Reyjavik is the capital of and largest city in Iceland. It is the northern most capital city in the world.
Located on a peninsula in southwest Iceland, the city is surrounded on three sides by the sea. It is a compact city, making it easy to get around either on foot or by public bus system called Strætó in Icelandic. (The Reykjavik City Card offers 24, 48 and 72 hours of unlimited travel on the bus system as well as admission to a number of attractions).
Reykjavik is considered a safe city with a low crime rate. It is also a clean city. Geothermal springs heat every house and business in the city.
Reykjavik is a cultural city. UNESCO has designated it as a "City of Literature." It also has numerous museums covering a variety of topics. These include several art museums, which tend to focus on Icelandic art. However, several include works by artists from other nations.
Considering Reykjavik's geographic location and climate, it may be surprising that outdoor swimming is a popular passtime. Such aquatic activities do not take place in the sea but rather in pools heated by the geothermal springs underlying the city. The most famous of these is a man-made pool known as the Blue Lagoon, which lies about 30 miles outside of the city in Grindavik. In addition to providing exercise and relaxation, the waters in these pools allegedly have theraputic properties.
About half the country's population lives in the area around Reykavik. However, the city does not feel crowded. There are a few modern high rise buildings but most of the town has one to three story buildings.
People in Reykjavik speak Icelandic, a Germanic language belonging to the Nordic group. However, many people - particularly those involved with tourism - also speak English. Indeed, in the museums, the signs by the exhibits usually have an English translation.
The currency is the Icelandic kroner. Some shops will also accept U.S. dollars and British sterling. Major credit cards are widely accepted.
Reykjavik has a sub-polar climate. During tthe summer, it is usually cool. (Think in terms of a jacket and/or sweater). However, due to its location, the sunlight lasts long into the night.
The Reykjavik cruise port is next
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Overlooking Reyjavik is the volcanic mountain range called Mount Esja
Above: Hallargardur Park by Lake Tjornin in the center of the city. Reykjavik has plenty of green space.
Below: Austurvollur, one of two squares in the old city. It lies in front of the parliament building. Once considered the best farmland in Reykjavik, as the city grew it became known for its protests and demonstrations.
Above: Reykjavik abounds in outdoor art. This one by Torbjorg Palsdottir called "Dance" is outside of the Perlan.
Cruise destination profile - Rekjavik, Iceland- overview