The capital of Iceland, Reykjavík, is a city of contrasts.
It is a mix of the old and new, with both traditional turf houses and sleek, modern buildings.

It is renowned for its exciting nightlife, mouth watering cuisine, and the aurora borealis, which dances in the winter sky.

It showcases Icelandic friendliness and nature´s raw strength.

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Everything you need to know about visiting Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran church tower located in the city center on top of the Skólavörðustígur hill.

It's the largest church in Iceland and amongst the highest structures in Iceland measuring 74.5 meters tall.

Its tower offers a spectacular panoramic 360-degree view of Iceland's capital.

How do I get there?

Sitting at the top of the city at Hallgrimstorg in central Reykjavik and being the largest church in the capital, it is impossible to miss.

The church is considered to be one of the most significant landmarks in Reykjavik.It can be seen in most parts of the city and is a useful tool for navigating the area.

The following transit lines (5, 1, 11, 13.) have routes that pass near Hallgrimskirkja.Other ways are walking, Taxi, rental bikes, or scooters.

Reykjavik city with Hallgrimskirkja church in the middle with Esja mountain behind. A helicopter view
View over Reykjavik city from church tower of Hallgrimskirkja

Can I go inside?

You can go inside and look at it's beautiful organ, or go up the tower to look at breathtaking views over Reykjavik.

There's even a lift that takes you to the top of the tower, making it accessible for most visitors.

Please, note that Hallgrimskirkja is a living church with services and also funerals, weddings, and baptism, and access is restricted during ceremonies.

During ceremonies, you can still visit the church tower.

Opening hours

The church is open daily
from 10:00-20:00

The church tower is open
daily from 10:00- 19:30

Is there an entry fee
to Hallgrimskirkja?

The church is free to enter.
Admission to the tower is:

Adults. (8EUR) 1200 ISK
Children (7-16 y/o) (1EUR) 200 ISK

The History of Hallgrímskirkja

In 1929, the Reykjavik Parish held a competition that would serve as the blueprint for a new church. The ideal building would have an area of 1,200 seats and a radio mast that would be used for the country's new national radio service.

Although the competition was started in 1929, nobody was able to win the contest until 1937. To ensure that the project was carried out correctly, the Parish entrusted the task to architect Jón Samúelsson.

He lived in Reykjavik's Skólavordustigur street, which connects the various parts of the city. Eventually, he wanted to build a church on Skolavordustigur´s hill, which overlooks Reykjavik and the Harbor.

The church tower that he planned on building would feature a magnificent view of the city.

Sunset view over Reykjavik city with basalt column church Hallgrimskirkja in the middle

Due to the death of Samuelsson in 1950, the design of the building was left unfinished. In the following years, other architects worked on a plan to continue his work.

After more than 40 years of construction, the church was finally dedicated on October 26, 1986.

The church was named after Hallgrímur Pétursson, a 17th-century poet who wrote the Passion Hymns. These hymns are a staple of Iceland's religious tradition and have been frequently referenced in local literature.

Leifur Eiriksson statue in front of Reykjavik church Hallgrimskirkja bathed in yellow beautiful light

Statue in front

Immediately upon arriving at the church you will see the green statue on an iron pedestal.

It's named after Leifur Eiriksson who was the first European to visit North America.

You may have heard his name before since the terminal on Keflavik International Airport has his name also.

According to the stories in Iceland, he spotted North America continent around 1,000 years before Christopher Columbus.

The statue was given to the church by the US on the occasion of the Althing Parliament's 1,000th anniversary in 1930.


When Samuelsson designed Iceland's national architecture style, he wanted to create a unique and easily recognizable design that would represent Icelandic nature.

He strongly believed that the hexagonal basalt columns should be the main feature of the national style. He also used dark grey and blackish colors in his work.

The Hallgrimskirkja building was constructed using concrete and a rough cast of white granite.

The large curved columns on both sides of the structure were inspired by the South Coast's black sand beach and Svartifoss (the Black Waterfall) in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve.

colourful basalt columns around Svartifoss waterfall in Vatnajokull national park Iceland
Pipe organ inside Hallgrimskirkja church

The pipe organ

The Church is known for its beautiful acoustics.

The church's pipe organ, which has over 5000 pipes, measures 15 meters tall, and weighs over 25 tons.

It was constructed by German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn.It can be used to great effect and fills the church's large space.

The organ is equipped with four manuals, a pedal, 102 ranks, and over 70 stops. It was completed in 1992.

Is Hallgrimskirkja
a Catholic Church?

Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutherans church.

There are over 350 churches in Iceland, and most of them are Lutherans, which is a high number for a country with only 330,000 inhabitants.

When a person is born, they automatically become a Christian and are entitled to receive Holy Communion.

Fourteen-year-old children are also usually confirmed.

Despite the high percentage of Christians in Iceland, the country is regarded as one of the most atheistic nations in the world.

Reykjavik church Hallgrimskirkja on a beautiful sunny day, snow all around and a direct sunlight shining with sun rays coming from behind the church
Looking down a snow covered road with Hallgrimskirkja church of Reykjavik at the end of the road. A beautiful evening night. A man walking down the road

How do you pronounce Hallgrimskirkja?

Contrary to the Icelandic words which are a bit like tongue twisters, it is quite simple to pronounce the name of the church.

Despite their actual pronunciation, a good approximation would be “Hallcreams-kirk-yuh".

How to photograph Hallgrimskirkja?

When taking pictures of the church's tower, try visiting the site at different times of the day or in different weather conditions.

