Reykjavik in Iceland is a fabulous destination for a European city break. The most northerly capital in the world is a small city but is large when it comes to natural beauty, nightlife and outdoor pursuits. Easily accessible from many destinations in Europe and North America, Reykjavik is a more unusual destination for a city break but is highly recommended! Don't be fooled by the name. Iceland is, in the main, below the Arctic circle and is surprisingly mild in the summer.
Air: Reykjavik has two airports. International flights will land at Keflavik International (KEF) around 50kms from downtown Reykjavik. Fly here from Glasgow, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and numerous Scandinavian cities as well as Boston, New York, San Francisco and a few other American locations. The main domestic airport is Reykjavik Airport (RKV). Catch a flight here to destinations in regional Iceland.
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Ferry: Believe it or not it is possible to arrive in Iceland by boat with the Smyril Line. Ships arrive from mainland Europe via the Faroe Islands.
What to See and Do
Reykjavik and surrounding areas have numerous attractions including the following:
Reykjavik City: Easy to walk around, Reykjavik has numerous attractions which can be seen on foot. The main landmark in the city is Hallgrimskirkja Church. The largest church in the country has a 73m tower which can be accessed for a small fee. Do not miss it as the view is spectacular! Also in the city is the famous landmark of Hofdi House. On the waterfront this building was the location of the famous political summit between Reagan and Gorbachev which saw the end of the Cold War. Also see the Icelandic Parliament and wander around the harbour.
Blue Lagoon: The Blue Lagoon is a surreal experience. A man made lagoon next to a power station provides the bather with geothermally heated water in which to dip. The steam rises as bathers soak up the atmosphere. This can be combined with a spa. Located on the way to Keflavik International Airport, the Blue Lagoon makes a good side trip on the way to and from the airport.
Gullfoss: A spectacular waterfall a half day trip from the capital, Gullfoss is a must see. Glacial meltwater plunges into a gorge and makes for spectacular photos.
Thingvellir National Park: This World Heritage site was the location of the ancient Icelandic Parliament and is of major geological significance being the junction of the North American and European plates. Do not miss!
Geysir: The geothermal area of Geysir gives its name to waterspouts from Yellowstone to New Zealand. The original Geysir can be visited and activity in this area is almost guaranteed. Sulphur smells fill the air!
Walk: The best way to see central Reykjavik is to use your own two feet. The city is small and easily explored.
Bus: If you need to use public transport the bus will take you where you want to go. Good for connections to the main campsite at Laugardalur.
Car: Unlike most city breaks, car hire is a great option. The city is small and parking is not an issue. Hiring a car gives a great opportunity to see the sights within a half day trip from Reykjavik. For some good deals see great car hire deals here.