National Museum, but in a relatively residential area. 

We actually found this one to be the busiest – it was a Friday night when people had finished work and school which probably added to it! 

Again, there was a small pool for swimming, a warmer area where people would hang out and hot pots. We also went in the steam room! 

Things to know before visiting the thermal baths in Reykjavik

  1. Affordability: The thermal pools in Reykjavik are much cheaper than more famous locations like the Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon. Entry fees are approximately £6 ($8), which is literally about 5% of the price of Blue Lagoon! 
  2. Unlimited Enjoyment: Once inside, there’s no rush. Spend as much time as you wish swimming, relaxing in the hot pools, or enjoying the hotter “hot pots.” Some locations also feature a sauna and steam room.
  3. Experience Local Culture: While the larger lagoons draw international crowds, Reykjavik’s thermal baths are a more local experience. It’s an opportunity to see a side of Icelandic life away from the typical tourist trail!
  4. Payment Ease: Baths accept card payments and Apple/ Google Pay. If you’re planning to visit multiple sites, consider getting a Reykjavik City Card for free entry.
  5. Languages: English is widely spoken throughout the baths (and in all of Iceland). However, it’s worth noting that people may actually speak to you in Icelandic first here – it’s the only place that I’ve had this happen in the whole country! But once they realise you’re a tourist, they’ll switch to English. 
  6. Bathing etiquette: There are some important bathing etiquette tips to follow!
    1. Photography: Leave cameras and phones in your bag – they’re strictly prohibited in changing rooms and the pools themselves.
    2. Showering: Shower without a swimsuit before entering the pools – it’s a strict hygiene practice, and sometimes you’ll even find attendants making sure you do so! Everyone does it, so it shouldn’t feel awkward! 
    3. Gender-Separated Areas: Changing rooms and showers are gender-separated, but pool areas are communal. If you’re visiting with someone of a different gender, you’ll reunite in the pool area.
    4. Pool Re-entry: If you leave the pool for any reason, a quick rinse before re-entering is expected. This helps maintain the cleanliness of the water.
  7. After the Bath: You’re expected to dry off in the showers before entering the changing rooms. 

Use a Reykjavik City Pass

Now all of the bathhouses in the city centre come under the Reykjavik City Card – if you have a 24-hour, 48-hour or 72-hour Reykjavik City Card, you can get free access to all of these bathouses along with free bus travel and free entrance into the Reykjavik city museums. 

Take a look at them here.

Sky Lagoon

@clairesfootsteps DON'T MISS SKY LAGOON IN ICELAND! If you're looking for things to do in Reykjavik and the best thermal baths in Iceland, Sky Lagoon is on the outskirts of the city (unlike Blue Lagoon!) and is quite affordable, with the 7 step ritual 💆‍♀️ I loved the Sky Lagoon on our winter trip to Iceland! #visitreykjavik #visiticeland #skylagoon #reykjavik #iceland ♬ original sound – Claire: travel blogger 🌏

Probably the most popular Blue Lagoon alternative is Sky Lagoon! 

This bath is much more touristy than Reykjavik’s thermal baths, but it’s a viable alternative to Blue Lagoon.

Many tourists book packages that include transfers to and from the Sky Lagoon (take a look here) but you can also access it by public bus – we took the number two bus from the bus station near where we were staying, which took about 15 minutes, and then walked around half an hour to the lagoon. 

The Sky Lagoon is famous for its seven-step ritual, which includes:

Although it was much, much more expensive than Reykjavik’s thermal baths, I loved Sky Lagoon. 

It had wonderful coastal views and I enjoyed the seven-step ritual (although it was a little crowded)

Having a drink in the thermal waters was an extra touch to our Icelandic trip – the beverages were around £10 to £12 per drink (you don’t get a free drink here as you do with Blue Lagoon). 

It had more spa vibes than Reykjavik’s thermal baths, and I would say it’s worth going to if you can afford it – but equally, the Reykjavik thermal baths are also excellent and budget-friendly. 

Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon?

Whether Blue Lagoon’s closed or not, I did actually prefer Sky Lagoon to Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon is so much further away – unless you’re going to or from the airport – and it doesn’t offer the seven-step ritual. 

It does have silica waters which give it the blue hue and you can use a silica mud mask here, but to me, that’s not enough to justify the extra travel time, especially if you only have a weekend to see Reykjavik.

Just a note: Sky Lagoon used to be much cheaper than Blue Lagoon, but they have put the price up recently (probably in response to demand after Blue Lagoon faced closures!)

See the latest Sky Lagoon deals by clicking here.

Hotel spas in Reykjavik 

It’s also worth noting that some hotels have spas in Reyjkavik, with the same thermally heated waters as the thermal baths! 

We had a spa in our hotel – Midgardur by Center Hotels

Here, there were two hot pots, a sauna and a small gym area. This costs €25 per person for the entire stay (we were there for four nights). 

Secret Lagoon 

Situated in the small village of Flúðir in the heart of the Golden Circle, the Secret Lagoon is a more serene Icelandic geothermal bathing experience!

It’s one of Iceland’s oldest natural hot springs and was established in 1891.

The pool’s natural surroundings and steam rising into the air are nothing short of magical, and it’s a perfect stop after a day spent seeing the sights of the Golden Circle. 

I haven’t made it here yet, but I hope to on a future trip to Iceland! Here’s a tour (with a company that I’ve previously used) to the Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon.

If you have your own vehicle, you can buy Secret Lagoon tickets ahead of time – click here to do so.

You don’t need to visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland!

If you want to save some money (and time, unless you’re coming straight from the airport), then these Blue Lagoon alternatives near Reykjavik (or even in the city itself) are perfect! Add one, or even a few, to your list when planning a trip to Iceland.