Capital by the sea

Reykjavík is a special capital city, as it is the most-northern capital of the world. It can be found in the West of Iceland at the shore. Why is that? It was founded by Ingólfur Arnarson (one of the first settlers) in 874 CE in Viking tradition: he threw wooden poles from his ship and waited where they would reach land. Today the city has 140,000 inhabitants and is the largest settlement in Iceland. Its name literally means ‘smoky bay‘ which might refer to hot springs once existing in the area.

Reykjavík is not a very large capital city, but as the cultural center of the island it contains the most important institutions (like the parliament Alþingishúsið), the university and the most important museums like the national museum (Þjóðminjasafn) and the national gallery (Listasafn). You shouldn’t miss the natural history museum Perlan located in a former water storage. And if you want something unusual, Reykjavík also has to offer a phallological collection.

Directly at the harbor you can find the modern concert hall Harpa (which is also the best option to park your car) and not far from that there is the well-known art work ‘sun voyager‘ (which is the cover of this post). The most important sight is the Hallgrímskirkja with its special design, but it is not the most important church of the city: that is the tiny Dómkirkjan. In between you’ll find numerous good bars, restaurants and shops – Reykjavík treats you well. And at the end of the day you can relax in the amazing (but expensive) Sky Lagoon at the shore.


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