Reykjavik and the surrounding cities are the core of Iceland. Even though the area does rather feel like other Nordic cities to me, you have to visit the city on your trip through the country. Not too surprisingly, there are also some attractions, which are typically not on the bucket list for tourists, but still worth a visit. One of these places is indeed the Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo (sometimes also just named Reyjavik Park & Zoo or Reykjavik Zoo) or Fjölskyldu- og húsdýragarðurinn, how it is named in local language. My wife and I were curious and stopped there during our Ring Road trip in mid-2023.
Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo – Location & Admission
The park is located in Laugardalur, a rather central borough of Reykjavik, just East of the city center. The area is rather well-known for the vast majority of national sports facilities, like the Laugardalsvöllur, the national soccer and athletics stadium. This also implies that there are a lot of (free) parking options around the park, which is in fact having zoo and family amusement park elements. Alternatively, you can use the Reykjavik public bus system. For example, buses 2, 5, 15 and 17 stop at Laugardalshöll. Next to the main entrance of the zoo is also the Reykjavik Botanical Garden.
Unfortunately, the website of Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo gives different times on their Icelandic and English website. From June to August, the park is highly likely open from 10:00 to 18:00, while in the winter months, the park is closing one hour earlier (daily opening all year). Adult admission has been 1,500 ISK, roughly 10.50 EUR, during our visit. However, the park is also accepting the Reykjavik City Card, which was one of the reasons we gave it a try.
Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo – The Zoo
When you enter the park, you first head into the zoo area. The focus of the zoo is on Icelandic animals, indeed, including Icelandic sheep, Icelandic cows and also reindeer (which are hard to observe, unfortunately). Kids’ favorites were the harbor seal and Icelandic horses. However, there are also rather nocturne animals like the mink or an area dedicated to exotic animals like bearded dragons or snakes. Unfortunately, the habitats of the farm animals felt rather realistic… Which also means that they were too small in my point of view.
Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo – The Family Park
The park is almost split into two parts. Crossing a bridge, you enter the family park area. There are huge playgrounds, which have been a kids favorite during our stay. However, there are also a couple of fun fair alike attractions like carousels, but also a basic free fall tower. There is even a children traffic / “driving” school and a park train in summer. For this part of the park, you should bear in mind that the carousels don’t open in winter times and in colder months. If operating, the rides are included in the ticket, which leads to an amazing value for money.
Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo – Services
There are food service spread over the park, including a larger restaurant at the edge of the animal section. At the exit there is also a typical souvenir store.
Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo – My View
This park is definitely a hidden gem (almost) in the heart of the Icelandic capital. Especially if you had long and hard travel kids fighting the Icelandic distances, it is a great places to make your youngest ones happy. Of course, this also includes the ones young at heart as well. Some habitats should be larger. I especially felt sad for the cows.
“Travel with Kids” Postings
Here are all postings about locations I recommend to visit with kids:
Here are all my postings related to (Greater) Reykjavik: