The Blue Lagoon is not only the most visited attraction in all of Iceland, it is one of the most expensive! When you think about spending $90 per person just to soak in a giant bathtub with a bunch of strangers, it can make you think twice about whether it’s worth the money. So if you are asking yourself, “Is the Blue Lagoon worth it?”, this post may help you weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that is best for you and your budget. Plus, keep scrolling for some of the best Blue Lagoon tips to make the most of your visit.
Whether you are traveling alone, traveling as a couple, with friends, or with family, the Iceland Blue Lagoon is a serene place to rejuvenate and relax. If you are visiting the Blue Lagoon with kids it is an equally great experience. Kids may not necessarily be looking for a serene zen moment or care anything about the potential benefits of the mineral-rich water, but they will love it all the same.
This guide to visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland answers the most asked question, “Is the Blue Lagoon worth it?” We also include our personal reviews of the attraction, Blue Lagoon tips for visiting, and necessary information to help you plan your trip to the Blue Lagoon for the first time.
About the Iceland Blue Lagoon
While many who travel to Iceland are visiting to see the beautiful natural wonders the country has to offer, the Blue Lagoon is actually a man-made attraction.
While there are countless natural wonders like lava fields, geysers, glaciers, and waterfalls in Iceland, the country’s most famous attraction, the Blue Lagoon, is not one of them. The milky water is runoff from a geothermal power plant adjacent to the lagoon that helps create energy for the island nation. Because the country is home to several volcanoes and geysers, much of Iceland’s electricity is generated from those natural energy phenomena.
Although the famous lagoon is man-made, it is surrounded by lava rocks that were naturally formed. The Blue Lagoon was established in 1987 – roughly a decade after a geothermal plant built in the 1970s started creating runoff pools of steaming, milky blue water. People flocked to the pools claiming the water had healing properties, and thus, the Blue Lagoon was built.
Nowadays, about 700,000 thousand people who are visiting Iceland each year make the Blue Lagoon a part of their travels.
Our personal experience visiting the Blue Lagoon with kids
Visiting the Blue Lagoon was the highlight of our trip to Iceland, particularly for our daughter, who was 4 years old at the time. The man-made Iceland lagoon with its milky blue water is one of the most intriguing places in the country. Considering all of the fascinating facts about Iceland and the beauty the country holds, it’s not a claim I make lightly.
People of all ages will love the Blue Lagoon. We spent several hours just hanging out in the warm water letting our daughter swim back and forth between us. Because we were at the Blue Lagoon with a child, we tried to find places away from the crowds and visited during one of their slower hours.
READ MORE ABOUT THE BLUE LAGOON’S HISTORY AND FIND OTHER FASCINATING THINGS ABOUT ICELAND.
Is the Blue Lagoon worth it?
Admission to the Blue Lagoon is pricey. We’re not even going to sugar coat that. It’s an expensive attraction to visit. But I was pleasantly surprised to find the $90 USD ticket covers much more than your entrance to the Blue Lagoon.
General admission includes a mud mask, a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic at a swim-up bar, use of towels and locker rooms, hair conditioner (which is a must) and an unlimited time spent in the lagoon. There are upgraded and premium packages that include extras like a bathrobe and slippers, dinner reservations, and even retreat spa packages with massages and a private lagoon all to yourself. But if you are on a budget, the general admission ticket is more than enough to have a fun and relaxing experience.
If you are traveling with kids, you’ll be pleased to find admission is free for those under the age of 13.
RESERVE YOUR TICKETS OR BOOK A TOUR TO THE BLUE LAGOON HERE.
The pros and cons of visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
If you are one of those people who likes to weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase, particularly an expensive one, here are a few things to consider when deciding whether the Blue Lagoon is worth visiting.
Is the Blue Lagoon worth it?: The Pros
As the most popular attraction in Iceland, there are a lot of pros to booking a Blue Lagoon visit.
The Blue Lagoon is Close to the Airport
The Blue Lagoon is about a 20 minute drive or shuttle bus ride from the main airport in Iceland. So you can easily visit the Blue Lagoon during a long layover at Keflavik Airport or as a first stop when you arrive as part of an Iceland self-drive. It’s a great way to combat jet lag and feel rejuvenated after a long day or night of air travel.
It is a Relaxing, Unique Experience
The reason the Blue Lagoon is so popular is because it is so unique. There aren’t many places like it in the world. You can bask in the warm water while staring up at the Northern Lights in winter or the midnight sun in summer. It is a memorable and fun experience to relax in the Blue Lagoon while looking out over the view of endless lava fields.
There are Lots of Health Benefits of the Blue Lagoon
The cloudy blue, geothermal water of the Blue Lagoon boasts a variety of health benefits. The minerals in the water are supposedly awesome for your skin (although not for your hair!) Soaking in the milky water is also believed to help those who suffer from conditions like arthritis and psoriasis. And just like soaking in a warm tub, the Blue Lagoon is great for helping alleviate stiffness and body aches that many of us feel after being in a cramped plane cabin.
