Is The Blue Lagoon (Iceland) Still Worth Visiting 2024?

Is The Blue Lagoon (Iceland) Still Worth Visiting 2024?


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Before my trip to Iceland, I asked, in a travel forum, whether the Blue Lagoon was worth visiting. The result was a passionate but divided debate with great arguments on both sides. I mean, when you think of Iceland, the winter image of the Blue Lagoon is often what to comes to mind for most people.

Half the people said it was a must do experience, especially at the beginning or end to your trip. The other half said that it was overpriced, crowded and overrated. Because of the divisiveness, I took everything’s opinion with a grain of salt and then completely ignored it.

The only way to find out was to see for myself.

The Icelandic Local Love/Hate Relationship With The Blue Lagoon

I always ask locals what they think of a place and for their recommendations. The common refrain was this:

“It’s nice, but a bit touristy, and too expensive now.”

“The Blue Lagoon Is Nice”

The hot springs are nice. They are more than nice. It’s one of the most beautiful man-made thermal baths I’ve visited and I’ve been to some lovely spots in Switzerland and Japan.

The water is opaque, a milky turquoise that match the moody Icelandic winter tones. The moment chill you feel disrobing immediately melts away once you enter the warm, soothing pool. The steam rises and parts as you wade around the water, from time to time, reveal the volcanic backdrop. It’s a whole experience – an enchanting way to enjoy Iceland. No one will dispute that..

“The Blue Lagoon Is Too Touristy”

Of course it is. It’s a 20 minute ride away from KEF airport. There are buses that can transfer you there and back directly from the airport, even if you only have a short layover. If a place could be a mascot for a country, it would be the Blue Lagoon. I don’t blame everyone for wanting to go here and experience the Blue Lagoon for themselves. As a business, I don’t blame them for wanting to cater to tourists either.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a tourist too. The Blue Lagoon is touristy and it caters, especially now more than before, to tourists. It’s a business and they know that a bus carrying a weary bunch of Chinese tourists fresh off a flight from Beijing will bring in a lot of money. They will come in, soak for a bit, get their photo and leave, allowing another bus load of tourists to literally lather, rinse, repeat.

“The Blue Lagoon Is Too Expensive Now”

At the time of writing, time slots will run you between $82-103 USD for their basic Comfort package, which includes entry, a drink, a silica mask, and the use of a towel. The prices have certainly gone up over the years.

Expensive is relative, but no matter how you spin it, a hundred bucks to take a bath is a little pricey. For the locals, who used to soak here for a fraction of the price before all the renovations, it certainly has gotten expensive. And that’s why the question of visiting is even up for debate. There are plenty of other outdoor thermal bathing options scattered all over Iceland and none are as expensive as the Blue Lagoon.

Ultimately, this was my thought process. I’ve made it all the way to Iceland and have accepted that everything from accommodations to food and even a beer will cost more than other parts of the world. The photos of this place looked amazing and I’m only going to do this once. I wasn’t paying $100 to bath, I was paying $100 for an Icelandic bathing experience.

Looking for more unique bucket list experiences for Iceland? Check out my ICELAND SOUTH COAST GUIDE for ideas and inspiration.

How Much Does The Blue Lagoon Entry Ticket Cost?

There are three entry packages to choose from:

Comfort costs between $82 – $103 USD per person and includes access to the Blue Lagoon, a Silica Mud Mask, one drink of choice and a towel rental.

Premium costs between $113 – $124 USD per person adds a second free drink, two additional masks of your choice, and the use of a bathrobe.

Signature costs between $128 – $149 USD per person and adds a set of skincare products to take home (silica mud mask and mineral mask)

The price will vary depending on the time slot you choose to enter. Truthfully, the schedule and prices are all over the place.

PRO HACK: Don’t pay more. GetYourGuide offers the same entry without the dynamic pricing. I found that for 90% of the time slots, it will cost the same or cheaper booking your package here than directly with the official website. You can also cancel up to 24 hours before your time of entry.

You can also find other discounted packaged tours combining the Blue Lagoon with popular spots around Reykjavik and the Golden Circle.

How To Get To The Blue Lagoon

By Car

By car, the Blue Lagoon is a 20 minute drive from Keflavik Airport and a 50 minute drive from Reykjavik.

From the Keflavik Airport, exit the airport onto Route 41/Reykjanesbraut heading east for about 12 km to Route 43/Grindavikurvegur. On Route 43, you will continue for about 11 km and turn right onto Route 426/Blaalonsvegur. You will see signs for the Blue Lagoon from here.

From Reykjavik, you will go east on Route 49/Hringbraut to Route 40/Krinlumyrarbraut. Go south for about 8.5km until you reach Route 41/Reykjanesbraut. Turn left and head west on Route 41 for about 26 km until you meet Route 43/Grindavikurvegur. Turn left and head south on Route 43 for 11 km. Turn right onto Route 426/Blaalonsvegur. You will see from for the Blue Lagoon from here.

Parking is free.

By Bus

You can book one-ways transfer with Destination Blue Lagoon from either Keflavik Airport or Reykjavik Terminal here for $29 USD. Roundrip transfers cost $59 USD. Check their website for their pick-up/drop-off locations and departure times. I recommend this option if you are traveling to/from the Airport.

Icelandia also offer bus transfers from Reykjavik BSI Terminal to the Blue Lagoon departing every hour from 9 am to 5 pm. They return every hour from 1:15 pm to 8:15 pm. You can book roundtrip tickets here for $46 USD. I recommend this option because if you are going from Reykjavik because it’s cheaper and they run more frequently.