For instance, you can shoot at sunrise or sunset to get a good view of the window reflections and golden hues. Try shooting on cloudy days or in areas with rain and snow.

Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik with a beautiful red sunset shining on the church and making it red. In the foreground are easter liliesHallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik Iceland with a beautiful  red clouds in the sky. Foreground is covered in snow Beautiful sunny day in Reykjavik Iceland with Hallgrimskirkja church in the middle. Snow covered ground and a blue sky with sun shining behind the church throwing sun rays Hallgrimskirkja church in the middle of the night with amazing blue flowers in the foreground Northern lights above Hallgrimskirkja church in the middle of the night in Reykjavik IcelandMan walking on a Snow covered road in Reykjavik Iceland in the evening with Hallgrimskirkja church standing on top of the hill

Also, if you plan on adding people to your photos, you might want to take a look at the way the people use the building. This will allow you to find new opportunities to capture the building's surroundings.

- Use a wide-angle lens (18mm-24mm) for more depth and perspective
- Take photos from different heights to get different perspectives
- Look for good light sources such as windows or skylights
- Look for lines that make your subject pop off the background


During New Year's Eve, thousands of people gather around the church to watch the fireworks.The show is incredibly captivating.

Before the show begins, many shops in the area sell various protective equipment, such as goggles, for spectators.

Also every year during one of the darkest months of the year, Reykjavik hosts a light show that's known as the Hallgrimskirkja Light Show.

This event is one of the best part of the city's winter season.

New Years eve in Reykjavik fireworks covering the city
Hallgrimskirkja church in beautiful winter settings snow and red clouds

is a tour
pick-up location.

If you're planning on visiting Iceland and would like to take a tour from Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja can be your pick-up point.

Bus Stop number eight (No. 8) is located on the west side of the churchyard.

There are a variety of tours that are suitable for everyone, such as sightseeing day trips and glacier adventures.

Product Tour. Private SuperjeepProduct Tour. Glacier HikeProduct Tour. Blue Lagoon
Product Tour. Northern Lights Product Tour. Super jeep and snowmobilingProduct Tour. Snaefellsnes peninsula tour

Harpa Concert Hall

Harpa means ‘harp’ in Icelandic.

It is also the Icelandic name for the first month of spring, and thus a sign of brighter times.

This glass-fronted building looks like a jewel box against the dramatic backdrop of the city's waterfront and has become a striking benchmark for architecture in Iceland.

Harpa is Iceland’s national concert hall, conference center, and cultural venue.

Harpa Concert Hall glass corner with the harbour behind and boats in the sea. Mountain Esjan behind

Can you go inside Harpa?

Harpa is open for visits. The concert hall is also used for various cultural and music events.

It has a variety of guided tours that allow visitors to get a closer look at the facility.

Harpa opening hours are:

Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays from 10:00-18:00

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00-20:00

There is no charge for admission, except you take the daily guided tour.


The concert hall's facade is designed to reflect the changing colors of the surrounding environment through its geometric figures.

During the daytime, the structure's crystalline form reflects and captures the light and creates a dialogue between the building and the surrounding scenery.

At night, the concert hall's facade is illuminated by LED lights.These lights can be adjusted to create different patterns and symbols on the walls.

Harpa Concert hall Reykjavik mirror reflection in the water with amazing sunset
Super red concert hall Eldborg Harpa main concert hall in Reykjavik Iceland

Harpa Concert halls

The concert hall's four main auditoriums are designed to accommodate the varying music tastes of the audience.

One of the largest of these is the Eldborg, which is named after a volcanic crater in Iceland.

The Eldborg Auditorium, which can seat up to 1,800 people, is located inside the heart of the concert hall.

Its adjustable sound chambers allow the audience to experience the full range of sound.

It features a concrete construction and is made of red-varnished birch veneer.

The History of Harpa

The idea of building a concert hall in Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik has been around since the 1880s.

The Harpa concert hall is the first purpose built concert hall in Reykjavik.

Construction on the facility started in 2007, but later that year it was stopped due to the country's financial troubles.After the government decided to fully fund the project in 2008, the construction of the Harpa concert hall resumed.

It was constructed through a collaboration between the government and international consultants Jasper Parrott and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Harpa concert hall Reykjavik with beautiful orange sunset reflecting on the glass

Designed by renowned artist Olafur Eliasson. (who also created the striking waterfall installation in New York Harbor).

Furthering his vision of connecting Iceland with the rest of the world through art and architecture.

The design of the concert hall was carried out by the Danish firm, Henning Larsen Architects, and the local firm, Batteriid Architecture.The glass panels of the facility are made from natural materials.

They were designed to resemble natural columns. The concert hall was awarded for its contemporary architecture in 2013.

The concert hall was built to be an artistic masterpiece that combines the exceptional architecture of Iceland with the interior design of a modern facility.

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

The Iceland Symphony Orchestra is the country's national orchestra, and gives weekly concerts in Harpa, Reykjavík, from September to June.

It has performed in various concert halls around the world, such as the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall and the Carnegie Hall.

It has received international recognition for its performances.

Founded in 1950, the orchestra is regarded as one of the country's leading cultural institutions.

The orchestra is led by the Finnish conductor and artistic director, Eva Ollikainen.

Group picture of members of the Icelandic orchestra inside Harpa Concerts Hall
Harpa Concert Hall Reykjavik Harbour boats in sunset

Harpa Today

The Harpa concert hall is regarded as one of the most prominent cultural facilities in Reykjavik.

It has staged a wide range of concerts, operas, and theatre performances by local and international talent.

Some of the prominent international artists that have performed at the concert hall include Eddie Izzard and the members of the group Lauper.

