A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Helsinki vs. Reykjavik for Families, Couples, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Helsinki or Reykjavik?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Helsinki and Reykjavik can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Helsinki

Helsinki is a active, nature-focused, and coastal city. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is a green, safe, and friendly city. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Helsinki and Reykjavik: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


How is Helsinki different from Reykjavik?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Reykjavik and Helsinki. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Food?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Foodies will find both Helsinki and Reykjavik both to be unique destinations.

Helsinki has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Food in town is all about local flavors and simple ingredients. The dishes let the flavor speak for itself without fancy cooking techniques or complex flavor combinations. Many of the restaurants are locally sourced with traditional ingredients. You'll find a lot of seafood, herring, grilled sausages, pancakes, and desserts.

Reykjavik may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Traditional Icelandic food may not have the best reputation, but restaurants these days are pretty good with a variety of dishes to choose from. Popular foods in the area include fish, lamb, and Icelandic skyr (a type of yogurt).


Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Nightlife?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Helsinki and Reykjavik.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Helsinki. The nightlife scene is at its best on weekends when the city center comes to life with parties, dance clubs, and student activities. Many of the best clubs and bars are concentrated in the city center. Weekends are a bit calmer and things quiet down a lot.

Reykjavik has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The city offers the best nightlife in Iceland and you'll be surprised at the number of clubs, bars, and craft breweries that you can choose from. Almost all of the popular nightlife spots are around Laugavegur, a major shopping street in town.

Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Shopping?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Helsinki and Reykjavik.

Helsinki is well-known for its shopping. The city is great for shopping, with many brands focused on sustainability. There are local boutiques as well as name brands. Flea markets and vintage shops are also popular.

Many visitors go to Reykjavik to go shopping. The city's main shopping street is Laugavegur, which is where you'll find the most activity around town as well as a bustling atmosphere.

Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Families?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Both Helsinki and Reykjavik are fun to visit with kids.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Helsinki is very family-friendly. The coastal setting offers many activities that kids and adults alike will enjoy. This capital city has a calm atmosphere with plenty of parkland to explore. The shoreline is dotted by islands where you'll also find a zoo and a fort. Kids will also enjoy exploring the islands by boat.

Reykjavik is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. With its many outdoor activities and hands on museums, the city is great for kids. The cafes and restaurants are family-friendly and their are plenty of entertainment options for the whole family.

Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Couples?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Both Helsinki and Reykjavik are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Helsinki makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city's many parks offer the perfect setting for a picnic or a walk. There are also botanical gardens, evening boat rides, and saunas that will help you enjoy a romantic trip away.

Couples visit Reykjavik frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. There are museums, outdoor activities, and even the northern lights that make this city very romantic. The cafes are laid-back and the atmosphere is friendly.


Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Helsinki and Reykjavik are both good destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Helsinki. With its active nightlife scene, vibrant atmosphere, and inclusive personality, this city is a fun place for backpackers, but you should expect to pay a premium for the experience. Many backpackers avoid the city because they have heard how expensive it is. There are a few hostels around that will help you keep costs a bit more manageable.

Reykjavik is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a number of hostels around town, but they can be pretty expensive. Transportation can also be pretty challenging for backpackers.

Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Students?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Both Helsinki and Reykjavik are popular destinations for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Helsinki. The city has an active student life with plenty of culture and nature. It's active nightlife scene and beautiful natural areas make it a wonderful place to study.

Reykjavik is popular with students. Students will enjoy a unique experience in this city. There are good academic programs as well as beautiful outdoor settings that you can explore.

Is Helsinki or Reykjavik Better for Public Transit?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Visitors will find public transit in both Helsinki and Reykjavik.

The public transit in Helsinki can get you around easily. Transit options include bus, tram, metro, commuter train and ferry services.

You'll find some public transit in Reykjavik, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There is a fairly comprehensive bus system around town.

Is Helsinki or Reykjavik a more walkable city?

Helsinki
Reykjavik

Helsinki and Reykjavik are similar when it comes to walkability.

Helsinki is a somewhat walkable place. Many neighborhoods are easy to explore on foot. The air is also clean and the setting is refreshing.

Reykjavik is a very walkable destination. The city is small and compact, so it's easy to explore on foot.


Should I spend more time in Reykjavik or Helsinki?

How long in Helsinki or Reykjavik?

In either Helsinki or Reykjavik, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Reykjavik than Helsinki because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Helsinki is 2-4 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Reykjavik is 1-5 days.


  • How many days in Helsinki or Reykjavik? Ideal Length of Stay
    Helsinki 2-4 
    Reykjavik 1-5

One day in Helsinki or Reykjavik?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Helsinki. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The beautiful city of Reykjavik offers shopping and nightlife. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Helsinki or Reykjavik?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the nature-focused destination of Helsinki. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Reykjavik is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Reykjavik, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Helsinki or Reykjavik?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the waterfront city of Helsinki. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Reykjavik is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Reykjavik, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Helsinki or Reykjavik?

