One of the most famous attractions in Iceland has its lovers and its haters, and not much in between.
Before heading to Iceland, I asked Thrifty Traveler followers: Is the Blue Lagoon worth the price, and does it live up to its hype? I got tons of answers on both sides of the spectrum, so I had to find out for myself.
Read on to find out if the Blue Lagoon lives up to its hype.
Buying Tickets to the Blue Lagoon
Before getting into whether Blue Lagoon is worth a visit, let's talk price and what's included. Pricing for the Blue Lagoon will depend on how far in advance you book and what time of day you wish to visit. There are three options for tickets: Comfort, Premium, and Luxury. Here are the typical costs, and what you get with each:
- The general admission ticket.
- Prices generally range from $55 to $99.
- Includes towel, free silica mud mask, and first drink of choice.
- Access to sauna and steam room.
- The slightly upgraded ticket.
- Prices generally range from $80 to $118.
- Includes all Comfort amenities listed above, plus:
- second mask of choice
- table reservation if dining and sparkling wine free.
Luxury: Retreat Spa
- 4-hour exclusive retreat spa package.
- Price is generally $625.
- Includes private changing rooms, first drink of choice free, and access to the private “Retreat Lagoon” within the Blue Lagoon.
- This ticket also grants you access to the “Retreat Spa”, which includes:
- Lava Cove private suite with private lagoon, fireplace, kitchen, butler, on-call chef, masseuse, and yoga instructor. In-water massages starting at $139
- Private steam cave, nest, lava spring, and subterranean fireplace
- Blue Lagoon Ritual: silica, algae, and mineral skincare treatments
Thrifty Tip #1: Be sure to book your Blue Lagoon tickets as far in advance as you can to get the best price. Since it's near the airport, I'd recommend going to the Blue Lagoon the day you arrive or the day you fly out. Our flight departed at 4 p.m., so we visited the Blue Lagoon that morning for a dose of relaxation before our flight home.
I went for the basic Comfort ticket and was satisfied with my decision. I snagged the ticket for about $87 for a 9 a.m. entrance time in early May. If that sounds pricey, it's not … for Iceland, a notoriously expensive country. For comparison, other thermal pools like Myvatn and Secret Lagoon
Thrifty Tip #2: Prices tend to be cheaper in the first and last few hours of Blue Lagoon's open hours. If you're looking to save a bit, choose the cheapest time to visit! There isn't a time limit on how long you can be there, so I'd recommend picking the early morning time. Get your photos before more guests arrive and enjoy a day of relaxation.
What to Expect at the Blue Lagoon
We visited several thermal pools in Iceland, and Blue Lagoon was definitely the fanciest of the bunch. Blue Lagoon has adapted to handle visitor demand.
We checked in, showed our email confirmation, got wristbands and towels, and headed to the locker rooms. There was no line to check in at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in early May – a pleasant surprise!
There were multiple women's locker rooms to accommodate the peak summer surge at Blue Lagoon. But for us in early May, they were all nearly empty. Locker room amenities were clean and sophisticated. The wristband we received upon check-in operated as both the lock for our locker, and a credit card for any purchases during the day.
After exiting the locker rooms before heading into the thermal pool, there is a lounge area with drinks and snacks for sale.
Hold onto the railing down a somewhat slippery ramp into the pool, walk into the hot water, and you're in the Blue Lagoon! We had a beautiful, blue-sky day.
We had been warned to take off jewelry and coat our hair in a special conditioner provided in the locker rooms. And as we entered, I quickly realized why: The silica that gives the Blue Lagoon its gorgeous milky color is a strong mineral. The lagoon didn't have the rotten egg smell some of the other thermal springs of Iceland had, but I definitely noticed its strong mineral effects on my hair (and the one earring I left in!)
The Blue Lagoon isn't just one big pool: There are numerous little alcoves and offshoots where you can swim away from the main large center and enjoy a quieter experience. The lagoon isn't deep at all, and I could touch at all times. I sometimes even crouched down on my knees to stay submerged in the warm water! Dip under these little bridges to relax in an alcove and snap an Insta-worthy pic without any photobombs.
On one side of the lagoon is an alcove that's especially peaceful. This is also right next to the thermal sauna and steam room. If your fingers are starting to prune and you need a break, stop into one of these rooms for a good sweat session.
Food and Drink at the Blue Lagoon
Head to the opposite side of the lagoon and you'll find the bar. Belly up to this floating cabana and get your first drink free – it's included with all tickets. The in-water bar offers juices, smoothies, water, wine, and beer.
Prices range from roughly $5 to $12 but there's no price cap to your first free drink, so pick the pricey one first! I got a banana smoothie, and my friend opted for a beer. There are several water fountains around the Blue Lagoon, so go for something fun instead! If you want a second beverage, simply scan your wristband and pay upon exit.
There is a fancy Lava Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon, but if you're on a budget, I'd skip this one. You can also get snacks or smaller packaged entrees like you'd see at an airport stand inside the Blue Lagoon lounge area.
Thrifty Tip #3: Prices were unsurprisingly expensive, so if you plan to stay for multiple hours, I'd recommend packing your own snacks and refillable water bottle. We stayed at the Blue Lagoon from 9 a.m. to a little after noon, and then just made lunch in our camper van in the Blue Lagoon parking lot.
Face Masks at the Blue Lagoon
All tickets also include a complimentary silica mud mask. This mask felt amazing! It spreads on easily and has a cool, tingling sensation. Keep out of eyes and wash off in the Blue Lagoon after 10-15 minutes. Additional algae mud masks, mineral masks, and lava scrubs are available for roughly $7 to $9, which can also be charged on your wristband and paid for as you leave.
Is the Blue Lagoon Worth It?
Everyone will have their own preferences, but I think visiting the Blue Lagoon is a great way to either start or end your trip to Iceland. And here's why.
- It's close to the airport, so it's a great start your trip or cap it with day of relaxation before boarding your flight home.
- It seems expensive, but the cheapest dates and times start at $55, so book a cheap time in the morning and make a half-day spa day out of it! For comparison, the other most popular hot springs in Iceland aren't much cheaper: The Secret Lagoon is $25 and Myvatn Nature Baths are between $35 and $40.
- Other hot springs in Iceland don't offer the same amenities and complimentary items as the Blue Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon and Myvatn Nature Baths mentioned above don't include a towel, free drink, or mud mask.
- I'm sure the Blue Lagoon can get packed during peak summer, when most tourists visit Iceland. But it's tough to describe just how large the Blue Lagoon is. And you can avoid the worst crowding by going during the shoulder seasons (May and September-October) and booking a morning time to beat the crowds.
I spent $87 for a relaxing morning (with no time limit!) in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, enjoying a complimentary smoothie and mud mask and soaking in the mineral benefits. We went the thrifty route and explored all of Iceland by camper van, so I didn't mind splurging a bit for the last hot springs of our trip.
If the Blue Lagoon doesn't seem like a good fit for you, don't fret! There are plenty of other thermal pools and hot springs to explore in Iceland, like the Secret Lagoon, Myvatn Nature Baths, and many more.
But if you've only got a few days in Iceland or want to visit several of the pools Iceland has to offer, Blue Lagoon can easily be worth the cost and hype. It may not be a hidden gem, but it may be exactly what you need to relax and enjoy your last day in Iceland.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.