The Best of Reykjavik
Collected by Paul Sullivan , AFAR Local Expert
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.
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 1937, and inspired less by outer space than...
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...
Austurbakki 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
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...
Nauthólsvegur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
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...
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 original establishment in Copenhagen, it’s...
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...
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 Tjörninis home...
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...
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...
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...
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