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Is Reykjavík the coolest city in the world (and we don't mean the weather)? We think it is - but then again, it is our hometown.
There's a special feel to Reykjavík, a blend of city and village. We're not talking big numbers (only 120,000 people live here) - but we are talking big hype, big allure, and big landscapes on the doorstep. This cool capital is generating plenty of buzz right now. Reykjavík and Iceland attract more visitors every year, for live music, fresh food, geothermal soaks, northern lights, and awesome nature. Isn't it time to come and discover what all the fuss is about?
Where to start? How about with a view over the city from the top of Hallgrímskirkja? It's our landmark church that looks like a spiky space shuttle with arms open in wide embrace. And you should visit Harpa, the waterfront concert hall full of beautiful light and great angles.
You can walk the waterfront, harbor and old town: stop to investigate museums that cover Icelandic sagas, artists and Vikings, or check out the fantastic offerings of modern-day locals who overflow with creativity. Reykjavík is a Unesco City of Literature (we love our books) and has a rockin' live music scene (visit for a festival like Airwaves in November). When you're done with sightseeing, it's time to relax - warm geothermal water heats our swimming pools and Icelanders gather in them to rest and recharge.
Laugavegur is downtown Reykjavík's main street, and it provides fertile hunting ground for street art, design stores, and excellent street life, and it comes into its own of an evening when the restaurants and bars fill up. Make a shopping detour on weekends for Kolaportið flea market to check out this fun institution, full of food, second-hand clothes and vintage finds. Then browse the new breed of boutiques and studios down at Grandi, near the Old Harbor.
Look past what Icelanders refer to as 'puffin stores' (souvenir shops) to find authentic, locally made artworks, fashion and design objects. We know you've admired the local knitwear (those patterned woollen sweaters are known as lopapeysur) - stop by the knitting stores for a perfect, snuggly, handmade souvenir.
Of course we will sing the praises of our hometown to anyone who will listen - but we also sing Reykjavík's praises as a springboard to the head-spinning landscapes that make Iceland so captivating. From sapphire-blue ice caves to endless cracked lava fields, we'll show you why that old 'land of fire and ice' slogan is more than just a cliché.
From the capital, there's a smorgasbord of options: waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, and hiking trails straight from a National Geographic doco. There are rental cars or scheduled buses for DIY adventure, or organized jeep tours, whale-watching boat cruises, horseback adventures, snowmobiling, rafting, sightseeing from helicopters and so much more. Get out there - we promise you won't regret it.