Iceland Bucket List: Reykjavik

Iceland Bucket List is a new series that we are starting here at Extreme Iceland. Each week we will feature a new list of things you must see or do before you leave Iceland. The first part in this series is 5 must-sees in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. This bucket-list series is great to read through as you plan your trip to Iceland. So here it is, 5 must-see things in Reykjavik that should be on your bucket list!

1. Hallgrimskirkja Church

Hallgrimskirkja Church is what most people think of when they try to picture Reykjavik. The beautiful church is the tallest building in Reykjavik, and a highlight of the city. The church took 41 years to build (1945-1986) and it is named after Iceland’s most famous poet, Hallgrimur Petursson. A small fee allows you to go to the top of Hallgrimskirkja Church, which operates as an observation tower. Being at the top of the tower of Hallgrimskirkja Church offers a stunning view of Reykjavik in every direction. It is definitely a must see!

famous church

The Magnificent Hallgrimskirkja Church

2. Harpa Concert Hall

Harpa Concert Hall is the first purpose-built concert hall in Iceland. It opened on May 4th in 2011, after some delay in construction because of the financial crisis in 2008. Harpa Concert Hall has beautiful geometric class panels in different colors that please the eye. Harpa Concert Hall also changes colors depending on what is going on in the city or in the world.

Harpa Concert

Harpa Concert Hall in Different Colors

3. Sun Voyager (Solfar)

Whether you are visiting Iceland during the winter or in the summertime, you should not miss going to the Sun Voyager. The Sun Voyager is a sculpture, created by Jon Gunnar Arnason. This sculpture is in Reykjavik Iceland close to the ocean, and it has been there since August, 1990. The Sun Voyager is very photogenic with the Icelandic nature in the background. It is the perfect place to get some sunset pictures, so we suggest that you get some pictures of the Sun Voyager when the midnight sun is out.

famous sculpture

The Sun Voyager

4. The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most known must-visit places. Even though The Blue Lagoon is not technically in Reykjavik, we still wanted to include it on the list since it is only around 20 minutes from the airport, and 40 minutes from downtown Reykjavik. The Blue Lagoon is a unique geothermal spa in the Reykjanes Peninsula, in the South of Iceland. At the Blue Lagoon you can bathe in the natural and milky blue water or even get a spa treatment. The water is geothermally heated and the water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages between 27-29°C (80-85°F). The water is rich in minerals such as silica and sulfur, which makes for a great spa treatment.

geothermal water Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon

5. Tjornin Pond

Even though Tjornin is technically a lake, everybody in Iceland calls it a pond. Maybe because the name “Tjornin” in Icelandic, literally means “The Pond”. Tjornin is located in central Reykjavik, right next to Reykjavik City Hall. It is very common to see children at the pond with their parents, feeding the ducks and swans, that frequent the lake, some bread. The beautiful pond fits perfectly with the cute little colorful houses in Reykjavik, and it is a great hang out place to eat a packed lunch and relax.

Pond in Reykjavik

Tjornin Pond

Contributed: Birta Bjornsdottir