Make The Most Of  Your Blue Lagoon Experience

This past February, I finally visited the Blue Lagoon as the final stop of my 7 day Iceland South Coast Road Trip. I spent 5 hours there and enjoyed everything about it. Here’s are some tips to make the most of your experience here.

1. Go Earlier In The Day

It’s highly recommended to book your visit to the Blue Lagoon in advance regardless of the time of year. Most time slots get booked out early. Fortunately for us, our the 8 am and 9 am entry time slots were still available the day before our visit. We opted for the 9 am and we are so glad, we went earlier in the day.

Mornings at the Blue Lagoon

As we drove in, 30 minutes late, we watched in horror as a bus full of luggage rolling tourists disembark. That was enough motivation to rush in ahead of them. This probably saved us a good 15-20 minutes of waiting in line to enter.

There were people already in the water, but they were spread out and it still felt pretty empty. I was able to take a selfie with hardly anyone in the background. We grabbed our drinks (I recommend the smoothie) and mud masks around 10:30 am and there was no wait at all.

Afternoon at the Blue Lagoon

By noon time, the main part of the pool started to fill out, so we moved to the outer edges of the baths. We then took a break and went to the relaxation room for a quick nap and a bite to eat downstairs at the cafe.

When we returned to the pools at 1 pm, it was a lot more crowded than in the morning. The outer pools were still quiet though. Maybe it’s because most people are surprisingly lazy and don’t like to move, even in the water.

2. Blue Lagoon Discount

The Blue Lagoon used to offer discounted time slots, usually in the evenings. I don’t see them anymore. Luckily, GetYourGuide offers a fixed price entry for $92 USD regardless of the time slot or day of the week. Weekend time slots tend to cost $103 USD on the official site.

3. Go During The Winter

Honestly, I think what made the experience so enchanting was that we went during the winter when cold out. After spending a week freezing and trekking in the snow, the 40-42 °C water was the best gift we could have given to our bodies.

The Blue Lagoon is extra atmospheric with the clouds and snow around you. It actually snowed while we were in the water, and that was just a magical thing to experience.

I’m sure it’s nice in the summer too, but I can’t imagine I would enjoy it nearly as much, especially with the even larger crowds. And perhaps that’s one more reason why people are divided about this place.

4. Be Careful With Your Phone

Leave the big camera in the locker room. Your phone is good enough to get photos. Almost all my shots from the Blue Lagoon were taken on an iPhone. A lot of phones nowadays are rated IP67 which basically means its waterproof down to 1 meter (for a certain period of time).

Your phone will be able to handle the splashes, but avoid submerging or dropping your phone into the water because of all the minerals and silica. I recommend getting one of these universal sized waterproof cases to give you some peace of mind.

5. Condition Regularly

The staff will advise you to rub the provided conditioner into your hair if you plan to soak your head in the water. This is to prevent your hair from caking up and drying out. The conditioner will wash out if you’re repeatedly dipping your head in and out of the water. Remember to reapply.

6. Don’t Forget To Go For A Walk Outside The Blue Lagoon

As beautiful as the Blue Lagoon is, I actually like the natural surrounding outside more. You can do this walk before or after, but don’t miss it. In fact, even if you’re not entering the Blue Lagoon, the area around it is still worth a visit and it’s free.

Where To Stay Near The Blue Lagoon

Did you know you can actually stay at the Blue Lagoon and have access to a private lagoon. The Retreat might just be the coolest place to sleep in Iceland, if you can afford the nightly rate.

If that’s a bit out of your price range, there’s the Silica Hotel at the Blue Lagoon. Located just a 10 minute walk away from the Blue Lagoon, this luxury hotel also has its own private lagoon sharing the geothermal waters found at the Blue Lagoon. A stay here also includes access to the Blue Lagoon and the Retreat Spa.

For most of us, let’s get back to reality. If you’re planning to visit the Blue Lagoon at the end of your trip, I would recommending saying closer to the airport in Keflavik, like we did.

Where To Stay In Keflavik

Bank Guesthouse. A no-frill budget guesthouse near the airport. Rooms are clean and there is a shared living room and kitchen.

Hotel Berg. This beautiful boutique hotel sits right in Keflavik’s marina and offers a rooftop sitting pool. Every room is individually designed with Scandinavian aesthetics.

The Little Guesthouse. The cozy family room is a great option if you’re traveling as the family, with a queen bed, two twin bunk bed, and a living room futon. It’s located right in downtown Keflavik.

Keflavik Luxury Apartment. This one bedroom apartment sleeps up to 4 and is a comfortable and luxury option near the airport and about 20 minutes away from the Blue Lagoon.

Planning Your Iceland Trip

So what are you waiting for? If you are planning a trip to Iceland, I recently did the perfect 7 day winter road trip along the South Coast of Iceland.

If you are planning a trip, I highly recommend you check it out to get ideas of things to do, where to stop, what to expect of winter road conditions, where to stay, and what to eat while you’re in Iceland.

I also wrote about all the coolest bucket list experiences we did like dry suit snorkeling between two tectonic plates, exploring the most spectacular glacier blue ice cave, and visiting the abandoned plane in the middle of nowhere.

If you’re looking for more travel inspirations, scroll through some of the 450+ experiences on my bucket list. Maybe you’ll find your next adventure on there.

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Updated on June 5, 2024

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