An immensely flattering imitation that traces the rugged mountainous features of Iceland's topography, the Hallgrímskirkja is a stunning structure in the heart of Reykjavik. Designed by architect Guðjón Samúelsson, the church was completed over a prolonged span of 41 years. It stands today as a symbol of splendid modernism and Iceland's natural beauty. The Hallgrímskirkja features a dramatic gray facade with craggy edges that swoop upward to meet the detailed steeple. The spire towers at a height of 74.5 meters (244 feet) and is visible from far-flung corners of the city. Compared to the church's imposing facade, the interior is less pronounced, though it notably houses a 5275-pipe organ that was erected in 1992.
Dómkirkjan is located in the centre of Reykjavík, next to Alþingishúsið (house of Parliament) and Hótel Borg. It is thought that a church had been in this place since the beginning of Christianity in Iceland. The present church is made of stone, and was built between 1788 and 1796. Dómkirkjan has played a part in Icelandic latter-day history. Iceland's national anthem was first played there in 1874, and Iceland's sovereignty was celebrated in the church in 1918, as well as its independence in 1944. Since Alþingi was re-established in 1845, its sessions have started with a mass in the church every year. Dómkirkjan has many old and distinguished objects and pieces of art. Its baptismal font, for instance, was made and given to the church by the famous Bertel Thorvaldsen in 1839.
Explore the history of the city's early settlements at The Settlement Exhibition. The museum is based on an ancient Viking house that was discovered in 2001. There are many artifacts, objects, models and multimedia displays here that enunciate the first civilizations, their culture and lifestyle. You can also find here old photographs, manuscripts, archaeological findings and more. There is a museum shop from where you can buy souvenirs for keepsakes.
A scenic repository that pays tribute to Iceland's seafaring culture, the Reykjavik Maritime Museum is located along the city's harborfront. The museum is built into a former fish freezing factory unit, a plant that was originally built on the Grandi landfill. It explores the time-honored legacy of Iceland's fishing past, alluding to the time when early settlers depended heavily on fishing for livelihood. Over the years, fishing practices burgeoned into a larger industry, thus accelerating Iceland's prosperous growth over the years. The maritime museum also hosts a stunning nautical relic that was acquired in 2008, the former Coast Guard Vessel Óðinn. Fastened to the pier adjacent to the museum, this grand vessel served a prime role in all three Cod Wars between 1950 and 1970. Iceland's first steel ship Magni, also stands at the pier in resolute magnificence.
The Icelandic Phallological Museum is one unique museum with a large variety of phallic specimens that also include almost all types of mammal specimens. With more than 280 specimen and 93 species of animals that range from mice to whales, this museum features fascinating exhibits and makes for an interesting visit.
Beautiful and traditional Icelandic ceramic dominates the space in this gallery. The owner and proprietor Lana Matusa, was born in Serbia but now resides in Reykjavik. The troll tales are an inspiring factor in Lana's work. Icelandic legends narrate stories of sleeper-guards and elves living in the lava area. Hence the studio houses a collection of lava artifacts made of genuine material gathered from the island itself! So anyone interested in trolls and elves can make a beeline to this ceramic studio.
One of the best parks in the city, Klambratún is known for its lush greenery and ample recreational space. Locals flock this park with their families and children. Earlier known as Miklatún, the park provides a basketball court and a beach volleyball court as well. It also doubles up as a venue for local concerts and events.
Kjarvalsstaðir is one of the museums that are part of the Reykjavik Art Museum. Located on the Miklatún Park, it accords tremendous importance to paintings and sculptures.
Explore the history of Iceland at the Saga Museum that chronicles the development of the country by exhibiting and recreating its prominent historical phases and people. From the early settlements to the Viking conquests to the Reformation, the museum has manged to capture every historical aspect through 17 exhibits by setting up mannequins, everyday scenes, traditional costumes, weapons, artifacts and so on. There are also old photographs, documents and more to enlighten you further. You can buy Viking beads, shoes, clothes and other souvenirs at their shop for keepsakes.
A little outside the city center of Reykjavik, the glass dome of the landmark Perlan glints beautifully under the sun. Perched atop six gigantic hot water storage tanks, this unique architectural marvel is symbolic of the country's geothermal sources, and their key role in Icelandic society. Each tank wondrously holds 4 million liters (1 million gallons) of geothermal hot water. Within the humongous domes, a large atrium hosts exhibitions and events, mostly regarding the history and future of glaciers. From the fourth floor of the dome, visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas of Iceland's stellar landscape, from bird-eye views of Reykjavik and the majestic summit of Mount Esja, all the way to Snæfellsjökull.
Sigurjon Olafsson Museum displays the works of Sigurjon Olafsson (1908-1982) who was one of the pioneers of Icelandic modern art using wood, metal, plaster, stone and concrete in his work and drawing inspiration from the Icelandic Sagas.