When we were exploring the city of Reykjavik Iceland, we found some of the most gorgeous landmarks, and places very specific to the region that you will want to check out when you are traveling there. I think it makes the most sense to go in the actual order in which we found them, so here we go!
Our first day in Reykjavik, we went right into the city to get a feel for the area. As we walked from our hotel, we passed one of the most interesting and tallest churches I have ever seen, a massive Lutheran church known as Hallgrimskirkja. It is over 240 feet (74.5 meters) high, and you literally see it from many of the areas within the city. It is easy to see that this is an Icelandic church since the building is made from concrete. Iceland is prone to many earthquakes since it was formed from the Eurasian and North American plates separating. You will see many structures in Reykjavik are made with concrete to withstand this constant movement. It does not have an over embellished decorated feel to it, and stands in its own elegance.
Next in our travels, we went down to the seaside of central Reykjavik on Saebraut Street and while we were walking noticed this really cool ship sculpture that was delicately reflecting light from the water. This unique art piece is one of the most visited in the capital, and was created by Jon Gunnar Arnason. It is titled the Sun Voyager, and is meant to represent “the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress, and freedom.”
On the same Saebraut Street we stumbled upon a really special monument that celebrates the relationship between Iceland and the United States called “Partnership.” It is meant to commemorate our diplomatic relationship with the country, and our common interests as well. There is an identical “Partnership” sculpture in South Florida. The United States also has also has had a strong military presence in Iceland (the Naval Air Station Keflavik), and the countries stand together in support of democracy, freedom, and human rights.
Also, right on the waterfront is the iconic Harpa, which is a concert hall and conference center. This structure is so delightful to look at, and is truly unique. It is shaped by these spectacular glass panels within a steel framework, and let me tell you, the Harpa is one of the most glorious structures that you will ever see. Even from a distance as we were walking up to it, you could see this rainbow of colors dancing in the light from it. The building was designed by the the Henning Larsen Architects in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson who is a Danish-Icelandic artist.
A very interesting spot that you will want to also see in Reykjavik is called Pufa. The Pufa was created by the Icelandic artist Olof Nordal, and his vision was to create a relaxing spot in the bustling city for meditation. It is a very large grassy done, with a spiral path leading to the top of it. Once you reach the top, you will find a fishing shed with dried fish, paying homage to Iceland’s history which heavily relied on fishing economically and sustainably as well. I did make the trek to the top of the Pufa, and it was really neat. I liked how the walking path was built right into it, and you feel like a part of it as you make your way up!
I always like to find a lighthouse if we are traveling somewhere by the ocean and we found a really cute bright yellow one right on the water at Saebraut Street with pretty views called the Hofdi Lighthouse. It overlooks the Faxafloi Bay and also the volcanic mountain range Esja, which is made from tuff and basalt.
Reykjavik is so full of history, nature perspectives, and interesting landmarks. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to this Icelandic destination, and what your experience was like there as well. Remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!
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My absolute favorite book that I have found about Iceland is appropriately also called “Iceland” and is written by Jenna Gottlieb. This book is so detailed with the landmarks in Iceland, and it reviews the capital of Reykjavik, the Reykjanes Peninsula and the South, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords, North Iceland, East Iceland and the Eastfjords, the Highlands, and the Ring Road. It also reviews when the best times are to see the Northern Lights, the best wild-life watching spots, the best day hikes, and various weekend getaway spots. When we personally went, we stayed in Reykjavik, and I absolutely love her super detailed guide of the city. She lists the best accommodation spots, how to get around Reykjavik, shopping areas, dining options, nightlife, sights, sports and recreation, and seriously so much more. I appreciate that she not only details the different areas in Iceland, but she really dives into the history too. There are photos in color as well so you can get the sense of what each part of Iceland looks like. There is so much more information in this book that will help you feel more confident on your travels to Iceland, and it is worth the read!
If you would like to learn more click on the link below!
If you would like to check out the full list of travel books that I recommend make sure that you check out this comprehensive guide!
Additional Iceland Resources/Articles-