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About city Gallery Where to stay

The world‘s northernmost capital Reykjavík is also the heart of Iceland. It’s a city that had soaked up all of the best Viking traditions, preserved legends about trolls, and enchants with its calm northern temperament.

Reykjavík has been the capital of Iceland since 1944. The country’s largest city was founded around 874 AD. The settlement was established at the same spot where the first Norwegians arrived a long time ago. Now it’s the country’s main harbour, situated near the Faxaflói Bay. It also has an international airport. Reykjavík and its surroundings are home to around two thirds of Iceland’s industry. It’s got well-developed fish-processing, shipping, food, and light industries. The city is also home to a university and several meteorology and volcanology institutes.

Reykjavik Mountains at Sunrise
Photo taken by Flickr | JackPeasePhotography.  Reykjavik Mountains at Sunrise

Reykjavík is the country’s largest and most populated city. Compared to other world-capitals, though, it’s a fairly small – with a population of only about 120,000 people. It is, however, a real melting pot – today’s Reykjavík is home to people from at least 100 different countries. Poles, Lithuanians and Danes comprise the largest ethnic groups here.

The centre of the city is rather modest in size. Since most of the locals live in brightly painted private houses, the outskirts of the city are quite extensive.

City attractions are also located in the centre, so seeing them will require neither transportation, nor lots of time.

One of the most famous attractions is the Church of Hallgrímur – the highest building in all of Iceland. Take the elevator to the top and you’ll see the entire city. The church tower is around 73 metres high. The church is involved in educational activities, providing employment for youth and senior citizens, and supplying religious education.

Hallgrimskirkja Tower Iceland
Photo taken by David Stanley /flickr.com/creativecommons.  Hallgrimskirkja Tower Iceland

Here’s a handful of other worthy attractions: the Reykjavík Cathedral, the Parliament, the Leif Erikson memorial statue, and the National Museum of Iceland, which has been guarding a button collection since the Middle Ages.

The National Museum of Iceland was established way back in 1863. Here you can see Iceland’s real treasures, get acquainted with the national culture, people’s lifestyles and history from ancient times to this day.

Fireworks in Reykjavik
Photo taken by Flickr | Borkur Sigubjornsson.  Fireworks in Reykjavik

Harpa – the residence of Iceland’s national opera and symphony orchestra – is also worth a visit. This conference centre and concert hall hosts various events, national- and international-level business meetings, conferences, exhibitions, concerts, etc. Here you can take a special tour that will allow you to see the building from all sides, and relay the history of its building and development. This impressive structure is located a little further away from the city centre. The building’s glass walls reflect the city, various light sources and the city’s contrasting narrow streets.

Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Photo taken by Greenland Travel /flickr.com/creativecommons.  Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Nature enthusiasts should also visit the Laugardalur Park, also known as the Hot Spring Valley. Here you’ll find a youth hostel, a camping place and Reykjavík largest thermal pool, where you can swim year-round. You can also enjoy the local botanical garden free of charge. Furthermore, the Laugardalur Park is home to the Family Park and Zoo that’s open year-round, and where you can see some of Iceland’s native animals.

Where to stay

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