Reykjavík: the capital of arctic

Reykjavík: the capital of arctic

It is safe to say that Reykjavík is definitely my favorite city. It is a place where liver two-thirds of Icelanders and it might not have that many sights, but it has great vibes. Whether you are starting your adventure here or finishing, it has the relax Icelandic vibe with sparks of adventures in it. If it would be me, I would definitely make sure to have at least two days for visiting Reykjavík.

Sights not to miss

Reykjavík is a relatively new city so it might seem like a place that is not necessary to visit – and if you feel like just visiting nature, maybe you shouldn’t. But otherwise, it pays to spend a weekend here.

Reykjavík from the top
When visiting Reykjavík, don’t forget to go up the Halgrimskirkja and see the whole city

Hallgrímskirkja – is the most famous church in the whole of Iceland. It is the big one that sort of looks like a rocket. It used to be the biggest building in the city but it changes when businesses grow big in Iceland and skyscrapers were needed. Either way, the entrance to the ground levels are for free, for going up you need to pay about 900ISK. I definitely recommend doing it, you don’t see the capital of arctic that often from that point of view. It is quite a nice view because you will actually see how colorful the buildings around are.

Harpa – Harpa is a must when visiting Reykjavík. It is a concert hall. However, it is free to venture in and out in the common area even when there is no concert. During the night it usually has quite charming lights.

Solfar Sun Voyager – Very popular sculpture in Reykjavík. It is the “sort of” boat sculpture not so far away from Harpa. I recommend watching the sunset there.

Hofdi house – also known as the house of peace as it is the place where the cold war between USA and Russia have ended. You cannot really get in, but if you go around, there is basically boards which will explain what happened and why in Iceland. Also, it is just a few meters from the Solfar Sun Voyager.

Imagine peace tower – Since we are at the topic of peace. This tower is like a memorial to John Lennon. Every year Yoko Ono comes to Iceland to light up this tower that will burn a pillar of light into the sky. It lights up on John Lennon’s birthday (8.10) and turns off on the day of his death (in December). Visiting in these months will give you the special occasion to watch northern lights and Peace tower at once.

Museums

whale museum
Whale Museum in Reykjavik with whales in their life size

Perlan museum – This is a very new museum of glaciers and Ice. Ever since it’s opening it is very popular. Except for the great interior, you will get to know more about glaciers and ice age. Also, how it works with geothermal energy and glaciers. And that climate change is a thing.

Whales of Iceland – this is a magnificent exhibition. It might be a bit too expensive to get there, but it is worth it. You will see all the whales that you can meet around Iceland in their life-size, listen to their voices while going through the museum. It is one of the best museums when visiting Reykjavík.

Museum of penises – Yes, it is a thing. For some reason, Iceland does have the museum of penises. You can see there about 300 specimens. Usually dried or in a jar. You will also get to know interesting facts about this organ and you will see what are people usually making out of it. As bizarre as it sounds, it is definitely fun to visit.

A piece of nature?

Just because we are in a city, doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy nature.

Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach – it is one of the very few beaches in Iceland, where you can bathe without freezing. Nautholsvik is quite far from the city, however, for bathing and fine dining around it could be a great half day trip.

Tjornin Pond – Place where you get to see another great view of Reykjavík. Other than that it is great for bird watching when visiting Reykjavík – even it’s an urban part.

Eskja – Eskja would be the mount behind every view in Iceland. If you have a spare day, go for it and hike it. There are city buses going to the place of a hike, so it is easy to go there and back.

Other activities

Icelandic Airwaves – Iceland is full of artists and so every November is there a huge music festival, where every singer and band from Iceland are playing. Not only from Iceland though. And sometimes they do it for free. It is about finding the right bar. However, if you are visiting Reykjavík at some other time, there is a lot of live music every day. For that, I recommend going either to English pub or to American bar.

Blue lagoon day trip – It could be a day trip, it could be that you want to wait for your plane somewhere else. Blue lagoon might be more expensive, but it is a thing you want to do at least once during your time in Iceland, just for the experience. This hot spa is between Reykjavík and the airport and they are perfectly fine if you decide to wait there for your plane and take all of your bags with you.

Reykjavik
Icelanders are a lot about equality. And you can quite see it everywhere.

Reykjavík pride – Whether you are gay or not, this is quite a fun thing to do. The first week in August one of the street is painted to the colors of the rainbow, there is a huge parade. It is lovely to see that even country that small is very tolerant. Even politicians are usually attending pride.

Last but not least activity. Spot Baktus the cat. Reykjavík is cat city. There are not that many dogs around. But there is one particular cat, that likes the spotlight. His name is Baktus and he is a new hobby of Icelanders. Spot him, post pictures of him on Instagram with a hashtag or his name.

That is it from the Reykajvík. But whether it is start or end of your trip, definitely visit whole Iceland. I have more tips about the south, east and north of Iceland.

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10 Replies to “Reykjavík: the capital of arctic”

  1. I’m going here in a few weeks time, so this is super helpful! I’m so excited, I can’t wait. Iceland has been on my bucket list forever and I just know it’s going to be an amazing trip.

  2. I only spent the evening in Reykjavik when I visited but I can see that I missed some really interesting sights. I will have to add these things to my Iceland wish list for the next time I can visit!

  3. Iceland has been on my bucket list for so long! The blue lagoon trip is of course right at the top of things I want to do there – in fact it’s possibly the main reason that I want to visit. But it seems there is a lot more to do here too 🙂

  4. Reykjavik is one of the most popular places among travelers and you have given a very different angle to the places to visit. It is so interesting to know that they paint the street in colors of the rainbow for the huge parade.

  5. Reykjavík and Iceland, in general, are so high on my bucket list! I’d love to see all the sights you recommended the city look so fun to visit! I love that photo in the museum!

  6. Sounds like some great places to visit in Reykjavik! I’m sure a lot of people have Iceland on their bucket list and I’m definitely one of them ? I’m just worried about the cold! Haha I don’t really like to travel when I’m cold ?

  7. Can’t wait to visit Reykjavík. It’s been on my must-visit list for a while and I need to make it a reality. I’d love to check out the Peace Tower and attend the parade. Didn’t know about the penises museum. That sounds intriguing. Great suggestions. I’m now ready for my trip:)

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