Things No One Tells You About the Blue Lagoon, Iceland

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Going to the Blue Lagoon is a must for anyone traveling to Iceland! It’s the most popular tourist attraction in Iceland — it seems like nearly everyone who visits Iceland works a trip to the Blue Lagoon into their itinerary.

And being the most popular destination, there are plenty of guides and how-tos for the Blue Lagoon Iceland. But to be honest, I was surprised by how many things I didn’t know.

I’ve visited the Iceland Blue Lagoon several times, in different kinds of weather. As you can see by my photos, I’ve seen the Blue Lagoon on a gorgeous day in May; I’ve also visited the Blue Lagoon on a cold and rainy August day. It wasn’t ideal, but it was still worth visiting the Blue Lagoon in the rain.

Before you go to the Blue Lagoon, here’s what you should know.

This post was last updated in August 2021.

Book the Blue Lagoon with Transportation from Reykjavik

In Iceland, the Blue Lagoon -- pale turquoise milky water with people swimming in it, underneath a bright blue sky with clouds.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Is the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik?

The Blue Lagoon is not in Reykjavik. It’s in Grindavík, close to the airport and about 45 minutes from Reykjavik.

Two-thirds of Iceland’s population may live in Reykjavik, but the Blue Lagoon is quite a distance away. If you haven’t rented a car, you’ll need to book a transfer with a tour company. You can book Blue Lagoon tickets with round-trip transportation from Reykjavik here. The drive takes about 45 minutes each way.

That said, Reykjavik is a fabulous city and being based here is the best option for visiting the Blue Lagoon and exploring the nearby region. See below for where to stay in Reykjavik.

Is the Blue Lagoon a natural spring?

The Iceland Blue Lagoon is not a natural spring. While Iceland is a country brimming with natural hot springs, the Blue Lagoon isn’t one of them. The land is natural, as is the lava that shapes the pool, but the hot water is actually the result of runoff from the geothermal power plant next door.

The plant was built first, and it uses Iceland’s volcanic landscape to produce heat power. The runoff is filtered straight into the Blue Lagoon, which is what heats the water.

That doesn’t mean it’s dangerous or toxic — far from it! It’s just not the natural phenomenon that many people believe it to be.

Kate takes a selfie in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, steaming bright blue water behind her with people in the water.

Best Time to Go to Blue Lagoon

When is the best time to go to the Blue Lagoon? If you want to have the space to yourselves, I recommend going as soon as it opens, first thing in the morning. If you’re waiting at the Blue Lagoon right as they open and you rush in the locker room, you could be one of the first people in it! (This is also the best option if you want to get photos without other people in them.)

If you want to be a bit of an overachiever, you could check the flight schedule at Reykjavik airport and plan your trip when the fewest flights are arriving and departing. Personally, I think this is a bit overkill, but some people who live for data enjoy doing this.

In terms of the best time to visit Iceland, you have options. While Iceland is very popular throughout the year, there are the fewest tourists during the winter months. If you want to experience a quieter Iceland, I highly recommend visiting during the winter. Keep in mind that it’s a cheaper time to visit, flights will likely be less expensive, and fewer tours and activities will be available. 

The Northern Lights are most likely to be seen during the winter months and around the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (March 21 and September 21). You are extremely unlikely to see them in the summer. As always, you can plan to see the Northern Lights, but they are finicky and unpredictable and many an Iceland tourist has been disappointed at missing their chance. 

My advice? Don’t make your trip all about the Northern Lights. (Frankly, there are places much more reliable than Iceland to see the Northern Lights, like Alaska and northern Norway.) Go in with cautious optimism. If you see the Northern Lights, great! If you don’t, you’ve still had a fun trip to Iceland.

Most tourists choose to travel to Iceland during the busy summer months. This is when you’ll have the best (and warmest) weather, though keep in mind Iceland weather can be brutal and ever-changing! You’ll also have the greatest amount of sunlight.

The summer months are when Iceland will be at its most crowded and expensive, but most activities should be available.

If you choose to visit Iceland during the summer, be sure to book as much as you can ahead of time. Many hotels, flights, and activities sell out in advance.

Book the Blue Lagoon with Transportation from Reykjavik

People swimming in Iceland's Blue Lagoon at dusk, steam rising up from the milky blue waters.
Blue Lagoon at Night, via Pixabay

Blue Lagoon at Night

Can you visit the Blue Lagoon at night? Yes — but the opening hours vary based on the time of year. From June through mid-August, the Blue Lagoon is open until 11:00 PM or midnight.

