The pursuit of the celestial fireworks is the bucket list experience that our travelers chose on an Iceland Tour in Winter. Yet you will make some cherishable memories on the days that we spend in Reykyavik, the northernmost capital city in the world.
Sometimes the auroras can be so strong that they can be seen from the city. But for a more spectacular show we actually need to get away from city-light pollution for about 4km away to the Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes. Here you can by enthralled by the majestic northern lights in all their glory.
We will spend the first half of the day exploring Reykjavik City and its attractions. Reykjavik is one of the smallest International cities in the world with a village feel to it. Its greatest landmark is the Hallgrímskirkja Church, the largest church in Iceland named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson. It took 38 years to build this unique architectural marvel designed to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape.
The church houses a large pipe organ by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn. You can get some real stunning views from the observation tower of Reykjavík city and the surrounding mountains. The colourful houses do look like little Lego or Monopoly houses
The city centre is very also very colourful and full of some quirky cafes, bars and trendy shops can be found on one major street —Laugavegur ( It actually means “Wash Road,” as it was the route to the hot springs in the olden days where many Icelanders took their clothes to launder!)
Have a Kaffitár, the signature coffee made and served by coffee connoisseurs. The cafes are so popular that people come here just to hang out all day and nibble on the delicious bakery products too.
There are many interesting museums here to see in the city but the most intriguing one is called the “Elf School” on Sidmuli Street in the east of the capital. The Icelanders strongly believe in their existence and can you believe it ….they have a curriculum of about the 13 types of elves in Iceland !! The school also studies Iceland’s fairies, trolls, dwarves, and gnomes.
If any of those interest you more you could take an optional tour of the hidden folk habitats with a five-hour class. Enjoy a coffee and pancakes with the school’s headmaster in the end. You will even get a diploma at the end of the class to prove you received accurate education in the affairs of elves. Now, thats a degree to go home and gloat about! Expect the unexpected on our tours!
Back in the city we can also visit the Árbærjarsafn Open Air Museum which has more than 20 buildings which form a town square, a village and a farm. Most of these buildings have been relocated from central Reykjavik and it tries to give a sense of the architecture and lifestyles of the past in Reykjavik.
National Museum of Iceland has a permanent exhibition “Making of a Nation – Heritage and History in Iceland” and is intended to provide insight into the history of the Icelandic nation from the Settlement to the present day. The exhibition is conceived as a journey through time: it begins with the ship in which medieval settlers crossed the ocean to their new home, it ends in a modern airport, the Icelanders’ gateway to the world.
For the party animals, you might want to join the Reykjavik rúntur on weekends. Late in the night, after a few drinks at home, the Icelanders come out on the street, especially Laugavegur Street. Just follow the well-dressed and tipsy people and listen for the sounds of blasting club music. the party goes on untill the wee hours of morning and before heading back to your hotel dont forget the Icelandic hot dog – made of lamb and covered with onions, ketchup, mustard and a kind of gravy