7 Best Things to Do in Reykjavik

Reykjavik conjures up images of stunning landscapes, picturesque churches and quaint Scandinavian houses. This northern city is bursting with life—from vibrant nightlife to untamed nature to colourful architecture. Here are some sites not to be missed on your next Reykjavik adventure.

1) Harpa

Image via Pixabay

Image via Unsplash

Harpa is a concert hall and conference centre, and it is also one of the most recognizable landmarks in Reykjavik, with its colourful glass exterior. It is a cultural hub that hosts distinguished international musical acts, and it also acts as a venue for important events and conferences. Its worth seeing for its stunning views alone, but the musically inclined won’t regret treating themselves to a concert at Harpa.

2) The Sun Voyager

Image via Pixabay

Image via Pixabay

The Sun Voyager, or Solfar, is a statue of a dreamboat on the Reykjavik waterfront. It was unveiled in 1990 and according to its creators, it symbolizes “the promise of new, undiscovered territory.” It is one of the most photographed landmarks in Iceland, and it needs to be seen in person for its beauty to be truly appreciated.

3) Reykjavik Old Harbour

Image via Pixabay

Image via Pixabay

Reykjavik Old Harbour, seen here through the window of Harpa, is a beautiful place to stroll and take in the sea. Whale watching and puffin tours here are common for wildlife lovers. More indoorsy types will appreciate the Víkin Maritime Museum nearby, as well as the numerous cafes that line the coast.

4) Seljavallalaug

Image via Unsplash

Image via Unsplash

Even though Seljavallalaug is technically about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, this outdoor pool is so cool that it deserves a mention. Seljavallalaug is an outdoor pool that is one of the oldest and largest pools in all of Iceland. While the pool is notoriously hard to find, it’s well worth the effort when you take a soak in the hot spring water with a magnificent view of the mountains.

5) Thingvellir National Park

Image via Pixabay

Image via Pixabay

Thingvellir National Park is slightly northeast of Reykjavik, but it is well worth the trip. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique geological formations as well as its historical significance as the location of the world’s oldest parliament (dating all the way back to 930 C.E). It’s also considered the national shrine of Iceland.

6) Keflavík International Airport

Image via Pixabay

Image via Pixabay

Even though Keflavík International Airport is just an airport, its whimsical art displays earn it a mention in this list. Take a moment when you’re passing through the airport to appreciate the two huge sculptures in front of the terminal building—Rúrí’s Regnbogi (or “rainbow”) and Magnús Tómasson’s Þotuhreiður ( or “jet nest”).

7) Hallgrímskirkja

Image via Unsplash

Image via Unsplash

Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran church that can be seen towering in the distance from most places in the city. Seen as a distinctive national landmark, its expressionist architecture is said to be inspired by Iceland’s natural landscapes. It’s one of the most visited tourist attractions in Iceland and admission is free.

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