Price of Swimming in Reykjavík Doubles in Ten Years Skip to content

Price of Swimming in Reykjavík Doubles in Ten Years

By Ragnar Tómas

Laugardalslaug geothermal swimming pool in Reykjavík
Photo: Golli. Laugardalslaug swimming pool.

The price of admission to Reykjavík’s public swimming pools has significantly increased over the past decade, although the pools are now open longer than in 2014. Over ten years, the price of a single adult ticket has doubled, Mbl.is reports.

Admissions hike in 2016

The tagline to the 2022 documentary Swimming Pool Stories goes as follows: “The Russians have their vodka. The Finns have their saunas. And the Icelanders have their pools.” Indeed, the local pools in Iceland are not only places of community, relaxation, and exercise – but also a venue for residents to engage in lively conversations about current affairs.

The price of admission to the public pools in Reykjavík has doubled over the past decade, whereas a ca. 50% price level change has occurred between 2014 and 2024, according to a quick calculation on Statistics Iceland.

In a written response to an inquiry from Mbl.is, Steinþór Einarsson, Office Manager for the Administrative Office of Reykjavík City, stated that the price increase had largely followed inflation trends; in 2016, however, the single adult fee was substantially raised to generate revenue from tourists. 

As noted by Mbl.is, the price of a single adult ticket has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2014, a single ticket cost ISK 600 [$4.31/€4.02] compared to ISK 1,330 [$9.54/€8.92] today. Steinþór noted that the largest increase occurred in 2016 when the fee rose from ISK 650 [$4.66/€4.36] to ISK 900 [$6.46/€6.04], a move intended to draw revenue from tourists. 

Read More: Pooling Together (On Iceland’s Swimming Pool Culture)

The annual pass for adults has increased by nearly ISK 15,000 [$107.64/€100.60]: it cost ISK 30,000 [$215.29/€201.21] in 2014 and costs ISK 44,480 [$319.20/€298.34] today. Despite this increase for adults, the admission fee for children has only slightly increased; in 2014, children up to six years old could swim for free, whereas children up to fifteen years old have free access to swimming pools today.

In 2014, the single fee for children and teenagers was ISK 130 [$0.93/€0.87], and the annual pass was ISK 10,000 [$71.75/€67.07]. Today, the single fee for teenagers is ISK 205 [$1.47/€1.38], and the annual pass costs ISK 13,000 [$93.28/€87.20]. 

General extension of opening hours

In 2014, all Reykjavík swimming pools were open for 93.5 hours a week, with the exception of Laugardalslaug, which was open for 105.5 hours a week.

As noted by Mbl.is, Árbæjarlaug, Breiðholtslaug, Dalslaug, Grafarvogslaug, and Vesturbæjarlaug are currently open for 101.5 hours a week, while Laugardalslaug and Sundhöll Reykjavíkur are open for 103.5 hours a week. Overall, the opening hours of all pools have increased compared to 2014, except for Laugardalslaug, which is open two hours less per week than in 2014.

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