It also features local talent such as Björk, Sigurrós and the members of the group Of Monsters and Men.

The Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager is a steel sculpture of a huge ship on the shores of Reykjavik's the Atlantic Ocean.

It's a great spot for locals and tourists to enjoy the view from the bay and the surrounding mountains.

The sculpture is located on the road Sæbraut just a few minutes' walk away from the Harpa Concert Hall.

It provides a great opportunity for people to take photos in amazing surroundings.

What does the Sun Voyager sculpture represent?

It's common for tourists to think that the Sun Voyager is a Viking ship.

But, it's important to note that this is not the intention of the sculpture.

According to the artist Jón Gunnar Árnason, it is a dream boat and an ode to the sun.

The boat represents a dream of hope, progress, freedom, and a promise of undiscovered lands.

It was constructed in the 1980s to commemorate the city's bicentenary.

Sun Voyager Reykjavik sculpture under a beautiful red sunset
a man standing next to Sun Voyager in Iceland in heavy snow

When was the Sun Voyager built?

During Reykjavik´s city 200th anniversary in 1986, the town council of Vesturbær organized a competition to find a sculpture that would be a great addition to the city's public art collection.

The Sun Voyager was selected as the winner and an aluminum prototype was donated to the city of Reykjavík.

The last piece of the sculpture was unveiled in August 1990. Unfortunately, this event was only held after Jón passed away.

How long did it take to build the Sun Voyager?

The Sun Voyager—or Sólfar as the Icelanders call it in Icelandic—was built after years of skilled hard work.

The work was constructed using high-quality stainless steel and features a circle of granite rock.

It was unveiled on the small headland of Sæbraut on the 204th anniversary of the city of Reykjavík.

Sæbraut is Icelandic for sea road.

Beautiful sunset over Sun Voyager sculpture by the seaside in Reykjavik

Where is the Sun Voyager?

The Solfarid sculpture is located on the city's seashore, near the center of the city on the road Sæbraut. The sculpture is a few minutes walks away from the Harpa Concert Hall.

GPS: 64.14761 N, -21.922288 W
John Lennon Peace tower blending with Northern Lights over shining sculpture of Sun Voyager in Reykjavik Iceland

Can I see northern lights over the sun Voyager?

You can see northern lights at the Sun Voyager.

For your best chances it's best to visit Iceland during the autumn or winter.

Since the weather in the region will be dark enough to allow the lights to appear.You'll need to keep an eye out for cloud cover and a good Aurora forecast.

The vision

The Sun Voyager was built according to the artist's full-scale plan, which was carried out using the flowing lines and poetic movement of his signature style.

It reaches out into space through its irregular form and the sky and ocean's reflections.
This sculpture, which is part of the city's public art collection, is a part of the artist's larger work.

The Sun Voyager is made of solid materials that can carry both observers and their thoughts wherever they want to go.

Man standing in heavy snow next to Sun Voyager in Reykjavik

Jón's sculptures have a variety of interpretations.Most of his works have simple yet effective messages that can be easily understood by the average person.

It's the observer who is ultimately responsible for interpreting the works in his or her way, which is why Jón believed that every work of art should have a unique meaning.

Jón's sculptures often make people ask questions about their surroundings.

Photographing the Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager sculpture is a work of art that is meant to be seen. It stands out in any environment and will create an eye-catching effect.

This sculpture's irregular form can give it a floating appearance, which can make it appear as if it's "in motion" or on the move.

The steel body of the sculpture can also make wonderful reflections in play with the granite rock.

Add an amazing sunset or sunrise to your setting, and you'll have a picture totally worth hanging on the wall!

Sun Voyager sculpture with snow covered ground all around.flying birds and a beautiful sunset

Tips for photographing the Sun Voyager

- Use a wide-angle lens (18mm-24mm) for more depth and perspective
- Take photos from different heights to get different perspectives
- Use Graduated neutral density filters
- Use a good tripod
Moonlight shining over Sun Voyager sculpture in Reykjavik a woman sitting by the shore

Sun Boat

If you're looking for a place that gives you a glimpse of the amazing nature and art, then this is it.

The Sun Voyager is one of the popular attractions in Reykjavik city.

It's a great spot to take photos with the family or for a midday walk. And often people share amazing nights in beautiful sunsets.

It also makes a great destination for watching the midnight suns when it's summertime in Iceland.

Local Cuisine

Despite being a small island, Iceland has a vibrant and fun foodie scene.

There are also plenty of options for exotic food, such as the country's famous fermented shark.

This small island country is situated right between Europe and North America and offers the best of both worlds.

Icelandic Food

The traditional Icelandic cuisine is based on meat, fish, dairy products and potatoes. Fish is central to the Icelandic diet, with cod being the most commonly eaten fish. Other popular dishes include lamb soup (kjötsúpa) and cooked sheep head (svið).Before you leave for Iceland, take some time to consider these tips to make the most of your trip. Iceland has a reputation for being expensive, so it's very important to know the local currency so that you can easily budget for your trip and don´t burn through all your cash.

Food tips

Try new foods. Even if they sound strange, they can still taste good. For example, Iceland's creamy and flavorful yogurt may sound strange to some people, but it's actually quite tasty! If you want to keep the chill off, try one of the local traditions, the lamb soup.Another alternative is Hákarl (fermented shark). Although it's a bit of an acquired taste, it shouldn't be ruled out completely.Go where the locals are—you'll likely find interesting local groups as well as great places for authentic cuisine at reasonable prices (and plenty of interesting conversation).


