Reykjavik

Hotels in Reykjavik

Compact and quirky, a visit to the world’s most northerly capital is sure to impress even the most jaded traveller. With a population of just 120 thousand, there’s no surprise that Reykjavik feels more like a big village than a bustling capital city.

Whether you’re looking for self catering apartments, a luxury hotel, or a budget hostel, the majority of accommodation in Reykjavik is concentrated around the city centre.

The small size of the city makes it a great place to explore on foot, if the weather permits it. The main sights can be found within walking distance of the hotel district. Take in the colourful houses, diverse architecture, and constant crisp sea breeze. If you have time you can walk the perimeter of the city on the scenic path that circles it.

If you’re not careful, Reykjavik can play havoc with your circadian rhythms. During the summer, the city boasts 22 hours of daylight. During the winter, it is steeped in seemingly endless darkness: and has the nightlife to match. There are hundreds of pubs and nightclubs, bursting at the seams with locals and party0loving celebrities until the small hours of the morning. The music scene is world famous, while the crazy ‘runtur’ pub crawl is a Friday night tradition that has to be seen to be believed.

It’s not just party animals who will enjoy a stay in Reykjavik. Culture vultures will be pleased with the galleries, theatres, and museums; not the mention the excellent selection of festivals and events. They’ll also enjoy a stroll around the Laugavegur neighbourhood. Bohemian and trendy, the area is famous for its trendy boutiques and hip coffee joints.

The up and coming harbour area is where you’ll find Harpa, the hyper modern concert hall which is bathed in colourful lights during the evening. Another building worth seeking out is Perlan (the Pearl), a huge dome which sits on top of the city’s hot water tanks. Step inside for panoramic views, the cafe, and a gift shop. No visit to Reykjavik would be complete without a visit to Hallgrímskirkja, the imposing modernist cathedral.

Head to the nearest geothermal swimming pool for a traditional Icelandic day out. These pools are the place to be for locals, who often socialise there instead of at the expensive bars and clubs downtown. There are plenty of thermal pools in Reykjavik, but the most famous one is The Blue Lagoon. It’s a bus ride away from the city center, and is famous for the breathtaking backdrop of jagged black lava rock formations. There’s a reason it’s the most popular attraction in the country.  

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Images by Flickr/christine zenino