How to Visit The Blue Lagoon in Iceland – Is it Worth It?

Written By: The Planet D

Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? Is it really worth it? We answer those questions and more after visiting this famous geothermal spa.

It was our last day in Iceland. We didn’t fly out of the country until 5:30 pm and we had yet to visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Luckily the Blue Lagoon is located between Reykjavik and the Iceland International airport. Since our car rental return was at the airport, we checked out of our hotel early and set off to experience the hot thermal baths of Iceland’s most famous attraction, the Blue lagoon.

About The Blue Lagoon Iceland

iceland's blue lagoon
Enjoy drinks at the bar while you bask in the water

Iceland gets much of its power from geothermal energy. It’s a volcanic country that is very busy still developing, so there is a lot of heat going on under the surface. However, the Blue Lagoon does not get its hot water naturally. It is actually fed from a power plant.

The Blue Lagoon is located near a geothermal power plant called Svartsengi. It is not fed from natural hot springs. A new batch of superheated water filled with minerals like sulfur and silica flows into the lagoon every two days from the power station. And boy, can you ever smell the sulfur. It’s a strong stench that you have to get used to.

The Blue Lagoon has beautiful milky blue water like nothing we have ever seen. It may be man made, but it is beautiful.

We were surprised by the size of the pool. The Blue Lagoon is immense. There are little nooks and crannies that you can explore or sit in carved out shallow pools surrounded by a waterfall, steam room, sauna, and a quiet sitting area with a pool bar in the center of it all.

How to Get to the Blue Lagoon

It’s easy to get to the Blue Lagoon from the airport and most people either pop over from the city of Reykjavik or pop in while traveling to and from their flight from Keflavík International Airport which is nearby. We saw more than one person on our plane during our flight out that we bumped in to in the pool.

Our tour company, Iceland Travel leaves it up to you if you want to visit this crowded tourist attraction during your trip around the Golden Circle. It’s not a part of itinerary, but the Blue Lagoon can easily be incorporated to any Iceland itinerary. Read these 15 Interesting Facts About Iceland

How to Enjoy Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

You’ll find that most people visit the famous thermal waters either as soon as they arrive in Iceland or on their way to the airport on the way home. But now that there are hotels at the Blue Lagoon, people are actually making overnight retreats to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.

Hotels at the Blue Lagoon

iceland blue lagoon

The Blue Lagoon Retreat is a five-star hotel that opened in 2018. The luxurious escape overlooks the lagoon and stands high enough to see the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula  Your stay includes access to the Blue Lagoon, and Private Retreat Lagoon. There are daily yoga classes and group hikes into the lava field.

It has a steep price at 1000€ per night, but if you are only in Iceland once and want to experience the geothermal spa as it once was in peace and quiet, this would be the way to go. There are even exclusive caves to enjoy at the. Imagine staying in luxury and having the thermal springs all to yourself as you enjoy the northern lights dancing over the lava fields while sipping champagne as you relax at the famous Blue Lagoon.

The other hotel at the Blue Lagoon is the Silica Hotel. Just a 10 minute walk from the Blue Lagoon, nestled among the lava fields this award-winning hotel is an excellent option when staying over night at the Blue Lagoon.

What to Expect When you Arrive at the Blue Lagoon

deb at iceland's blue lagoon entrance
Blue Lagoon Entrance

When we arrived at the entrance we had to deal with a long line. This is to be expected as it is one of the top attractions in Iceland. People walked down the line asking if anyone had a coupon, and those who did, were escorted to the front of the queue while the rest of us looked on with sad puppy dog eyes. (I gotta find out what that coupon is all about) To add insult to injury, the bus tours that came in after us were rushed through the turnstile as well. Get the latest Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Iceland

What Does it Cost to Enter the Blue Lagoon

blue lagoon of iceland panorama
Panorama of the blue waters

While we waited, we had to make a difficult choice. Which package do we take? We wanted to enjoy ourselves, but it was extremely expensive for a dip in a big hot tub. The cheapest Blue Lagoon package was €35. That gets you in and that’s about it.

We finally decided to compromise and take the middle priced package at €65 per person. This gave us a robe, a towel, a face mask, and 1 free drink. We didn’t even get to keep the slippers!

Shower and Safety at the Blue Lagoon

standing in robe at pool of blue lagoon in iceland
Robe and Towels included

Once we finally entered the spa, we went out separate ways to our changing rooms to slip into our bathing suits and lock our stuff in the provided lockers.

Everyone gets access to lockers to lock their valuables away. And it is highly recommended to slather your hair with conditioner when you shower before going into the hot springs. The water in the Blue Lagoon is filled with strong minerals.

