After exploring Reykjavik for a day or so, and having driven in and around it several times, I'm struck by the fact that it is definitely not a touristy city. It most certainly has tourist attractions, but the city, if it's anything, is an industrial one.

Outside of some specific attractions, most attractions can be found within the space of a few blocks in the Northern quadrant of the city, around and below Hallgrimskirkja.

It's also a very structurally and architecturally flat and slightly uninspiring city; there are very few buildings going up more than 3 or 4 floors, and it's very hard to identify a dominant style to any of the design.

What it does have going for it, is the fact that it's a great base for exploring the area OUTSIDE of itself. Most of the main attractions in Western Iceland are easily reachable from Reykjavik; within a couple of hours drive, at the most.

It could easily be argued that Reykjavik is the gateway to Iceland. I'd not dispute that for a second. Like most good gateways though, it's suitable for passing through to see what's on the other side!

Reykjavik Attractions


The largest church in Iceland, by quite some distance, Hallgrimskirkja dominates the Reykjavik skyline, and is the heart of the city center.

It's a really unique building, dating back only to 1986, with its flared front facade, it looks for all the world like a space-ship! 

Inside, the high ceiling is quite plain, with the notable piece being the organ, containing 5,275 pipes! 

For less than £10, you can access the bell tower, affording 360° views of Reykjavik and the surrounding landscape. Well worth it!

Grotta Island Lighthouse

The lighthouse sits at the northernmost point of the Reykjavik peninsula, and while it's not necessarily special as a building, it is absolutely amazing as a night time stargazing and Aurora viewing spot.

It's aspect looking North means most of the light pollution from Reykjavik is limited, but it's technically still part of the city. 

We went at 9pm, and unfortunately we were too early for the best Aurora on the night. Additionally, that early it's also full of folk who don't understand the concept of keeping the lights off to improve visibility.

So, top tip, go late once everyone is in bed! 

Hotel Viking

Hotel Viking, found in the Southern reaches of Reykjavik, just off the harbour, is the only Viking themed accommodation option in the city. 

It's bedecked in dark wood, every room has pictures, artifacts, skins, rugs, antlers or other paraphernalia on display, and it's got a wonderful, "homey" feel to it.

The staff are friendly, the rooms are warm and comfortable (the views aren't always great though), and the breakfast is simple but tasty and filling.

It's really tapped in to the history and culture of the country, and it's doing it very, very well. 

Rainbow Road

I'm not going to lie, it's hard to justify the rainbow road as an attraction in and of itself, as it's really just a stretch of road in the touristy area of the city that has been painted in the colors of the rainbow. 

The area around the road is very nice, consisting mainly of cafe's restaurants and Curio shops, and it's pretty nice view looking back up the road toward Hallgrimskirkja.

Rainbow Road

Sky Lagoon

Sky Lagoon is probably one of the more Must See attractions in Reykjavik, and it promises to be a great day out.

We did not visit the lagoon during our stay, as we found a much cheaper option on the golden Mile (and we were on a budget!), but this does seem to be a very popular and worthwhile spa.

The entrance fee for Sky Lagoon is over £50 per person at the time of writing - still cheaper than Blue Lagoon, and being in Reykjavik, easier to access.

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Lukasz K.
Iceland was my best ever adventure to date. Northern lights, glacier, geyser, waterfalls. Everything was amazing. Plus these two wonderful friends made it unforgettable. Definitely planning to get there back at some point. Perhaps summer for comparison. 💯