Whether you are going to Iceland during wintertime (when it’s cold) or in summer, it is possible to enjoy the country’s cuisine year-round. The weather will depend on which part of the country you visit, but even if you go during wintertime there will still be plenty of options available for you to try out.Here are few options we highly recommend.

Icelandic Hot Dog "Pulsa"

There are two types of Icelanders. The ones who call a hot dog a Pylsa and the ones who call it a Pulsa.
Both sides believe that the other is saying it wrong.

There's been an ongoing debate about which is correct for a long time in Icelandic history.
But obviously, it is without a doubt pulsa, like we on the right side all know.

People waiting in line at Baejarins bestu hot dog stand Reykjavik Iceland

The word is likely adopted from the danish word for sausage, Polser, and this has influenced the pronunciation of the word.But don't let the name fool you—it doesn't matter if the word is in Icelandic or Danish, pylsa or pulsa, this meaty treat is delicious no matter how you say it!

What is in "Pulsa"

two Icelandic hot dog with everything "pulsa med ollu"

The hot dogs (pulsur) are made from Icelandic-raised lamb, pork and beef.

They come in bread buns that are baked fresh daily.Iceland's sheep are eccentric creatures and are bred in the cleanest environment.

They roam the countryside free until the fall and eat leaves and berries.

It's also a land where the pigs and cows live on small lovable farms, in very clean and healthy environments.

Where to buy?

If you're looking for hot dogs in Iceland, you're in luck. They're everywhere.You can find them in every town, village, and city in the country. And if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can even buy hot dogs at your local gas station or convenience store.

What should I get?

Hot dogs are served full-on Icelandic-style with a variety of toppings, such as ketchup, mustard, raw onions, fried onions, and remoulade sauce.When you order you can use the opportunity and practice your Icelandic by saying the famous Icelandic sentence "eina með öllu" which means "one with everything".

Where is the famous Hot dog stand?

The Bæjarins Bestu hot dog stand is located in the heart of Reykjavik next to Harpa Concert Hall, which makes it easy for visitors to stop by for a bite when they are visiting this popular city.

GPS: 64.148308 N, -21.937969 W

Fiskfélagid – Fish Company

Fiskfélagið (Fish Company) is known for its high-quality food and impeccable presentation.

If you're craving Icelandic dishes that you can't get anywhere else, this might be just the place for you.

You can also try some of the different types of dishes that are featured on the restaurant's menu.

After you have finished eating at this restaurant, you will know that you have stepped into a special place.

Although it is hard to choose a bad dish from the menu, there are some standouts that you should try. Some of these include icelandic lobster, scallop soup and tuna tartare.

reserve table
Fish Company restaurant in Reykjavik with a bright sun in the sky
Diningtable with wineglasses at Foodcellar restaurant in Reykjavik


It is located in a 160-year-old historic building, right in the center of the city.

The food at the Food Cellar is made using the finest ingredients and is presented elegantly.

The restaurant's skilled and enthusiastic chefs create a variety of dishes that are inspired by Iceland's culture.

The menu has a variety of classical and fanciful cocktails and features a selection of Icelandic meat dishes.

The duck and lamb are especially delicious. It features vegetarian and non-alcoholic dishes as well.

reserve table

Reykjavik Swimming Pools

Swimming in Iceland is a unique experience.

If you want to immerse yourself in the Icelandic culture and social life then you must take a dip into at least one of the many swimming pools that are dotted all over Reykjavik

6 Best Swimming Pools in Reykjavik

The Reykjavik public pools offer a wide range of experiences: a steam room and a Finnish sauna, lap pools and saltwater hot tubs 40°C. (104°F)

As well as cold tubs with 6 - 8°C (42.8 - 46.4°F) cold water, and are considered (by Icelanders) the best thing you can do for your health to relieve stress and aches.

Icelanders are a daring, adventurous bunch. So when it comes to swimming, there's no question about whether or not you can swim in Iceland.

We highly recommend swimming outdoors all year round — even in the dead of winter!

turkish blue colored pot in Laugardalslaug pool Reykjavik Iceland

Cost of Swimming in Reykjavik

Children (0-5 years) - Free
Children (6-17 years) - 175 kr.
Adults (18 y/o) - 1,100 kr.
Senior citizens aged 67 and over - Free

Reykjavik swimming pools
Opening hours

Weekdays at 6:30 am – 10 pm
Weekends at 9 am–10 pm
Swimmingpool of Grafarvogur with various facilities, such as an indoor pool, a children's pool, and a hot tub. It also has a water slide.

6. Grafarvogslaug

The Grafarvogur swimming pool in Iceland was first opened in 1998.

It has since expanded into various facilities, such as an indoor pool, a children's pool, and a hot tub.
It also has a water slide.

5. Breiðholtslaug

In Breiðholt, there is a swimming pool that measures 25 meters long.

It features five lanes and a tempurature of 29°C (82.4°F)There's also a smaller indoor pool that measures 12 meters by 8 meters.

It also has a cold tub, a children's pool, and two hot tubs.

Breidholtslaug swimmingpool 25 meters long a cold tub, a children's pool, and two hot tubs.

How warm are the pools in Iceland?

The pools in Iceland are filled with geothermal water with temperatures running from28°C - 33°C. (82°F - 91.4°F)

Hot tubs temperatures range from 37°C - 44°C. (98.6°F - 111.2°F)
Arbaejarlaug swimming pool, swimming pool that measures 25 meters by 12 meters. hot tubs, cold pot and a waterslide


In Árbær, there is a swimming pool that measures 25 meters by 12 meters.