One advantage of visiting the Iceland Blue Lagoon at night is that it has a peaceful, dusky, almost spooky atmosphere. Most of the visiting children will have left by night.

However, don’t plan to get images of the Blue Lagoon at night underneath a dark sky. If you visit during the summer months, midnight in July will only be a bit dusky; frankly, it will be a lot darker in late December at 9:00 PM.

Is it possible to see the Northern Lights at the Blue Lagoon Iceland? Don’t plan on it. Most of the images you’ve seen of the Northern Lights have been in places with little to no light pollution. The Blue Lagoon is full of light. Proper Northern Lights tours will take you far outside the city to see them.

Iceland Blue Lagoon Hours

  • 1 January-30 May: 8:00 AM-9:00 PM
  • 31 May-27 June: 7:00 AM-11:00 PM
  • 28 June-18 August: 7:00 AM-12:00 AM
  • 19 August-31 December: 8:00 AM-9:00 PM


Snorkeling Silfra: The Coolest Thing I Did in Iceland

How Deep is the Blue Lagoon?

The Blue Lagoon is a maximum of 1.7 meters (4.7 feet) deep.

For this reason, all children are required to have a guardian while in the Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon Temperature

The Blue Lagoon has a temperature usually ranging between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius (98 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit). 

It feels like a nice warm bath. However, keep in mind that the outdoor temperature and weather mean that the temperature can fluctuate a bit higher and lower.

The temperature of the Blue Lagoon is warm enough to keep you toasty on a cold day.

Do you have to shower before going into the Blue Lagoon?

Not unlike spas in Europe and around the world, you must take a shower before going into the pool. The Iceland Blue Lagoon goes one step further and requires you to shower naked.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to be naked in public. While some showers are out in the open, there are now several shower stalls that lock for privacy.

Once you’re rinsed and your hair is conditioned, you can put your bathing suit on and head on into the Blue Lagoon.

Should you book the Blue Lagoon before or after your flight to Iceland?

Try to time your visit to the Blue Lagoon to your flight to Iceland. If you have super early flights to Iceland, you may not be able to do this — but if you have a morning or afternoon arrival or an afternoon or evening departure, you should take advantage of hitting up the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport.

The Blue Lagoon is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, much closer to the airport than Reykjavik. Going to the Blue Lagoon en route to the airport will save you time.

If that’s the case, I recommend booking a private airport transfer via the Blue Lagoon. This will give you two hours to enjoy the lagoon on the way to the airport, giving yourself more time to spend doing other things in Iceland, plus you won’t have to worry about getting onto a bus with strangers.

If you’re visiting Iceland as a stopover between North America and Europe, you’ll find much more convenient times for visiting the Blue Lagoon from North America to Iceland to Europe than if you are flying from Europe to Iceland to North America.

Looking for a cheap flight to Iceland?

Skyscanner usually has the best deals.

Should you combine a Blue Lagoon visit with another tour in Iceland?

If you’re only visiting Iceland for a few days, you can save time and money by booking day tours that include multiple activities in a day. Here are some suggestions:

1) Visit the Blue Lagoon and tour the Golden Circle.

2) Visit the Blue Lagoon, tour the Golden Circle, and visit Kerid volcano crater.

3) Visit the Blue Lagoon and go on a whale watching cruise.

4) Visit the Blue Lagoon and go on a cultural sightseeing tour of Reykjavik.

All four of these tours include admission to the Blue Lagoon in the price.

Your hair will get DESTROYED at the Blue Lagoon.

The one thing that everyone says is, “Use lots of leave-in conditioner.” The locker rooms at the Iceland Blue Lagoon offer lots of conditioner, so that made it easy.

The water at the Blue Lagoon is not good for your hair. I would especially be cautious if you have natural Black hair, curly hair, or color-treated hair.

I thought my curly hair would be okay. Well, after covering my hair in conditioner, twisting it up in a French twist, leaving the conditioner in, and going into the Blue Lagoon, then coming out, rinsing my hair, conditioning it like crazy, and leaving it in again — my hair was destroyed for the next five days.

Take my advice — even if you condition your hair, don’t let it touch the water. You’re not missing out on much if you don’t.