The minerals in the Blue Lagoon make your hair brittle, so it was suggested that those with long hair especially, make sure to put the conditioner from the provided dispenser in and leave it in. But don’t worry, the minerals won’t ruin your hair, it will just be annoying to spend the rest of the day with hard hair. Not fun when flying home.

Leave Your Towel in Your Locker

blue lagoon in iceland

Leave your towel in your locker and just bring your robe with you. You’ll need that towel at the end and you’ll just end up losing it when you are out at the pools. Have a Short time in Iceland? Buy the guide – 72 Hours in Reykjavik  on Amazon

The Blue Lagoon Experience

swimming in the blue lagoon
Dave enjoys the Warm Waters

We met up outside and walked out into the cold. I was happy for my robe but when I saw the sea of other robes hanging on the hooks, I wasn’t sure I’d get the right one back when I was done. Dave and I hung our robes together and stuffed them in the back then got in the hot water as quickly as possible.

Inside the Hot Pool

We only had about two hours in the water before we had to leave for the airport so we went straight to the pool bar. Everyone who enters the Blue Lagoon wears different electronic bracelets depending on what your package includes.

Our €65 package gave us a free drink and a free silica mud mask. The bartender swiped our bracelets and gave us our mud masks and glass of beer. (In a plastic glass for safety of course)

Drink Packages at the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon and beer
A Toast to the end of our trip

After covering our faces with the healing mud, we took our beers and went to a walk around the giant lagoon as we let the minerals harden on our skin.

The water changes temperatures in different areas of the pool. Whenever we found an exceptionally warm spot, we’d stop and enjoy the moment.

Healing Muds of the Blue Lagoon

mud mask at iceland's blue lagoon
You can buy mud, but just use the free mud

When we went over to the far side of the pool, we saw people scooping out white minerals and smoothing it on their own face and realized that we had just been ‘had.’

We probably spent an extra €10 for each our ‘included mud mask’ and here we could do it ourselves for free! That’s a big strike against buying the more expensive package.

Amenities at the Blue Lagoon – Sauna and Steam Room

Once we finished our beer, we washed off our faces and went over to the steam room. Oh, how I love a steam room. I could sit in them for hours. But not at the Blue Lagoon. The steam room had too strong of a sulfur stench for me and we lasted about 5 minutes. It wasn’t inviting nor beautiful and we just wanted out.

The sauna was nice, yet small. There are hundreds of people in the lagoon at once and both the steam room and sauna only hold 8 people at a time. After more people piled in, we felt uncomfortable and left.

Hot Waterfall 

waterfall in hot spa at iceland hot spring
Let the waterfall pound on your back

We really wanted to try out the hot waterfall and let it massage our aching shoulders from our 12 days of driving, but the line was long and by the time we stood underneath we had lost interest.

We didn’t last very long and we felt pressure to move on since there was a long queue.

We tried the cold mist shower for fun and then got back in the pool to walk around before calling it a day.

When we first arrived, I was sad that we didn’t have a longer time at the Blue Lagoon, but by the time our couple of hours were up, I was happy to leave.

The Quiet Room at the Blue Lagoon

blue lagoon quiet room
Relaxing in the quiet room at the blue lagoon

We tried sitting in the quiet room for a bit, but there weren’t many chairs and we had to stand and wait for one to become free.

Finally, a chair opened up, but it was only one. So I told Dave to sit back and relax. I’d go ahead and have a shower and take my time blow drying my hair.

I grabbed my robe and off I went back to the ladies locker room. My Iceland Blue Lagoon experience was over and Dave’s was nearly done.

Leaving the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Iceland Deb in Robe

We were about 20 minutes ahead of schedule so I felt confident that we’d make it to the airport in time to return our car. But to my surprise, there was a queue to get out of the Blue Lagoon! Good thing we didn’t stop in the lava restaurant to grab a quick glass of sparkling wine!

As the minutes ticked down, I felt the panic set in. 10 minutes, 15 minutes went by as we stood in line. Finally, we reached the front of the line. They scanned our bracelets and told us we were free to go.

Would we go back to the Blue Lagoon again? No way! Am I glad we went? Hell Yes! Not going to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is like not going up the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You have to see it once.

It may not live up to your expectations, but it’s something that needs to be seen.

Blue Lagoon Iceland Quick Tips

How much does it cost to go to the Blue Lagoon?

A day visit package starts at ISK 6,990 (€51). We took the premium package at ISK 9 900 (€73) for extra perks. There is also a more luxurious package for ISK 79,000 giving access to the Retreat Spa as well as the lagoon.

Is the water in the Blue Lagoon Hot?

We found that the water fluctuated in temperature as we walked around the massive lagoon. We found hot and cooler temperatures throughout. But it is said that the temperature is between 37-39C (99 -102F)

Are there hotels at the Blue Lagoon?

