Reykjavík’s gigantic white-concrete church (1945–86), star of one thousand postcards, dominates the skyline and is seen up to 20km away. A elevator trip up the 74.5m-high tower reveals an unmissable view of this city. Compared to this high play outdoors, the interior of the Lutheran church is quite plain. The feature is that the vast 5275-pipe manhood. The church size and radical design caused controversy, along with its architect, Guðjón Samúelsson (1887–1950), never watched its completion.
Artefacts from payoff to the age satisfy the display spaces of the superb National Museum of Iceland. Exhibits give an excellent overview of Iceland’s culture and history, and the totally free sound guide that is smartphone adds a wealth of detail. The section explains the Settlement Era — for example the rule of the chieftans and the introduction of Christianity — also features swords, drinking horns, silver hoards and a effective bronze figure of Thor. The priceless church door is adorned with the narrative of his lion a knight and also a passel of dragons.
Upstairs, collections deliver a sense of how Iceland struggled under foreign rule and finally gained liberty and interval from 1600. Simple objects utilise every scrap of substances; check out the gaming bits produced out of ear bones. There are free guided tours in English on Saturday, Wednesday and Sunday at 11am. Entry covers admission to the Culture House.
This fascinating is based around a longhouse unearthed here from 2001 to 2002 and finds from fundamental Reykjavík. It imaginatively joins archaeology and also technological wizardry to give a glimpse into living. Don’t overlook out the fragment of border wall behind the memorial which is elderly still (and the oldest human-made architecture in Reykjavík). Among the attractive screens, a panorama shows how matters would have appeared in the right time of their longhouse.
The sparkling Harpa concert-hall and cultural center of Reykjavík is a beauty to behold, Together with its ever-changing attributes glistening on the water’s edge. In addition to a season of elite shows (some free), the shimmering interior with harbour vistas may be well worth stopping in for, or take an exceptionally recommended, 30-minute guided tour (1500kr); these run two to three times per day year-round, with as much as eight daily tours between mid-June and mid-August.
Icelandic Phallological Museum
Oh, these jokes are endless here… This unique museum houses a huge assortment of penises, and it’s actually very well done. From pickled pickles to petrified wood, you can find 286 distinct associates on display, representing all mammals and also beyond. Featured items include contributions from sperm whales and also a bear, minuscule mouse pieces, silver castings of every member of their hand ball group and one sample — from deceased mountaineer Páll Arason.
This cooperation between four organisations, National Gallery and the National Museum creates a delightfully exhibition since the cultural and artistic heritage of Iceland to today. Priceless artefacts are arranged by subject, and high lights include 14th century manuscripts, contemporary art along with the horns of a great auk (now extinct). Check the web site for free tours.
Reykjavík Art Museum – Kjarvalsstaðir
The glass-and-wood Kjarvalsstaðir, which looks out on Miklatún Park, is known as Jóhannes Kjarval (1885–1972), among Iceland’s most common classical artists. He had been a priest for him to review at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, along with his wonderfully evocative landscapes share space alongside changing installations of mostly paintings before his crew paid.
National Gallery of Iceland
This pretty heap of marble atriums and galleries provides ever changing exhibits. The memorial could only exhibit a little sample at any one period; shows vary from 19th- and 20th century paintings by Iceland’s favorite musicians (including Jóhannes Kjarval along with Nína Sæmundsson) to figurines by Sigurjón Ólafsson and also others.
Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús
The Hafnarhús of reykjavík Art Museum is a restored warehouse converted into a soaring exhibition space that is steel-and-concrete. Though the well-curated exhibitions of cuttingedge contemporary Icelandic art change frequently (expect installations, paintings, videos and sculpture), you can always count on the comic-book-style paintings of Erró (Guðmundur Guðmundsson), also a governmental artist with donated several million functions to the museum.
A ceremony harbour until recently, the Old Harbour and the Arabian Grandi area have slipped in to tourist hot spots, with key free galleries, several museums, volcano and Northern Lights films, and restaurants. Puffin-viewing and also Whalewatching trips depart from the dock. Photo ops abound with perspectives of the Harpa concert hall, fishing ships and snowcapped hills outside.
The Grandi area, named after the fish factory there, is burgeoning with shops and eateries.
The craggy lake in the middle of the town is locally known as the Pond. It echoes with squawks and the honks of over 40 species of seeing birds, including geese swans and Arctic terns . Pretty sculpture-dotted parks like Hljómskálagarður lineup the southern shores, and their paths are much used by cyclists and joggers. In the winter hardy souls strap on ice skates and the lake turns right into an outdoor rink.
With a series of sights and historical structures that were interesting, the region dubbed Old Reykjavík may be the capital’s heart, and also the focal point of many walking tours. The area is anchored by Tjörnin, the city centre lake, also sitting and Austurvöllur park into the north west are the Raðhús (city hall) and also Alþingi (parliament).
