The City

A Travel Guide to Reykjavík, Iceland

The northernmost capital in the world, Reykjavík is a tiny city that brims with curiosity, culture and charm. Dwarfed by the majestic landscapes that surround it, the small city exudes a sense of isolation and intimacy in the best way possible. While many travellers treat Reykjavík as a base from which to explore Iceland’s natural treasures such as the bubbling geysers, dramatic waterfalls and of course, the northern lights, the city itself offers plenty of excitement to fill your days. Reykjavík is best explored on foot, so put on a comfortable pair of walking shoes and wander through the narrow winding streets in the centre of town. Browse through the trendy homeware boutiques, admire the colourful architecture and sit down for a coffee in a café-cum-bookstore (the city is, after all, one of UNESCO’s cities of literature). Our snapshot city guide to Reykjavík takes you to the best hotels, restaurants and attractions that this city has to offer.

Sleeping

Where to Stay in Reykjavík: Canopy Hotel

A design-led hotel that effortlessly balances comfort and style, Canopy by Hilton offers a contemporary stay in the centre of town. With an impeccable level of service and stylish interior design with an edge, Canopy feels entirely like a small boutique bolthole instead of part of a global hotel group. The hotel is set across six connected houses with surprisingly spacious rooms and suites given the property's central location. The hotel is designed with a calming blue and neutral palette and many of the rooms offer views of the harbour and the mountains in the distance (we can request one of these specifically when you book through us). Fuel yourself for the day at the bountiful breakfast spread put on every morning including delicious locally caught and smoked salmon.

Best Hotels in Reykjavík

Hotel Borg: A luxury Art Deco style hotel located next to the Reykjavík Cathedral and Parliament House.

Eating

Where to Eat in Reykjavík: SKÁL!

You’ll find Skál! at Hlemmur Mathöll, Iceland’s first ever food hall. Loved by locals and tourists alike, the restaurant has a laidback trendy atmosphere and serves a seafood and meat focused menu with an emphasis on small sharing plates made from Icelandic produce. Dine ‘family-style’ with other guests sat at the long tables and benches and tuck into modern Nordic dishes such as pickled vegetables, pork cheek and of course, the star of the show at Skál! – Arctic char. For a bit of theatre alongside your meal, we can book you seats on the chef station side of the restaurant where you can watch in anticipation as the chef and his team expertly prepare your mouth-watering dishes. To quench your thirst, the restaurant boasts an exciting list of natural wines, local craft beers and cocktails made with locally foraged herbs.

Best Restaurants in Reykjavík

Sjávargrillið: A welcoming restaurant with very friendly service and a delicious seafood-centric Icelandic menu.

Moss Restaurant at Blue Lagoon: A contemporary fine-dining restaurant serving Icelandic cuisine against panoramic views of volcanic landscapes.

Port 9: A cosy and highly-curated wine bar with hand-picked wines and seasonal small plates.

Seeing

What to do in Reykjavík: i8 Gallery

Showcasing the work of contemporary artists from Iceland and around the world, i8 Gallery was first founded in 1995 and has since established itself as a cutting-edge gallery in the world of Nordic art. The gallery is situated on the outskirts of central Reykjavik and is known for its ambitious exhibitions including multi-media installations and participatory concepts. The staff here are friendly and on hand to answer any questions you may have about the exhibitions on display. Entrance to the gallery and all exhibitions is free of charge.

Best Things To Do in Reykjavík

Thingvellir National Park: A spectacular national park which is part of a fissure zone and home to two submerged rifts where visitors can scuba dive.

Snowmobiling on the Glaciers : Thrilling snowmobile adventures across glaciers and into ice caves.

See the Northern Lights: Tours with experts taking you to the places where you are most likely to see the Aurora Borealis.

Fatbiking: Discover the amazing landscapes of Iceland on state-of-the-art carbon fatbikes specially designed for the unique terrain.

Angling: A guided sea angling tour on which you will fish for cod, haddock, pollock and catfish with expert anglers.