Reykjavik at a glance
A spellbinding city, Reykjavik is famous for its incredible volcanic surroundings, wild nightlife and superb geothermic pools. With a rich and colourful tradition, the Icelandic people bring a well-balanced warmth and vibrancy to a city of extremes that endures long, dark winters and 24 hour light in the summers. The world’s northern-most capital, Reykjavik is a unique experience of culture, historic sights and a rugged landscape that will leave you breathless.
Built on the foundations of the first permanent settlement established in Iceland in 870 AD, Reykjavik remained an uncultivated frontier and trading post until the 18th century, which perhaps explains why it is one of the greenest and cleanest cities in the world. A rise in nationalism pushed the city to bid for countrywide independence in the early 1900’s and Iceland become an official sovereign country under the rule of Denmark soon after.
There are a number of museums and Icelandic art galleries in Reykjavik, charting the history of the Icelandic people through the ages. But it is really only after you get out into the dramatic landscape of volcanoes, fjords, meadows and ice fields that you truly begin to appreciate all that this part of the world has to offer.
Perfect if you’re looking for:
- Picturesque setting
- Art and culture
- A peaceful short break
Reykjavik is a great city to explore by foot with most of the popular sights of the city concentrated in its centre.
A city bus network also operates throughout the city.
Dining in Reykjavik
At one time Reykjavik was limited to purely Icelandic cookery, but the city has experienced a culinary expansion in recent years, diversifying Reykjavik’s gastronomic offerings to a wide range of international cuisine.
Must-try local dishes:
- Hangikjöt- smoked lamb, mutton or horse meat that has been boiled and is served hot or cold, often with potatoes in a roux sauce
- Rúgbrauð – a sweet, dark rye bread often served with butter, smoked lamb or pickled herring
- Kleina – a sweet fried pastry similar to a donut
Osprey Holidays top tips
The Fjörukráin Viking Village in the picturesque harbour town of Hafnarfjördur, 10-15 minutes by taxi/bus from Reykjavik. There is a museum, handicraft centre and two restaurants - one offering a Viking Feast and the other a more intimate dining experience with West Nordic fayre and live music at weekends.
Get your tailor-made city break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Reykjavik designed completely around you. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of Reykjavik hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 118,488 Languages Icelandic Currency Euro Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Interesting facts
Visit the fascinating Fjorukrain Viking Village in the scenic harbour town of Hafnarfjordur, just 10-15 minutes from the city centre.
- Featured accommodation
- Distance from airports
Keflavik International 40 km