Reykjavik is the capital and the only large city in Iceland. It is located in the southwestern part of the island, on the Atlantic coast (in the Gulf Faxaflói). Reykjavik is characterized by very rugged coastline with numerous bays, peninsulas and islands. A beautiful landscape around Reykjavik even further accentuate the typical colored rooftops. It is the world's northernmost capital city and home to about 200,000 residents - this is two thirds of the total population of Iceland.
Accommodation in Reykjavik
Local prices of accommodation are not among the lowest. In our offer, you can find around 160 hotels, guest houses and private accommodation (apartments). Prices for accommodation varies according to a tourist season, highest are during the summer months. If you are looking for cheap accommodation, we can recommend some of the local Guesthouses. The price here ranges from 45 Euro per double room per night: Skolabru Guesthouse, Guesthouse Aurora, Igdlo Guesthouse. Other option how to book a cheaper accommodation is to book private accommodation. All the apartments in our offer feature fully equipped kitchens, price ranges from 60 Euro for 2 people per night. Very popular are apartments Welcome, Bolholt, or Downtown Reykjavík Apartment K Reykjavik. You can also find here hotel chains such as Hilton Reykjavik Nordica, Radisson SAS Saga Hotel and the Best Western Hotel Reykjavik. One of the most favourite accommdation in Reykjavik are Einholt Apartments or Hotel Odinsve.
History of Reykjavik
According to legend, the first settler in Iceland was Norwegian Viking Ingólfur Arnarson. He founded a settlement on the site of today Reykjavik and named it "smoky bay". It was because of rising steam from nearby hot springs. In the 18th century, the Danish King Frederik V donated Reykjavik to a local estate company Innréttingar, led by the former manager of Iceland Skúli Magnusson. This started economic development of Reykjavik as Skúli Magnusson founded several manufacturers to produce wool mills and tanneries. Reykjavik was declared as a city in 1786. During World War II, when Denmark was occupied by Germany, the allied army of Americans and the British set up their basics right in Iceland. This contributed to an economic development of Reykjavik.
How to get to Reykjavik
The Keflavík International Airport is located near the town of Keflavik, about 50 km southwest from Reykjavik. From the airport, there are running regular bus lines (Flybus, Gray Line Airport Express), that will take you in 50 minutes to the bus station or upon request directly to your hotel. If you plan to rent a car, you can pick the car in the airport. If you plan to spend your stay in Reykjavik only, you will not need to hire a car. City buses get you anywhere in the city. However, if planning to travel outside the city, then renting a car is the best way to travel.
Weather in Reykjavik
Climate in Reykjavik is despite its northern location not as cold as you might think. Temperatures during the winter months are very similar to a winter for example in Central Europe. In summer, the temperature climbs only up to 13 degrees. On the other hand, summer months have a great advantage - daylight here lasts whopping 21 hours. If there is something typical for the weather in Reykjavik, it is however, its incredible variability.
Landmarks of Reykjavik
In Reykjavik, you can not find the old historic center, as have other European cities. But you will enjoy a true Nordic architecture that plays all the colors and a very friendly atmosphere. The biggest landmark of Reykjavik is the Hallgrímskirkja Church. This huge concrete church has a 75 m high tower and on its top there is a panoramic viewing platform. While walking through the center, you can not miss the lake Tjörnin. The locals simply call it "pond". In the northern part of the lake you can view a very controversial local Town Hall. Historically interesting buildings is the villa Höfði, which made famous the meeting of two presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, who have acted at the end of the Cold War. Your attention also deserves the glass dome on the top of the hill Öskuhlíð. This glass building called the "pearl" Perlan, is actually a giant hot water tank with a capacity of 4 million liters of water. Hot water at a temperature of 80º C, which here flows, heats Reykjavik households and city sidewalks. Part of the dome is a revolving restaurant with panoramic city views.
Geothermal pools in Reykjavik
Geothermal pools are an important part of Icelandic culture. You should not miss this pleasant way how to relax. Directly in Reykjavik, you can swim in the largest pool complex Laugardalslaug. It is located east of the center, near the National Stadium. The newest pools are Arbaejarlaug. Remarkable is also a geothermal beach - Nauthólsvík Thermal Beach just south of downtown. Here, you can swim in the waves of the Atlantic ocean. The water here is heated by a thermal spring that flows into the ocean. The water temperature here during the summer months reaches a pleasant 20ºC. The most famous is however the Blue Lagoon, located a few kilometers south from the airport in Keflavik. From Reykjavik you can get here by car or bus.
Culture in Reykjavik
Reykjavik is the fifth city (after Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City and Dublin), that was awarded by the title "City of Literature" by the UNESCO. The globally recognized natives Reykjavik include the writer Arnaldur Indriðason (detective) and Halldór Laxness (novelist, poet, essayist and translator). Another interesting personality who was born in Reykjavik, is a singer Bjork.