The old town of Reykjavík with its brightly painted tin-houses is the city's hub. This rustic area bordered by the Harbor, Tjörn, Laekjargata and the suburb of Seltjarnarnes contains parks, lakes, markets and museums plus restaurants and lively nightclubs.
Iceland Midwinter Feast of Thorrablot
The old Viking tradition of Thorrablot is still celebrated in Iceland. During February, the fourth month of winter, the Vikings celebrated with great feasts and plenty of dancing and singing because spring would be returning soon.Icelandic restaurants and homes feature special menus with some of the traditional Viking foods like Slatur, which is sheep's blood pudding rolled in lard and sewn up in the stomach, as well as Svith, which is a half boiled lamb's head, and pickled ram's testicles.
Reykjavík's harbor has a water's-edge stage which presents musical performances. Shops sell woolens, pottery and souvenirs. Often schooners or other replica ships moor in the harbor, and add interest and color to this rustic area.A statue commemorating Ingólfur Arnarson, Iceland's first settler is located here. Landing on a shore of thermal steam, Ingólfur named the area Reykjavík, or "Smoky Bay."
This green square in the heart of Reykjavík is surrounded by small restaurants and shops, and contains a statue of Jón Sigurðsson (1811-79), Icelandic nationalist. It is considered the likely spot where the first settler, Ingólfur Arnarson, built his farm.
In this small Lutheran church, built 1788-96, Iceland's sovereignty and independence were first endorsed. Iceland's national anthem was first sung here in 1874.Since 1845, members and cabinet ministers of every Alping parliament session have gathered here for a service.Among the items displayed is a baptismal font carved and given by 19th C master sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. A place of worship has existed on this site since AD 1200.
The 19th C Althingishús, one of the oldest stone buildings in Iceland, is the site of the world's oldest operating parliament, which dates from 930. There is a garden behind the building which is named after one of the members of Parliament, prime minister and a renowned entrepreneur, Tryggvi Gunnarsson, who is buried there.
Since the early 1930's the Hotel Borg has hosted Hollywood starlets and heads of state and adventurers. From its introduction it has been a landmark of Iceland's development.
Address: Posthusstraeti 11, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-121, Iceland
The National Museum has a huge range of relics and tools spanning Reykjavík's 11 centuries of history. Its star attraction is a 12th C door depicting a Norse battle scene.
Address: Suðurgata 41, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-101, Iceland
The plain white building houses the offices of the president and the prime minister. Built in the 18th C Stjörnarráðið is one of Reykjavík's oldest buildings and originally used as a jail.
The Thorvaldsenbazar was opened in 1901 by a charitable organization. Originally a place for locals to sell their homemade items, the bazaar now donates all its profits to charity.
Address: Austurstraeti 4, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-101, Iceland
Tjörn, located in the center of Reykjavík, is ideal for bird-watchers and a quiet walk. The lake whose name means "pond," is home to a number of species of birds including the wintering Arctic Tern.
This restaurant is the oldest building in Reykjavík c 1752 and was once the sheriffs weaving shed.
Kolaportið Flea Market
Iceland's premier flea market offers clothes, typical Icelandic food, books and knick-knacks for sale. It is housed in a huge industrial building by the harbour.
Árni Magnússon Institute
A research institute holding the priceless manuscripts of Icelandic Sagas repatriated by Árni Magnússon.
Address: Suðurgata on the University Campus, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-101, Iceland