Reykjavik, Iceland 2023: Best Places to Visit (with Map & Photos)

Reykjavik is the capital and one of the communities of Iceland, also called the "tourist gate" of the country. Although the city is the largest on the island, it can be explored on foot in less than a day. Its compact size - only 274.5 km² - does not prevent Reykjavik from being an important scientific and economic center. Only here you will have the opportunity to learn one of the most ancient languages ​​of the world, visit an ice cafe and taste ice cream with fish.

Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

What to see in Reykjavik


Hallgrímskirkja


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

In Reykjavik, there are very few houses with unusual architecture or high-rise buildings. Perhaps this is why Hallgrimskirkja - a Lutheran church named after the famous spiritual leader Hallgrimur Pietursson - stands out from other buildings. It rises in the center of the city, like a geyser gushing out of the ground. This similarity is emphasized by the stepped tower shape, which perfectly conveys dynamics. In front of the entrance there is a monument to the discoverers of America - the Vikings. The interior of the church is distinguished by asceticism - there is no gilding and marble statues, but it is this simplicity that is in perfect harmony with the nature of Iceland. Another reason to visit Hallgrimskirkju is the opportunity to see the entire city from above. The entrance to the observation deck is paid (about 350 CZK), but it's worth it.

Höfði House


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

In the northern part of Reykjavik, there is another building worthy of the attention of tourists. This is the old house of Khovdi, the former residence of the French consul. It attracts not by architecture, but by its historical significance - it was here that the Icelandic summit was held in 1986, at which Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan first discussed the possibility of ending the Cold War.

Harpa


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

A fine example of modern architecture and at the same time the focus of the city's cultural life is the Harpa Concert Hall, whose name is translated from Icelandic as "harp". Instead of the usual concrete walls, it has cells with multi-colored glass panels. Such an unusual solution made it possible to create the impression of lightness and airiness, and the refracted rays of the sun cast bright glare. At night, the building is illuminated with LEDs, which makes it smart and colorful. Harp hosts exhibitions, congresses, conferences, and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra gives concerts here. The exhibition center is also dear to local residents as a symbol of change for the better, a kind of "beacon of hope". The fact is that its creation coincided with the onset of the financial crisis, because of which the project was under the threat of a prolonged "freeze".

Parliament building


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

Icelanders are very proud of their parliament (Alþingi), because during its entire existence (just over 1000 years), it has never been disbanded. It sits in an old building, the façade of which is decorated with bas-reliefs depicting the spirits that patronize the country, namely an eagle, a dragon, a bull and a giant with a club.

Reykjavik Maritime Museum Vikin


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

The history of Iceland is inextricably linked with shipping, so to get to know this country better, you should definitely visit the Vikin Maritime Museum. In it you can see how people have succeeded in conquering the seas - the exhibition presents samples from the first rowing boats to cargo ships capable of making intercontinental voyages. For example, visitors can enter the reconstructed deck of the steamboat Gullfoss, from where they descend onto a pier specially created in one of the museum's halls. Beneath it is sea water - it comes from the harbor. The highlight of the museum is the coast guard ship "One". It can be studied, as they say, from the inside: go up to the deck, go down to the cockpit, examine the control panel. Children will also love a visit to the Sæfari boat - here you can feel like a real sea wolf, dressed up in a sailor's uniform.

Perlan


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

The pearl of Reykjavik in the literal sense of the word is the building of the city boiler house and cultural center Perlan, erected on the hill of the same name. In shape, it resembles a chamomile, while each of its petals is a reservoir of hot water from thermal springs. There is a shopping and entertainment center in the central part. There are souvenir shops, a winter garden, and going up the observation tower, you can see the panorama of the city. Perlan Hill is the highest point in the capital. There is also a restaurant under a transparent dome. Its visitors can enjoy the views of Iceland: the floor rotates in it (it makes a full revolution in two hours). One of the empty tanks is reserved for The Saga Museum. It is dedicated to the history and culture of Icelanders, which are demonstrated in a rather original way: using wax figures. Marvelous,

Kaffi Reykjavik Bar


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

One of the most exotic places in the city is the Kaffi Reykjavik bar. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the building is built of ice blocks, and the same frozen glacial water serves as the material for the glasses. Thermal raincoats are issued to visitors as the room temperature is kept at -5 ° C. The bar is located in the very center of the city, so it is always full of guests.

Phallological Museum


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

There are quite a few museums in Reykjavik, but among them there are those that can truly surprise and even shock. We are talking about the Phallological Museum, whose exhibits are nothing more than male genitals. Shown here are the body parts of all animal species found in Iceland and beyond. Visitors have a unique opportunity to see the penises of an elephant, a hamster (you need a magnifying glass to see it), a whale, a brown bear, and so on. In addition, the museum can be proud of samples of phallic art: both products made from penises and scrotums, and their artistic embodiment in painting and sculpture. After inspecting the entire exposition, tourists can visit a souvenir shop and buy a souvenir: magnets, sweets, books - and all related topics.

Blue Lagoon


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

While vacationing in Reykjavik, you should definitely set aside a day and go to the unique Blue Lagoon spa resort, which is located just 40 km from the city. Geothermal springs, saturated with salts and trace elements, color the water in an unearthly blue-white color. Bathing in natural baths with temperatures reaching 40 ° C is very healthy and has a rejuvenating effect.

Nauthólsvík beach


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

Reykjavik has many spas, but the suburban geothermal beach of Nautholsvik remains a favorite destination for locals and a tourist attraction. Here you can swim in the hot outdoor pool. The water temperature in the sea lagoon is kept within 15-20 ° C, and in the baths it rises to 30-39 ° C. The complex has everything you need for a comfortable stay: showers, changing rooms, shops with soft drinks.

Videy Island


Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

Iceland's huge advantage is that even while in the capital, people are not cut off from nature. So, half a kilometer from the city, separated from it by the Videyarsund Strait, is the small island of Videy. In translation, its name means "island of trees", but the paradox is that there are no trees here: instead of them, the austere landscape is decorated with daisies and caraway seeds.

In addition to the beautiful views, there are several other attractions on the island that are worth seeing. Firstly, these are ancient settlements that can tell a lot about the history of the country, the national characteristics of Iceland. In addition, it is here that the famous Imagine the World Tower is located, created in memory of John Lennon by his wife. Tourists will not find here the traditional construction of concrete and metal - these are six floodlights directing columns of light upward. Their power is so great that on cloudless days the rays reach a height of about 4 km. The name of the monument is not accidental - it is these words from the song of the great musician that are engraved around a white pedestal.

Reykjavik Map