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Reykjavík

 Visitors to Reykjavík are thrilled by the pure energy at the heart of Iceland’s capital city - be it from the boiling thermal springs underground, the natural green energy, or the lively culture scene and fun-filled nightlife.
The world’s northernmost capital, it's framed by the majestic Mount Esja, which keeps a watchful eye on the city, and the blue waters of Faxaflói Bay. On a sunny day, the mystical Snæfellsjökull glacier appears crystal-like on the western horizon, while mountainous moonscapes spread to the southeast.

currency

1 Icelandic Króna (ISK) = 100 Aurar

phone

Single Emergency Number: 112

newspaper

The Reykjavík Grapevine (www.grapevine.is)
Morgunbladid (www.mbl.is)
Dagbladid Visi (www.visir.is)

hours

The opening hours of most businesses are from 9:00 until 17:00. Some companies and institutions change their work hours to 8:00 to 16:00 in the summer months.

Shopping hours are generally from 10:00 until 18:00 weekdays (Monday to Friday). On Saturdays, most shops are open from 10:00 until 16:00, while some are closed on Saturdays in summer. Most shops are closed on Sundays, but both shopping centres are open daily.

The following days are public holidays in Iceland. Most shops and businesses are closed on these days, but on many public holidays some food stores remain open.
• New Year’s Day: 1 January
• Maundy Thursday: the Thursday before Easter
• Good Friday: the Friday before Easter
• Easter Sunday
• Easter Monday
• May Day: 1 May
• Ascension Day: the Thursday 40 days after Easter
• Whit Sunday: the seventh Sunday after Easter
• Whit Monday: the day after Whit Sunday
• National Day: 17 June
• Summer Bank Holiday: the first Monday in August
• Christmas Eve: public holiday from noon
• Christmas Day
• Boxing Day: the day after Christmas
• New Year’s Eve: public holiday from noon.

population

Reykjavík 127,000. Greater Reykjavík 214,000

info

Reykjavík Official Tourist Information Centre:
Tjarnargata 11, Reykjavík
Tel: +354 411 6040
Open daily 8am-8pm
www.visitreykjavik.is
info@visitreykjavik.is

Here you will find detailed info for the whole country, a free booking service, maps, brochures and internet access.

aurora over Iceland, near Reykjavik

The City

The city of Reykjavík has a fascinating history that stretches back for over a thousand years. The site was first inhabited in the eighth century by a band of hardy Norsemen. Since then Vikings, monks, sailors, musicians, fishermen, politicians, writers, artists and all manner of folk have played their part in shaping the rich history and culture that makes Iceland’s capital such a vibrant and fascinating place.

Visitors leave Reykjavík with a renewed sense of vigour that can be attributed to Iceland’s pristine air and unique energy, evident all around the city - from the geothermal vents steaming in the midnight sunshine to the great open spaces that adorn the area with a stunning natural landscape. Many year-round activities and events can fill the diary of any interested traveller.

Reykjavík is also home to the world’s oldest parliament - the Althing, which was founded in 930 AD. However, today the city is the epitome of a modern European capital with a world-class infrastructure, excellent transport links to Europe and North America, and 200,000 welcoming Icelanders helping you enjoy your stay.

Reykjavík is renowned for an array of features: a big art scene, sight-seeing and nightlife; annual film and music festivals; and numerous shops, museums and restaurants. There’s no other city like the world’s most Northerly capital, situated at a relatively short distance from the Arctic Circle.
Visitors from all round the globe also enjoy whale and wildlife watching, relaxing in one of the many thermally-heated spas and pools (such as the famous Blue Lagoon), viewing spectacular sights such as the Imagine Peace Tower (a spectacular tribute to John Lennon) or the Hallgrímskirkja church, and touring the amazing countryside - all with the beautiful snow-covered Mount Esja in the background.
Reykjavík is home to some superb hotels, guest houses and other cozy kinds of accommodation for visitors. Information on tours, trips and things to do during your stay can be easily found in this brochure or at the Reykjavík Tourist Information Centre.

However long you stay, you won’t be short of things to do in Reykjavík.

thermal pool in Reykjavik

Top 10

Reykjavík’s compact city centre is a friendly and colourful network of small streets with historic buildings, a wide selection of boutiques, designer shops, and cafés and restaurants that serve attractive dishes made of the freshest ingredients. Find the perfect souvenir, enjoy a gourmet meal or lose track of time in a modern gallery. See below for the "Top 10" things to do.

If you have more time on your hands we encourage you to go beyond the trendy “101” postcode of the Reykjavík city centre and view some of the intriguing sites that the Reykjavík Capital Area offers, including Viking and elf territories, museums displaying both nature’s wonders and cultural icons, some excellent new thermal pool facilities and top bird watching sites.

1. Tjörnin Lake

2. Thermal pools

3. Hallgrímskirkja

4. Cultural heritage

5. Shopping

6. Day-tour

7. “Reykjavík style”

8. The Pearl

9. Seafood restaurants

10. Whale-watching

Reykjavik landscape with rainbow

Do & See

Glaciers, geysers, hot springs and volcanoes are the exotic attractions that have drawn tourists to Iceland for a long time. Reykjavík itself has recently become one of the world’s greatest weekend destinations and hosts visitors from across the world. Reykjavík also offers splendid architecture, fantastic shopping and a raft of cultural delights with Iceland’s amazing natural wonders just around the corner.