Iceland Blue Lagoon Pricing

The Blue Lagoon doesn’t make it easy to find out how much they charge. They don’t have a list of prices; you can only see the prices on specific days, five to six months in advance. Adult tickets are sold to those who are age 14 and older.

Tickets are sold in tiers: Comfort, Premium, and Retreat Spa. Comfort and Premium just vary in terms of amenities, but the much more expensive Retreat Spa tier gives you access to a private spa and private area of the Blue Lagoon Iceland.

Comfort tickets at the Blue Lagoon cost 76 EUR to 86 EUR ($84-94), depending on the time of year. Comfort tickets include entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, and a drink of your choice free of charge.

Premium tickets at the Blue Lagoon cost 98 EUR to 107 ($108-118), depending on the time of year. Premium tickets include entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, first free drink of your choice, second mask of your choice, dining reservation (optional), and sparkling wine with your dining reservation.

Retreat Spa tickets at the Blue Lagoon cost 565 EUR ($621). Retreat spa tickets include entrance to the Blue Lagoon, access to the private Retreat Spa (four hours), access to a private changing room, The Blue Lagoon Ritual, Retreat Lagoon, skin care amenities, access to the Spa Restaurant, and first free drink of your choice.

Which tier is best at the Iceland Blue Lagoon? Personally, I think that Comfort is more than fine — there’s no real point to Premium. But if you want to go all out and have the cash to spend, go ahead and do the Retreat Spa.


Iceland’s Phallological Museum: A Strange Must-See

Dining at the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon has several restaurants on the property, making it possible to stay there for hours and enjoy all the amenities.

I highly recommend pre booking for all three restaurants, but especially for Moss, as it’s very popular.

Moss Restaurant

If you’re looking for something truly special, Moss Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon offers high-end, elegant, beautifully plated cuisine. Moss Restaurant is the best restaurant at the Blue Lagoon, with views looking down into the lagoon, and is open for dinner only.

Moss Restaurant serves tasting menus exclusively, for five and seven courses. A regular menu is available and there is a vegan tasting menu as well. Expect exquisite, modern Nordic dishes featuring high-end Icelandic produce.

Lava Restaurant

Lava Restaurant features gourmet dining overlooking the shores of the Blue Lagoon. Both lunch and dinner are served in this restaurant. While high-end, it’s not as fancy as Moss, and you can order from two- and three-course set menus as well as à la carte dishes.

Lava Restaurant features a seafood menu, Icelandic menu, and vegetarian menu. Here the lava field is brought indoors, and you dine while surrounded by the remains of a lava cliff at the Blue Lagoon.

Spa Restaurant

The Spa Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon specializes in light, healthy dishes to be enjoyed in a quiet, peaceful environment. Plenty of vegetarian, seafood, and even meat dishes are on offer, and they have a nice selection of juices.

Blue Lagoon Experience

I enjoyed my time at the Blue Lagoon. Being the kind of girl who loves extreme heat, I thought the water wouldn’t be hot enough for me, but it turns out that there is a super-hot section just for cold-blooded ones like myself! You can see it in the above picture — it’s where the steam is coming out.

It never gets too hot in Iceland — in my spring and summer trips, temperatures hovered in mid-40s Fahrenheit (about 6-9 C), which made the pool nice and toasty, and not so cold that walking outside was like Nordic torture. It felt just fine.

If you visit the Blue Lagoon in winter, it will be colder, but that just means you should get in the water a little bit faster. It’s nice and cozy year-round.

The Blue Lagoon gives you wristbands that you can use for purchases while in the water. This is a brilliant way of paying for items without having to keep an eye on your purse or wallet. The wristband system also prevents people from buying more than three alcoholic drinks.

The Blue Lagoon has a sauna and steam room, as well as an exclusive section. You can get a variety of spa treatments, like face masks, but nothings’s better than a massage on a float right in the Blue Lagoon! There are cocktails at the swim-up bar, but I prefer the smoothies instead, which you can conveniently pay for with your wristband.

Overall, if you’re going to Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is one of those experiences that you just have to try. But if you can, I recommend you do it on the way to or from the airport — and I beg you, don’t let that water touch your hair!

Blue Lagoon Iceland Address

Visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland at:

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Norðurljósavegur 9, 240 Grindavík

+354 420 8800

Kate stands smiling next to a dark Icelandic horse, bending his head down to drink from a stream.