Additionally, it makes for a great place to de-stress and relieve anxiety, which is one of the best reasons to take a vacation!
Is the Blue Lagoon worth it?: The Cons
Just like any attraction, there are both pros and cons to visiting the Blue Lagoon. So, in the interest of transparency, if you are wondering Is the Blue Lagoon worth visiting, here are a few of the downfalls to the Blue Lagoon.
It is Somewhat Far Away from Many of Iceland’s Other Attractions
Although getting from Keflavik Airport to the Blue Lagoon is quick and easy, the famous attraction is quite far from everything else. It takes nearly an hour to get to the Blue Lagoon from Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. So, if you want to check into your hotel or apartment before you visit the Blue Lagoon after arriving in Iceland or if you want to visit on another day or time during your Iceland itinerary, you’ll have a longer drive to get there.
Again, it is best to head directly to the Blue Lagoon when you arrive in Iceland or plan to make it your last stop before your vacation ends to maximize your time in Iceland.
LOOKING FOR OTHER THINGS TO DO IN ICELAND? CHECK OUT THIS POST ON THE BEST WATERFALLS IN ICELAND.
Admission is Expensive
As we have already mentioned, the Blue Lagoon is expensive, costing close to $100 USD per person. If you are traveling on a budget, expense is always something you have to consider. Iceland itself is an expensive country to visit. The cost of food, drinks, and gas add up quickly in Iceland. But even though it is a pricier attraction, the Blue Lagoon Iceland is worth visiting. So, budget accordingly for the Blue Lagoon and everything else in Iceland.
The Blue Lagoon Can Get Crowded
Let’s face it. Any attraction worth visiting can get crowded. If you visit the Blue Lagoon during peak season and hours you will not be soaking alone, unless you book the premium package with a private area tucked away from the crowds. Luckily though, the Blue Lagoon is fairly large and they limit the number of tickets sold during each time slot
But to avoid crowds visit Iceland in winter, or go first thing in the morning or late at night if visiting Iceland in summer. It’s open until midnight, and during the summer months, you’ll hardly realize it is that late because the sun doesn’t set.
Blue Lagoon tips to enhance your experience
If you have decided to visit the Blue Lagoon during your trip to Iceland, here are a few Blue Lagoon tips that will help you make the most of your experience.
Buy Tickets in Advance
Before you ever arrive at the Blue Lagoon, you will want to purchase tickets online. Ideally, do this at least a few days in advance because time slots tend to sell out, particularly during the summer tourism season. The Blue Lagoon utilizes timed ticketing to minimize crowds and control capacity, so you have to buy tickets for a certain hour. It takes a bit of planning in advance to determine days in advance what time you would like to arrive, but once you are inside the attraction, your time there is unlimited.
Wet and Generously Condition your Hair before Getting in the Water
Forget those perfect Instagram photos of a bikini-clad influencer will long, flowing, perfectly styled hair dipping into an empty Blue Lagoon. It might make for a pretty picture, but that is not a realistic image. The mineral-rich water of the Blue Lagoon is HORRIBLE for your hair. It will dry it out and damage it quickly if you don’t take proper measures to protect it.
When you arrive at the Blue Lagoon, you are required to shower and wash your entire body with soap before getting into the water. They also recommend putting the provided conditioner in your hair. Do it, or pin your hair up so it doesn’t get wet.
Our daughter’s fine, curly hair is super dry, so we lathered her locks in as much conditioner as it could hold. We recommend both men and women use the conditioner to protect their hair. After our visit, we showered again and rinsed out the conditioner. Our hair felt awesome!
ALSO READ: WHAT TO PACK FOR ICELAND.
Don’t Worry if You or Your Kids Can’t Swim
The Blue Lagoon is only 4 feet (1.2 meters) at its deepest. So even most children can walk through the water with ease. For toddlers and younger children, there are arm floaties of various sizes provided free of charge for guests to use. So even if you or your kids can’t swim, you can still enjoy the Blue Lagoon without having to keep a tight hold on them.
Go Under a Bridge or Around Corners to Escape People
Although the Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most visited attraction, you can find plenty of places to escape the crowds and have a moment of solitude, even during a time slot that is sold out. Unlike tourist traps that are crawling with people around every turn, at the Blue Lagoon you can simply go under one of the bridges or into one of the smaller coves in the lagoon for a quieter experience.
Most people stick to the main areas of the lagoon, congregating around the swim up bar, and near the entrances closest to the building. But the further away from those areas you are, the fewer people you will see.
The Water is Cloudy so You Cannot See the Bottom
Unlike a swimming pool, the water in the Blue Lagoon is not clear. In fact, the Iceland lagoon is known for its cloudy, milky blue water. You will not be able to see the bottom, but unlike an ocean or a lake, there are no fish in the Blue Lagoon so you don’t have to worry about what is below you.