Laugardalur encompasses a verdant stretch of property 4km east of the city center. It was the main source of the hotwater source of Reykjavík: it translates as’hot springs Valley’, and also from the wash house you’ll find relics at the centre of the park. The park is a favourite with locals for its enormous swimming complex, fed with the geothermal spring, along with a spa, cafe, hockey, botanical gardens, athletic and concert arenas, and a zoo/entertainment park for children.
Kling & Bang
This perennially cutting-edge artist-run exhibition space today has an expanded gallery together with the Old Harbour, is a favourite with locals.
The Marshall House is also home to the innovative Nýló gallery, international artist Ólafur Elíasson’s Iceland studio, and Marshall, a hip restaurant and pub.
Reserve ahead for a trip (2pm Monday to Friday) only at that full scale chocolate factory, where you’ll observe how cocoa beans have been transformed into high-end, scrumptious delights. The shop sells its trendy pubs (packaged with especially designed tags ) that arrive in myriad sophisticated tastes.
Wonders of Iceland: Glaciers & Ice Cave
This permanent exhibition in Perlan begins with a huge ice cave, 100m long and assembled with 350 a lot of snow and snow layers of ash out of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Just take about 10 minutes to navigate and the tunnels are kept in °C to reduce thawing. Other exhibits cover how glaciers shape, live as well as increasingly, perish — that the part that is very memorable is that a visualisation of all the shrinking size of Vatnajökull. Numbers are limited from the cave, reserve beforehand to secure a spot.
Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum
Sculptor Sigurjón Ólafsson (1908–82) used this tranquil sea front construction for being a studio. Now it showcases his varied work: driftwood totem sticks portrait busts and abstract columns. A salty sea breeze blows throughout the rooms that are contemporary, and also the area is interlaced with water front paths giving perspectives straight back.
5km west of, seltjarnarnes, can be really a coastal area which feels a world away. The off shore island of Grótta has a red and white lighthouse and is just actually a haven for birdwatching, with 106 visiting species. It is available at low tide, but is closed to mid-July to guard nests. Get here along the coastal path, popular with joggers, walkers and cyclists.
Iceland’s first parliament, the Alþingi, is made in AD 930 in Þingvellir. After losing independence in the 13th century, the country gradually gained back its freedom, and the moved in 1881 into this present basalt building. A annexe was completed in 2002. Visitors can attend sessions (four times each week mid-September to early June) when parliament is sitting; see website for details.
Ingibjörg H Bjarnason Statue
A couple of things set the statue of Ingibjörg H Bjarnason besides other monuments from your community: it depicts a historical female figure and it’s not produced by bronze-statue pioneer Einar Jónsson (it had been created by Ragnhild Stefánsdóttir instead). Bjarnasona teacher, has been the first woman elected to Iceland’s parliament Alþingi in 1922, two years after Icelandic women gained the right to vote.
Þúfa (th-oo-fha), meaning the Tussock, was created by artist Ólöf Nordal in 2013. Even the grassy mound is one of the artworks ever made in Iceland and was constructed out of 4500 heaps of gravel. It’s crowned by the sort of hut that’s used to make harðfiskur (dried fish). Þúfa is set at the harbour mouth from your Grandi area and offers views of this Old Harbor and also Faxa Bay.
Reykjavík Zoo & Family Park
Regional families flocking in Laugardalur to this particular children’s park are seen by days. Don’t expect lions and lions; think tanks of cold water fish and farm animals in enclosures that are simple, and seals, foxes. The family park section is with a huge trampoline bulldozers, a mini-racetrack, boats and fairground rides for kids.
Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden
The garden behind the Einar Jónsson Museum contains 26 casts the symbolist Einar Jónsson, of Iceland’s first sculptor.
This cultural center fosters connections between Iceland and its neighbours with a rich schedule of events, a library, exhibition space and bistro.
Check out the Punk Museum to watch Icelandic punk-rock history glued into the white tiles of some underground latrine. The display is miniature and the advice , perhaps suitably, disorganised and overwhelming. Spend time by the listing players — at which the infamous Rokk í Reykjavík album is included — or play the tools, regardless of musical talent of course.
- 1 Hallgrímskirkja
- 2 National Museum
- 3 Settlement Exhibition
- 4 Harpa
- 5 Icelandic Phallological Museum
- 6 Culture House
- 7 Reykjavík Art Museum – Kjarvalsstaðir
- 8 National Gallery of Iceland
- 9 Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús
- 10 Old Harbour
- 11 Tjörnin
- 12 Old Reykjavík
- 13 Laugardalur
- 14 Kling & Bang
- 15 Omnom Chocolate
- 16 Wonders of Iceland: Glaciers & Ice Cave
- 17 Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum
- 18 Seltjarnarnes
- 19 Alþingi
- 20 Ingibjörg H Bjarnason Statue
- 21 Þúfa
- 22 Reykjavík Zoo & Family Park
- 23 Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden
- 24 Nordic House
- 25 Punk Museum