Things to Do in Iceland

Iceland is home to some of the most exciting, once-in-a-lifetime activities you can imagine! This is your chance to go all out with scenery and adventure.

Here are some of my top recommendations of things to do in Iceland, beyond the Blue Lagoon:

Snorkeling Silfra with Professional Photos — Snorkel the cold, clear, bright blue waters between the European and American tectonic plates, wearing a drysuit to stay warmish. A very adventurous activity, unlike anything else in the world, and the best thing I’ve ever done in Iceland.

Horseback Riding in the Lava Fields — Icelandic horses are a unique species in the world, fuzzy and short and adorable. Hop on horseback and explore the lava fields, another truly only-in-Iceland activity.

South Coast of Iceland Tour — The South Coast is the most scenic part of Iceland that you can see on a day trip from Reykjavik (if not the most scenic part of the entire country). This tour takes in multiple waterfalls, cliffs, and a black sand beach, all seen by jeep with off-roading capabilities. A fabulous choice for Instagrammers.

Volcano Tour — Ever wanted to see a volcano spewing bright red lava? Now is your chance. A vigorous two-hour hike each way takes you to Fagradalsfjall, Iceland’s newest volcano. A challenging hike with a big payoff — and your guide is a volcanologist!

Reykjavik Food Lovers Tour — Icelandic cuisine isn’t exactly world-famous, so here’s your chance! Taste unique dishes from the sea and the land, including the famous street hot dog, with a local expert and new friends.

Northern Lights Hunt and Photo Shoot — Watch the green Aurora Borealis dance across the sky, and learn how to photograph it well, even with your phone. Keep in mind that the Northern Lights are seasonally dependent and never a guarantee, but this tour offers you a SECOND TRY if you don’t see them your first night! Get photos of yourself beneath the Northern Lights, too.

Reykjavik Beer and Booze Tour — Head out to three cool bars in Reykjavik, led by a guide and surrounded by new friends, tasting Icelandic beers, schnapps, and spirits you never would have known about otherwise. A fun way to enjoy booze in a pricey country.

See more things to do in Iceland here.

Colorful roofs and houses on the gridded streets of Reykjavik, Iceland, shot from above.
Reykjavik, Iceland — image via Pixabay.

Where to Stay In Iceland

Where’s the best place to stay in Iceland? If you’re only staying in Iceland for a few days, Reykjavik makes an excellent base for exploring western Iceland.

Here are my top recommendations for Reykjavik accommodation, whether you prefer hotels, hostels, and apartments.

Best Reykjavik Hotels

All of the following hotels are located within Reykjavik’s city center or a short walk away.

Best Luxury Hotel: Sand Hotel — Immaculate, gorgeous, and brimming with textured amenities, all set in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, steps from everything. Artsy Icelandic touches in all the right places. Truly outstanding.

Best Mid-range Hotel: Hotel Ódinsvé — Classy, clean, black and white modern hotel rooms, all in a perfect central location. Feels special without breaking the bank. Has a Danish restaurant with an elegant bar on site.

Best Budget Hotel: Igdlo Guesthouse — A warm and welcoming family-run guesthouse with both private rooms and dorms available, plus access to kitchen, barbecue, and laundry to keep costs down even further.

Best Hostel: KEX Hostel — One of the coolest and hippest hostels in the Nordics, featuring a gorgeous lounge area, a nice restaurant, and both dorms and private rooms.

Best Reykjavik Apartments

All of the following apartments are located within Reykjavik’s city center or a short walk away.

Best Luxury Apartments: House of the Snowbird — Two gorgeous apartments in a cheery red house that feels like a piece of art. Filled with hand-carved furnishings, comfy robes, and pieces of Icelandic artwork. Unforgettable.

Best Mid-Range Apartments: Island Apartments — A minimalist Scandinavian paradise in the absolute heart of downtown. Everything you need in a very convenient spot.

Best Budget Apartments: Stay Apartments Einholt — Simple, clean, high quality apartments at a low price by Reykjavik standards. Simple kitchen facilities and access to laundry machines.

Find deals on Reykjavik accommodation here.


Why Iceland is Perfect for First-Time Solo Female Travelers

Blue Lagoon Essential Info

The Blue Lagoon Iceland has several different tiers of pricing: Comfort, Premium, and Retreat  Spa, with entry as cheap as 76 EUR ($84 USD) in the colder months. Ticket prices vary based on the date and time of booking. Book tickets to the Blue Lagoon including a transfer from Reykjavik here.

