Our Reykjavik walking tour is the best way to get to know the modern, fun and vibrant capital of Iceland. It was specifically designed to ensure that visitors make the very most out of their stay, providing a flavor of Reykjavik’s rich history, buzzing cultural scene and the many excellent cafes and bars that populate the city. Not only does it take you to the city’s most important landmarks, like Althingi, the Hallgrímskirkja church, and Harpa, but it also provides an insight into what makes the Reykjavik so special: the narrow streets, the cool cafes and the communal atmosphere. This makes it perfect for anyone who wants to really understand, the enchanting, magical place that we call home!
Youth (7-15): 3 000
Children (0-6): FREE
The tour begins at the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church, whose unique design and 74.5-metre steeple, makes it one of the most unique buildings in Iceland. It was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937, who wanted to try and capture the shapes formed by lava, when it cools and becomes basalt rock, giving it an alluring and fascinating design, which is unlike any church you will ever see. The church also features a large pipe organ, which stands 15 meters tall and weighs an astonishing 25 tons.
A statue of one of Iceland’s most famous sons, the Viking explorer Leifur Eiríksson (c. 970 – c. 1020), the first European to set foot in America is located directly in front of the church. The fact that Leifur isn’t better known, is a constant source of surprise to most Icelanders, given that he discovered America almost 500 years earlier than Christopher Columbus. The statue itself, was a gift from the United States, in 1930, to mark the 1000th anniversary of the world’s oldest continuously operational parliament, Althingi, which was founded in 930 AD in the Thingvellir National Park.
Discover Reykjavik City
From there, we will continue to meander through Reykjavik’s winding streets, passing rustic restaurants, charming cafes and a large number of vibrant bars along the way. With our friendly guides telling you about the history of Iceland’s capital and passing on invaluable local knowledge about the best restaurants and bars to visit, also passing spectacular murals and dodging friendly street cats, allowing you to experience the essence of Reykjavik. These places are not necessarily the most popular or expensive places in the city, giving you the opportunity to have a more authentic and off-the-beaten-track Reykjavik experience.
Harpa Concert Hall
Next, we will see Harpa, one of Reykjavik’s most famous landmarks and the cultural epicenter of Iceland. It is situated in the very heart of the city and provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and deep blue Atlantic Ocean. Its glass encased architecture and rhombus-like shape makes it as unique and beautiful as the Sydney Opera House. It was opened in 2011 and has attracted an impressive 4 million guests since then, making it a must for anyone visiting the city. We recommend coming back to visit it at night, if you have the opportunity because it turns it into a shining beacon, when illuminated.
Althingi & Austurvöllur
Our penultimate stop will be Althingi, Iceland’s oldest institution and the beating democratic heart of the country. It was founded by various chieftains on the plains of Thingvellir National Park, in 930 AD. moving to Reykjavik in 1843. This means that it is the oldest continuously running parliament in the entire world, a bastion of democracy, whose simple design, belies its historical importance. Your expert guide will teach you about the history of this incredible institution, an experience, everyone is bound to enjoy.
From there we will head to Austurvöllur square, one of the most important locations in all of Reykjavik and the place where Icelanders come to protest and hold important public gatherings. It is also home to a number of important landmarks, including a statue of Jon Sigurdsson, the leader of Iceland’s independence movement. But most importantly, it's the local hangout on sunny days!
Next door we find the famous cathedral, called Domkirkjan, which was built in 1796 and signaled that Reykjavik was now Iceland’s capital city. The parliament building is situated right next to the cathedral and each year the official opening of parliament starts with a mass there.
This is the ideal way to explore Reykjavik, with an expert local guide, who will teach you about both the history and culture of the city. We always try to ensure that the numbers on the tour are small, allowing participants to ask as many questions as they want. It is perfect for people who have just arrived in the city and want to get to know the lie of the land, so they can maximize their time in our incredible capital city.
Disclaimer: This tour is operated by a trusted partner.