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Published On: Wed, Jan 5th, 2022

3 Worthy Locations In Iceland’s Capital Reykjavik

Iceland’s capital Reykjavik considers itself to be the smallest city in the world, while being the largest in the country. However, being small doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with life and with exciting things to do. The city nestles on the coast and pays homage to Iceland’s Viking history. However, Reykjavik also has remarkable architecture, great museums, as well as an excellent shopping and dining experience. 

Getting around in Reykjavik

Reykjavík offers an excellent public transport system with regular bus services to and from all the city’s major attractions. You can even travel by coach or bus to and from Keflavik Airport. 

However, while the city is relatively compact, efficient Icelandic car rentals make exploring that much more convenient. Meanwhile, with the ready availability of parking facilities, self-driving to the attractions is the quickest way to explore. Take time out on a trip to Iceland to visit Reykjavik and experience the three worthy locations listed below.

  • Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik

Iceland photo/ falco

Hallgrimskirkja is among Reykjavik’s best-known symbols, and is also one of the tallest buildings in country. The Lutheran church rises 244 ft above the capital city’s center and features a stylized exterior, inspired by the distinctive basalt formations found in Iceland, like the iconic waterfall Svartifoss. Due to its unique design, it better resembles a spaceship than a place of worship and is a unique feature on Reykjavik’s skyline.

The interior is equally impressive, with a massive organ, boasting 5,275 pipes, crafted in Germany. The organ stands 50 ft in height and weighs an amazing 25 tons. However, another gem is a large stained glass window located above the entrance of the church. The exterior of the window doesn’t do it justice, as it is best seen with the natural backlight shining through. You can access the window via stairs on the right-hand side of the entrance to the second floor of the church’s tower. Meanwhile, Hallgrimskirkja’s bell tower, accessible by an elevator, offers the best views across the city.

  • Whales of Iceland

When visiting Iceland, there are many whale watching tours to enjoy. However, to get a full idea of the size and beauty of Iceland’s whales, the Whales of Iceland exhibition is the place to be. While the museum was set up to cater for growing tourism in Reykjavik, Iceland also wants to educate its visitors on the country’s conservation efforts in an effort to escape its image as a whaling nation.

The exhibition has been designed to recreate a stroll through a peaceful underwater world among the life-size replicas of some of the largest mammals on the planet. In total, there are 23 foam and steel models hanging from the walls and ceiling of the museum, created in a 1:1 scale. The models are surrounded by haunting blue light and aquatic sounds to better represent the whales in their natural habitat. For those visitors who still want an out on the water experience, the museum also partners with local whale-watching tours.

  • Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik

Returning to remarkable architecture in Rejkjavik, Iceland, Harpa stands in glory on the edge of the city’s bustling harbor, where huge ships can be seen entering or leaving from within the concert hall’s honeycombed glass walls. The concert hall was designed by Danish architectural firm Henning-Larsen and Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson and is used for concerts and as a conference center.

Harpa was controversially built during the world’s financial crisis and cost some 164 million Euros, but now stands as a symbol of Iceland’s national recovery. The concert hall is worth exploring, even if there is no concert being held at the time.

Experience fascinating Rejkjavik on your next visit to Iceland – you are sure of a warm welcome from the locals and plenty more to see and do.

Author: Anne Sewell

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