Reykjavik Travel Guide

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Reykjavik Travel Guide

Reykjavik Local History

Reykjavik (meaning 'Smoky Bay') is the the capital of Iceland, and the world's northernmost capital. It was so named by the first settler in the 9th century because of steam rising from geothermal hot springs, but is a rather smokeless city - due to its incessant winds and reliance on geothermal heat.

This geothermal energy is utilized to provide economical, non-polluting heating to the city's buildings, making Reykjavik one of the cleanest cities in the Western world

One of the country's best salmon rivers runs right through the city. Previously seen as merely a way-station for trips into Iceland's remarkable hinterlands, the city now boasts an interesting man-made history and high ratings from visitors for its exuberance and distinctely European urbanity amongst the outstretched surrounding countryside.

Reykjavik Attractions

Reykjavik Shopping

Shopping hours are Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat from 10:00 to 13:00/14:00/15:00 or 16:00, varying from one shop to another. Some supermarkets are open to 23:00 seven days a week. Many shops are closed on Saturdays during the summer - June, July and August.

Shops outside Reykjavik in service centres or filling stations are often open all day (09:00-22:00/23:00/23:30) every day of the week. Banking hours are Mon-Fri 09:15-16:00. Office hours are generally 09:00-17:00 but some offices change to 08:00-16:00 during the summer.

Reykjavik Parks & Gardens

Reykjavik Park and Zoo - This Park is home to various animals living in Iceland, both domestic and wild. This is especially a place for children to get to know the animals and experience them like they don´t usually get to in the large cities or zoos.

Reykjavik Restaurants and Bars

Reykjavik Restaurants

Restaurants in Iceland offer a wide variety of dishes, ranging from Icelandic seafood and mountain lamb to international and Oriental cuisine. There are also places that offer pizza, hamburgers and other less expensive dishes. Here are a few popular ones in town:

Brasserie Ashkur - The word ""brasserie" is a term for an eating-place with a relaxed, informal atmosphere, where people can feel comfortable and dress the way they like. It is somewhat more formal and exclusive than a bistro, but not as much as a complete upmarket restaurant. Askur was the first Icelandic BBQ restaurant, also the first one serving American hamburgers. Nowadays they are a traditional eaterie serving chicken, roast lamb from the grill, lamb cutlets, roast beef, its famous cocktail sauce, and fresh salads.

Carpe Diem Restaurant - The Carpe Diem Restaurant on Rauoararstigur is a pleasant restaurant serving excellent food, accompanied by first-class service and enjoyable surroundings. The a la carte menu offers a wide variety of dishes, specializing in fish dishes and Icelandic lamb.

La Primavera Located in Austurstreati 9, this is a contemporary kitchen that is a delicious combination of Northern Italian cooking and the local Icelandic produce. The menu is quite unique in that it offers homemade pastas, risotto, gnochi, polenta and a wide variety of the freshest vegetables, fish, poultry, meat and game.

Apotek Bar Grill Situated in Down town Reykjavik, Iceland, Apotek is one of the newest restaurants in town. It has since been the ambition of its owners to reflect the newest and best developments in international cuisine, and also provide professional service in a beautiful and functional design, pleasing to the eyes and palate alike. The restaurant's menu and wine menu which are actually called 'prescriptions', include interesting and familiar dishes, prepared with the utmost of care and expertise.

Reykjavik Bars & Clubs

The nightlife in Reykjavik is legendary for its energy and stamina. There are nightclubs to suit a variety of tastes in terms of decor and music, all known for their cool atmosphere and stylish patrons.. The distinction between bars, clubs, pubs, cafes and dance halls is rather non-existing in Reykjavik. The beer is really superb. The bars and pubs in Reykjavik are open quite late generally (until three or five in the morning) and it is not uncommon to spend all night on the town on Friday and Saturday nights. There are more than a hundred establishments serving alcohol in the downtown Reykjavik area.

Cafe Romance - the only piano bar in Reykjavik, and open 6 days a week. It's nice to have a place where up to 100 guests can enjoy themselves listening to live piano played by musicians from around the world.

Die Boomkikker - A Dutch bar, with live music all weekends.

"Your Reykjavik Nightlife Friend" - an exciting new service in Reykjavik - introducing the nightlife to visitors.

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