Helsinki is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Reykjavik is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Reykjavik or Helsinki?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Helsinki is €112, while the average daily cost in Reykjavik is €188. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Helsinki and Reykjavik in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Helsinki 59
    Reykjavik 107
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Helsinki 118
    Reykjavik 214
Compare Hotels in Helsinki and Reykjavik

Looking for a hotel in Helsinki or Reykjavik? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Helsinki


Hotels in Reykjavik


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Helsinki Hotel Prices and Reykjavik Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Helsinki 18
    Reykjavik 35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Helsinki

Also for Helsinki, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • VIP car Airport Transfer Helsinki: $56
  • VIP Transfer in Helsinki: $71
  • VIP Transfer Helsinki Airport: $53
  • VIP Airport transfers in Helsinki region: $102
  • VIP Airport transfers by new cars in Helsinki: $102
  • Ultra - Helsinki Private Transfer from Helsinki Cruise Port to City Centre: $8.71
  • Ultra - Helsinki Private Transfer from City Centre to Helsinki Cruise Port: $8.71
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Helsinki (airport or hotel pick up): $185
  • Private Transfer: Helsinki-Malmi Airpor (HEM) to Helsinki: $622
  • Private Transfer: Helsinki to Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport (HEL): $622
  • Private Transfer: Helsinki to Helsinki-Malmi Airpor (HEM): $622
  • Private Departure Transfer from Helsinki City to Helsinki Vantaa Airport: $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Reykjavik

Also for Reykjavik, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ultra - Reykjavik Private Airport Transfer from Cruise Port to Keflavík Airport: $8.71
  • Ultra - Reykjavik Private Airport Transfer from City Hotels to Keflavík Airport: $218
  • Transfer to & from Blue Lagoon: $78
  • SuperSaver: Northern Lights by mini-bus & Blue Lagoon transfer: $149
  • Secret Lagoon with transfer: $80
  • Roundtrip Transfer from Reykjavik/Keflavik to Blue Lagoon with Entrance Fee: $187
  • Round Trip Keflavik Airport (KEF) Transfer to Reykjavik City Center: $175
  • Reykjavík Airport Private Departure Transfer: $236
  • Shuttle Bus Transfer to/from Keflavik Airport: $26
  • Private Transfer to/from KEF Intl. Airport (KEF): $204
  • Reykjavik to Keflavik Airport (KEF) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $111
  • Reykjavik area to Keflavik Private Luxury Airport Transfer: $140

Is it cheaper to fly into Helsinki or Reykjavik?

Prices for flights to both Reykjavik and Helsinki change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Helsinki 27
    Reykjavik 23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Helsinki

For Helsinki, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Helsinki Food Tour Including Tastings: $137

Typical Food prices in Reykjavik

For Reykjavik, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner (Fish Market)
    170

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Reykjavik

For Reykjavik, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Exclusive dinner with a local family: $112
  • Weekend Reykjavik Food Tour with a stop at the Reykjavik Flea Market: $123
  • Dinner with an Icelandic Artist in Reykjavik Home: $151
  • Secret Lagoon, Buffet Dinner, and Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik: $159
  • South Coast: Volcanoes, waterfalls & Viking dinner at the Viking house: $179
  • Private Reykjavik Food Tour: $198
  • South Coast: Small group glacier hike, fire & ice with dinner at Viking lodge: $199
  • Cook and Dine Icelandic Cooking Class Gourmet Lunch or Dinner: $204
  • Kopar Fine Dining Dinner and Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik: $229
  • West Iceland Private Food Tour from Reykjavik: $723

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Helsinki 22
    Reykjavik 55

Tours and Activities in Helsinki

For Helsinki, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2 Days tour to Moominworld and Turku Castle from Helsinki: $955
  • 2-Hour Guided Tuk Tuk Tour in Helsinki: $274
  • 2-Hours Helsinki Professional Photography Walking Tour: $70
  • 2-Hours Photogenic Helsinki Walking Tour with a Local: $67
  • 3.5 Hour Helsinki Highlights Private Tour: $350
  • 5-hour sightseeing in Helsinki and Winterworld: $199
  • 90-minute Helsinki Boat Sightseeing on Beautiful Canal Route: $28
  • Architecture Tour of Helsinki with a city planner: $68
  • Artificial Intelligence City Tour of Helsinki: $37
  • Central Helsinki Tour: $84
  • City Sightseeing Helsinki Hop On Hop Off Tour: $37
  • City Sightseeing Helsinki Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $37

Typical Entertainment prices in Reykjavik

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Reykjavik's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Art Museum
    10
  • Wine and Spa
    28

