If you’re going to Iceland, chances are good it’s not to visit the city of Reykjavik…you’re going to hike, dip in hot springs, and explore the beautiful countryside. However, chances are also good that you’ll find yourself in Reykjavik for at least one day…so might as well make the most of it and discover the top 10 photo spots in Reykjavik! Without further ado, off we go.
1 | Hallgrímskirkja church
I’m going to be honest here, I still have absolutely no idea how to say the name of the church, but this church is one of Reykjavik’s iconic landmarks. I would orient myself in the city by finding it, plus it’s pretty photogenic too.
2 | View from the top of Hallgrímskirkja church
Even better, take the elevator up to the top of the church for views of the city. For me, this is one of my favorite photo spots in Reykjavik. It’s hard to tell from below, but the roofs of Reykjavik are oh so colorful!
3 | Harpa
Harpa is Reykjavik’s concert hall. It’s made of brightly colored glass, and gives you cool shots whether you’re shooting from the inside or outside. Hint: you can even go inside for free!
4 | Harborside (by Harpa)
Keep walking along the water and you’ll get beautiful mountain views. One of the cool things I learned was that the word Reykjavik translates to “Smoke Bay,” since it looks like there’s smoke rising off of the water. It’s not actually smoke, but steam from all of the geothermal activity! In any case, it’s easily one of the prettiest photo spots in Reykjavik and great on both sunny and cloudy days.
5 | Sólfarið or the Sun Voyager
The Sun Voyager is pretty hard to miss if you’re wandering around Reykjavik. The sculpture is an ode to the sun, and would look even better without people posing on it. But what can you do?
6 | Bókabúð Máls og Menningar (Bookstore)
What better way to get to know a country than through its books? Thankfully, this bookstore has an Icelandic and English section, because leaving Iceland I still knew a total of zero words…I’m normally better than that… In any case, this bookstore is huge, but also adorable, and for a book lover, one of the top photo spots in Reykjavik.
7 | Laugavegur Street Art
If you’re looking for street art in Iceland, look no further than Laugavegur, one of the main streets running through Reykjavik. I love the vibe they give and the pop of color they bring to the city, even on a gloomy day. I was personally a huge fan of this building that was an entire mural.
8 | Brauð & Co. Bakery
This quickly became my favorite bakery in Iceland…colorful on the outside and yummy treats on the inside. It’s a perfect stop for photos and snacks; my perfect kind of stop!
9 | Old Harbor
Reykjavik Old Harbor is fast becoming a huge part of Reykjavik. Home to colorful restaurants, marine tours (like this awesome whale watching and puffin tour!), and stunning views across the bay to Mount Esja, the harbor is definitely worth a stop.
10 | Tjornin Pond
Tjornin Pond is right in the middle of Reykjavik and home to swans and geese all year round. Whether it’s a sunny or (for likely) a cloudy day, it’s a great spot to photograph.
Other Things to do in Reykjavik
Once you’ve hopped around town snapping all of your awesome pictures, here’s a list of a few other things to do in town:
- Reykjavik Food Tour: I did this and it was amazing! Turns out Icelandic food is fantastic!
- Reykjavik Walking Tour: If you want to get out and about and hear about the history of Reykjavik, the walking tour is for you.
- Beer Tasting: Imbibing local beverages of any kind is always my fave, and Iceland did not disappoint.
- Ride an Icelandic Horse: Ok, this one isn’t technically in Reykjavik, but it’s only a few hours, and the company will pick you up.
Cheap flights: I’d recommend searching through eDreams. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals. You can typically find good flights on IcelandAir and WOW Air.
Where to Stay in Reykjavik: For higher end hotels, look into Hotel Ódinsvé—the hotel has an awesome location downtown. For a mid-range option, I’d recommend Hotel Frón; this hotel is also centrally located and even has kitchen facilities in the apartments. If you’re looking to avoid hotels and go the hostel route, I recommend checking out Hostelworld – there are plenty of options in Reykjavik! My personal hostel recommendation is Loft Hostel. You have an amazing location in the heart of the city, and I absolutely loved the ambiance of the common area/bar and outside terrace. If you’re traveling with friends, another good option here is to do a VRBO vacation rental. (Use my link for savings on your first stay!)
And there you have it, my favorite photo spots in Reykjavik…what are some of yours? For fun-filled posts about exploring the rest of Iceland, check out my articles on Iceland’s South Coast, the Golden Circle, and most importantly, foodie hot spots in Reykjavik.
P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own. These products/services have been useful during my travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!