Iceland is full of awesome tours, from ice climbing to whale watching to snorkeling between the techtonic plates. Check out some of the best tours here.

For flights to Iceland, I find the best rates on Skyscanner. Double-check here to make sure you got a good rate.

Looking for a group tour to Iceland? G Adventures has several Iceland tours, all with small groups.

The best way to get from the airport to downtown Reykjavik is the Flybus. It’s cheap, easy, and runs frequently.

While Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world, it’s vital to get travel insurance before your trip. If you get seriously injured and require an air ambulance home, it could save you literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don’t travel anywhere without insurance, and I use and recommend World Nomads.

Many thanks to the Iceland Tourism Board and the Blue Lagoon Iceland for hosting my first visit in 2012. I’ve since returned and have paid my own way. All opinions, as always, are my own.

122 thoughts on “Things No One Tells You About the Blue Lagoon, Iceland”

  1. Great post! I had no idea the Blue Lagoon wasn’t entirely natural.

    And well, the getting naked part… that seems pretty popular in Europe. Canada may be different than the US, but we do not like to go around butt naked either!!! So that would require a bit of adjustment on my part. But I guess in the end it’s worth it!

    1. Well if you are planing to go somewhere a bit of research is expected, there one can realise that this is not a natural phenomenon.

      As per walking around butt naked being a common sight in Europe!!!!!! I can safely say that you have never been to Europe, you may have never left your street but you should try it sometimes but drop the assumptions and please oh please don’t walk around butt naked you may get yourself in a lot of troubles, on many levels.

      1. What a snide response…she never said walking around naked was a common site in Europe. In the US it is not common in most places to bathe naked in public, fact and in Europe it is, fact. I’ve soaked all over the world! The only nude bathing places I’ve been to in the US were in Northern Cali.

    2. You don’t have to get naked anymore. The changing rooms are wide opened, but in the men’s they have at least one changing room with a door. If you go when it’s busy I’m sure it’s impossible to get, but there is that option. Also they now have multiple shower stalls with doors as long as you don’t mind being one of the few waiting to use them… and honestly there is absolutely nothing forcing you to shower without a bathing suit on. There’s a sign…. but that’s all.

      1. Thanks for the update Mike. I have a group going to the Blue Lagoon soon and they’ll be happy to know they can change and shower privately. 🙂

  2. The part about getting naked to shower seems to be common to all the thermal pools in Iceland. In addition to the Blue Lagoon, I also had to strip to shower before using the pools at Laugardalslaug in Reykjavik. (For the record, I had to use Google Maps to get the spelling for that one.) The signs that graphically depict which body parts require soap are rather amusing.

    I agree about enjoying the Blue Lagoon after arriving or before departing Keflavik. I did it before departing. It was a great way to relax before the onward flight. And even my short hair was destroyed.

  3. 2 things i tell everyone, including my readers, about the blue lagoon is leave your modesty at home and wear a not so cute shower cap. i have dreadlocks and my poor hair sucked up so much of that devil water that i considered chopping them off. after two weeks of deep conditioning they felt like hair again. that stuff is no jokeni

    1. I have never gotten dreadlock specific advise before in a blog thanks! Know any web site selling waterproof tams?

  4. It really is horrible for your hair! I was warned ahead of time, and made sure not to get my head wet!

    I did get to go to the Lagoon before my flight home (as I had a 5 p.m. flight), and it was PERFECT. A great way to relax before the stresses of air travel kick in.

  5. I was surprised by the fact that it wasn’t natural, too. But one of the biggest surprises I had was that there was a lot, and I mean a LOT, of “action” going on in the murky waters of the Blue Lagoon. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
    All that notwithstanding, I did have a great time!

  6. Thanks for this information! After hearing all this, I might consider skipping the Blue Lagoon on my next trip to Iceland. Though you said that you ultimately enjoyed your time there, it does seem like there are some negatives. Just the fact that you have to get naked is enough to scare me away!

        1. Picky, picky. I think these traditions can be considered Scandinavian, but yes, Iceland is a Nordic country, not technically part of Scandinavia. Look up the Kalmar Union for more information on the ambiguity if you would like and don’t be a know-it-all!

