The natural beauty surrounding this area is reflected in the name ‘Reykjavik’, or ‘Bay of Smokes’. The hot springs in the region are just one of the incredible features of the Icelandic landscape. The most northern capital city in the world, Reykjavik offers a city break unlike any other. Its proximity to the Arctic Circle determines that winter days see only four hours of sunshine, whereas the sun rarely disappears in the summer. No other city experiences so many diverse and beautiful demonstrations of nature’s strength and variety; just one of the many features of Reykjavik which make it a charming holiday destination.


Hallgrimskirkja Church is the principal landmark in Reykjavik and the largest church in Iceland; its unique structure is intended to look like volcanic basalt rock formations. The tower can be seen from most locations within the capital and the building itself offers fantastic views of the entire city.

The Pearl is a building unlike any other in the world. Named ‘The Pearl’ due to its appearance, this stunning glass dome is situated on Oskjuhlid Hill. Containing a rotating restaurant and a viewing platform, The Pearl offers a bird’s eye view of Reykjavik. The building is also home to the Saga Museum. Here the Viking age is brought back to life with the aid of realistic wax work figures. Nautholsvik Bay can be found at the bottom of the hill, home to Reykjavik’s thermal beach. A pool with a water temperature of 20 degrees Celsius lies alongside a sandy beach; sun worshippers will enjoy imagining that they have been momentarily transported to the Mediterranean.

Hofdi House became internationally known after Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov met there in 1986, for what would later be recognised as the summit which ended the Cold War. One of the most beautiful constructions in Reykjavik, Hofdi House was originally the location of the French consul in Iceland. Counting Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill as previous guests, today it is used as a conference and reception centre.

Laugardalur Valley contains many activities suitable for the whole family. A thermal pool enables visitors to enjoy a swim all year round, without having to rely upon the weather. The Botanical Garden is a testament to the beautiful flowers and plants one can find in Iceland and the Family Park and Zoo contains all of the country’s best loved animals, including reindeer and seals. The Asmundarsafn sculpture museum is close by, home to many of Asmundur Sveinsson’s greatest works.

Mount Esia’s beauty can be appreciated from every street in Reykjavik, but no experience allows you to appreciate its magnitude and splendour quite like walking up it. There are several different hiking trails, for both beginners and experts. All should be sure to record their achievement by signing the guest book at the top.


The predominant shopping area in the centre of Reykjavik is situated on the street Laugavegur, which runs directly through the heart of the city. Many shops are dedicated to up and coming Icelandic designers selling innovative clothes and furniture; these are the shops to visit for the chance to purchase a unique and highly fashionable piece of design.

For more recognisable, international brands, the best places to visit are the city’s two shopping centres; Kringlan and Smaralind. Kringlan is home to more than 150 shops, as well as an extensive food court and a large cinema. Smaralind in Kópavogur can be easily accessed and boasts seventy stores selling items such as clothes, food items and gifts. However, all visitors should bear in mind that items in recognisable international chains will probably cost more in Iceland than they will back in Great Britain. For bargains head down to the harbour on weekends and explore Kolaportid Flea Market.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Reykjavik is famous for its fantastic nightlife, with many clubs not closing until 7 am on the weekends. New Year’s Eve in particular is a cause of immense celebration, with a breathtaking firework display that has attracted visitors from all over the world. Many cafes turn into bars at night in order to provide entertainment for the evening ahead. Although a night out can be expensive, no trip to Reykjavik is complete without sampling the nightlife. Icelandic beer is worth every penny and most clubs will provide some form of live music.

The Ice Bar is a particularly fun place to start the night. Kept at minus six degrees in order to sustain the permanent ice bar, this establishment also serves fantastic food. The fashionable Kaffibarinn is a café during the day, but becomes a popular bar and night club during the evening. The music scene in Reykjavik has gradually become very trendy and each year the music festival, Iceland Airwaves, draws an audience from all around the world. Almost every type of musical preference is catered for within the city centre and concerts take place most nights.

Iceland possesses an incredible natural larder and thus chefs have the ultimate inspiration. Laekjarbrekka is a restaurant within one of the oldest buildings in the city. Patrons can enjoy a delicious menu which focuses on home grown ingredients such as puffin, lamb and lobster. After indulging in a mouth watering meal, visitors can retire to the Cognac Room and enjoy attentive and considerate service. Laekjarbrekka also serves afternoon coffee with delicious home baked cakes, sandwiches and salads. However, this is just one of the many restaurants in Reykjavik serving both fantastic Icelandic and international dishes.

Tourist Information

Tourist Information CentreAdalstraeti 2101 Reykjavik

Tel: +354 590 1550Email:


The closest airport to Reykjavik is situated thirty minutes away in the town of Keflavik. The only international airport in Iceland, Keflavik serves most European destinations as well as many international cities.