Top 10 sights to visit in Iceland capital – Reykjavík
Even though Reykjavík isn´t a very big city it has a lot to offer and there are many lovely sites to visit. We have put together a list of ten sites but of course there is much more to see and do in the Iceland capital of the north!
1. Hallgrímskirkja church
One of the most iconic buildings in Reyjavík is Hallgrímskirkja church. You can see it almost wherever you are and it is among the highest buildings in Iceland. You can go up to the tower and enjoy the magnificent view over the city and surroundings. The church itself is beautiful and the organ is a work of art. To learn more about the church, go here
2. Perlan (The Pearl)- The queen in Iceland capital
Perlan (The Pearl) stands out for its uniquea and modern architecture. Up on the fourth level there is a 360 degree viewing platform where you can get the best panoramic views of Reykjavík. When the sun sets it’s a spectacular spot for the Northern Lights in winter. You can also dine at the Perlan restaurant that slowly rotates so you get to see the whole city without even having to turn your head. Consider a visit to The Saga Museum while you’re there. /span>
3. Tjörnin (The Pond)
Tjörnin, or The Pond, is located in the city center of Iceland capital – Reykjavik. The birds on the Pond give the city a lively charm and it is popular among local to feed them in winter. In summer however the birds can get their own food and it is advice not to feed the bird then. You can take a wak around the Pond, see nice sculptures and it is a nice place to enjoy the summer sunset. When the lake freezes over in winter, hot geothermal waters are pumped in to defrost an area for the birds while those who can handle the cold go ice skating.
4. The Parliament
The Parliament is by Austurvöllur in the city center. Austurvöllur plaza is the place to be in summer when the sun in shining. There are many nice restaurants to dine outside and enjoy the sun. At the center of it all stands a statue of Jón Sigurðsson, the renowned figure who led Iceland to independence.
5. Harpa Concert Hall
Harpa Concert Hall is one of Reykjavik´s most unique buildings. It was designed my a Danish firm in co-operation with the Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson. The whole 28.000 square meters of Harpa stand at the edge of the Reykjavik Harbour with Iceland‘s biggest concert hall suitable for a broad range of concerts and cultural events. You also find there a nice café and a fine restaurant on the top floor. It is ideal to go on one of the guided tours offered at Harpa to see and enjoy the building to the fullest. In winter – i.e. when it is dark – it is lit up with wonderful lights that represent the northern ights. Harpa concert hall opened to the public on May 4th 2011.
6. The Old Harbour
The so-called old harbor of Reykjavík is the first lasting harbor of the city. It is a lovely area with great history. On the eastern pier you will find galleries, excellent restaurants, cafés and much more. You will also find numerous whale watching companies willing to take you out to sea on unforgettable excursions. The atmosphere at the old harbour is friendly, the air is fresh and salty and there’s plenty of interesting activities to check out. In the area you will also find the Maritime Museum Víkin and also an excellent café.
7. The Sun Voyager
The Sun Voyager is a beautiful sculpture by Sæbraut (not far from Harpa Concert Hall). It is by Jón Gunnar Árnason an symbolises the Viking past of the Icelanders. It is also an ode to the sun and contains within itself freedom, progress, the promise of undiscovered territory and a dream of hope. It serves as a reminder of the Icelanders´ history and heritage when the first Viking settlers came sailing to Iceland. The Sun Voyager is a lovely sculpture that has become one of Reykjavík´s symbols.
8. City Hall
With an impressive, modern design, the building sits right on the northern shore of Lake Tjörnin (The Pond). The building is also open to visitors, providing internet access, an information desk, exhibition halls and a cafe. When you sit at the café you can enjoy the magnificent view over the Pond and admire the birdlife as the café has a huge class window. It is also fun to visit the galleries to admire one of the steady streams of new and exciting exhibitions always coming through. You will also find there a three dimensional map of Iceland.
9. The seaside
Wherever you are located in Iceland capital – Reykjavík, you are always close to the sea. It is very refreshing to take a good walk along the seaside and there are various places for you do to that. Ægissíða is one. You can walk along the ocean for more than an hour, enjoy the amazing views, fresh air and birdlife. You might even see a seal swimming in the ocean. Grótta is also another site great for spending the day outdoors. The lighthouse is fun to see but beware of going out there – check first when high tide and low tide will be so you won´t get stuck by the lighthouse for hours! Enjoy the nature and bird life.
10. Kolaportið Flea Market
At Kolaportið Flea Market you can find almost anything. It is an indoor flea market so no need to think about the weather! It is open during weekends from 11 – 17 and is fun to visit.The atmosphere is very unique and the old industrial building is usually filled with people hunting for books or antiques, grocery shopping at the food court, selling their old garments, buying music and DVD’s or digging through piles of stuff in search of hidden treasures. We recommend bringing cash, as the majority of stalls are unable to accept cards. A fun way to spend an afternoon in the Iceland capital – Reykjavik.