Tours and Activities in Reykjavik

For Reykjavik, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 'Game of Thrones' Filming Locations Tour From Reykjavik: $126
  • (Private tour) 4 Days South Coast, Golden Circle & Snæfellsnes: $3,388
  • 1.5 Hour Midnight Sun Buggy Tour From Reykjavik: $160
  • 10-day Private tour of Iceland: Geysers & Glaciers: $13,561
  • 1hr ATV & Golden Circle Adventure from Reykjavik: $276
  • 1hr ATV Adventure & Caving from Reykjavik: $254
  • 1hr ATV Adventure & Helicopter Adventure Combination Tour from Reykjavik: $403
  • 1hr ATV Adventure & Rafting Tour from Reykjavik: $287
  • 1hr ATV Adventure & Whale Watching Combination Tour from Reykjavik: $248
  • 1hr ATV Reykjavik Peak Adventure: $143
  • 1hr ATV adventure & Northern lights Hunt from Reykjavik: $238
  • 1hr Buggy & Lava Caving Combination Tour from Reykjavik: $283

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Helsinki 13
    Reykjavik 21

Typical Alcohol prices in Reykjavik

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Reykjavik are as follows:


  • Beer
    8.41

Sample the Local Flavors in Reykjavik

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Reykjavik:

  • Eimverk Distillery Tour with Tasting: $34
  • Private Reykjavik Pub Crawl: $181
  • Reykjavik Food & Wine Tour: $249


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Helsinki and Reykjavik, we can see that Reykjavik is more expensive. And not only is Helsinki much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Helsinki would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Helsinki and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Reykjavik would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Reykjavik than you might in Helsinki.


When is the best time to visit Helsinki or Reykjavik?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Helsinki or Reykjavik in the Summer?

Both Reykjavik and Helsinki are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Helsinki for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Reykjavik because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Helsinki is generally a little warmer than Reykjavik. Temperatures in Helsinki average around 17°C (62°F), and Reykjavik stays around 11°C (52°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Helsinki. Helsinki usually receives more sunshine than Reykjavik during summer. Helsinki gets 275 hours of sunny skies, while Reykjavik receives 171 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Helsinki usually receives more rain than Reykjavik. Helsinki gets 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Helsinki 17°C (62°F) 
    Reykjavik 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Helsinki or Reykjavik in the Autumn?

Both Reykjavik and Helsinki during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Helsinki because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Reykjavik this time of year.

It's quite cold in Reykjavik in the autumn. Helsinki is a little warmer than Reykjavik in the autumn. The temperature in Helsinki is usually 6°C (42°F) in October, and Reykjavik stays around 5°C (41°F).

In the autumn, Helsinki often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Reykjavik. Helsinki gets 90 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Reykjavik receives 83 hours of full sun.

Helsinki usually gets less rain in October than Reykjavik. Helsinki gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 86 mm (3.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Helsinki 6°C (42°F) 
    Reykjavik 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Helsinki or Reykjavik in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Helsinki and Reykjavik. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Helsinki this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Reykjavik for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Reykjavik. It's quite cold in Helsinki in the winter. In the winter, Helsinki is much colder than Reykjavik. Typically, the winter temperatures in Helsinki in January are around -6°C (21°F), and Reykjavik is about -0°C (32°F).

Helsinki usually receives more sunshine than Reykjavik during winter. Helsinki gets 39 hours of sunny skies, while Reykjavik receives 27 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Helsinki usually receives less rain than Reykjavik. Helsinki gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 76 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Helsinki -6°C (21°F) 
    Reykjavik -0°C (32°F)

Should I visit Helsinki or Reykjavik in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Helsinki as well as Reykjavik. Many travelers come to Helsinki for the natural beauty. Additionally, many visitors come to Reykjavik in the spring for the natural beauty.

Reykjavik can get quite cold in the spring. Be prepared for some very cold days in Helsinki. In April, Helsinki is generally cooler than Reykjavik. Temperatures in Helsinki average around 3°C (37°F), and Reykjavik stays around 3°C (38°F).

In the spring, Helsinki often gets more sunshine than Reykjavik. Helsinki gets 183 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Reykjavik receives 140 hours of full sun.

Helsinki usually gets less rain in April than Reykjavik. Helsinki gets 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Helsinki 3°C (37°F) 
    Reykjavik 3°C (38°F)

Typical Weather for Reykjavik and Helsinki

Helsinki Reykjavik
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -6°C (21°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) -0°C (32°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Feb -7°C (20°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 1°C (33°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Mar -3°C (27°F) 34 mm (1.4 in) 1°C (34°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Apr 3°C (37°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 3°C (38°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
May 9°C (49°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 7°C (44°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 10°C (49°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jul 17°C (62°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 11°C (52°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Aug 16°C (60°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 11°C (52°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Sep 11°C (51°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 8°C (46°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 6°C (42°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 5°C (41°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Nov 1°C (33°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 1°C (35°F) 73 mm (2.9 in)
Dec -4°C (26°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 0°C (32°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)


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Helsinki vs. Reykjavik Travel Comparison

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