It has a depth of 1,1 meters and up to 1,8 meters. With a temperature of 29 degrees Celsius.

A smaller indoor pool is available that measures 10 meters by 6 meters. It's also deep.

The temperature inside this pool is 33 degrees Celsius.

3.Sundhöll Reykjavik

Sundhöll Reykjavíkur has two pools, one indoor and one outdoor.

There are two spring boards in the indoor pool.

The smaller one is 1 meter from the water surface and the larger is 2,75 m from the water surface.

The indoor pool is 25 meters long with 4 lanes. The tempurature is 28°C (82°F)

Sundholl Reykjavikur swimming pool 25 meter long pool and Hallgrimskirkja church in the background
Vesturbaejarlaug swimming pool 25 meters long and a children’s pool, waterslide, four hot tubs, steam bath, sauna and gym.


Vesturbæjarlaug outdoor swimming pool is where locals go to take a dip.

Since its opening in 1961, the friendly pool has undergone multiple renovations and additions that make it a must-visit while exploring Reykjavik.

The main swimming pool is 25 metres long and a children’s pool, waterslide, four hot tubs, steam bath, sauna and gym.

It's also frequently used by children during school hours. It's mandatory for all children in the country to learn how to swim.


Laugardalslaug swimming pool is the largest swimming pool in Reykjavík.

Located in Laugardalur, the heart of sports activities in Reykjavík.

Around the pool are good areas for walking or jogging.

A short distance from the pool is the Botanic garden in Reykjavík as well is the Reykjavík park and Zoo.

50m outdoor pool 28°C (82°F)
50m indoor pool 28°C (82°F)30m outdoor pool 29°C (84.2°F)

Amazing pink sunset over Esja mountain looking over swimming pool Laugardalslaug pool in Reykjavik Iceland

Swimming pool etiquette

If you want to blend in with the locals and be as inconspicuous as possible you better follow the swimming pool etiquette in Iceland.It´s not as daunting as it may sound and even though you might’ve heard or read a few stories about it, the rules are very simple.

Take off your shoes

Take off your shoes before entering the changing areas.Most people leave their shoes around the entry area, you’ll see where they are.Don’t worry, they won’t go missing. If you prefer you can always put them in your locker, just make sure you take them off before walking into the changing room.

Get naked

Yes, you need to take all your clothes off before showering.This is perfectly normal in Iceland (as it is in quite many countries around Europe).Nobody will stare at you, but if you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, just get on with it and proceed to the showers.Take your towel and swimming suit, so they’re ready for you when you come out of the shower.


Pools in Iceland are usually very lightly chlorinated to keep the water as close to its natural state as possible.Therefore it’s mandatory to shower thoroughly before entering the pool area. If you don’t want to attract the wrath of an overzealous pool attendant or the other patrons, you better follow the rules, use soap, and lather properly from head to toe.Yes, you will have to go through this and most pools only have communal shower areas (male and female are separate), and, no, you can’t have your swimming suit on while you shower.This is not the time to ponder about your modesty, just get into the spirit of it and do it.

Swimming attire

Yes, we are very strict about showering without a bathing suit, but once you’ve gone over this, you’ll need to put one on to join everyone in the pool.We won’t care whether you’re wearing tight speedos, swimming shorts or whatever kind of swimming attire takes your fancy, as long as it’s not diving gear (check the link above, diving equipment is not allowed in public pools in Iceland).After the recent ‘free the nipple’ campaign in Iceland, women are now welcome to go topless in public pools if they want to.

Don’t run

You might not be used to walking outdoors scantily clad when the temperature is barely above freezing but it’s best not to run or dive in the pool.Just walk to it and then go in, the feeling of immersing yourself in the warm water will be so delicious that you’ll forget about any worries you had before that. It’s total bliss.

Dry yourself

One last thing to remember, you should dry yourself with your towel before walking back to the locker rooms as a common gesture of courtesy towards the other swimmers, and again to avoid being told off by a stern pool guard.

Public parks in Reykjavik

Reykjavik is a great city for enjoying some fresh air and nature.

The capital has a great selection of public parks, offering beautiful scenery to enjoy while taking in the glorious views of Mount Esja or enjoying some peace.

The following guide will help you to get familiar with the best public parks in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik is a small city but it's also spread over a wide area, with many beautiful parks dotted throughout the city center and surrounding suburbs.The most popular among tourists are Austurvöllur and Grótta, but there are plenty of other spots that have been less discovered by outsiders.

Very still weather and beautiful sunset over Tjornin in Reykjavik with summer flowers in the foregrouns

Reykjavik is a city with a wealth of public parks. If you're traveling with kids or looking for a place to relax, there are plenty of options in both the center of town, near your hotel, or farther away from the busy downtown area where you will no longer hear the sounds of traffic.

Reykjavik’s public parks make it easy to take advantage of your surroundings while still being able to enjoy time with the people you love. Sculptures and other art pieces draw the attention of any passerby, and the various sports that are played in these spaces make for fun family outings.

Get a breath of fresh air in one of Reykjavik’s public parks. In summer, they are the perfect place to catch the midnight sun and set up a picnic. During winter, they become especially welcoming by hiding in the dark and offering great views of the Northern Lights


One of the most popular parks in the city is Austurvollur, which is located near the Althing and the Dómkirkja cathedral in downtown Reykjavik.

One of the most prominent sculptures in this park is that of Jon Sigurdsson, who was one of the leaders of Iceland's independence movement.

