Reykjavík Marathon and Culture Night

The Trölls head into town.

Written by Rex Beckett. Edited by Alondra Silva Munoz.

Reykjavík Marathon

If you’re headed to our great arctic volcanic island that weekend, you’ve chosen well! The Saturday will be a day full of fun and excitement with the Reykjavík Marathon in the morning and the Culture Night festivities in the afternoon through the wee hours.

Starting bright and early in the morning, the 35th annual Reykjavík Marathon attracts over 10,000 runners each year including over 600 from overseas. The marathon starts and ends at Lækjargata avenue in the heart of downtown and goes through the city’s most beautiful and scenic shorelines, parks and valleys. Ranging from the full marathon to 600m fun runs, the event is suitable for runners of all ages and endurance levels. Any intrepid runner looking to hit the pavement should sign up by clicking here before 13:00 on Thursday. If you’re not particularly a runner or you missed your opportunity to sign up, we you can also catch the participants running around through the city and cheer them on from many vantage points.

Menningarnótt – The Culture Night

After the marathon ends, the music and madness begins as the city celebrates Culture Night (or Menningarnótt to the locals). Taking place on the third Saturday of August, the event is a huge city wide event and suitable for all sorts of crowds as some of the activities include live music of famous Icelandic bands and singers, art exhibitions and performances, and family-friendly attractions too such as games, bouncy castles, cotton candy, and fireworks.

Marking the launch of the city’s cultural year which kicks off the official programming of theatres, museums and major cultural institutions of Reykjavík, the event is comprises many smaller events that are all created and run by the city’s residents, with support and allocation from the city. Walking around town you’ll find everything from parents and children serving up freshly made waffles and coffee in their yard, to house and techno DJs throwing a huge outdoor dance party in the middle of an intersection. Luckily the entire downtown area is a pedestrian-only zone for that day!

All the programming on Culture Night is completely free and mostly all-ages. There is genuinely something for everyone on the rich and diverse programme, which you can find by clicking here. Everything from electronic music experiments, literature walks, handcraft workshops, art happenings, historical talks, dance classes, horseback riding, circus performances, and live music of every style imaginable! The night ends with a huge fireworks display put on by the city for which Icelanders are so famous for, celebrating the return of the dark nights after the light summer. Then all the grown-up kids party the night away, a little bit harder than they usually do on weekends in Reykjavík.

Adventure and Culture can go together

After taking in all this fun and culture on Saturday, you will surely also want to get out of the city and experience this beautiful country on your visit and us Trölls are ready to take you on a great journey. Adventure and culture can go together when you are given the opportunity to practice a sport in Iceland’s most famous and historically rich National Park and UNESCO Heritage site: Thingvellir, the world oldest parliament located in the Golden Circle route.

We highly recommend making the expedition to go snorkeling in Silfra in the continental rift. Since it’s the end of summer, the water has been exposed to maximum light for the past few months and has absorbed all the radiant heat possible. Still, you’ll be kept nice and cosy in a drysuit as you dive down into the world’s clearest waters, swimming right between continents, where the North American and European tectonic plates meet.

On your way back, we can take you to enjoy the rest of the famous Golden Circle, including the majesty of the Gullfoss waterfalls and the famous Geysir geothermal area. And if you want to be guided all the way, you can even book a Golden Circle with Snorkeling tour with the trolls by clicking here. 

You can book this amazing transcontinental watery snorkeling tour in Silfra Fissure located in Thingvellir National Park by clicking here. And don’t forget you’ll get free photos taken of you swimming in crystal clear water and sent to your email immediately after the tour, on the house.

We hope you enjoy all the beautiful and diverse culture this city has to offer and have a great run out there!