Iceland’s capital Reykjavik is a curious and eclectic city. Home to almost two thirds of the population you’ll find the majority of the country’s most popular activities on offer in the city. Located on the pristine shores of Faxafloi Bay Reykjavik blends old with new in exquisite balance with modern wonders such as the sleek glass design of its concert hall Harpa and the iconic Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral. Vibrantyouthful and with an energetic nightlife Reykjavik is the perfect base for both city excitement and outdoor exploration.
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Reykjavik
Laugavegur — The undoubted heart of Reykjavik shop until you drop in Laugavegur then take your pick of the restaurants. The establishments here all offer a warm Icelandic welcome. However if you still feel chilly try the schnapps! Icelanders head out late which is when Laugavegur transforms into a pulsating hub of bars and clubs.
Arbaer — A quiet natural suburb of Reykjavik Arbaer is ideal for exploring Iceland’s great outdoors without needing to travel too far. Grab your camera and follow the Ellidaar river towards the volcanic craters of the Red Hills lava fields before stopping to meet the friendly folk at the open-air Historical Museum of Reykjavik.
Hafnarfjordur — Situated a few miles south of central Reykjavik Hafnarfjordur is a gentle suburb with a charming harbour and pretty park. Though quiet the district comes into its own during summer when visitors pour in for its Bright Days Film and Music Festival and for the summer solstice Viking Festival. Don’t forget your tankard and horned helmet!
Kopavogur — Often mistaken as part of Reykjavik Kopavogur is actually a city of its own but it is right on Reykjavik’s doorstep. Literally meaning ‘seal pup bay’ Kopavogur is less wild than Reykjavik by night but has a number of excellent museums such as the Gerdarsafn Contemporary Art Museum.
Things to See in Reykjavik
Reykjavik is packed with sightseeing curiosities such as the Sun Voyager sculpture on the city’s sculpture and shore walk. Shaped like a Viking longboat the sculpture is an obvious take on the city’s Nordic heritage. Meanwhile don’t miss the bizarre but beautiful Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral. Looking as though it was erupted by one of Iceland’s volcanoes its ragged rocket shaped tower is an unmistakable icon of the city skyline. Finally no trip to Reykjavik would be complete without witnessing the Aurora Borealis. Marvel in awe at this amazing natural light show with a Northern Lights Ocean Cruise.
Things to Do in Reykjavik
If you’re feeling really brave the Silfra Fissure diving experience allows you to see this volcanic island from beneath its crystal clear waters. If that sounds a bit chilly book a ticket and transport to the Blue Lagoon instead – these stunning hot springs are tinted cerulean blue by natural minerals that bubble up from far below the Earth’s crust. While Reykjavik is often associated with the sea you can also see Iceland from the air with a tandem paragliding trip along its rugged volcanic coast offering exquisite views that are completely unique to this beautiful icy nation.
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