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Landmarks Walking Tour of Reykjavik, Reykjavik
Landmarks Walking Tour of Reykjavik
Guide Location: Iceland » Reykjavik
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Image Courtesy of Flickr and o palsson
Author: vickyc
This self-guided walking tour is included in the iOS app "City Maps and Walks (470+ Cities)" in iTunes and the Android app "Reykjavik Map and Walks" in Google Play.
Reykjavik is a wonderful city set on a small island in the enormous ocean. It is the northernmost capital in the world. This city, close to the Arctic Circle, probably boasts the most beautiful landscape in the world. In Reykjavik you will see some great and unique Viking monuments, churches, and museums, as well as a lake in the middle of the city and geysers. This self-guided tour offers you an interesting stroll through the splendid capital of Iceland:
Tour Stops and Attractions
University of Iceland
1) University of Iceland
The University of Iceland (Icelandic: Háskóli Íslands) is a public research university in Reykjavík and the country's oldest and largest institution of higher education. Founded in 1911, it has grown steadily from a small civil servants' school to a modern comprehensive university, providing instruction for about 14,000 students in 25 faculties. Subjects covered include social sciences, humanities, medicine, natural sciences, engineering and teacher education. It has a campus concentrated around Suðurgata street in central Reykjavík, with additional facilities located in nearby areas as well as in the countryside.

The University of Iceland was founded by the Alþingi on June 17, 1911, uniting three former post-secondary institutions: Prestaskólinn, Læknaskólinn and Lagaskólinn, which taught theology, medicine and law, respectively. The university originally had only faculties for these three fields, in addition to a faculty of humanities. During its first year of operation 45 students were enrolled. For its first 29 years the University was housed in the Icelandic Parliament building, Alþingishúsið, in central Reykjavík. In 1933, the university received a special licence from Alþingi to operate a cash-prize lottery called Happdrætti Háskólans. In 1940, the university moved into the main building, designed by Icelandic state architect Guðjón Samúelsson. The main building forms the core of the university campus on Suðurgata, where most of the principal buildings of the university are located today. In recent years there has been some major restructuring. In 2008 the university was divided into five different schools.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and vestman
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hólavallagarður Cemetery Reykjavik
2) Hólavallagarður Cemetery Reykjavik
There are several cemeteries in Reykjavik. Hólavallagarður Cemetery is a very old one located in the central part of the city. You can explore Icelandic genealogy while walking past the graves, many of which are beautiful sculptures. One Icelandic author described this cemetery as the largest and oldest museum in Reykjavik.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Christian Bickel fingalo
Reykjavik City Hall
3) Reykjavik City Hall
Reykjavik City Hall is located in the middle of the city. The building was constructed in 1987, following an international competition won by the architect Studio Granda. Alongside the offices of the mayor of Reykjavík, there is a nice cafe and a large 3-D map of Iceland. Art exhibitions are often held in the City Hall. The building stands on the banks of beautiful Lake Tjornin. Many ducks and seagulls flock around this lake, adding to the bustle and activity. This part of the city is definitely worth a visit!
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Morten Andersen
Austurvollur Square
4) Austurvollur Square
Austurvöllur is a public square in Reykjavik. The square is a popular gathering place for the citizens of Reykjavik, and especially so during good weather due to the prevalence of cafes on Vallarstræti and Pósthússtræti. It has also been a focal point of protests due to the close location to the Parliament of Iceland.

Austurvöllur is surrounded by Vallarstræti, Pósthússtræti, Kirkjustræti and Thorvaldsensstræti. The latter of which is named after Bertel Thorvaldsen, a statue of whom was, for a long period of time, present in the centre of Austurvöllur, now occupied by a statue of Jón Sigurðsson. Around the square is the Parliament of Iceland building, the city's oldest church the Domkirkja, the Hotel Borg, and the dance club NASA. Austurvöllur was much larger in the past. In the early 18th century, Austurvöllur stretched from Aðalstræti in the west towards the creek in the east, and Aðalstræti in the north towards Tjörn in the south.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Jóhann Heiðar Árnason
Sight description based on wikipedia
National Centre for Cultural Heritage
5) National Centre for Cultural Heritage
The National Centre for Cultural Heritage is located in the Culture House. The building is very beautiful and is a historic monument of Reykjavik. There are numerous exhibitions in the Centre, including national treasures and artifacts from the time of the Vikings. Most of the art exhibitions are held in the Culture Shop and Café. The Centre also holds a large exhibition of Icelandic films. Many of the Centre's temporary exhibitions display original artifacts and photographs.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Anosmia
Sun Voyager
6) Sun Voyager
Sun Voyager is a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason (1931 - 1989). It is a dreamboat, an ode to the sun. Intrinsically, it contains within itself the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom. The sculpture is located by Sæbraut, by the sea in the centre of Reykjavík, Iceland.

In 1986, the district association of the west part of the city funded a competition for a new outdoor sculpture to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city of Reykjavík. Jón Gunnar’s Sun Voyager won the competition, and the aluminium model was presented to the city for enlargement. The full-sized Sun Voyager was eventually unveiled on Sæbraut on the birthday of the city of Reykjavík, August 18th, 1990.

The work is constructed of quality stainless steel and stands on a circle of granite slabs surrounded by so-called “town-hall concrete”. It was constructed in accordance with Jón Gunnar’s enlarged full-scale drawing of Sun Voyager and was overseen by Jón Gunnar’s assistant, the artist Kristinn E. Hrafnsson. The engineering of the sculpture was supervised by the technologist, Sigurjón Yngvason, in close cooperation with Jón Gunnar himself, the building itself was carried out by Reynir Hjálmtýsson and his assistant.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Image Courtesy of Flickr and javier.losa
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hallgrimskirkja Church
7) Hallgrimskirkja Church
Hallgrimskirkja is often considered the most beautiful church in Reykjavik. Its architecture is amazing and is known around the world. It is a very tall structure set on a hill, and it is therefore seen from the far ends of Reykjavik. You can walk around the church to admire its sophisticated architecture. There is also an elevator or stairs that you can take to the top of the church to view the city and its magical skyline.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Molechaser
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Pearl
8) The Pearl
Perlan (English: The Pearl) is a landmark building in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. It is 25.7 metres (84.3 ft) high. It was originally designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson. Perlan is situated on the hill Öskjuhlíð where there had been hot water storage tanks for decades. In 1991 the tanks were updated and a hemispherical structure placed on top. This project was largely done at the behest of Davíð Oddsson, during his time as mayor of Reykjavík. Perlan has 10,000 cubic meters of exhibition space on the ground floor, known as the Winter Garden. It has hosted concerts by Icelandic artists such as GusGus and Emilíana Torrini as well as various expos and markets. There is a viewing deck on the fourth floor. It contains panoramic telescopes at each six corners of the deck with recorded descriptions in five different languages. You can see several weak geysers here. On top of this tall construction, there is a restaurant with splendid views of the city. The building looks marvelous from the outside. Inside, you will find also some souvenir shops and a historical museum with wax figures.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and o palsson
Sight description based on wikipedia
Attractions Map
Private Tour Guides in Reykjavik
All kinds of tours ranging from state visits to school groups. Half day to two weeks.
Tour operator in Iceland, specialized in small groups of up to 16 people. Only tailor-made tours, starting and ending in the Reykjavik/Keflavik area, any duration.
We provide personal service and are specialized in guided tours for small groups.

View all Reykjavik guides
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This is “Organized Self-Drive” vacation for people who want to enjoy Iceland by rental car.
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