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Reykjavik: A Must-Visit on Iceland Holidays

Being the world's northernmost capital, unique Reykjavik is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is the most-visited town in the country, and for many Icelandic visitors, it also serves as a gateway to the rugged adventure options beyond. It is a truly unique city with extraordinary nature.

What should be noted right from the start is that the weather in Reykjavik is notoriously unpredictable - one minute the sun may be shining on a nice summer day, the next it may change into windy, rainy autumn. On a few days of the year, the city has only about 4 hours of sunlight, but in the summertime, Reykjavik is light for 24 hours straight!

When it started to develop as a town in the 18th century, it had already been inhabited for almost a thousand years. It is believed that Iceland's first settler, Ingolfur Arnarson, made his permanent residence here in 874. Upon arrival, he saw steam rising from hot springs near a cove and consequently named the bay "Reykjavik" translated as "The Steamy Bay" after its boiling geysers and bio-thermal springs. To see these glorious and mighty natural formations with your own eyes, it is best to set out on a trip to the Golden Circle, covering both waterfalls and geysers.

It's also no surprise that the Blue Lagoon is Iceland's most popular tourist attraction as well and should definitely be part of any Reykjavik itinerary. The water in the lagoon is never lower than 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 °F), making it the perfect relaxing getaway from the cold. Moreover, the high mineral content in the water is extremely healthy and very good for your skin.

Contrary to common belief, Reykjavik is a very green city. Many wells have been created so that hot water is pumped directly from the ground into all houses in the greater capital area, providing inexpensive central heating resulting in a smoke-free city. Although about 80% of Iceland's territory is uninhabited, Icelandic waters are very rich in fauna - more than 20 species of whale have been recorded here and whale watching is an extremely popular attraction in Reykjavik.

Another thing that makes the country such a popular tourist hub is the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, that appear in a variety of colors and shapes and can be experienced in Iceland during the winter. As such, thousands of travelers plan their Iceland winter tours during the chillier months of the year specifically for the reason of trying their luck in viewing the colorful natural show. This can be done both from land and from water.

Best Things to Do in Reykjavik, Iceland

  • Explore hidden gems and lovely streets of the capital of Iceland on foot or by bike
  • Stop by and take a picture of Hallgrimskirkja church, towering over the center of Reykjavik
  • Relax in the warm geothermal seawater of the Blue Lagoon, a famous Iceland attraction
 

What's for landmarks worth checking out during your Reykjavik tour, make sure to stop by the famous Viking ship sculpture, called the Sun Voyager, as well as stop by the cathedral of Hallgrimskirkja.

Overall, it should be noted that due to its young age and rapid expansion in the late 20th century, Reykjavik is very different from the other Nordic capitals but has its own charm of a one-of-a-kind city with incredible nature. Is this city on your bucket list?

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