There are two hotels at the Blue Lagoon, the Retreat Hotel and the Silica Hotel.

Tips for Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

  • Go Early and thing of Pre Booking: Afternoons are the busiest time to visit the Blue Lagoon seem like the busy time and the time for tour buses to arrive.
  • Don’t bother paying for the robe/face mask/drink package – It was a waste. You don’t need the robe.  Once you take it off at the beginning of the day, you don’t wear it again until you leave.
  • Bring your own towel – There is a charge for towels, but you can bring your own.
  • We recommend two bringing two towels. One to dry off after your Blue Lagoon experience. They won’t let you back in if you are dripping wet. The second towel is to dry off after your shower.
  • Drinks: If you want drinks you can use your wrist band to run a tab. Then pay for them when you leave. But is drinking alcohol in a hot tub a good idea? It’s expensive and we really didn’t need it.
  • Water: Bring a bottle of water. For a country that boasts so much about its clean water, they’re pretty stingy. You’d think they’d offer free water fountains or coolers for their guests.
  • Don’t fall for the coupon scam. We thought our €65 entrance fee because they gave us a coupon for a mud mask. It ended up being a €5 discount for products in the shop that sells for a fortune.
  • Give yourself a lot of time at the Blue Lagoon. We thought we had plenty of time but it went quickly. We arrived after lunch thinking 3 hours would be plent
  • Or better yet, book an overnight stay to enjoy all of the finer things like the Moss Restaurant and quiet moments in the pool.

Our Blue Lagoon experience was rushed and hectic, but a girl can still dream.

Blue Lagoon Iceland Tips

Our tour through Iceland was courtesy of Iceland Travel. The Iceland Odyssey and the Wonders of the West self-drive tour around the ring road gives the traveler the freedom to explore on their own while staying in comfort at hotels and B&B’s.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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31 thoughts on “How to Visit The Blue Lagoon in Iceland – Is it Worth It?”

  1. We have visited Blue Lagoon several times in the past and enjoyed our visits.
    On one occasion the weather was poor and we contacted them to see if it was possible to change date to the following year when we would be visiting Iceland again. They were very obliging and agreed.
    This year the same thing happened, it was pouring with rain and had gale force winds, so we contacted them with a view to changing dates. Their policy has changed and they do not change dates to the next year, even for visitors who are leaving Iceland the next day! They would do nothing, so we were left with visiting the Lagoon in gale force winds that made the heavy rain feel like bullets on your face and body – not a pleasant experience!
    Over the years Blue Lagoon has changed from a novel, fun experience to a very commercially minded organisation only interested in extracting as much money as possible from its customers and offering minimal customer care.
    As well as the above, they no longer offer a simple entry to the Lagoon, only the more expensive packages at higher prices.
    Also beware of their cancellation policy – you have to make contact at least 24 hours in advance which can be difficult in Iceland where the mobile phone coverage is limited to say the least. However, there’s no point in waiting until the day to decide if you want to go as they are often sold out at the popular times!
    Iceland has many other thermal spas on offer, some of which are free, you would be well advised to seek them out before signing up to the Blue Lagoon.

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  2. I would say thanks for the tips. It is a quite informative blog! I will keep all the tips in my mind. And, the Blue Lagoon is one of those places which I included in my list….first

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  3. I was very disappointed in my Blue Lagoon experience. The lagoon itself and the surroundings are impressive, It was the throngs of badly behaved visitors that ruined the experience for me. The facility was very very crowded, lines for everything, even though we arrived at 5pm. I witnessed people spitting on the ground, women screaming at the top their lungs in the shower, a carnival type atmosphere in the pools with people drinking beer, posting live on Facebook and just generally rowdy. The pool seemed dirty, with long black hairs floating on the surface of the water. I saw women who showered without removing their suits, which is in violation of the strict Icelandic rules for pool hygiene as the water is not chlorinated. Not a relaxing or restorative experience which is what I had imagined. It seems most are there just because it is the thing to do in Iceland. I had previously visited other thermal pools frequented by locals and the atmosphere was quiet, relaxing and peaceful. Very expensive and only for tourists in my view.

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    • Oh no! People spitting on the ground is terrible. It’s true, it’s just too crowded. That’s too bad it was so rowdy when you were there. We had a very crowded experience, but people were well behaved. And I think you are right, it is just “the thing to do” and people don’t think of it as the magical experience it should be. I have no idea what Iceland can do about it. Perhaps they can limit the daily visitors and you must book ahead of time, but that causes a whole new problem. I don’t know how they will solve it. Iceland is just a very very popular place right now. The Blue Lagoon experience might get better in the coming years when the world population moves onto the next hot spot. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  4. We went to the Blue Lagoon about an hour before closing. They actually let you stay for 30 minutes beyond closing. We practically had the place to ourselves and there is a discount for going late. I agree you should do it once, but I loved the natural hot springs we tried out in North Iceland much more.