    1. Getting naked in the shower is normal in Finland too and propaply everywhere in the norden countries. We also sit in the sauna naked, at home or in bublic saunas, but every woman has seen a naked woman before, so nobody cares! I’ve heard that in germany they have same changing rooms together with women and men. THAT is something I would’t do..

      1. Well, getting naked in the shower is normal everywhere but in US for whatever reason. And yes in Germany and other german leaning/speaking countries people getting to the saunas in a birthday suites. It’s kind of difficult to understand when someone puts a polyester or neylon swim suites on and then enters 150F steam room, sort of defeats the purpose.

  7. In all the swimming pools I visited in Iceland, you had to shower naked before going in (and wash thoroughly – there are pictures in the showers showing you which parts you have to wash exactly. Kind of funny). Doesn’t matter – everybody else is naked too, nobody will notice you. And if I remember correctly, at the Blue Lagoon you have smaller shower stalls, not (only) one big open space, so there is some degree of privacy.
    The Blue Lagoon is a wonderful and one of a kind experience – don’t let the little inconveniences deter you. Even the hair recovers after a few days…

  8. Damn it! I didn’t know that you have to shower naked before going into any of the thermal pools in Iceland! Now I’ll think twice before going! That’s such a bummer 🙁
    (Yes, as an Egyptian I am not used to showering naked infront of anyone, even in sports classes in school we had private bathroom stalls :D)

  9. I hadn’t heard of this particular Blue Lagoon before but Iceland is a place I’d be interested to visit in the future so it’s good to know of it!

    Have you heard of the Blue Lagoon in Malta? Not heated I’m afraid, but completely natural … It’s so clear it’s like a massive swimming pool but in the sea 🙂

    1. I haven’t heard of the one in Malta! I know there’s a Blue Lagoon in Fiji, one in Croatia, and one on the island of Capri in Italy that I unfortunately didn’t get to see because the waves were too rough during my visit….

      1. Been to the blue lagoon in Fiji… there’s also a blue hole in Belize… but the place on Capri is the blue GROTTO. Sorry you couldn’t make it. Usually tourists are taken in by small (very small) boats. One day I was there with family, the boatmen went on strike, the weather was perfect, and we jumped off a cliff and swam into the grotto to see the magical projected blue light. As it happened, a local guy was with us, and he told us stories about the place, and showed us where an ancient Roman tunnel into the gotto was used by Partisan during WWII.

        Now, heading off to Iceland and thinking about Laugarvata Fontana, a different hot springs off in the countyside.

  10. Awesome post, Kate! I think I’d melt in the lagoon – just a wee bit hairy – but glad you had a great time. That’s insane about your hair, though – 5 DAYS?!?

  11. Haha, I agree on all counts! I try to warn everyone about the hair thing but it seems you have to experience it for yourself to believe it! It’s still a great experience though, and very relaxing…

  12. Kathryn Quigley

    All good points. I went to the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. I didn’t wash my hair afterwards and it REEKED on the plane. But it was still one of my best travel adventures ever.

  13. By take a shower naked in public, do you mean in the open in front of children (and opposite sex)? Or nude inside the lockers of the same-sex. I’m amazed others haven’t asked this question.

  14. I’m going to the Blue Lagoon this afternoon. Glad you warned us about the naked showering part. At least we don’t have to go in the water naked, like the onsens in Japan.

    I’m also slightly turned off after reading Sandra’s comment about the amount of hanky-panky going on underwater.

  15. I was a bit scared the first time I went swimming in Iceland, but I got over it pretty quickly when I just did what I saw the locals doing. I realized pretty quickly that they weren’t staring at me or judging me.
    I completely regret going to the Blue Lagoon because of the things no one told me. Everyone talks about how beautiful it is, and how ONLY Americans are going to ignore the washing rules.
    After visiting other local pools during the week, I had embraced the preswim ritual so much so, that I felt superior to those that felt they could just ignore the instructions. I wanted to tell people that they had to shower, but I couldn’t….you know why? They didn’t speak English, which means they weren’t Americans! That made me feel better about the stereotypes…until I got in the pool….
    It was crowded and on the verge of being filled with trash. People in groups really forget who and where they are. Probably everyone in that pool would deny that they skipped their shower or left their beer cups on the side of the pool, to fall in and ruin things for everyone. Then there was the creepy guy that took up the whole waterfall for a half hour.
    After a week, taking in the natural wonder and beauty of Iceland, without bumping into many other tourists or crowds at all, the crowded Blue Lagoon left a bad taste in our mouths. I will suggest that people visit the Blue Lagoon as soon as they get off the plane, and before they see anything else in the country.
    Try to find a natural hot spring, rather than this overpriced spa.
    Oh, yeah, wash your junk thoroughly, and don’t be embarrassed.

