Winter Lights Festival 2023
February is a tough time of year here in Iceland. The Christmas lights are down, the darkness is still here, and sometimes the weather can be... well, oppressive. The annual Winter Lights Festival (Vetrarhátíð in Icelandic) arrives on February 2nd-5th. It is here to brighten our nights and enlighten us. The festival takes place in all six municipalities around Reykjavík. The Winter Lights Festival includes Museum Night, Swimming Pool Night, and Trail of Lights. Over 150 events across the metropolitan area include several artists creating unique light installations to illuminate the city.
All of the Winter Lights Festival events are free.
Museum Night will be held on Friday evening, February 3. Many museums will open their doors and offer a fun and varied program from 6:00–11:00 PM. Emphasis will be placed on offering non-traditional events that will provide visitors a new perspective on the museums. Residents and visitors of the city of all ages can enjoy Museum Night this evening free of charge.
Swimming Pool Night will be held on Saturday, February 4. Twelve swimming pools in the capital area will offer free swimming from 5:00–10:00 PM. Various events and guests at the pools will liven up the swimming experience. Light, darkness, and joy will reign supreme as guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy the moment.
Trail of Lights
The Winter Festival's light trail will play an essential role in the festival. Walk the Trail of Lights from Hallgrímskirkja down Skólavörðustíg and on to Austurvell, which is decorated with light art. These illuminated artworks will be displayed in the city center from 6:30–10:00 PM every evening of the Winter Lights Festival. Enjoy the light show with your loved ones at your own pace.
(L to R) Juliette Rowland. All other photos: