When you get visitors you always want to show them around town, but since we haven’t lived here for very long we of course don’t know a lot about Reykjavík. Still you feel like you want to show your visitor the sights. So I got to thinking about the places I have enjoyed during our exploring of Reykjavík, and I decided to make a list. Since I don’t really have any favourites the list will be completely random.
- Since my great passion in life is architecture I of course have to have the concert hall Harpa on my list. This is such an amazing building both from the outside and also on the inside. I don’t care if it was super expensive and probably they shouldn’t have built it. I thinking it’s the most spectacular building in Reykjavík. One of the best parts about it is the “northern light” show they have during the night, it’s something you must see when you’re visiting.
- Hallgrímskirkjais another building that fascinates me.
It’s not a very old building, the construction of the church began in 1945 and it took 38 years to finish it. On the inside it’s not very decorated, but it’s still something special. The church is the largest in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland with a height of 74,5 meters. One of the best parts of visiting the church is going up in the tower and looking at the 360° view of the town. It’s a must!
- If you like viewing points Perlan is another building you should definitely check out. The building itself is made out of old hot water storage tanks. On top of the tanks there has been placed a hemispherical structure. Guess that’s the pearl 😉
- Another building you should visit when in Reykjavík is Ráðhús Reykjavíku (city hall). The building itself is kind of cool, and the location of it with the lake next to it is very nice. But the best part of it is the 70 m² topographical model of Iceland. It is so cool!
- Close to the city centre of Reykjavík there’s a small island called Grótta,
and on the island there is a lighthouse and a little keeper’s houses. The lighthouse was built in 1945 and is 24 meters high. This island and lighthouse is kind of unique in that you can walk across the beach to get a close-up look at it, but only during low tide. So you always have to make sure when the tide changes or your visit might last considerably longer than you have planned 😉 First time we went there it was high tide and impossible to access. We were standing there wondering how people got out there. Then we found the tide schedule and figured out that we had just gotten there at the wrong time of day.
- There is one more viewing point I very much like,
and that is from the mountain Úlfarsfell. The mountain is located just outside of Reykjavík and it’s not a very high mountain, still if you go up there you can get a very nice view over the city. My favourite time of day to go up there is during the evening when the sun has gone down and it’s getting dark. Then you see the town glow! It’s very beautiful.
- Since fashion is also one of my many passions I of course enjoy shopping. The shopping street in down town Reykjavík is pretty nice, but I still prefer the shopping mall Kringlan or possibly Smáralind. But if you’re only in town for a visit I would say that you have to talk a walk down the shopping street, just to look around. There are some very nice buildings and of course some very nice stores. Even if I now permanently live in Iceland the thing I enjoy the most is the tourist stores, and the best ones of those can be found down town.
- Another place to do a little shopping is that the Kolaportid flea market which is located in the old harbour area. It’s open every weekend and they sell everything from vintage clothing, used books, DVDs, toys, antiques and a lot more. Even if you’re not here to shop I would still recommend you to visit it, even if it is just to walk around looking at the people 😉
- The sculpture garden behind the Einar Jónsson Museum is also a place worth visiting. It’s open all year round and it’s free entrance. The garden isn’t very big, but still nice. The museum is probably also worth a visit, but since I haven’t been in there myself I can’t really say anything about it. To be honest I haven’t been to any museum in Reykjavík, at least not yet. But some of them are on my to do list 🙂
- If you like animals I can recommend a visit to the Reykjavík zoo & family park outside of town. They of course only have Icelandic animals, but it’s still a very nice park and it’s a great place for the kids, with lots of activities!
This was all I could come up with for the time being. But am sure the list will be updated some time later on. But if you’re in Reykjavík all you need to do to find something to look at or something to do is take a walk in town and not just stay on the shopping streets 😉 My advice to anyone visiting a new city is; try to get lost, that’s usually when you find all the good places!