While in Iceland, I made sure to dedicate a full day to see the capital ofReykjavik. It is the northernmost capital city, easy to get around, clean, and quaint with stylish boutiques and cosmopolitan museums. The city features colorful buildings, a unique electronica music scene, and a historic Viking heritage. It has a small-town feel despite being a capital city, with not many tall skyscrapers.
âDuring winter, the weather dipped to 20 degrees F, but it did not stop life in this city. The roads are immediately plowed and people continue their day, even bike riding in the snow. The city experienced an economic downturn in 2008, however is it making a comeback with lots of development and new architecture projects. As a photographer, I loved seeing all the colorful funky buildings and discovered many surprises in the city like the ones below. Download our travel guide to explore Reykjavik.
Behind the scenes city tour of Reykjavik:
Music Credit: Gus Gus "Over" | All videos shot with iPhone 6 | Editing: iMovie
Here are the top spots to photograph in Reykjavik:
Hallgrimskirkja - This church and centerpiece of the city done in art deco and brutalist styles with columns that resemble the basalt columns found in the natural landscape in Iceland. There is a deck on the 8th floor where you can pay a few dollars to see a 360 degree panorama of the city.
Northern Lights/ Whale Watching boat tour - These boats leave from the old harbor. During the day, there are whale watching tours, and at night during winter there are northern lights tours. This region has one of the greatest chances of seeing the aurora borealis and whales!
Street Art - Reykjavik has a large amount of murals, including ones from famous street artists like D*face.
Check out this map of the wall murals:
Harpa - Located in the center of the city near the waterfront is this contemporary architectural gem. It is a concert hall with honeycomb shaped glass panels that light up at night. Makes for a great photo shoot location.
Perlan - This building means "the Pearl" and has a glass domed rooftop and viewing deck. The building offers incredible 360 degree views of the city and a revolving restaurant.
Icelandic Horse Ranches - The Icelandic horses are not to be missed. They are unique to the island and feature long hair and a shorter stature, like a pony. Venture just a tad outside the city and you are bound to cross paths with a horse ranch. There are also horseback riding tours and performances.
Puffin Island - Located a half-mile off the coast of Reykjavik is Akurey Island, where the puffins nest. The island is accessible via a short boat ride.
Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach - Reykjavik has lots of recreational areas and geothermal baths. But none are as unique as swimming in the Northern Atlantic Ocean! No need for a bodysuit though, this Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach is heated thanks to the volcanic heat. It is popular with the locals to soak up the hot water and enjoy the natural scenery. Pro tip is to go later in the day as the water tends to be warmer.
TjÃ¶rnin - A beautiful lake, or "pond", in the center of the city with swans and birds.
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