Cheap flights to Reykjavik
Reykjavík is the world's most northerly capital and a place where creative colourful design, a lively nightlife, an eclectic cultural life and stunning scenery all add to its charm. It was one of the first permanent settlements in Iceland and for a thousand years was little more than a large manor farm or small village. In the 18th century, Reykjavík received a trading charter from the King of Denmark and became Iceland's capital in 1801. By the beginning of the 20th century, it had grown into a fully-fledged settlement worthy of a capital city.
During the Second World War, Iceland was occupied in turn by the British and the Americans. This saw a huge increase in employment and a boom period that led to the rapid modernization of both city and country. This continued until Iceland's financial collapse in 2008. Since then, tourism has played a big part in putting the country back on its feet. Reykjavík does not have the grand history and imposing buildings of other European capitals but it does have its own unique Nordic charm.
Things to do in Reykjavik
With most of Reykjavík's attractions located in the heart of the compact city centre, it's a place best explored on foot. Browse streets of quirky shops and gaudily painted buildings or take bracing walks along the waterfront or around picturesque city lakes. There's a wealth of art galleries and museums as well as stunning countryside and outdoor activities within easy reach.
Hallgrímskirkja Church: This soaring church is 74.5 metres high and is the city's main attraction. It is visible from just about any point in Reykjavík, making it hard to miss. Constructed in the elegant lines of the Expressionist-style, the church has a viewing platform that gives breathtaking views of the city, the sea and the countryside. The organ is a highlight of the interior.
Reykjavík Art Museum: This well-curated museum is split over three sites. Hafnarhús is a modern building housing a contemporary collection while Kjarvalsstaðir is in a city park and home to ever-changing exhibitions by modern Icelandic artists. Ásmundarsafn enjoys a peaceful location near Laugardalur (Hot Spring Valley) and is home to the sculptures of Ásmundur Sveinsson.
The Blue Lagoon: Just a short distance from the city is The Blue Lagoon probably one of Reykjavík's and Iceland's most iconic attractions. The setting is atmospherically picturesque and the bright blue geothermal waters are reviving for both the soul and the body.
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Events in Reykjavik
Residents of Reykjavík like to celebrate especially when the long dark months of winter come to an end. Holidays that combine Norse and Christian traditions fill the annual calendar along with international events and celebrations of local art, gastronomy and beer.
Winter Lights Festival Reykjavík: By the end of February, lighter days are on the horizon and this is celebrated with the Northern Lights or Winter Lights Festival. Six huge light installations appear in the city while museums and thermal pools are free for one night. It's a time when people reconnect and socialize with their friends as they look forward to the spring and summer ahead.
Sumardagurinn Fyrsti: In the Old Norse calendar, there were only two seasons - winter and summer with summer starting on the first Thursday after April 18th regardless of the weather. Sumardagurinn Fyrsti celebrates this with street parties and parades. Wrap up warm, though!
Reykjavík Culture Night - Menningarnótt: By August, the Reykjavík summer is in full swing and on Culture Night, there are 24 hours of art, dance, music, shopping, museums, dining and fireworks to enjoy. There is so much going on, the most difficult part is deciding what to see or do.
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Practical information about Reykjavik
Reykjavík's weather is famously unpredictable even on mid-summer days so it's best to go prepared for high temperatures, sun, wind and rain all in one day. On the plus side, there are no extremes of temperature in the city. There might be a little snow in winter but it rarely settles for long meaning visits to Reykjavík can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The currency in Reykjavík is the Icelandic króna (kr). Iceland is a virtually cashless country with plentiful ATMs available wherever you go. Tipping is not part of the culture as a service charge is routinely included in bills. As a city, Reykjavík is probably among the safest European capitals but if emergency assistance is required, dial 112.
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Where to stay in Reykjavik
Compact and charming, Reykjavík is the most northerly capital in the world. It is a destination that entertains visitors with a cultural blend of ancient and contemporary along with a buzzing nightlife scene. Right on the doorstep of Reykjavík is the stunning Icelandic countryside.
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Departure airports from Canada to Reykjavik
From Canada you have the options to fly from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to Reykjavík.
Flights to Reykjavik
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