Our last stop in Iceland was its capital- Reykjavik. As its very close to the airport (only about a 40 min drive) its a good place to stop before heading home. Unfortunately we had real icelandic weather that day- it was raining cats and dogs combined with a nasty wind. But I am not complaining. We know it could be like that and I guess it would not have been the same if we would only had sunny weather. There is no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.
To navigate around the city we choose Hallgrimskirkja as our main point. Its the biggest church in Reykjavik and I guess in Iceland. Its modern style is interesting to look that and its inside design very “clean”, classic and bright.
There is a quite a big parking lot behind the church that is for free. Luckily we managed to get a spot right away. From Hallgrimskirkja it is possible to walk around the city. Reykjaviks city center is not big. If you have ever been to Quebec City, its kinda like a similar size.
Until 4:30pm (in winter) its possible to ride up to the Church Tower and to get an overview over the city from 75m (250ft) above ground. It really is worth it. You have to get a ticket in the gift shop which is 900ISK. They really close the gift shop on the dot so dont be late. In the summer the opening times are much longer.
The view with nice weather is probably a lot nicer but the 900ISK for each of us were well invested!
Its easy to navigate around the city if you navigate with the church as the start and end point as its visible from basically everywhere. At one point you will reach the water and therefore a dead end 🙂 Heading down into the city center from the Hallgrimskirkja there are a lot of shops, cafés and restaurants. Shops are open on sundays, which is cool. Lots of street art can be found basically everywhere. An example below.
Another very intersting building is the Harpa concert and convention center at the harbor front of Reykjavik. Opened in 2011 it even won an architecture price for its design.
More importantly on a rainy and windy day, its dry and warm. There are restrooms to use and it has some small shops. From the back of the building you have a nice look around the harbour and I guess of the surrounding mountains.
A couple of minutes along the promenade there is the Sun Voyager sculpture. Its a sculpture of a viking ship and is aligned to the sunset in the north, which explains the name.
Its also nice to walk around the harbor, there are lobster and fish restaurants and some interesting things to look at.
If the weather is nice I am sure Reykjavik has a lot more to offer than what we discovered. But I admit after a few hours being drenched in the rain, I just wanted to go and stay inside 🙂
There are museums and galleries as well. Its worth a stop, no matter if only for a few hours or a day or two.