What No One Tells You About Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

If you’ve stumbled upon this article, you probably are researching the Blue Lagoon in Iceland or interested in visiting someday.

You probably know by now that there’s a ton of hype surrounding Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.

But is it worth it?

I hope to paint a picture of exactly what you can expect at the Blue Lagoon, and share how to get the ultimate experience here.

I’m also going to answer a bunch of questions that I had before I visited, that you might also have.

These are questions that I had trouble finding the answer to online.

After reading this post, you can decide for yourself!

To me, it is 110% worth it!

Quite simply, it’s the one destination in Iceland that you won’t want to miss, even as touristy as it is.

blue lagoon spot
sitting at the blue lagoon

What is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?

The Blue Lagoon is commonly mistaken to be a natural spa.

The truth is, it’s entirely man-made!

It actually gets its intense blue and geothermic properties from the power plant next door!

In fact, it first was thought of as a bunch of wastewater from the plant in 1976, until a brave soul took a dip in it in 1981 and changed everyone’s minds! (source)

Finally, in 1987 it was established as a swimming area and has since grown to be the luxurious retreat that it is today.

A lot of people stop here on their Icelandic layover because it is so close to the airport (just 15 minutes away) and is a great way to de-stress from being on an airplane.

It also is rumored to help with jet lag since it leaves you so refreshed!

The geothermal waters are filled with silica and sulfur and are known (and researched) for their healing and rejuvenating properties.

What to expect

Surreal, otherworldly blue hues, and a hot, relaxing swim in geothermal waters are the biggest draws to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon.

If you’ve done your research, you probably know that there will be plenty of people at the Blue Lagoon.

You can expect an environment that encourages relaxation and enjoyment.

Besides the perfectly hot waters, saunas and steam rooms are available to use.

But there are a lot of details that you might have trouble finding online.

What no one tells you online

Okay, maybe not NO one.

But here are fourteen questions that I tried to research beforehand but didn’t find conclusive answers on.

I’ve answered them for you, but if you have additional questions, comment below!

girl walking on bridge at blue lagoon iceland
girl sitting on bridge at blue lagoon iceland

1. Which Blue Lagoon package should I choose?

Honestly, unless you have extra money to spend, there’s no need to get anything beyond the Comfort package.

The Comfort package is the cheapest option. It comes with a silica mud mask, a towel, and a drink of your choice.

When you upgrade your package to Premium, in addition to the Comfort features, you get an extra mud mask, a bathrobe to use, and slippers to wear. If you choose to dine at the restaurant you also get sparkling wine when dining.

Their website adds “table reservation at Lava Restaurant” as an additional perk, but you can totally make a reservation if you opt for the Comfort package. So honestly I have no idea why that is listed as a Premium perk!

The last package option is the Luxury option, featuring the Retreat Spa.

It offers things completely different than the Comfort and Premium options, so if you want the above and beyond the already full experience, then you can choose this package.

It is about six times more expensive (depending on the day and season) so be prepared to shell out the big bucks.

But you do get a lot more than the other two packages. The Luxury package offers access to the Retreat Lagoon (a private lagoon away from everyone else), gives you a private changing room, a massage and treatments, and is purchased in four-hour chunks of time.

Check out the package pricing on the Blue Lagoon’s website here.

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2. Do I need a special package to take the famous Instagram Blue Lagoon photo?

This was a legitimate question that I had before visiting.

Aggie from @travelinhershoes posted a photo at the Blue Lagoon, and I have since seen so many photos posted in the exact spot.

It’s a beautiful photo so I totally understand why everyone is copying it. It’s the highest form of flattery after all, right?

Since Aggie is a famous travel influencer, I figured that the Blue Lagoon had given her the Luxury package and that is how she took that shot without anyone in the area.

But you can actually get that shot with the Basic Package.

It is located right when you exit the dressing rooms, and sometimes just happens to be empty!

So don’t splurge to get the famous shot.

3. Do people just chance it with their phones?

We definitely saw some people holding their phones above water without any protection, but most had cases.

We got these waterproof cases off of Amazon and they work really well underwater.

They stay completely water and air-tight. However, the minerals in the water sometimes make it hard for your phone to respond to your touch through the plastic, so you have to kind of wipe off your fingers every once in a while.

4. I shoot with a DSLR- what will that look like?

My husband and I shoot with this DSLR and as soon as we were done with it I put it back in my locker (everyone gets a locker). See what else is in my camera bag here!

Going over the logistics:

  • You’ll want to have you or your photographer capture all of your shots before getting wet… otherwise, you will be freezing cold.
  • You’re not allowed in the lagoon area with clothes on, so you’re taking photos in freezing cold weather wearing your swimsuit and a towel or robe.
  • That’s why it’s best to start out your time with the DSLR, capture all of your desired shots all at once, and then not bring it back out again.

5. What should I bring to the Blue Lagoon?

All you need is yourself, your reservation email, a bathing suit, a hair tie, and flip-flops (optional).

I recommend bringing a waterproof phone case and your DSLR if you are a photographer/blogger.

Here’s a breakdown of the things that I purchased for my Iceland trip (including the waterproof phone cases):

6. What drink options come with the basic package?

You can choose beer, wine, or- my favorite- a smoothie!

We opted for the strawberry banana smoothies and they were SO delicious!

