The world’s most northerly capital combines colourful buildings, quirky people, a wild nightlife and a capricious soul to devastating effect. Most visitors fall helplessly in love, returning home already saving to come back.
The city’s charm lies in its many peculiar contrasts, which, like tectonic plates clashing against one another, create an earthquake of energy. Reykjavík offers a bewitching combination of village innocence and big-city zeal. It’s populated by darkly cynical citizens (a quality brought very much to the fore by the country's recent near-bankruptcy) who are, in spite of everything, filled with unstoppable creativity and enduring spirit. In summer the streets are washed by 22 hours of daylight; in winter they’re scoured by blizzards and doused in never-ending night. Reykjavík is a city that treasures its Viking past but wants the future – the very best of it – NOW!
You’ll find all the cultural trappings of a large 21st-century European city here: cosy cafés, world-class restaurants, fine museums and galleries, and state-of-the-art geothermal pools. Reykjavík has also become infamous for its kicking music scene and its excessive Friday-night runtur, a wild pub crawl round the small, superstylish clubs and bars.
Add to this a backdrop of snow-topped mountains, an ocean that wets the very toes of the town, air as cold and clean as frozen diamonds, and incredible volcanic surroundings, and you’ll agree that there’s no better city in the world.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- See the best of Reykjavík on a city sightseeing tour
- Hike through Iceland's stunning landscapes on a 5-day walking tour
- Discover Iceland's Golden Circle on a day trip from Reykjavík
- Experience Iceland on a 12-day adventure
Last updated: Feb 8, 2013
Tips & articles
3 November 2011
The stark beauty of Iceland’s wild scenery. Photograph by David Noto...
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