You are traveling to Iceland and trying to decide whether a trip to the Blue Lagoon should be in the schedule. It’s a tough call. Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is an iconic stop for all travelers. But the entry fee is pretty darn steep. You are left to wonder ~ is it a tourist trap or totally worthy?
For starters, I’ll be upfront with you. I am NOT going to give you the answer to that question ONLY because I do not want to he held liable for any future regret you may feel. That’s quite a big burden to bear, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that. BUT, I will give you all the info I think you might want to know to help you make the right decision for you (do you see how I’ve absolved myself of responsibility by using those words? pretty good, right…..?). So, read on and share your thoughts, questions, conundrums!
I’m going to assume you know all the basic facts (location, cost, amenities, etc), and are just looking for guidance on deciding “SHOULD I GO???” I asked the very same question prior to our own trip and actually googled “is the Blue Lagoon worth it?” The info I found was not very helpful. So here’s my attempt at being useful……
Is the Blue Lagoon over-priced?
Compared to all other hot spring pools in Iceland, yes, it’s by far the most expensive. However, the facility itself is large, employs a sizeable number of staff (who, I’m assuming, enjoy wonderful personnel benefits, to the great envy of this American girl….), and maintains upscale amenities. I would imagine the operating costs of the Blue Lagoon are high enough to warrant a higher entry fee. So this actually makes sense to me. And your admission fee helps to contribute to the sustained employment of the local community.
I traveled to Iceland with 2 kids, whose entry into the Blue Lagoon was free. Therefore, I rationalized in my mind that 3 of us were getting in for the price of one, and the kids would have “free” bragging rights the rest of their life that they’d been to one of the wonders of the world.
In short, the higher entry fee might seem a reasonable cost depending on a variety of personal factors unique to you (see checklist below).
What is it like inside?
The facilities and the amenities inside the Blue Lagoon are top-notch. Every detail from the check-in desk, shower rooms, pools, cafe, lounge area, and retail shop are high quality. I was channeling a little bit of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, because everything felt a bit too high-class for me. Yet I can see how this would be a draw for those travelers who appreciate finer amenities, more comfort, and attractive design.
The Blue Lagoon is fancy. It’s the ‘Disneyland’ of hot springs.
You won’t find locals using this spring. You will find tourists from every corner of the globe. After 10 full days of driving around the Ring Road in a camper van and visiting local pools and springs, our final day at the Blue Lagoon felt…..out of place. Like we weren’t in Iceland anymore.
My only real complaint during my visit? They didn’t have recycling options!! All of the food available for purchase is pre-made and packaged in plastic containers. I felt sick to my stomach throwing away recyclable items, and wondering how much recyclable waste is accumulated daily with the number of visitors who pass through was almost too much for my brain and heart to process! For such an eco-conscious country, it doesn’t line up. Maybe they separate out the trash at a different facility? But when I asked a staff member about recycling bins, she looked at me like I was crazy, so maybe not….. (BL peeps – if you’re reading this, please add recycling to your operations!)
You Should Visit Iceland’s Blue Lagoon if:
If you answer “Yes” to any of these, perhaps a visit to the Blue Lagoon is in the cards:
- Your visit to Iceland is very short and it’s the only hot spring you can get to
- You have a short layover, and soaking in hot water sounds preferable to trying to rest on airport chairs
- You’re determined to capture a picture of yourself in the blue waters with a facial mud mask for your adoring social media followers
- You just want to be able to say “been there!”
- Your curiosity has gotten the better of you, and you feel you might regret not going
- Your heart tells you it’s an iconic way to start or end your Icelandic adventure
- You’ve returned your rental vehicle/checked out of hotel, your flight doesn’t leave until evening, and you need a place to kick it for a few hours or a whole day
You Should Pass on the Blue Lagoon if:
If you answer “No” to all of the above, and you answer “Yes” to one or more of the following:
- You consider yourself a Traveler and roll your eyes at the word Tourist.
- You don’t like crowds.
- You have the time and ability to journey beyond the city and enjoy other hot spring options
- You’re on a tight budget
I really wish I could give you a simple answer. But it’s just not that easy. Ultimately, it will depend on a variety of factors about your trip, and only you can answer that.
But what I can say is that for us, we had already enjoyed many Icelandic hot springs over the course of 10 days and, in comparison, the Blue Lagoon was my least-favorite spot. It was just far too commercialized for my taste and packed too full of tourists. However, with an evening flight to wait for, and the necessity of returning our camper van in the morning, the Blue Lagoon felt like our only option. But, I suppose, not a bad option to have!
My favorite part of the Blue Lagoon adventure that final day in Iceland was the scenery. And I’m not even talking about the blue milky waters ~ it was the lichen and moss covered rocks which captured my heart!
If you have the wheels and the time, here is a link highlighting the Secret Lagoon, which is a great Blue Lagoon alternative for those seeking a more authentic, casual, and affordable option nearby.
What are your thoughts? What would you do and why?
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