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Reykjavik: the Capital City

Iceland’s biggest city, Reykjavik bears the distinction of being the world’s northernmost capital, and for virtually every Icelandic visitor it serves as a gateway, to both the city itself and the rugged countryside beyond.

Iceland’s capital city is also a terrific base from which to experience some of the island’s breathtakingly beautiful natural wonders, such as the famous Blue Lagoon geothermic spa, The Northern Lights or The Golden Circle; where you’ll witness spouting geysers, waterfalls, rift valleys and more. Whatever way you choose to spend your time in Reykjavík, this is one city break that is truly unique.

Founded in the country’s southwest at the end of the 18th century, Reykjavik has been Iceland’s cultural hub ever since. These days, that culture includes a hip and internationally recognised music and arts scene, not to mention a notoriously wild nightlife. It’s vibrant cultural and design scene also includes plenty of exciting adventure tours, modern museums, world-class restaurants, galleries, shops, bars and clubs for you to explore throughout your stay.

Things to do in Reykjavik

Shopping in Reykjavik

There are an abundance of shopping streets to choose from in Reykjavik but the most well-known is Laugavegur, considered Iceland’s single coolest street and the very best for shopping! Laugavegur, which translates to “Wash Road,” was once the route to the hot springs where many Icelanders would take their clothes to launder. Now, the street is a place where you can quite easily spend your money on clothes, homeware, accessories and many other cool Icelandic goodies!

Reykjavik Nightlife

Iceland is famous for many things, but its nightlife is one that never ceases to impress. Amazingly, beer only became legal in Iceland in 1989, and every weekend Reykjavik’s small population of 120,000 does its best to make up for lost time. An eclectic collection of bars and clubs have opened up across downtown Reykjavik, all of them oozing style and character. With the knowledge that all the bars and clubs are within walking distance from one another and the fact that Iceland is known for being one of the safest countries in the world, what better place for a night out could you ask for?

Eating in Reykjavik

In today's Iceland, you can find almost anything your culinary heart desires. Restaurants around the country offer a wide variety of both foreign and Icelandic dishes, inspired by the ingredients found in nature. Most traditional Icelandic dishes will contain the likes of fish, lamb and the Icelandic skyr. Once again, Reykjavik doesn’t disappoint with an abundance of cafes, restaurants and bars to eat at as well as most of the city centre hotels offering their own in-house restaurants for those that don’t fancy going out for the night.

Whale Watching

At the Old Harbour in Reykjavik, you can jump aboard one of our fantastic Iceland whale watching tours to see the incredible wealth of marine wildlife just off Reykjavík’s shores. This tour is a must for nature-lovers and fits perfectly into a busy holiday. We take you straight from the capital city’s harbour into the middle of the ocean to get the best views of Iceland’s beautiful marine wildlife. If you would like to book one of our Iceland Whale Watching yours, click here or contact us today.

Best Sights in Reykjavik

Hallgrimskirkja Church

Considered Reykjavik’s main landmark, Hallgrimskirkja church towers above the city and can be seen from almost any point in the capital. It was designed by the late Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937, who was often inspired in his endeavours by the fascinating shapes and forms created when lava cools into basalt rock. The church features, most notably, a gargantuan pipe organ designed and constructed by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn.

The Sun Voyager

Another iconic landmark within the city, the Sun Voyager sits on the coast and was constructed to mark the 200th birthday of the city of Reykjavík on August 18, 1990. Designed by artist Jón Gunnar, the statue is built of stainless steel and is the artist’s interpretation of a dreamboat and ode to the sun. Jón’s intention was to give the city something that inspired dreams and imagination and symbolizes light and hope.

The Old Harbour

As well as being the place where you can adventure off coast on some incredible Whale Watching tours, Reykjavik’s Old Habour is worth seeing for its colourful buildings, boats and atmosphere. Around the harbour, you can also find some wonderful shops, eating spots and the city’s best dark-roasted coffee.

Book your Reykjavik City Break today at Iceland Holidays here or contact us at info@icelandholidays.com

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