Iceland is one of the most unique destinations on the whole planet. It is quite rare that someone spends a holiday somewhere colder than where they live but that is the case for most people that visit this charming, historical and simply stunning island. The capital of Iceland is the city of Reykjavik. It is both an excellent summer and winter destination which you will find to be completely different experiences depending on when you go. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about Reykjavik…
Hallgrimskirkja Church is one of the most famous landmarks in Reykjavik and can be spotted from most areas of the city. It boasts a very unique architectural style and is certainly worth a few photos from the ground. However, what makes this attraction so popular is the 360 degree views that you can enjoy from the top of the church of the whole of Reykjavik and beyond. There is even a lift that will take you all of the way to the top so you don’t have to navigate hundreds of stairs. The tower is open from 10am to 4:45pm except during Sunday mass and other special events.
Sun Voyager and Reykjavik’s Waterfront
Taking a stroll down to Reykavik’s waterfront and enjoying the extremely scenic views is definitely one of the best things to do when you visit the city. The Sun Voyager is a prominent steel sculpture that resembles a viking longship. It is by far one of the most photographed parts of Reykjavik and you will quite literally see it in a different light depending on the weather when you visit and the time of day (it is also lit-up at night). Walking along the bay you will enjoy beautiful views of the bay as well as Mount Esja in the distance.
Tjörnin (The Pond) is one of the most charming and picturesque parts of the city and it is almost unmissable given its central location. The area strikes a balance between modern urban development that has been happening in the city with the unparalleled beauty of nature within which the city is built. A walk around the pond is the perfect way to spend an afternoon soaking up the sights and sounds of the quiet city. Birdwatching and visiting museums should be on the agenda around the pond and if you are visiting in winter, the pond freezes over allowing Icelandic natives and visitors the chance to do some ice-skating.
Perland, Wonders of Iceland Museum
There are a number of fantastic museums to visit in Reykjavik but perhaps the best is Perland, Wonders of Iceland. It is situated on the highest hill in Reykjavik so even if you don’t go inside the museum, the views from the top will be worth the hike. However, we do highly recommend that you see what the museum has to offer as the experiences inside are quite breathtaking. The museum provides the opportunity to learn more about the origins of Iceland and its famous volcanoes, it has a Northern Lights show which is the next best alternative if you can’t get to see the real thing and you even have the chance to walk inside a real ice tunnel! It is a fun trip out for adults and kids alike.
Outside of Reykjavik
There are plenty of other great things to do and see within Reykjavik but we thought that it is well worth mentioning some of the day (and night) trips that you can do outside of the city. The main, obvious one is the Northern Lights. Most people travel to Iceland and Reykjavik in order to see one of the most fascinating and breathtaking natural phenomena that our planet has to offer. There are plenty of organised trips available to see the northern lights that begin in the city. In other areas of Iceland you can experience amazing waterfalls, get up close to volcanoes, awe at a number of natural glacial creations and much, much more.