Reykjavik Park And Zoo

The Thermal Beach In Reykjavík - Nautholsvik

Hallgrímskirkja Church

Reykjavík Art Museum

Reykjavik City Museum

Whale Watching

National Museum

Horseback Riding

food at a cafe, Reykjavik

Dining

Foodies will find plenty to keep them happy when wining and dining in the nation’s capital. Reykjavík has an astounding variety of restaurants, offering both traditional and international cuisine prepared with the freshest ingredients. Icelandic cuisine is characterised by an imaginative use of pure Icelandic ingredients such as fresh fish and seafood, organic lamb and wild game. Be sure not to miss the Icelandic hot dog. The highly acclaimed “city’s best” can be found at the “Bæjarins Beztu” hot dog stand on Tryggvagata near Reykjavík Harbour.

Kol

Kopar

Ísafold Restaurant

Grillmarkadurinn (The Grill Market)

Fiskmarkadurinn (The Fish Market)

Forréttabarinn

Kolabrautin

Gandhi

Gló

Icelandic Fish & Chips

Fjalakötturinn

Ítalía

Sjavarbarinn

Austur-Indíafélagið

Sushi Social

Tapas Barinn

Snaps Bistro Bar

HaPP

Slippbarinn

Sæmundur í Sparífötunum

Grillið

Prikid

Laekjarbrekka

1919 Restaurant & Lounge

Vox

table at a cafe

Cafes

Reykjavík boasts a great café culture, with residents regularly meeting up with friends and family for coffee, cake and little talks. An Icelandic hot chocolate is a great way to warm those cold bones after a day spent exploring the city. Many cafes also host live music and entertainment.

Bar & Cafe Uppsalir

Kaffitar

Mokka Kaffi

Café Babalú

Prikið

party concert

Bars & Nightlife

Walking through the Reykjavík city centre during the day, and doing the same after hours when the party is well under way, are two completely different experiences. Reykjavík is well known for its vibrant nightlife, with trendy bars and clubs open until the early hours of the morning. Whether you are interested in listening to live music or dancing the night away, you are sure to find something to your liking.

Bars & Clubs - The distinction between cafés, pubs, bars and clubs is far from clear in Reykjavík, with many daytime cafés turning into tightly packed bars and clubs as the night goes on. Many are open until late (five in the morning) and it is not uncommon to spend all night in town on Friday and Saturday nights. Most bars and clubs are in the compact downtown area which makes it easy to test many different places.

Live Music - Reykjavík has a very eclectic music scene which goes far beyond what you might have heard about Bjork and Sigur Rós. The scene is made up of a large number of genres, with everything from hardcore punk rock and indie to chamber music and hip-hop. You can take in a concert almost every night of the week.

Hurra

Slippbarinn

Sæmundur í Sparífötunum

B5

Prikid

1919 Restaurant & Lounge

Gaukurinn

Kaffibarinn

view of Reykjavik

Events

Lovers of arts and culture are in for a real treat in Reykjavík. From the Icelandic sagas to contemporary art, Reykjavík has a buzzing culture scene. A constant flow of innovative musical happenings, theatrical performances and culture events keeps locals and visitors entertained all year round.

Winter Lights Festival

Food and Fun

Design March

Children’s Cultural Festival

Festival of the Sea

Iceland National Day

Hafnarfjörður Viking Festival

Secret Solstice

Reykjavik Pride

Reykjavík Marathon

Reykjavik Culture Night

Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF)

Illumination of the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island

Iceland Airwaves

Lighting of the Oslo Christmas Tree

Advent Festival

view of Reykjavik

Shopping

Reykjavíkers are known for their innovative design style. Walk up Laugavegur or Skólavördustígur, the city’s main shopping streets, and you’ll spot arts and crafts galleries, music and bookstores, jewellery shops and much more. One-of-a-kind Icelandic jewels often incorporate local semi-precious stones or pieces of lava rock. Locally created fashion products are fascinating and varied, from handbags made of fish skin to a delicate woollen tops.

On weekends, you will find the Flea Market (Kolaportið) by Reykjavík Harbour overflowing with bric-a-brac and Icelandic delicacies, such as fermented shark, dried fish, tons of liquorice and much more!

You can also find electronics, camping equipment, book shops, record stores and gift shops around Reykjavík, plus several shopping malls handily located on the outskirts of the city.

Downtown Shopping

Tax-free Shopping

Michelsen Watchmakers

Kirsuberjatréð

66° North

SPAKS - Spaksmannsspjarir

12 Tonar

Kringlan

Smaralind Mall

view of Reykjavik

Essential Information

Reykjavik is closer than you think. Flight time is 2-4 hours from Europe and 5-6 hours from east coast USA.
It is also a compact city which is easy to navigate, whether on your own two feet or by public transport. In addition, magnificent countryside awaits just minutes away from the city centre. Visit the Reykjavík Tourist Information Centre for help in planning your activities.
When exploring Reykjavík, do not be afraid to stop and ask for directions, since people are very friendly and almost everyone speaks English.

