Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. With a population of around 120,000 it is the heart of Iceland’s economic and governmental activity. When you visit it, be sure to find some beautiful Reykjavik hotels, only because hotels in Reykjavik are really outstanding and they will give you full pleasure of this beautiful country. Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which Ingólfur Arnarson is said to have established around 870. Until the 18th century, there was no urban development in the city location. The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades, as it transformed into a regional and later national centre of commerce, population and governmental activities.
Reykjavík is located in southwest Iceland. The Reykjavík area coastline is characterized by peninsulas, coves, straits, and islands. The largest river to run through Reykjavík is the Elliðaá River, which is non-navigable. It is one of the best salmon fishing rivers in the country. Mt. Esja, at 914 m (2,998.69 ft), is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Reykjavík.
The city of Reykjavík is mostly located on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, but the suburbs reach far out to the south and east. Reykjavík is a spread-out city; most of its urban area is in the form of low-density suburbs, and houses are usually widely spaced. The outer residential neighborhoods are also widely spaced from each other; in between them run the main traffic arteries and a lot of empty space.
Temperatures very rarely drop below ?15 °C (5 °F) in the winter. The city’s coastal location does make it prone to wind, however, and gales are common in winter. Summers are cool, with temperature fluctuating between 10 to 15 °C (50 to 59 °F), sometimes exceeding 20 °C (68 °F). Reykjavík is not a particularly wet city, but it nevertheless averages 148 days with measurable precipitation every year. Droughts are uncommon although they occur in some summers. In the summer of 2007, no rain was measured for one month. Spring tends to be the sunniest season, May particularly.
There are a lot of places throughout Reykjavik that you can visit to immerse yourself in their rich culture. You can visit the “Culture House” to view historical treasures such as traditional Icelandic literature in their original manuscripts. You can also drop by the Reykjavik Open Air Museum, a municipal museum, and the Reykjavik Museum of Photography for other interesting Icelandic-culture tidbits.
While Iceland has plenty of cultural attractions, ecotourism is the main thing that draws tourists from all over the world. When you visit the city, rent an SUV and drive around to look at volcanic craters in the area. Take a look at hiking trails in order to have better plans for your backpacking activities, so that you won’t risk being stuck in an isolated place at nighttime. You can also visit Heiomork, the largest nature reserve in the vicinity.
Reykjavík is often dubbed “the nightlife capital of the north”. It is famous for its nightlife during the weekends. Icelanders tend to go out late so bars that look rather quiet can fill up suddenly—usually after midnight on a weekend.
Alcohol is relatively expensive at bars. People tend to drink at home before going out. Beer was banned in Iceland until 1 March 1989, but has since become popular among many Icelanders as their alcoholic drink of choice.
There are over 100 different bars and clubs in Reykjavík; most of them are located on Laugavegur and its side streets. It is very common for an establishment that is a café before dinner to turn into a bar in the evening. Closing time is usually around 6 am at weekends and 1 am during the week.