7. Is the robe necessary? Or will I freeze?!

Without a robe, you’ll probably just be freezing cold for under a minute, from when you leave the changing rooms and when you enter the lagoon.

So if you can tough it out, it is not necessary.

You can also use your towel as a makeshift robe.

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8. What about the slippers? Are they needed?

We brought flip-flops with us (these under $5 flip-flops) and then just left them by the edge of the lagoon like many other people did.

You don’t need to wear them in the lagoon, in fact wearing flip-flops underwater makes it really hard to move, so I recommend going without them.

Just be careful when you are entering the lagoon- the rocks can be really slippery!

9. Is the restaurant worth it?

Yes, it’s worth it! You get cool views of the lagoon and delicious food.

Price-wise, most of the food is comparable to the rest of Reykjavik, and it is absolutely delicious!

Even the complimentary bread and butter that they bring out is to die for!

blue lagoon restaurant food
blue lagoon restaurant food

10. Do I need to wash my hair and take off my makeup? Everyone looks flawless in their Instagram photos!

I don’t know how people look flawless in their Instagram photos.

Yes, you most definitely need to do both of these things.

My guess is that they don’t follow the rules and wash their hair and take off their makeup, but I can’t be sure.

There is no one walking around checking that you’ve done so, but I’m begging you to PLEASE take off your makeup and wash your hair as the instructions say.

It’s for sanitary reasons and to keep the lagoon clean.
You might want to rationalize and say that you just won’t put your face underwater, but you basically have to if you want the full experience.

When you put the free silica mud mask on, you have to wash it off within a few minutes– can you imagine how gross it would be if your makeup was washed into the lagoon?

11. What happens if I put my hair underwater? And does the conditioner trick work?

If you put your hair underwater, it’ll be really coarse and tangled for the next several days.

I had read that soaking your hair in the provided conditioner helps prevent the weird texture change, but my hair still felt really weird for the next two days.

But I bet that without the conditioner, my hair would’ve been weirder for longer, so I wouldn’t risk not doing the conditioner trick.

And of course, you can just keep your hair in a bun out of the water if you want, but there’s a chance it could get splashed and you won’t be able to go under the mini waterfall at the lagoon.

12. Do I have to get totally naked in front of strangers?

Not if you don’t want to.

There are a few changing rooms that are enclosed, so that’s not a problem.

You might have to wait for the shower that has a curtain, but it’s doable.

13. When should I visit? Do I need a reservation?

Anytime you get the chance.

Obviously it will be less crowded on weekdays and the earlier you go, but you don’t control your flight.

You most certainly need a reservation! I recommend booking as soon as you know you can go, and at least two weeks in advance.

A couple of months would be ideal if you can plan that far in advance.

You don’t want to risk it being sold out! Book it here!

14. Help! My flight is on a weekend- will the Blue Lagoon be too crowded to enjoy?

Nope! I visited on a Saturday around 3pm in August (basically the “worst” time to go), and it wasn’t too bad!

Because you have to make a reservation beforehand, there are limited spaces and the Blue Lagoon does a good job of making sure you’re not a sardine in a can.

Even with many people at the lagoon, it is a completely fun and relaxing environment and you can find spots in the lagoon away from other people.

In conclusion…

The Blue Lagoon is a romantic, relaxing, otherworldly wonderland and you should definitely visit if you can!

And if you’re checking out Iceland, be sure to read these posts:

Safe travels!


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Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.

14 Responses

  1. Do you think it’s possible to get photos of yourself with a tripod?! I will be traveling solo and I’ve always wondered how the heck am I going to get photos of myself there. I know I could try asking someone to take my photos, but I’d be more comfortable if I could just set up a tripod and try to do it myself. Do they even allow tripods? Would this be possible?

    1. That is such a great question! Logistically, yes that would be possible, but I’m not sure if they allow tripods! Some places are picky about that sort of thing. I think your best bet is emailing or calling them if possible! Do let me know what you find out, I’d be curious to know the answer, too!

      1. I came here with the same question! I’m travelling with my husband and our 1 year old, so we are taking turns in the lagoon since babies aren’t allowed. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back so I want some good pics! I might try taking my mini tabletop tripod and putting it away in the change room after. Curious if you heard back!

        1. We’ve been traveling with our one-year-old so I totally get this predicament! I never heard back from Nicole but perhaps you could try calling or emailing the Blue Lagoon directly? Please let me know what you learn! I hope you’re able to make this work!!

  2. This was the warmest robe we tried. It’s comfy indoors and out It’s incredibly comfortable to wear while lounging and sitting at a desk, and even though it’s made of polyester, it didn’t make us sweat in testing, as can sometimes happen with synthetic fabrics . I really like it
    Keep doing!!

    1. Hi Valeria! I had eyelash extensions on when I visited and they seemed to do fine! I wasn’t underwater a lot but I lathered on the mud mask, washed it off with the blue lagoon water, and stood under the waterfall. I hope that helps!

    1. I’d say at least a couple of hours! You could stay for shorter, but it’s such a fun spot (and can be pretty pricey!) that I’d recommend making the most of your time there!

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Hi, I’m Jasmine! I’m a nature-obsessed, beauty-finding, Jesus-loving dreamer with a serious case of wanderlust. I love to create photo-worthy travel content and hope to fill your travel plans with incredible beauty and breathtaking views! Thanks for following along on my adventures!

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