Reykjavík is a relatively small city, but even so, sometimes you need a bit of local advice to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a good people-watching spot, somewhere to see some contemporary art, or the best place to catch an Icelandic movie. Don’t worry, friends—we’ve got you covered via our Best of Reykjavík 2016 series. Here are some of our favourite spots in Reykjavík, for all kinds of super-fun days and nights out. Enjoy! And if you try our list, you can let us know what you thought of the selections via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Reykjavík municipality’s “big three” pools of Vesturbæjarlaug, Laugardalslaug, and Sundhöllin, great as they are, lost a little shine this year due to overcrowding, and Sundhöllin being closed for renovation. So our panel decided the award for 2016 should go to Neslaug, a tucked-away pool on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, that last won in 2011. They agreed that at Neslaug: “It feels like people are moving in slow motion—time slows down. There’s always space in the big jacuzzi, and the pool is filled with salt water so you feel buoyant when you do laps.” Perhaps the best thing is that there’s some space, so you’re not always avoiding other swimmers.
Runner Up: Vesturbæjarlaug
“It might be very busy, but there’s a reason for that,” said the panel. Vesturbæjarlaug is just a great all-round pool, with traditional hotpots, a nice steam bath, and a big, recently installed communal hot pot. It’s a lovely spot for a sunny day, and a classic Reykjavík pool.
Runner Up: Lágafellslaug
This pool is on the very outskirts of greater Reykjavík. “It’s perfect for the start or the end of a road-trip, or for a little outing in itself,” said the panel. It has a coal-fired sauna, a steam room with a view over the mountain of Úlfarsfell, and spacious, modern ceramic-tiled hotpots.
Read more of our Best of 2016 lists here.