Have you ever been to Iceland in the summer? During this time the nights are delightfully long, and there’s much more time to roam its picturesque streets under perfect weather. Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital and biggest city, is the place to go. Being the northernmost capital of the world, this is where you want to be if you want to enjoy the magic of long, light nights amidst one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world.
Indeed, when you go around Reykjavík it’s like you own everything. The city population is so small, and there’s so much to discover for the lucky tourists who wind their way there. The stately — almost godly — beauty of Hallgrímskirkja, for example, is a marvel that is best beheld away from the ogling crowds.
If you do like the crowds, you should take time to visit the pools, one of the favorite pastimes of Icelanders. Note that it can be a picky experience, though — the gender-separated pools require you to go skinny dipping! Vesturbæjarlaug is one of the most popular swimming pools, located in the western part of the city. Take a dip in one of its hot tubs, or try out the famous saunas. Afterwards, saunter over to Kaffihús Vesturbæjar for a nice cup of coffee and maybe a good snack.
If wanderlust hits you, you can walk the halls of the National Gallery for some fine art. You can also walk any Reykjavík street of your choosing, shadowed by the bold, colored roofs of the structures. You’d find both examples of the city life, as well as some great finds in shops like Aurum, GK Reykjavík, and Herrafataverzlun Kormáks og Skjaldar.
For your dose of bountiful nature, head over to one of the many gardens in the city, or better yet visit Reykjavikur Tjorn — the city pond. There are some great bird watching opportunities here, too. For a more extreme take, find your way to the city’s Esjan mountain or even the Snæfellsjökull glacier!
Iceland’s capital is a multifaceted experience best experienced with a wondering mind and a wandering eye!