Akureyri Botanical Garden (Lystigardur Akureyrar)
Iceland’s most famous garden and the northernmost botanical garden in the world, Lystigardur Akureyrar—or Akureyri Botanical Garden—defies its close proximity to the Arctic Circle by growing trees, plants, and flowers from all around the world.
The 10-acre (4-hectare) park is both a popular picnic spot for locals and an important hub of Iceland’s botanic research. Many Akureyri sightseeing tours include a stroll through the gardens, often en-route to nearby attractions such as the Akureyrarkirkja church, and visiting with a guide can offer extra insight into the unique flora on display.
Things to Know Before You Go
Admission to Lystigardur Akureyrar is free.
Visitor facilities in the park include a café and restrooms.
The garden is wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
The botanical garden is located on Eyrarlandsholt in central Akureyri, a short walk from the waterfront and the Akureyrarkirkja. Located in northern Iceland, Akureyri is a 30-minute flight or 3.5-hour drive from Reykjavik.
When to Get There
The gardens are open daily from June to September, but closed to the pubic throughout the winter months. The tranquil spot rarely gets too busy, though weekends draw a steady stream of locals, which adds to the atmosphere.
Plants and Flowers of Lystigardur
Over 7,000 plant, shrub, and flower varieties are on display in the garden, including a number of rare Arctic plants and around 420 species of native Icelandic flora, the largest collection of its kind in the world. Most impressive are the tropical and subtropical trees and plants, which thrive despite Akureyri’s annual mean temperature of 38°F (3.4°C). An area of the garden is devoted to researching plant species that can survive in the harsh Arctic climate.