Þingvellir, Iceland

Northeast of Reykjavík you can find the Þingvellir national park, an area with wonderful nature and special in different ways. First of all, the Eurasian and the American plate drift apart there and form the Almannagjá (‘all men’) valley. You can hike between the high rocks and the Öxará river runs there, forming the beautiful waterfall Öxarárfoss. But this place was also always important in Icelandic history as the location of its ancient parliament, the Alþingi.

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Capital by the sea

Sun voyager, Reykjavík

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.

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Perlan, Reykjavík

On a hill called Öskjuhlíð south of the city center of Reykjavík you can find Perlan (‘pearl’). It is a wonderful place especially for evening hours with nice views on the region (plus it is open until 10pm). Perlan is a double-usage facility: in first line it is a storage for hot water and the city is supplied from their. In 1991 six water storages made of aluminum and covered by a glas cupola were activated. In 2017 the second usage started in addition: it is now also a natural history museum.

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íslensk króna

íslensk króna, Iceland

The currency of Iceland is the íslensk króna (ISK). When in 1918 the island became independent from Denmark this currency was introduced. Typical bills circulating are of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 ISK value. An íslensk króna is divided into 100 Aurar but these coins don’t exist anymore; you might typically receive coins with the value of 50 or 100 ISK during your journey. If you want to withdraw cash you’ll find sufficient options, already at the Keflavíkurflugvöllur. But to be honest: you don’t need them.

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Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík

One of the most important sights of Reykjavík is the Hallgrímskirkja church. It is a Protestant church in expressionist style, the building looks like a row of basalt columns with different height and therefore fits really well to the island. The 74.5 meters high tower is located on a hill close to the city center and you can buy a ticket to get by elevator to the top – giving you fantastic views on the capital city. The church was built from 1945 on and was finally finished in 1986.

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Norðurey Hotel City Garden

Norðurey Hotel City Garden, Reykjavík

The Norðurey Hotel at Reykjavík is the perfect motel if you’re exploring Iceland by car and want to have a pitstop at the capital city. The check-in is fully automated, you’ll receive a five-digit code upfront to your stay by e-mail. This code opens the front door of the hotel as well as your hotel room. The region around the hotel is quiet and there are parking lots in front that might be already full if you arrive late; but than you’ll easily find space to park your car in the streets surrounding the hotel.

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Roadtripping Ísland

Roadtrip, Iceland

The classic way to explore Iceland is by car: while the center of the island is often hard to access, especially in winter times, there is a ring road along the coast leading you to most of the important sights in the country. The Hringvegur or Þjóðvegur 1 is more than 1,300 kilometers and the first section was created in 1928. Since 2019 this most important road is fully tarred and with the exception of some bridges always at least two lanes wide.

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Keflavíkurflugvöllur, Suðurnesjabær

Close to Reykjavík you can find two airports which might be a bit confusing: The Reykjavíkurflugvöllur (RKV) is very close to the city center and flights inside the country (as well es to Greenland and the Faroes) are operated from there. For most international flights the Keflavíkurflugvöllur (KEF) 50 kilometers afar is used. It is the most important airport of the country and it is the starting point for tourists and travelers on the island.

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