  16. Nice article – I find it funny how many people are horrified by the showering naked part. As a Scandinavian living in the US I was horrified for a long time at the fact that people are *not* required to shower naked at US pools – I found it (and still kind of do, but learned to live with it) incredibly gross that people can walk straight from the street into crowded public pools *without* washing their private parts – just passing through the shower for a second with your grubby swimsuit on…
    It’s funny how cultures differ in what we find offensive 🙂

  17. We were just there in November on a cold and rainy day. The shower thing is no big deal. No one is interested in your bits and pieces. One thing I didn’t realize is that u don’t have to get in and out of pool. You can enter through an adjoining door in the bottom of the indoor pool. There are steam rooms and saunas carved into the rock caves and a cave with music playing. It’s an awesome experience – don’t not go if its raining – it almost makes it better.

    1. I’m going to Iceland on Sunday, stopping on a long layover on my way to Italy! I was considering not going to the Blue Lagoon anymore because it’s supposed to be rainy this entire next week. Glad I saw this though! Are there places to keep luggage (I’m bringing a 65L hiking backpack) while at the Blue Lagoon? I know a lot of people also plan to go on their way to or from the airport!

  18. For goodness sake — there is LOTS of privacy — you don not have to shower in front of everyone. Lots of private stalls. Yes, shower naked but you do it privately, don’t listen to those silly posts. Apr 2013

  19. I visited the Blue Lagoon in august of 2012, It was a beautiful experience.
    I was also quite nervous about the showering-bit. Yes, it is true that you have to shower naked. But as stated here before, there are lots of private stalls, so don’t worry about being naked in front of strangers if you don’t wan’t to. You have te be prepared that most visitors aren’t very prudish though, so don’t be shocked by other guests’ nakedness..

  20. it is a fact that Blue Lagoon is natural phenomenon they just built more stuff around it.

    im from iceland and i know all about blue lagoon i went there first when i was 5 yers old and im now 33 🙂

  21. I am so glad somebody else wrote about this and mentioned it is not natural, I thought I was the only one! They do a very good marketing campaign and the pictures look brilliant so everybody wants to go. If they told you it was just a spa resort (where you had to show your bits) then I wouldn’t have any problem. Going on the way to or from the airport is a good idea as it is a good bit away.

  22. Well, I came here hoping I could swim naked in the pools. Oh well. Try swimming naked in the Ocean or even just a pool. It’s a feeling like no other. I don’t get why everyone is so uptight and I’m an American.

  23. My work social club just offered up a group trip to Iceland and was looking for information as I may end up travelling mostly alone for the trip. Great insight and I’m even more excited to go. Beautiful pictures as well!

  24. We just came back from there this weekend….and we didn’t have to get naked? Who told you that?! FAIL. Plus it’s only 15 minutes from the airport…maybe less!

  25. Went to the Blue Lagoon April 2013. There are different showers for men and women, and there are private stalls, but you may have to queue for them. For the record, some people were showering naked, but as I didn’t see any shower police around, I kept my swimming trunks on. There again I am British. We invaded Iceland in WW2, therefore we can do what we want. (and the Yanks as well, as they also invaded)

  26. So, if not The Blue Lagoon, could someone recommend another geothermal spa, that might be entirely natural? I’m looking forward to my visit to the B.L., all things considered…except the hair part….someone ought to be able to filter it out and skim on a regular basis. gross!

  27. I have to say that my experience to the blue lagoon was extraordinary. It’s not lame like some people say. I paid 80 dollars round trip bus fare and entrance. Had a bus pick us up from our hostel and dropped us off to our hostel. What’s the big deal about showering naked! Ughhh! Separate showers for women n men. Please it’s the 21st century, there’s worst things than that! Get a grip! No one is making sure you wash your genitals. Use a lot of conditioner, your hair will deffo be a bit dry, you will survive, your hair will survive, just have a good time, that’s what’s all about!

