Reykjavik Tourist Attractions
Reykjavík, the world's most northerly capital, is Iceland's focal point and government seat. Colorful, with its low rows of brightly painted houses topped with equally-bright roofs, Reykjavik is unlike any other European capital.
Established in the late 19th C Reykjavik has all the conveniences of a modern city but its design resembles a small town. Nearly everything of interest in this city of 150,000 is within walking distance of the center.Situated in Iceland's southwest corner on Faxaflói Bay and overlooked by Mount Esja, Reykjavik was dubbed "Smoky Bay by Iceland's first settler, Ingólfur Arnarson due to the steam rising from hot springs. Reykjavík is now known as the 'smokeless city' due to continual winds and the city's reliance on geothermal heat. The faint odor of hydrogen sulphide that hangs over the city is a by-product of this natural central heating system.Reykjavík has a very wet climate with winds and rain blowing in from the sea. The Gulf Stream prevents it from becoming as cold as its northerly latitude might dictate. Reykjavík's assortment of birches, willows and pines are a contrast to the almost treeless countryside.The long winters have just four hours of daylight on December days. Harsh winters have bred a rich cultural and artistic life and the city has a wealth of galleries, theaters, museums plus ballet and opera. Summer brings the midnight sun when Reykjavík's streets take on a carnival atmosphere.
Sundlaugar Reykjavíkur is a massive volcanically-heated swimming pool.Geothermal swimming pools and hot pots play a major part in Icelandic life. The hottest pools have controlled temperatures of up to 44°C/108°F and are said to have certain medical benefits.The largest is Laugardalslaug, which has a 50m/150ft pool, curved waterslide, five hot pots of differing temperatures and a steam bath.In Iceland swimming lessons are mandatory and students cannot graduate without passing a swimming test.
Address: Sundlaugavegur, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-105, Iceland
Reykjavík Arts Festival
Reykjavík Arts Festival is an annual festival of the arts showcasing an array of internationally known artists from the fields of music, theater and literature. It was held biennially from its inception in 1970 and then annually from 2004 to present. From mainstream to fringe, from classical to avant garde, artistic and cultural events have been presented at the Reykjavík Arts Festival from all the continents of the world and from home.
Address: Laekjargata 3b, Box 88, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-121, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is a unique geothermal spa where guests relax in warm geothermal seawater. The invigorating experience is enjoyed in summer or surrounded by snow in winter.The state-of-the-art facilities include: modern changing rooms, showers and an indoor Blue Lagoon pool. A geothermal beach, lava caves and silica muds are parts of the lagoon area.
Address: Svartsengi, Box 22, Grindavik, Reykjanes IS-240, Iceland
This small natural island with caves, nesting birds and interesting basalt coastline is 5 minutes by boat from Reykjavík.Inhabited until the 1940s, the island is the site of the Viðeyjarstofa, the oldest stone building in Iceland built in 1752, a church dating from the same period, and an interesting sculpture by renowned sculptor Richard Serra.
Icelandic Phallological Museum
Probably the only museum in the world to contain a collection of a country's phallic specimens, the Icelandic Phallological Museum contains a collection of over eighty penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland.
Address: Laugavegur 24, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-101, Iceland
Port of Reykjavík
As Iceland's biggest port, Reykjavík is a natural port of call for cruise vessels. Reykjavík and its port authority have achieved success in marketing the Icelandic capital as an ideal destination for cruise vessels and more ships call year after year.
Address: Harbour Building, Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-101, Iceland
Festival of Light
Dedicated to the theme of light and energy, this public festival is centered around Laugardalur Park in Reykjavík.
Keflavík International Airport
Keflavík International Airport is one of the most technically sophisticated and secure airports in the world.
Address: Keflavíkurflugvöllur, Keflavik, Reykjanes 235, Iceland
Staged and performed in English is this account of Icelandic sagas focusing heavily on the Vikings.
Address: Tjarnagata 10e, Reykjavík, Hofudborgarsvaedi IS-101, Iceland
Mosfellsbaer - Laxness Museum (Gljúfrasteinn)
Gljúfrasteinn, the home and workplace of Halldór Laxness (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955), features displays dedicated to his work.
Address: Box 250, Mosfellsbær, Hofudborgarsvaedi 270, Iceland
Mount Esja offers views over Reykjavík. The climb to the 918 m/3,000ft summit is relatively easy.
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