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Die Hauptstadt Reykjavík, Bild: Boyloso / shutterstock

The five most beautiful sights in Reykjavik

The island of Iceland has only developed into a real hotspot for tourists in recent years. It received special attention at the beginning of the new millennium. This is also due to the fact that the island offers a real change from the cities on the mainland flooded with tourists. Iceland can be explored in a few days and yet offers the adventure of discovering untamed nature with the comfort of a modern European city. All tourists who visit the island first land in Reykjavik. Since this is the highest density of hotels and there are only a few tourist offers outside the capital, you should first take a look at the sights of the Icelandic capital before the trip to the geysers and volcanoes.

1. Hallgrimskirkja – Hallgrim Church

Hallgrímskirkja Church, Image: Ghing / shutterstock

Hardly any other building has caused as much discussion in Reykjavik as the construction of this special church, which began in 1940. Hallgrimskirkja is a masterpiece of modern architecture and characterises the cityscape as perhaps the most important landmark in the entire country. It is a mixture of modern architecture with the traditional architecture of the churches in the north and is available to visitors all year round. If you want to enjoy a unique view over the capital, you should invest around 5 euros for a ticket up to the observation tower. The elevator takes you to a 70-meter-high gallery, which allows a view over the entire coastal city. From here, the special architecture of the capital of Iceland becomes clear once again.

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2. Reykjavik Harbor with Harpa Concert Hall

Rejkjavik, Harpa
The Harpa Concert Hall, Image: SahatchaiS / shutterstock

You have to get used to the fact that Reykjavik is mainly defined by modern architecture. For a long time, the Icelandic island was in a self-imposed isolation. Apart from fishing, there was little reason for the inhabitants to make contact with other countries in Europe. This only changed in the late 20th century, when service providers also came to the island. The wonderful harbour is still the highlight of a visit today. In combination with the modern Harpa concert hall, there are plenty of opportunities for a great day out and an excursion on the island.

3. The Laugavegur

Reykjavik, Laugavegur
The Laugavegur district, Image: Nella / shutterstock

Even though Reykjavik doesn’t really have an old town to offer, the capital knows how to convince with other special districts. Laugavegur is something like the heart of the city. This is where most of the shops and restaurants can be found, and tourists and locals can be found in the shops and cafes all year round. In addition, the shopping street offers a great view of the church tower, which can always be seen on the horizon. When darkness comes – and it sometimes does very early in Iceland – the shops pack up and instead an active and popular nightlife develops in the capital. This is probably the best way to get in touch with the locals. By the way, many of them speak excellent English – so there should be no language barrier for experienced tourists.

4. The Blue Lagoon

Iceland, Bláa Lónið, The Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik
Bláa Lónið, The Blue Lagoon, Image: Puripat Lertpunyaroj / shutterstcok

In a neighboring town of Reykjavik you will find what the island has been famous for many tourists for many years: a completely natural thermal bath. The hot springs are something like the trademark of the island. Powered by the volcanic energy that can be found everywhere, the hot springs are a very popular place for locals and tourists alike to relax and meet new people. Most of these baths have very strict guidelines and especially for newcomers to sauna culture, some of the traditions could cause a bit of confusion. However, the local lifeguards are happy to explain the procedure and point out how to behave or what to consider during a visit so that it becomes a relaxation for everyone involved.

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5. The Art Museums of Reykjavik

A picturesque and impressive sight of Iceland’s capital, Image: KeongDaGreat / shutterstock

For the small capital of a small island, Reykjavik has a variety of interesting museums to offer. It seems that the focus here was mainly on modern art. In the different parts of the city, you will not only find interesting offers for every art movement, but also current exhibitions by artists from all over the world. If you are interested in the world of museums, you will also find an opportunity to learn a little more about the life of Icelanders in earlier times in the local history museums along the harbor. The modern buildings are not only visually splendourful, they also offer great entertainment and are a popular destination for tourists who come to the island.

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