Welcome to Reykjavik
Welcome to Reykjavik - The City of Volcanoes, Natural Geysers and Geothermal Springs
The first settlement was initiated by the legendary Viking Ingolfur Arnarson in the 871 AD, and he founded Reykjavik, meaning 'Smokey Bay' on a northerly Atlantic peninsula. The smoke he found wafting over the area came from boiling natural geysers and geothermal springs that now underlie the modern capital of Iceland. The city has a small-town atmosphere with the quaint whitewashed wooden buildings and colourful houses interspersed with plenty of open space.
Information and Facts
There are just a few hours of daylight and therefore, many cafés turn into bars after 6pm. They are the perfect start into the night and after that you can spend your time in a club like NASA on the square "Austurvollur", where there are three dance floors. Otherwise, if you want something a little more sophisticated, you should go to Rex on the street "Austurstraeti". There are also many clubs that offer live music early in the evening such as NASA and Kaffi Rosenberg on the street "Klapparstigur".
Reykjavik is the primary commercial city of Iceland and "Laugavegur" is one of the city's oldest shopping streets where boutiques, designer labels, arts and crafts galleries as well as jewellery design studios can be found. But It is also one of the more expensive cities. The "Kringlan" is the most important shopping mall located in the new city centre, where you can find many shops with clothes, accessories, electronics and home ware. The flea market in the district "Laugardalur" is a good place to pick up bargains and souvenirs as well as local and fresh Icelandic produce. It is open every Saturday and Sunday.
There are several attractions in Reykjavik. First of all you should visit the Botanical Gardens, which are full of interesting, indigenous plants and trees and the Einar Jónsson Museum, where you can admire works made by Iceland's greatest sculptor. Another place is "Hallgrimskirkja", one of the most grandiose churches in the world. If you have any interest in the Viking history you should visit the National Museum, the Saga Museum and the Reykjavik City Museum. Moreover you should go to Reykjavik between September and April, when it is possible to admire the Aurora Borealis.
Standard time zone: GMT
Reykjavik's climate is not as cold as it might be expected, because the Icelandic coastal weather is tempered by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. However, the city is prone to wind and gales.
The best way to travel around Reykjavik is by foot, but there is also an excellent bus service. You can use a bicycle, this is an extremely popular form of transport and the city has a network of cycle lanes. There is little traffic congestion, so it is also possible to visit the city by car.