Jon Sigurdsson sculpture on Austurvollur Park Reykjavik. With beautiful red sky behind

During the summer season, the people of Iceland flock to the park to get some sun. It's also where they gather to participate in various protests. These activities include hurling skyr and hitting pots and pans in front of the House of Parliament.

Some of the protests that happened at the Austurvollur park have made international news.

In 2008, the park became the site of a massive protest, which was called the Kitchenware Revolution. During the event, thousands of people marched in the streets to demonstrate their anger over the government's response to the economic crisis.

This direct action by the people of Iceland has led to the country taking a different stance when it comes to punishing those who protect the public.

One of the most prominent sculptures in this park is that of Jon Sigurdsson, who was one of the leaders of Iceland's independence movement.

Athingi the Parliament House in Reykjavik Iceland, which stands on Austurvöllur square bathed in red sunlight in a beautiful setting

Despite protests from the public, there's still a strong love for their parks in Iceland. In particular, it's important to note that Austurvollur is a central place for the city residents and tourists to gather.


One of the most beautiful areas of Reykjavik is the Grotta, which is a nature reserve that was established in 1974.

It's located on the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula and is known for its beautiful sea views.
The lighthouse that has been on the site since 1897 can also be seen from this area.

The Grotta park is a nature reserve on the peninsula of Seltjarnarnes and is one of the most beautiful areas in Reykjavik.

Low tide at Grotta Lighthouse in Reykjavik Iceland. beautiful coloured sky in a dreamy atmosphere

During the winter season, the area is a great place to watch the Northern Lights. And if you're looking for a more peaceful way to watch the Northern lights, there's a geothermal pool located in the Grotta.

In addition to the sea views and Northern Lights, the people of Iceland also flock to the Grotta Island and its lighthouse to see the Arctic Terns, which are known to build nests on the island.

Although these animals are beautiful, they are notorious for their defensive behavior. To avoid getting too close to the animals, it's important to follow the biking and hiking paths that run through the reserve.


Laugardalur is one of the largest parks in Iceland and it has everything you need for a wholesome day.The park is just a few minutes away from downtown Reykjavik, so it’s easy to get there.

It features a large swimming pool and a modern gym. Laugardalur is also home to a huge spa, as well as multiple water slides and swings for kids.

Beautiful red sunset over an lake in Laugardalur public park Reykjavik Iceland. Light snow on the ground and trees in a peaceful setting

Laugardalur is a large area in Reykjavik, known for its variety of activities and events. One of these is the Secret Solstice music festival, which takes place each year.

This area's campsites are also full of music lovers enjoying the party atmosphere. The park is also a great choice if you're looking for a place to spend time with family and friends.

It has various attractions that are suitable for different types of people. Those who are interested in playing sports can enjoy the various courts and a vast stadium.

Those who are into hiking can additionally spend a long time following the various routes in the park.

View over Reykjavik city covered in snow

If you're passionate about flora, then the Botanical Garden of Iceland is a great choice.If you're looking for something a bit different, then the Family Park and Zoo is a great place to visit.

This area features a variety of animals, such as the Arctic foxes and seals.This is a favorite spot for children, and if you're looking for something a bit more modest, there's a ride called the carousel.

In Laugardalur Park, you will find a permanent art gallery showcasing Ásmundur Sveinsson's works. The building itself is also an attraction—its architectural design looks like something out of a fairytale.

This park is a fascinating place with a significant role in Iceland's history. The hot springs that have been channeled into the pools here were the reason for Reykjavik's name, which means Smoky Bay.

It has a central role in modern society, there are many events held here throughout the year and much of the city's sports facilities are housed here.


The park was named after an octagonal structure that was built in 1923 to house the marching band of Reykjavik.

It has various facilities that are designed to make it a great place for groups and families to gather.

Besides a large field for sports and games, the park also has barbeque facilities that can be used by both locals and tourists.

Bird view over the Reykjavik pond "Tjörnin" Tjornin on a nice summer day

Hljomskalagardurinn is a wonderful space to take in the natural and cultural beauty of Iceland. The park features large trees and wide-open spaces, statues, and fountains.

So you'll have plenty of room to enjoy the park with family and friends.

There are also various sculptures scattered throughout the park that pays homage to the city, like the statue of Tómas Guðmundsson. A famous Reykjavik poet who wrote about his hometown.

This theme has continued throughout Iceland's culture. Various other sculptures pay tribute to the various aspects of the city.


Klambratun Park is a great place for biking, walking, picnicking, and sports. Located only minutes from downtown Reykjavik it offers open space, sports facilities, and well-maintained gardens. A lovely location in the very heart of the city with loads to do!

This park is a great choice for families with children. It features a children's playground and a large field for various sports, such as football, basketball, and ultimate frisbee.

It's also frequently visited by groups of children from Iceland. These groups compete in various out-there activities and conventional sports.

man walking with sunrays shining over him in Klambratun park in Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja on the horizon

The Kjarvalsstadir Art Museum is located in Klambratun park and features the works of Johannes Kjarval, who is one of Iceland's most popular artists. This museum also has a cafe located inside.

One of the main disadvantages of this park is that it's not close to major attractions in the city.

This means that it can get very busy during certain times of the year. Despite this, it's still a relatively easy walk from the downtown area and the Hlemmur Bus Station. Also, the parking areas near the park are less crowded.

Water posts

Reykjavik offers free water filling stations.

So Please do not buy any more plastic water bottles.

Just fill your water bottle from Reykjavik's infamouspublic water posts located around the city.

There is one right here in the Klambratun public park.


Nautholsvik is one of the most beautiful beaches in Iceland, and it's also one of the best spots to visit during your next visit. This park features a large swimming area and even has a playground where children can enjoy themselves while parents enjoy their time together. It's also popular among locals.