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    • That is what we had heard as well. The thermal springs in the North were much better. We didnt’ manage to find any ourselves though. It didn’t help that we were snowed in a day and then had some terrible weather for another few days. We had fallen behind on our trip around the ring road, we had a lot of time to make up and missed getting to truly explore the area.

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    • Very true, it’s good to know a little bit before you go. If you have some tips, you’ll have a better time than us. We didn’t really do enough research on it before going and would have had a much better time had we done so.

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  5. I have gazed longingly at pictures from the Blue Lagoon for a long time. Thank you for your insight and shedding light on what to expect.

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  6. Aw, I loved the Blue Lagoon – tourist trap or not! I got a package similar to yours, a bit more pricey probably, as it included a lunch at the buffet (delicious). I loved that we had access to big towels since I travel with a teeny travel towel, and we got to have champagne, which was just perfect. And the masks included in the pricier packages are different to the masks you get for free in the pool 😉 I loved to do both, but maybe I’m too much of a girl! I love the ending to the post, though. Because of the price, I probably wouldn’t go back, but you *do* have to go if you visit Iceland 🙂

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    • Yes, there was another package that included food. I would have brought a towel from our hotel next time for sure. You are right, the masks are different, but I really do wonder how much better they are. It’s wonderful that you loved your experience though too. It’s good to be a girl and enjoy and with the right planning I think the Blue Lagoon can definitely be enjoyed.

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  7. The blue lagoon looks good but like you I can’t stand the smell of sulfur. It makes my nose turn red if I were exposed in a minute. So sad.

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  8. I only had a short stopover in Iceland and thought… “Hmm, I’m not really that into swimming and I don’t want to ruin my hair.”

    I think I made the right choice!

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  9. We went to some kind of hot springs spa type place in New Zealand, and while the warm water does feel nice, it was too crowded and just felt awkward the whole time. I imagine this to be even worse. It does look beautiful, but I don’t think it’ll be top priority whenever I make it to Iceland. Thanks for letting us know!

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  10. We went to Iceland during the shoulder season, April, and it seems like when it comes to the Blue Lagoon, this must be the time to visit. At least if you don’t want the line ups. We went during the early afternoon and basically waltzed in, enjoyed the place, then left without every having to line up more than a few minutes.

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    • Lucky you! that’s the time to go. We were there in shoulder season too, September, but I think Iceland is becoming more popular each year. Maybe September/October is starting to be more like high season? Or maybe our timing was just bad.

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  11. Wow- sounds like a very unique experience. Did you ever feel like the lagoon was crowded? Do you know if there are other less commercialized lagoons around?

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  12. We have been and had a good time. As you said it’s not something you would do twice, but worth the one off.

    I remember parts of the pond that were really really hot, and some parts quite cold. It was a weird feeling.

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  13. Thanks for the tips! Blue Lagoon is one of those places that I am not sure if I should include it in my list, although it seems to be a “must do”! So, I guess once I am there, I will probably draw similar conclusions as you.

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  14. Thanks for the great review! After seeing so many stunning photos of the blue lagoon, I have always wanted to include it in future Iceland itineraries – and while I likely will do, I will take a different and far more prepared approach thanks to you two!

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  15. Seems like an amazing experience, and I think I could even imagine myself justifying paying 65 euros/dollars for it. Read about Greenland and know this and now I am starting to dream myself away already…definitely a clear sign of a fantastic travel blog!

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  16. I know what you mean about the smell!! Definitely takes getting used to. I haven’t been to Iceland before (but I just bought flights for next year!) but I spent a night in some natural hot springs in Granada in Spain. It was literally just holes in the mud lit up by the stars and a few car headlights but it was amazing.

    I hear what you’re saying about it not being somewhere to go to twice, but I reckon I’ll give it a shot when I get there. I’ll have to remember to get there early!

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  17. I couldn’t agree more. It’s not the kind of place you’d go back to but you definitely have to see it once. Also agree with the first thing in the morning tip. I arrived at about 9.40am (had an early morning flight into Reykjavik) and we were one of the first in the water and definitely the first at the bar – beer at 10am is allowed when you’re on holiday, right?

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  18. We visited Iceland last month and absolutely loved it. While we didn’t go in (as my girlfriend sometimes passes out from hot tubs, saunas, etc), we stopped by to check out the view. It is a very surreal place and unlike anything you can see anywhere else. I agree that the pricetag is a little steep (but that’s Iceland I guess). Many people we met and talked to recommended going to one of the public pools in Reykjavik instead. They were very fun – the people are great and the cost is next to nothing ($3-5). Glad to hear that you liked Iceland, it is an amazing place. Safe Travels!

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