[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.126) – Reykjavík: The beautiful capital city of Iceland


(WorldKings.org) Iceland is known across the world largely because of its nature: its Northern Lights, mighty glaciers, incredible waterfalls, beautiful Highlands, and, of course, explosive volcanoes. When most come to visit, therefore, they often cast little thought as to what they will do in Reykjavík.

The capital city, however, is full of surprises and attractions of its own that appeal to people with a wide variety of interests.

History buffs will be impressed by the city’s old buildings and the relics of its Viking and medieval past; the cultured will appreciate sites such as Harpa Concert Hall and Hallgrímskirkja Church. Those with a passion for visual art will find a wealth of impressive statues, sculptures and street-art throughout Reykjavík; and nature-lovers will find they can observe plenty of spectacular landscapes without actually leaving the city.

It is not just the destinations of a sightseeing tour, however, that make spending a day or more exploring Reykjavík so enjoyable. The city has a wonderful charm stemming from its many contrasts.

Old houses with colourful tin roofs surround new constructions that ooze modernity and sophistication; narrow, hilly streets with cluttered buildings are broken up by wide green spaces; and quiet places where one can contemplate in peace are within easy walking distance of the thriving downtown area.

According to the Book of Settlements, Reykjavík has been inhabited since 874 AD; it, therefore, has a fascinating past that colors many of its most popular sites. Home to the house where the seeds to end the Cold War were planted, the world's longest-running parliament, and 10th Century Viking ruins, Reykjavík has a wealth of locations that are sure to fascinate those with a passion for history, like Höfði House, The Alþingi and Cathedral, The Longhouse Ruins, Laugavegur…


Reykjavík cathedral

In the 20th and 21st Centuries, Reykjavík's culture exploded. Prior to World War Two, the city was rather barren of any notable places, be they beautiful buildings or venues where people could enjoy the arts and socialize. With the post-war development and later focus on tourism, however, Reykjavík developed incredibly rapidly, to the extent that it was named one of nine European Cities of Culture in 2000.

Hallgrímskirkja Church

Harpa Concert Hall

National Theatre

Many of the most notable subjects of sightseeing around Reykjavík are the pieces of art on public display. From historical statues to murals that cover the walls of buildings, Reykjavík is a city of artistic craftsmanship that pays tribute to the skills and hard work of its people. Those with an eye for such talent will be mesmerized by the works on display as they visit the following sites across the capital.

The Sun Voyager

 A sculpture in Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden

 A sculpture in Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden

Reykjavík Street Art

Though a capital city, Reykjavík is immersed in Icelandic nature. On clear days, there are many points where one can look over the barren, volcanic landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula, the snow-capped peaks of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and the daunting shadows of Bláfjöll, the Blue Mountains. Furthermore, the city has plenty of green spaces where one can escape the busy center.



According to guidetoiceland.is

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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