The heated swimming area is the perfect place to visit when you're ready to get a bit chilly in the North Atlantic sea.

The geothermal heating system keeps the water temperature warm, making it easier for you to swim and enjoy yourself without being concerned about coming out of the water cold. However, note that this feature is only available during the summer season.

kids playing in sand and water on a sunny day at Nauthólsvik beach in Reykjavik Iceland

Besides the sea, the park also features various facilities such as a barbeque area, hot pools, and a volleyball court. It's also a great place for families to gather and participate in various summer activities.

Those who are interested in learning more about water sports can also check out the Sailing Club nearby. The park has a service center that's conveniently located near the restrooms.

The park is located near the woodland of Oskjuhld, which is approximately a half-hour walk away from the center of Reykjavik.

This means that it's a great choice for families with children. However, it can be very busy during certain times of the year.


Arnarholl Located in the heart of Reykjavik sits on top of a hill offering some amazing views of the city, sea, mountains, and the concert hall known as the Harpa.

Apart from the view, Arnarholl is a great location for picnics and peaceful strolls. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis here too.

Arnarholl is Reykjavik's most popular outdoor park. A meeting spot for the citizens of Reykjavik, this green space brings people together during the city's biggest events and festivals, including Pride, watching football matches, and concerts.

In addition to being a great place to relax outdoors, its location puts it close to shops and cafes as well as public transportation.

Arnarholl sculpture Ingolfur Arnarson and the view over the city Reykjavik

One of the most interesting histories in Reykjavik is the history of Arnarholl.

Many people believe that this hill was the location where Ingolfur Arnarson decided to build his home, which would eventually become the capital of Iceland.

According to a legend, Ingolfur decided where he wanted to settle after sailing across the rugged coastline of Iceland. He threw his chieftain's seat and wooden pillars into the sea, and he told the gods that he would settle somewhere on the shoreline.

The pillars were carved with his name and the representations of the gods.

During the winter season, the people of Iceland were temporarily residing on a cape known as Ingólfshöfði. Two years later, the two Celtic slaves who were sent to look for the pillars were able to find them in a smokey bay in the southwest of the island. It was the gods' decision to make the area their home.

Einar Jónsson Museum

The Einar Jonsson Sculpture Museum is located right beside Hallgrimskirkja church, which is also a very popular area.

It houses the only permanent exhibition of sculpture by Iceland’s most influential sculptor, Einar Jonsson (1874 – 1954). Who completely changed the arts in the country.

Beautiful midnight light sky behind Einar Jonsson Museum Reykjavik Iceland

The gardens at Arnarholl have 26 bronze casts of his works, which are placed in various parts of the park.

The garden was opened in 1923 by Einar and his wife, who were both former museum staff members.

Although some of the works have been moved to different parts of the city, the majority of them remain in the same location.

Admission fee

Although the Einar Jonsson garden is free, those who are interested in art and sculpture should also consider visiting the building itself.

Adults. (10EUR) 1500 ISK
Children (-18 y/o) (free)
Seniors (67-y/o) (7EUR) ISK. 1000

Laugavegur main shopping street

Reykjavik’s lively main shopping street, Laugavegur, is where both locals and visitors go shopping.

You’ll find everything from small boutiques, tourist shops and record shops to trendy stores that specialize in everything from music to fashion.

Laugavegur street

Whether you want some Icelandic souvenirs or new threads, Laugavegur has got you covered. Street art graces the walls of many buildings along this busy thoroughfare—it's there as a reminder that tourists love to snap photos of it!

You’ll also find vintage shops and many quirky boutiques selling jewelry, household items, clothing, and more.

The best part? You can eat or drink your way through Reykjavik Shopping—the street is packed with cafes, bistros, and restaurants that serve dishes ranging from bright green falafel with tzatziki sauce to homemade lamb patties.

People walking on Laugavegur shopping street in Reykjavik Iceland on a sunny day

Laugavegur street is one of the oldest streets in Reykjavik and it used to be the main route for women who needed to get their laundry washed in the hot springs. The construction of the various buildings in this area started in 1885, after that time it has become one of the most popular shopping streets in Iceland.

The road starts in the east at Kringlumýrarbraut, near the shopping mall Kringlan. Then runs west to Bankastræti, which is a short distance away.

The shopping area of Laugavegur starts at the bus center of Reykjavik, Hlemmur, and leads to Bankastræti. This road is about two kilometers long.

While you can easily spend a day exploring Laugavegur, there are some must-visit places that you should put on your list.

people sitting at Skál Restaurant in Hlemmur Mathöll Food hall in Reykjavik Iceland

Hlemmur Mathöll

Reykjavík's first Food Hall Hlemmur Mathöll is stylish and comfortable and is a Mecca for foodies.

Some of the popular cuisines
that you can try in this area include
Vietnamese, French, Italian, LA-style tacos, Icelandic lamb and the Michelin-mentioned restaurant Skál.

In addition to food, you can also find organic vegetables, ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, and freshly-roasted coffee.

These establishments also have vegan and vegetarian options.

The atmosphere at Hlemmur Mathöll is always fun and vibrant. A great spot for a quick meal with your spouse or a fun evening with friends.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market is an Iceland-based clothing and design company that was founded in 2005 by a young artist couple, designer Bergthora Gudnadottir and musician Jóel Pálsson.

The Farmers Market is known for its design concept, which is inspired by the vibrant design scene in Iceland. This store features a variety of products that are made using Nordic elements.