  28. I just came back from here. I did NOT get naked and no one told me I had to. Showered before and after with my bathing suit on as did many other women. Others undressed if they chose to. We all have the same body parts so don’t see what the big deal is either way or why it was mentioned here. Not like it’s coed. It’s really not that far from Reykjavik and I didn’t go before or after my flight. Honestly this post was not helpful or that informative. This as well as other geothermal spas in iceland are not to be missed.

  29. Hi!
    My concern is this: We will be visiting the Blue Lagoon on our way to the airport heading for Germany. What do you do with your wet bathing suit when you leave? Just pack it up in your suitcase and carry it with you? I want to avoid the stink and the mildew if at all possible! I guess I could towel dry it as much as possible? Any advice?

  30. Kate!!
    I went to the Blue Lagoon two days ago and my hair looks Like a mix between hay and cotton since I did not know it was so bad for your hair

  31. My hair actually felt AMAZINGLY after my trip to the Blue Lagoon. That conditioner is awesome. It’s true that I did not get my hair that wet while in the lagoon, but to me it’s not really a place for swimming. It’s more like the greatest hot tub you could ever imagine. Go on a weekday morning and avoid the crowds (in the winter anyway…not sure about the summer.)

  32. I gave been twice to the Blue Lagoon and both times I had the shower before going in it was an enclosed shower with a frosted door and I kept my costume on both times too.
    Also, I didn’t think it affected my hair.
    It was a fantastic trip both times and would highly recommend

  33. Great post! I had NO idea about the hair issues, and I was trying to figure out why so many tours offer a pickup or dropoff at the Blue Lagoon before the airport. Now I know it’s because it’s just a more convenient way to see them. I, too, am familiar with the shower-naked-before-you-get-in-the-pool scenario from the hot pots at Laugardalslaug. It’s not really a big deal in the end, but I don’t see why these other commenters are getting all bent out of shape one way or another about it. It’s just the rule, and you should follow it whether someone is policing you or not… It’s that simple.

  34. I am confused about the hair issue. I plan on taking a shower and not washing my hair or getting it wet. And then going into the Blue Lagoon and not putting my head in the water or getting my hair would, much as in a hot tub. So I won’t have any wet hair issues. Is this a correct assumption? If so, why is impossible hair such an issue. Do most people dunk their head under the Blue Lagoon water?
    Thanks much for any info you can offer.

    1. Don’t dunk your head. But you might end up accidentally getting a bit of Blue Lagoon water on the bottom of your hairline even if you’re careful, so I recommend the conditioner route.

      1. Been to The Netherlands and Germany and visited saunas where nudity is the norm, but never been swimming in the nude………from your own experience would you say it was quite
        exhillerating(sorry bout the spelling no dictionary to hand)?
        Are you by any chance Scottish? Just going by your name!

  35. You don’t have to get naked anymore. The changing rooms are wide opened, but in the men’s they have at least one changing room with a door. Also there are multiple changing rooms for both sexes so I assume each one of them has at least one closed changing room. If you go when it’s busy I’m sure it’s impossible to get, but there is that option.

    Also they now have multiple shower stalls with doors as long as you don’t mind being one of the few waiting to use them… and honestly there is absolutely nothing forcing you to shower without a bathing suit on. There’s a sign…. but that’s all. Just clean under it if you’re really that freaked out about being naked no one is going to say anything to you.

    It was a truly amazing experience, but next time I do want to find some of the more secluded natural pools. But don’t skip the blue lagoon if you’ve never been I spent like three hours there going back and forth between the pool, the waterfall and the steam room (stream room #1 is much cooler than the others). It was incredible. I did go in May so there was plenty of room not sure what you should expect if you go later.

  36. Hello Kate,
    Thanks for the info. I am planning a trip to Iceland for next month. You have provided some good info for me to plan my visit. Can you tell me how much time that I should allow for my visit? This would be just for visiting the lagoon without any spa services. Also, should I book now before I get there or is it better to book locally? Happy Travels

  37. For all the warning about the lagoon water ruining and destroying your hair, I loved what it did to my hair. It gave it body which I never have. I wanted to bottle that water so I could keep my hair full of body.
    And Kate, relax about being naked. The lockers are separate and nobody cares! Just shower and get into that beautiful milky blue water. You’ll forget you wee ever naked.

  38. Do people wear water shoes in the Blue Lagoon? Not sure how far you have to walk from the showers to the Lagoon and is it easy to do without any type of shoes…..same for the Lagoon itself or anywhere else in Iceland. Packing light and don’t want to bring something not needed.

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