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The Ultimate Guide to Akureyri, Iceland

No matter what time of year you visit Akureyri, there's always plenty of fun-filled things to do. Here's a list of the best attractions, accommodation and most popular things to do in Akureyri, the 'Capital of the North'.

Things to do in Akureyri

Arctic Coast Way

The picturesque Arctic Coast Way is a newly-christened, 900 km touring route in North Iceland, which features in Lonely Planet's "Best in Europe 2019 Guide". A lesser-visited coastline than its southern counterpart, the scenery is equally dramatic and inspiring. Discover winding roads that hug clifftops, trace peninsulas and skirt deserted beaches. Encounter the locals in the 21 tiny villages that dot the route. Visit in spring or summer when the coast is bathed in the golden light of the midnight sun. Or early autumn with the chance of experiencing glimpses of the aurora.

Kaffi Kú

Kaffi Kú is a small family-run coffee shop and bar located on the Garður farm in Eyjafjord rural area. It opened in 2011 and has since then become one of local’s favourite. What makes the coffee shop very special is that it is located in the loft of one of Iceland’s largest and technically advanced cowsheds. You are not only visiting a coffee shop, but you’ll get to see first hand how modern farms in Iceland operate.

Dog Sledding

GoHusky in Akureyri offers various dog sledding experiences with huskies in Akureyri area. You can choose between several tours including Dog sledding, Hiking with Husky and Petting and Pictures. It is amazing to find the power of the dogs and see how they work with their nature.

Book your dog sledding tour 

Guided Walk around Akureyri

Numerous possibilities are available for hiking in and around Akureyri. Within the town limits there are many interesting recreation areas and hiking paths. For those who like to go up into the heights we recommend a walk up to the mountain Súlur raising 1214 meters over the sea level or the highest mountain in the fjord Kerling (1538). 

Laufas Turf Homes

Laufás turf house in Eyjafjörður is a must visit while travelling in North Iceland. Built from the earth, these picturesque buildings date back to 1865 and among its special items is a pulpit from 1698. The current farmhouse is a good example of a wealthy vicarage from 1853-1882 furnished with household items and utensils from the period. One of Laufás characteristics is the bride´s chamber where women prepared for the big event. At the Visitor Centre you will find plenty of information about nature and history of the countryside, a handcraft and souvenir shop and a café in a cosy atmosphere.

Horseback Riding

Go horseback riding on the sturdy and friendly Icelandic horse in the beautiful nature of North Iceland. This adventure is the ideal choice for horse lovers, families and groups wanting to experience the Icelandic landscape on horseback, just as the Icelandic people have done since the Age of Settlement.

Book your Horse Riding tour 

Whale Watching

The seas surrounding Akureyri and Eyjafjörður are teeming with sea creatures, most notably whales and other cetacean species such as dolphins and porpoises. Most common sightings are that of humpback whales, harbour porpoises, minke whales and dolphins. Encounters with rare species such as blue whales and orcas are much more commonplace in the North of Iceland, making it the perfect destination to take to the sea and search for its gentle giants.

Book your Whale Watching tour 

Akureyri Church

Akureyri church is the symbol of the North, as it towers over the centre of the city. Climb the steps to the front door and witness the beautiful building towering over downtown. It was consecrated in 1940 and since then, has always been the biggest trademark symbol of this little city.

Northern Lights

If you're visiting the 'capital' of north Iceland, Akureyri, during the winter time, you definitely need to take the time to search for Iceland’s famous northern lights. Going out into the dark, frozen winter night to observe an unbelievable display of colours, light and textures is like waking up in a fairy-tale full of mystery and magic.

Book your Northern Lights tour 

Places to stay in Akureyri

Hótel Akureyri

A micro hotel in North Iceland, Hotel Akureyri was first established in 1990 and offers 19 comfortable and beautifully decorated rooms. For 2020, the hotel will be opening a new building just one house away which will offer 16 double rooms on two floors. Hotel Akureyri is also planning a 33 room & restaurant addition to its original building for which construction has already started.

Book Hotel Akureyri 

Centrum Guesthouse

Centrum Guesthouse is located in the city centre and therefore very close to many of the city´s attractions. Guest kitchen can be found in the common area with a stove, microwave oven, fridge and cutlery. There it is also possible to go online, watch TV or just enjoy a good book in a cosy atmosphere.

Book Centrum Guesthouse

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

A comfy base camp for experiencing and enjoying Iceland's beautiful North. Icelandair Hotel Akureyri is a friendly hotel, with tastefully decorated, bright rooms and inviting facilities. The view from the hotel is magnificent. Guests are near natural wonders, and some of Iceland's best skiing, as well as the cultural life in the capital of the North. The warm geothermal swimming pool is just across the street, and the center of Akureyri is only a short walk away.

Book Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

Places to Eat in Akureyri

Verksmiðjan Restaurant

This family restaurant is one of the city’s most popular for its location within the shopping mall Glerártorg. It offers a huge selection of food including steak, burgers and pizza and plenty of parking options. Over two floors, the restaurants seats up to 150 people with booths and traditional table settings as well as big screens for displaying different sporting events.

Kaffi og List Café

Found in the Akureyri Art Museum, this small but tasteful café seats up to 30 people and offers some of the city’s best cake and coffee. Many visitors have described it as one of the best ‘hidden treasures’ of Akureyri.

Noa Seafood Restaurant

The restaurant Örkin hans Nóa specializes in fresh seafood. The house is on the spot where the main harbour was located around 1900 and where the heart of trade and services took place. This restaurant is considered one of the best in the area, placing first on Tripadvisor and other review sites.

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