Where to Find the Best Views in Reykjavik
It isn’t hard to find scenic corners in Reykjavik. From its multicolored houses and striking architectural highlights to its Atlantic scenery and distant mountains, the Icelandic capital is bursting with beautiful vistas. Bring your camera with you, and get ready to explore—here’s where to find the best views in Reykjavik.
Church of Hallgrímur (Hallgrímskirkja)
One of Reykjavik’s most recognizable landmarks, the Church of Hallgrímur, built beginning in the 1940s and famed for its modern design, is also an excellent vantage point. Ascend to the top of its 240-foot (73-meter) tower—one of the highest structures in the country—and capture photos of the rainbow-hued houses below.
Among Reykjavik’s most distinctive attractions, the gleaming Harpa Building, with its geometric lines and glass facade, is a photogenic landmark. A concert hall and conference center that debuted in 2011 and was designed in part by artist Olafur Eliasson, the Harpa Building is free to explore—and offers sweeping views over the water.
If it’s wide-ranging views and unforgettable panoramas that you’re after, then there’s only one answer: Take to the air. Helicopter tours don’t just offer spectacular views of the Icelandic capital and the Skarfabakki Harbour; they also whisk you away to Mt. Esja and soar over the Atlantic.
TheSun Voyager—a 1990 sculpture by artist Jón Gunnar Árnason (and known asSólfar locally)—was designed to resemble a Viking vessel. Depending on the way that you face, you can use the artwork in the foreground of your seaside shots or in your photos of the Reykjavik cityscape.
The Perlan (“The Pearl” in English) is a must-see museum, an architectural highlight, and an ideal observation point. Located on the top of Öskjuhlíð Hill, the Perlan offers spectacular panoramic views of the city. Its dome is also home to celestial shows—if you aren’t lucky enough to see the northern lights in real life, its Áróra show is the next best thing.