Our 4-year-old daughter was scared at first because she couldn’t see the bottom nor could she touch it. She didn’t want to let go of us, but once she got used to it and saw that mom and dad could stand in the shallow lagoon, she was swimming happily through the water without a worry.
Remember the Blue Lagoon is a Serene Place
Kids are welcome at the Blue Lagoon and will likely have a great time. As mentioned earlier, it was our daughter’s favorite place we visited during our 4 days in Iceland. However, keep in mind, the Blue Lagoon is not your neighborhood swimming pool. It is a place where people go to relax.
If your kids are the type that would be loud and rowdy, perhaps consider staying in a hotel with a pool instead. Kids will have a great time at the Blue Lagoon, just respect others who are there to relax.
Use the Mud Mask and Don’t Worry about Looking Silly
Admission to the Blue Lagoon includes a generous portion of silica mud to use on your face while you soak in the lagoon. Don’t skip this part of the experience! Not only is the mask great for your skin, but it’s a fun part of the Blue Lagoon adventure. Although a kid’s ticket to the lagoon does not include the mud mask, you will have more than enough to use on yourself and your children. Chances are, the attendant at the swim-up mud mask bar will give your child a dollop anyway to use, as well.
When we returned home from our trip to Iceland, our 4-year-old told all her friends and teachers about how we went swimming and put mud on our faces. So don’t worry about looking silly. The memories and experiences are what make traveling so incredible. If you’re interested in buying the mud mask as a souvenir, you can purchase a jar of it in the Blue Lagoon gift shop.
Leave your Credit Card and Belongings in the Secure Lockers in the Locker Rooms
Another thing that is included in the cost of admission to the Blue Lagoon is one free drink per adult from the swim-up bar. If you want to buy drinks for children or extra drinks for yourself, don’t worry about bringing your credit card. The bartender will simply scan the bracelet you are given when you check into the attraction at the ticketing counter, and you’ll pay for whatever you ordered when you exit and return your bracelet.
Remember, the water isn’t clear, so you won’t be able to see any belongings you drop in the water to easily retrieve them. Leave your belongings – including your credit card and phone – in a secure locker in the locker rooms.We did bring a waterproof GoPro with us to take a few photos in the Blue Lagoon, but left everything else locked away.
The lockers are free to use, and for those coming directly from the airport by shuttle bus there is larger luggage storage in front of the attraction near the entrance.
Alternatives to the Blue Lagoon
If you prefer to visit one of Iceland’s natural hot springs or want something closer to Reykjavik or the Golden Circle there are a few alternatives to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon. So, if you are still wondering Is the Blue Lagoon worth it, here are a few other geothermal pools to consider.
The Secret Lagoon is Iceland’s oldest natural pool. Dating back to 1891, this natural hot spring along Iceland’s popular Golden Circle stays at a steamy 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celcius) year-round. The water is not the milky blue color you see in the Blue Lagoon, but rather more of a natural color.
Myvatn Nature Baths
Located in northeast Iceland, Myvatn Nature Baths is a great soothing getaway for those visiting the lesser crowded northern parts of the island. The geothermal pool is suitable for all ages and includes a swim-up bar with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The baths overlook the Hverfjall volcanic crater and Lake Myvatn.
The Sky Lagoon is one of Iceland’s newest geothermal spas. Located just outside of Reykjavik, the Sky Lagoon features an infinity pool that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. While it has received rave reviews, the Sky Lagoon does not allow children under the age of 12 years old. So if visiting Iceland with kids younger than pre-teens, the Blue Lagoon is a much better thermal pool option.
An alternative option in the far eastern region of Iceland, Vok Baths is a kid-friendly geothermal pool on beautiful Lake Urriðavatn. Located 3 miles northwest of Egilsstaðir, it is one of the few hot springs in this part of the country. Unlike the water in the other lagoons, the hot water at Vok Baths is so pure it is certified as drinkable, so no worries if your little one unintentionally ingests some.
Conclusion: Is the Blue Lagoon worth visiting?
YES! That is the shortest possible answer to the question ‘Is the Blue Lagoon worth it?” It is such a unique experience, and although expensive, you’ll love every minute of your visit. We spent at least two hours roaming around the lagoon, having drinks and enjoying quality time. Afterwards, we had dinner in the cafe at the Blue Lagoon before heading back to Reykjavik.
If you don’t want to eat in the cafe, there is also the nicer Lava Restaurant where you can have lunch or dinner with a great view. You can also stay at one of several nearby hotels if you don’t want to drive an hour to Reykjavik after your relaxing soak in the lagoon.
Do you have questions other than “Is the Blue Lagoon worth it?” We’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts or questions in the comments below.
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This post which answers the question Is the Blue Lagoon worth it? was first written in August 2019 and was updated in May 2022 for accuracy and current information.