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Things to do in Reykjavik

Conquer Mt Esja

Hikers arriving in Reykjavík will recognise the looming 914m-high (3,000ft) Mt Esja as a challenge that needs conquering. The peak has several popular walking trails, but do consider weather conditions before setting off. Less challenging is Öskjuhlíð and the city's southern shoreline; stroll around Ægisíða for lovely sea views.

Enjoy an evening at Iceland's iconic concert hall

As striking as any landscape that surrounds Reykjavik, Hapra (tel: +354 528 6050; is the glass and honeycomb, harbourside home to both the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. Grab a ticket and bask in the white light that floods the venue before basking in the reverberating passion of a world-class classical performance.

Hook a whopper with a spot of lake fishing

There are great opportunities for both salmon and trout fishing in Iceland's lakes. Fishing licences can be obtained with short notice and at reasonable cost as demand is not particularly high. Þingvallavatn, the country’s largest natural lake, is less than an hour from Reykjavik. For guided trips try Iceland Angling Travel (tel +354 867 5200;

Spend a day on the slopes

If pistes are your pastime, Iceland's number one ski resort is just a half hour car drive away from Reykjavik. The slopes at Blafjoll offer downhill skiing for intermediates and beginners, as well as cross-country skiing and snowboarding. Nearby Vatnajokul and Kerlingarfjoll both have glacier skiing during the summer.

Submerge yourself for the clearest view

Iceland's temperatures aren't exactly tropical, but qualified scuba divers can explore some of the clearest waters in the world, with visibility of up to 100m (33ft). The most famous site is Silfra, an undersea rift between the tectonic plates of America and Eurasia. DIVE.IS (+354 578 6200; will take you down.

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Featured Hotels


Hotel Reykjavik Natura

Located a 20-minute walk from the city centre, close to the domestic airport, Hotel Reykjavik Naturais is run by national carrier Icelandair. A short stroll from the Perlan complex, it is good for nature fans with biking, running and walking paths and a nearby geothermal beach. Inside, rooms are comfortable and there’s an onsite spa.

Hotel Cabin

It might not have much in the way of frills, but what Hotel Cabin lacks in decorative flourishes, it more than makes up in convenience and charm. That’s not to say that the rooms are unappealing. Most are comfortable and well-appointed, with huge beds and single Scandinavian-style pillows.

Hotel Fron

With its bright blue facade, you can't miss Hotel Fron. When the runtur (pub crawl) gets underway at the weekend, a couple of rooms at the front might get a bit noisy, but most of the rooms are remarkably quiet. It's an excellent choice for leisure travellers wanting a central location at a reasonable price.

Sunna Guesthouse

Just behind Hallgrimskirkja, this guesthouse in the heart of the old town is within easy walking distance of the major attractions, shops and restaurants. The rooms are basic but clean, and the buffet breakfast is included in the rate. Accommodation options range from rooms with shared facilities to studios and apartments.

Hotel Borg

A Reykjavik institution, the grand Hotel Borg overlooks Austurvöllur and the Parliament building on the other side. Inside, rooms are comfortable and well appointed, while the split-level Tower Suite has proved a hit with visiting VIPs. Downstairs, it boasts its own gourmet restaurant, Silfur, which serves top-notch French fare.

Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel

One of the newer hotels in Reykjavik, the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel is housed in the former offices of an old Icelandic shipping line. It has been meticulously refurbished with urbane minimalist chic, so sleek dark wood furnishings cut a fashionable jib against the tastefully off-white décor. Outside it's officious, inside it's delicious.