Passport / Visa

Iceland can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.

Best Time to Visit

In summer you'll find the warmest temperatures (usually in the low 20°C), beautiful green landscapes, and an exciting choice of events - see our dedicated section for more info. As summer is the most popular time to visit, though, expect crowds of tourists.
A great attraction of Icelandic summers is the midnight sun: darkness lasts for a very short time, especially in June. Head for the countryside, where there are fewer artificial lights, to get the most ethereal views. July and August, the warmest months, are the best for hikers. May to September is the best period to go whale-watching, peaking in June and July.
If you're interested in the Northern lights, visit in February-March or September-October, and remember to pack warm clothes against the less-than-idyllic weather.

Airports

All international flights land at the Keflavík International Airport, located near the town of Keflavík, about 50 kilometres from Reykjavík.
Keflavík International Airport
+354 425 6000
www.isavia.is/en/keflavik-airport

Flybus is the airport shuttle that runs between the Keflavík International Airport and the city of Reykjavík. The shuttle schedule is coordinated with airline flight schedules. The bus stops at many of the larger hotels in the city to drop off and pick up travellers. For further information on the Flybus schedule and fares visit www.flybus.is.

Reykjavík’s domestic airport, situated near the city centre, operates flights to other parts of the country and to Greenland and the Faroe Islands. All major towns in the country have their own airports. On certain routes, you can also choose to fly one way, and take the bus the other way. For further information on scheduled domestic flights, contact Air Iceland.
Air Iceland
Reykjavík Airport
+354 570 3030
www.airicelandconnect.com

Public Transport

Reykjavík has an excellent bus system. Most buses run every 10-20 minutes, and every 30 minutes in the evening and on weekends. Bus information is available at the Lækjartorg bus station, at the Reykjavík Tourist Information Centre and on www.bus.is.

A flat fare is charged on the buses. You may need to change buses: ask for a skiptimidi (transfer ticket) on the first bus and you will not have to pay again on the second bus if changing within 45 minutes.

The Reykjavík Tourist Card, available at the Reykjavík Tourist Information Centre in addition to many hotels, museums and other outlets, offers unlimited bus travel for 24, 48 or 72 hours and unlimited access to most Reykjavík museums and thermal baths. Find more at www.visitreykjavik.is/city-card.

A great way to see all the main sites in one go and with an excellent view, is with the hop on - hop off city sightseeing bus operated from May to mid-September.

Coaches make regular trips from Reykjavík to various towns and places around Iceland. Tickets are sold at the BSI Coach Terminal, situated close to the city centre. Visit the Reykjavík Tourist Information Centre for information about visiting other parts of the country.
BSI Terminal
Vatnsmýrarvegi 10, 101 Reykjavík
Tel: +354 580 5400
www.bsi.is

Taxi

Several taxi companies operate in Reykjavík. Taxi ranks are dotted around the city and the taxi companies have phone numbers that you can call to get a taxi from anywhere in the city. Some have special offers for transport to and from Keflavík International Airport. All taxis have official mileage meters, and taxi fares are charged at standard rates. There is no need to tip.


Hreyfill-Baejarleidir Taxis
+354 588 5522
www.hreyfill.is/en

B.S.R. Taxis
+354 561 0000
www.taxireykjavik.is

Car Hire Service

Many visitors enjoy the freedom of renting a vehicle and seeing the sights beyond Reykjavík at their own pace. Cars of all types and sizes can be rented at Reykjavík’s many car rental agencies. Special offers may be available in conjunction with flight bookings. Check at the Reykjavík Tourist Information Centre.

It is in general easy and safe to drive in Iceland. However, driving conditions can be different to what visitors are used to at home and special care must be taken when driving in the highlands. Visitors are advised to always seek information and guidance prior to setting off on their journey. Guides to safe driving can be accessed on the Traffic Directorate’s website: www.icetra.is.

Find a selection of car rentals here:

Avis Car Rental
Holtagarðar Parking, 104 Reykjavík
Tel: +354 591 4000
www.avis.is

Budget Car Rental
Holtagarðar Parking, Holtavegur 10, 104 Reykjavík
Tel: +354 562 6060
www.budget.is

Hertz Car Rental
Flugvallarvegur 5, 101 Reykjavík
Tel: +354 522 4400
www.hertz.is

Pharmacy

Find a centrally located pharmacy in Reykjavík at:

Address: Lágmúla 5, 108 Reykjavík

Phone: +354 533 2300

Website: www.lyfja.is/english

Post

Post boxes in Iceland are red and bear the sign "Posturinn". In Iceland, you will find stamps in many souvenir shops, bookstores, and of course post offices.

Find a centrally located post office in Reykjavík at:

Address: Pósthússtræti 5, 101 Reykjavík

Email: postur@postur.is

Phone: +354 580 1000

Website: www.postur.is

Telephone

The code into Iceland from overseas is +354 plus a seven-digit number. There are no area codes.

Electricity

230 V / 50 Hz. Power sockets type F.

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