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Top Attractions in Iceland

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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.
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Tryggvagata 17, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The Reykjavík Art Museum comprises a trio of buildings that have been constructed around the collections of three of the city’s most famous artists: the painters Erró and Jóhannes Kjarval and the sculptor...
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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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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...
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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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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...
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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...
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Rekagrandi 14, 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...
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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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Iceland
One of the most popular day trips from Reykjavík, this dramatic and scenic rift valley is both the historical site of Iceland’s Viking parliament and a geological wonder in its own right. Among the highlights are the...
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Reykjadalur, Iceland
Reykjadalur means "Steam Valley"—a perfectly apt description of this pleasant geothermal area close to the town of Hveragerði, a 40-minute drive south from Reykjavík. Formed from a now extinct volcano (Mount Hengill), the valley...
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Rauðasandur means "red sand," an apt name for this unusual rust-colored beach located on the southwesterly peninsula of the Westfjords, around seven miles from the Látrabjarg bird cliffs. The road leading to Rauðasandur is a...
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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...
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Established in 2001, Snæfellsjökull National Park—the first ever national park created in Iceland—covers an impressive 65 square miles around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which itself extends some 44 miles into the sea...
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Jökulsárlón, Iceland
This lake filled with giant, translucent chunks of iceberg is one of Iceland’s most distinctive and photogenic sights. Featured in high-profile movies, including two of the James Bond series and Batman Begins (as well as many local TV...
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This dramatic two-tier waterfall, whose name translates as "Golden Falls," a reference to the shimmering mist that sometimes appears around the falls, is one of Iceland’s most famous—which is saying something in a country...
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Iceland
Located about an hour northeast from Reykjavík and part of the famed Golden Circle tour (along with Gullfoss), the Geysir hot springs area consists of around a dozen hot water blowholes, including the eponymous Geysir. The...
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Þjóðvegur, Reykjahlidh, Iceland
Lake Mývatn is an unusually scenic body of water that covers some 14 square miles of the land east of Akureyri. This is one of the most striking regions in Iceland: The lake’s surrounded by a jaw-dropping landscape of...
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Landmannalaugar (the name translates as "Countryman’s Bathing Pool") is a scenic hot springs area in southern Iceland, accessible by bus during summer. Seasoned hikers will want to take the 37-mile Landmannalaugar Trail, which...
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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...
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Drangey, Iceland
Characterized by dramatic 590-foot-high sheer cliffs, the island of Drangey was created by a 700,000‑year‑old volcano first mentioned in the Icelandic sagas as the home of an outlaw named Grettir the Strong. These days the island is a...
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Arnarfjörður, Iceland
Iceland’s Westfjords have always possessed a character and culture that’s markedly different from the rest of the country. Extending like a lobster claw from the northwest of Iceland, the region combines geographic remoteness with the...
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Eyrardalur, 420 Súðavík, Iceland
The Arctic Fox Center, tucked away in the tiny Westfjords village of Súðavík, is dedicated to the only land mammal native to Iceland. The nonprofit research institution and exhibition center was set up in 2007 by a...
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Vik, Iceland
Located in the not-so-easy-to-pronounce Mýrdalshreppur region, the small beachside town of Vík is bordered to the north by the immense (270-square-mile) Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland's fourth largest glacier, and to the south by...
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Iceland
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...
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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),...
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The Látrabjarg cliffs were, until 1926, mostly a summer haunt for local farmers, who scaled them to collect bird eggs. But the region has become nearly unpopulated since the 1960s, leaving the area to the millions of seabirds that return...
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Reykjavík, Iceland
This vast national park was originally established in 1967 and became part of Vatnajökull National Park in 2008. A wonderland for hikers and nature lovers, the park features a host of hiking trails that are as varied as they are...
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Húsey, Iceland
Situated some 37 miles north of Egilsstaðir in East Iceland and located in a wilderness area between two glacial rivers, Húsey Farm is now a renovated youth hostel offering double rooms as well as dorms. The location makes for a...
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Akureyri, Iceland
Although it’s home to only about 20,000 souls, Iceland’s second biggest city is often referred to as the capital of northern Iceland. A functioning port and fishing center, it has a surprisingly lively infrastructure with a slew...
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Hólmavík, Iceland
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...