So, you finally checked one off the bucket list and arrived in Iceland. Velkomin! But what now? Reykjavík is bustling with activities, from steamy swimming pools to world-renowned galleries to more historical sites than you can name. And the city’s diversity has only increased with the development of tourism—now you’ll find ambitious arthouse theatre in English and interactive tech museums dotting the streets. For those looking to get out of the capital, it’s surrounded by gorgeous hiking, plentiful picnic spots, and more. So what’s one to do to fully take advantage of the city? Presenting: the 2020 Grapevine Best Of Reykjavík Activities awards. Hey—when in Reykjavík, listen to the Reykjavíkingur.
Hofsvallagata, 107 Reykjavík
Vesturbær is one of Reykjavik’s most bustling areas, and probably the only locale where you could bump into Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, renowned artist Ragnar Kjartansson, and member of Sigur rós in the same day. Vesturbæjarlaug is smack in the middle of the hubbub and serves up a wonderful selection of hot tubs chock full of chattering artists, students, and other107 locals. The pool is unique in the sense that it offers up pretty much anything you’d need—a shiny outdoor pool, big hotpots, a large steam room, and a particularly lovely outdoor changing area, which you should take advantage of in the summer. And remember, don’t hesitate to converse about the state of things in the hot water—Icelanders love to debate politics, philosophise about art, and make fun of, well, everything.
Sundlaugavegur 30, 105 Reykjavík
Here we’ve got the biggest pool of Reykjavík, which—get ready for this—has the tallest slide in the city. So if you’ve got kids, get ready for a wild ride. For adults though, the panel praised the hot seawater tub, which is filled with a hot mixture of salt and fresh water. They described the feeling as odd but fun. You’ll step out smelling of salt. Yum.
Fylkisvegur 9, 110 Reykjavík
The main reason the panel chose Árbæjarlaug was for its stunning view of the city. It’s an impressive view of the east of Reykjavík, showcasing a huge forest, Elliðarárdalur, and below that you have an extraordinary view of the city’s skyline. Also—you have to give it up for the pool’s fun 90s architecture.
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