Top Attractions in Iceland
Collected by Paul Sullivan, AFAR Local Expert
From the steam rising off the Blue Lagoon to the black basalt cliffs looming above the roiling Atlantic, Iceland's dramatic vistas are second to none. And in addition to waterfalls and geysers, the island nation's museums—fine art, folk life, and fascinating oddities—round out a destination that will enchant you.
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...
4, 110, Kistuhylur, Reykjavík, Iceland
This impressive open-air museum was once a functioning farm as well as a popular resting place for people on their way to and from Reykjavík. It was transformed into a museum in the 1950s in an attempt to preserve something of an old...
Laugavegur 116, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
Surely the world’s only museum to showcase the phalluses of an entire nation's mammalian wildlife, Iceland’s Phallological Museum is somewhat unique. Despite its obvious quirk factor, the museum is actually an interesting...
Aðalstræti 16, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Reykjavík’s Settlement Museum was established in 2001 after archaeological remains were discovered during an excavation. Said remains turned out to be the oldest relics of human habitation in the city, with some fragments dating to...
Sculpture & Shore Walk, Tjarnargata 11, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Reykjavík’s old harbor, built between 1913 and 1917, has seen quite the transformation in recent years, morphing from a mainly functional area dominated by ships and their fishermen to a lively, modern tourism area that’s almost...
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...
Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
64.964220, -15.157244, Múlavegur í fljótsdal, Egilstaðir, Iceland
This unique nature retreat in Iceland’s remote east (around 31 miles from Egilsstaðir) offers an alluring and comprehensive mix of services that span renovated farmhouse accommodation, a specially curated exhibition on Icelandic...
The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, established in 1975, lies at the northern tip of the Westfjords region of Iceland. It was peppered with working farms and a tight-knit community up until the postwar era, but the area today hosts just a few...
Dynjandi Walking Trail, Iceland
Although Gullfoss gets most of the tourists, Dynjandi waterfall is arguably one of the most breathtaking (and one of the biggest) in Iceland. Situated in the remote Westfjords (it’s sometimes described as the region’s jewel),...
This fascinating museum is located in a former farmhouse in the small village of Hólmavík along the east coast of the Westfjords. As well as positing some interesting facts (most of the witches in Iceland were men, for...
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