When thinking of city trips Reykjavík might not spring to mind as there’s so many geysers, waterfalls and stunning landscapes to go see elsewhere on the island. That’s a shame as the city has a lot to offer. The capital is cute, compact and there is A LOT TO DO. I preciously shared my favourite food and drink spots and today I’m sharing some highlights of things to see and do in the most northern capital in the world.
360 ° view from the Hallgrímskirkja
Not just an impressive architectural sight, Reykjavik’s iconic Hallgrímskirkja is the place to go for the best bird’s eye view of the city. They say the layered curves and ridges were inspired by glaciers and theIceland’s landscape, but it looked more ribbed for pleasure to me (sorry!)
Walk Around the centre
The center of Reykjavik is not very big but it’s perfect for a little stroll, checking out the cute houses and engaging in some (window) shopping. This is also the place to hunt for the iconic Iceland sweater…until you realise how much they actually cost and just leave with a key chain.
Relax at the pool
Blue Lagoon sounds great, but also expensive and crowded. A cheaper alternative is to go to one of the many geothermal swimming pools around the city. In Iceland, hot water comes straight out of the ground so the locals make most just of it, when life gives you lemons!
What is this marvellous looking structure by the old harbor? Well, from the outside it could be an art museum, a fancy hotel, media hub, but it’s actually a conference/concert hall. With many reflections, slick angled staircases and lego-like windows, your camera will overload (it was also in a recent Black Mirror episode!).
Check out the street art
For such a small centre, there’s a surprising amount of murals and street art to discover in its (side) streets, so open your eyes and keep your head up for some visual treats.
Take the ferry to Viðey (Videy) island
If you’ve had enough of ‘busy’ central Reykjavik you can escape to this island for the day. There is dramatic, sweeping landscape, cute cottages and moody beaches. But the swing with a view was my highlight …
Free Walking Tour
City Walks offers various tours, including a free walking tour where you’ll learn all about the history of Iceland, the evolution of Reykjavík as a town and Icelandic culture.
Check Out the Museums
The National Museum will take you on a journey through Iceland’s history with surprisingly charming interactive videos. The only downside for me was that there wasn’t enough details as I wanted to know more. There is also the Reykjavik Art Museum, which hold some things that make Bjork seem tame. If you want it less traditional why not check out the Icelandic Phallological Museum (it’s much bigger in real life I swear) or the The Icelandic Museum of Rock ‘n’ Roll?
Go to a concert
There’s much more to the Icelandic music scene than Bjork, Sigur Rós and Of Monsters and Men. For a small city it definitely has a big music scene, especially Airwaves, where sometimes don’t know what you are going to get, you might end up seeing a 14-18 all female hip hop formation. You won’t understand a word they say, but feel it’s #GIRLPOWER