The company's clothes are made from natural materials and are designed to be both sophisticated and practical. They're also known for their impeccable craftsmanship. The company's clothes are ideal for a wide range of occasions.

Farmers Market Clothing store in Laugavegur Reykjavik Iceland on a sunny day
Sandholt Bakery in Laugavegur Reykjavik Iceland

Sandholt Bakery

Reykjavík's first Food Hall Hlemmur Mathöll is stylish and comfortable and is a Mecca for foodies.

Some of the popular cuisines
that you can try in this area include
Vietnamese, French, Italian, LA-style tacos, Icelandic lamb and the Michelin-mentioned restaurant Skál.

In addition to food, you can also find organic vegetables, ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, and freshly-roasted coffee.

These establishments also have vegan and vegetarian options.

The atmosphere at Hlemmur Mathöll is always fun and vibrant. A great spot for a quick meal with your spouse or a fun evening with friends.

Mál & Menning

In Iceland, literature is a serious business, with people taking it seriously when it comes to recommending books.

Mál & Menning is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about the country's rich literary heritage.

If you want to get a taste of the country's culture, start with Independent People, which is the work of Halldór Laxness, Iceland's only Nobel Prize-winning literature writer.

This establishment has a robust English-language selection, and it includes publications such as magazines and newspapers. Wi-Fi is also available in the café upstairs.

Mál & Menning bookstore on Laugavegur in Reykjavik Iceland
Noodle station restaurant on Laugavegur Reykjavik Iceland

Noodle Station

Even though it's warm outside, it can feel like it's cold in Reykjavik due to the unpredictable winds.

One of the best ways to get a break from shopping is to take a break from the city and enjoy a meal at the noodle station located in the area.

This restaurant has a variety of Thai-style noodle soup options that are guaranteed to warm you up.

The food at this establishment is simple and delicious, and it's also very easy to order a variety of different types of food.

Kaldi Bar

Kaldi Bar is a popular spot for locals and tourists in Reykjavik.

This is a place where you can enjoy a variety of international and local beers, as well as other spirits, in a warm and welcoming environment.

If you’re not a fan of beer, this is a good place to stop for a drink and a bite to eat, and a piano is available for playing.

Its staff is friendly and accommodating, and it's also known for hosting various events.

This is a popular spot for local musicians, and if you think you can do it better, you might want to try taking over.

Kaldi bar in Reykjavik Iceland down town

Museums in Reykjavik

Product Tour. Whales of Iceland Product Tour. Perlan City TourProduct Tour. Aurora Reykjavik

Perlan museum

Perlan is a beautiful glass pearl sitting on top of Reykjavik's Öskjuhlíð hill.

It’s surrounded by woodland and is full of activities for everyone.

The site's construction was inspired by six hot water tanks that are located in the center of Reykjavik city.

Today it is one of the top Reykjavik museums.

Blond haired woman in "lopapeysa" traditional Icelandic sweater inside an man made Ice cave inside Perlan museum Reykjavik Iceland

Indoor ice cave

A custom-built 100-meter long ice cave, with more than 350+ tons of mountain ice, snow, and volcano ash inside an old water tank building.

The shape, sounds, and temperature, reaching -15 °C (-5ºF), are a perfect recreation of a real ice cave.

Through the ice cave, visitors can explore the history of Iceland's glaciers and see how they formed over time.

While natural ice caves are open between November-March, this one is open all year around!

Northern Lights Planetarium

Is a large-format 8K 360-degree dome playing a Northern Lights film called aurora or "Áróra".

It features a dance-inspired show that's designed to show the northern lights in their best conditions.

The Perlan Planetarium is also a great place for people to learn about the origins of the universe.

It features a interactive exhibition and multimedia displays where you can travel through time and space to see how they were formed.

People inside the 360 degrees planetarium in Perlan Museum Iceland watching Northern Lights show

Wonders of Iceland

Through Perlan’s nature exhibition, visitors can experience the beauty of Iceland through cutting-edge technology, multimedia displays and spectacular photography.

This natural feature is part of the "Wonders of Iceland" exhibition, which also features a variety of exhibits and displays about Icelandic geology.

Some of these include the country's geothermal sites and volcanoes.

Red moon behind Perlan museum in Reykjavik Iceland

In addition, Perlan museum has a new exhibition that focuses on the relationship between water and Iceland's natural features.

It features interactive multimedia displays and cutting-edge technology. The exhibition, titled "Water in Iceland Nature," talks about everything that makes this country unique.

Látrabjarg cliffs, which are located in the Westfjords, are regarded as one of the best places in the world to watch birds. Perlan has built a replica of the cliffs, which is ten meters tall.

It allows visitors to see life-like figures of the birds that live there.

Beautiful yellow sunset at the observation desk at Perlan museum Iceland

Observation deck

Perlan has an observation deck, which allows people to see all of Reykjavik from a high vantage point in 360-degree view.

And if you are in a hurry you can take the zipline down 230 meters from the observation deck at a quick pace.

Food at Perlan

Perlan’s restaurant rotating glass dome opens up to a 360-degree view of Reykjavík that is truly unique.

The café on the top floor serves a variety of food and drink options, such as coffee and pastries. In May 2022, the restaurant introduced a new menu.

On the fourth floor, patrons can enjoy ice cream from the Ice Cream Parlour. It serves ice cream and other sweet treats, such as candies, milkshakes, and soft-serve ice cream.

The shop uses only the finest ingredients and creates its ice cream with love to ensure that its customers get the best possible service.

Plate of burger and fries inside the restaurant in Perlan Museum Reykjavik Iceland

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