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The Best of Reykjavik

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From churchtower views and modernist concert halls to beer and midnight gatherings, these are some of the best reasons to visit Iceland's capital city. We recommend staying close to the action in the heart of Reykjavik, in the district known as the 101. For the latest goings-on, pick up a copy of the English-language expat newspaper Grapevine.
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Hallgrímstorg 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
You can’t miss Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík’s 240-foot-tall, rocket-shaped church, which soars above the city skyline and is illuminated at night. Designed by famed national architect Guðjón Samúelsson in...
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Skólavörðustígur 15, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
12 Tónar is one of Iceland's longest-serving record stores and is also a local record label. Housed in a traditional wooden house in downtown Reykjavik, it's the best place to find all kinds of Icelandic music—from classical and pop to rock and...
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Austurbakki 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Opened in 2011, Reykjavík's Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre is not only the most significant classical music venue in Iceland (home to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera), but also one of the country’s...
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The 101 Hotel’s clean lines and minimalist color scheme—Nordic-cool grays, whites, and blacks warmed by tan oak floors and natural light—reflect the sensibility of owner Ingibjörg S. Pálmadóttir, a graduate of The New School for Design in New...
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Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
we didnt stay at KEX hostel but we went there twice for burgers and coffee and cool people watching. The interior is an instagrammers dream and the abbreviated menu is a good mix of American heartiness (cheeseburgers) and delicious Scando fare...
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Nauthólsvegur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Visiting Iceland, one of the things you notice most is the contrasts that run throughout the country. These geothermal pools near the Blue Lagoon outside Reykjavik are a prime example of that. There was snow covering the hills surrounding the...
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Lækjargata 2a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The award-winning Grillmarkaðurinn (Grill Market), known for working with local farmers and suppliers to create meals that are fresh, organic, seasonal, and delicious, is a definite culinary highlight for foodies visiting Iceland. The...
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Austurstræti 9, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Reykjavík’s Laundromat Café is one of the city’s most casual and upbeat places to hang out, whether you want to drink a fine craft beer, enjoy brunch, or—yes—do your laundry. The sister enterprise of the...
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Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Bæjarins beztu pylsur, which humbly translates as "the best hot dog in town," is a simple stand in central Reykjavík whose popularity over the decades has given it a kind of cult status. Almost everyone in the country has eaten...
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Aðalstræti 10, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The oldest house in Reykjavik (built in 1762) is home to the latest in Icelandic design, from books, clothing, and jewelry to a stool upholstered with lamb’s wool and a Blue Lagoon–like glass bowlby Kristín Sigfríður Garðarsdóttir.
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Tjörnin, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Despite being so close to the harbor and the ocean, Reykjavík’s city lake has a charm and atmosphere all its own. Bordered by a main road on one side and a string of pretty, colorful residences on the other, the natural, stone-edged...
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Tryggvagata 17, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The Reykjavík Art Museum was founded in 1973 and is the largest visual art institution in the country. There are actually three locations: Hafnarhus (pictured) Kjarvalsstadir, and Asmundarsafn (Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum). Hafnarhús has a...
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Suðurgata 41, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The National Museum of Iceland is a great spot to find out about the nation's fascinating past. The permanent exhibition stretches right back to the first settlement and comes up to the present day, and contains some 2,000 objects plus around...
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Funny thing about the geysers outside Reykjavik: The first fifteen minutes, you're marveling at the explosions of scalding water. Next fifteen minutes, your attention shifts to the gawking itself. Human nature and nature nature, both putting on a...
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Eyrarbraut 3a, Stokkseyri, Iceland
Icelandic lobster—also known as langoustine—is more like an oversize crayfish than a meaty Maine lobster. Nonetheless, it’s delicious, either grilled in garlic butter or cooked in creamy Icelandic lobster soup. For seafood...
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Norðurmýri, Reykjavík, Iceland
Coffee roasted in-house and brewed by friendly baristas draws a young crowd into the old stone building near Reykjavik’s imposing Lutheran cathedral. Share one of the seven tables with a regular patron and catch up on local gossip while...