Reykjavík is the capital city of Iceland, the world’s northernmost capital. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s population lives in the capital area. Granted, that’s only around 123,000 people, but what it lacks in terms of the populace, it makes up for in culture and excitement. Reykjavík has a vibrant cultural and design scene, with plenty of exciting adventure tours, vivid nightlife, modern museums, world-class restaurants, galleries, shops, bars and clubs for you to explore throughout your stay.
Iceland’s capital city is also a terrific base from which to experience some of the island’s breathtakingly beautiful natural wonders, such as the famous Blue Lagoon geothermic spa, The Northern Lights or The Golden Circle; where you’ll witness spouting geysers, waterfalls, rift valleys and more. Whatever way you choose to spend your time in Reykjavík, this is one city break that is truly unique.
In our detailed guide, you will learn everything that is important and useful for planning your stay in Reykjavík. After a brief history lesson, we’ll set you up with tips of must-see places and must-do activities, including all of the things you can do for free. We’ve also listed a bunch of helpful recommendations on where to eat and drink in the capital area. Welcome to our lovely capital of Reykjavík!
Reykjavik: The Quick Lowdown
- Reykjavík is the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world.
- It is among the cleanest, greenest, and safest cities in the world.
- The first permanent settlement in Iceland was in Reykjavík in 874 AD.
- The word Reykjavík translates literally as “smoky bay”. The name refers to the steam that used to rise from the hot springs and geothermal vents.
- 64% of all Icelanders live in the capital area.
- Reykjavík is the only Western European capital without a Starbucks or a McDonald’s.
- Reykjavík is the only capital city in the world that is home to a puffin colony.
- Dogs were banned in Reykjavík from 1924 to 1984.
- As a consequence of the dog ban, Reykjavík is still a mostly cat city.
- There is a penis museum in Reykjavík called the Icelandic Phallological Museum.
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