Downtown Reykjavik – Even the city center of Reykjavik is well-endowed with mother nature. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean with waterfront paths stretching around the entire peninsular. There are many beautiful places to stop and admire the scenery on these coastal paths, which are very popular among joggers and cyclists. It is also home to the striking Sun Voyager – the symbol of Reykjavik, a massive steel sculpture by Jon Gunnar Arnason which may resemble a Viking ship, but is in fact a dream boat and ode to the sun. From here, we can spot the view of Mount Esja standing tall and mighty.
Do walk over the Old Harbour. Apart from it being a beautiful place to walk with stunning views across the bay to Mount Esja, the Old Harbour area is where the majority of marine activities, such as whale watching and puffin tours are concentrated; it’s also home to the excellent Viking Maritime Museum.
Visit Hallgrímskirkja church, Reykjavík’s main landmark and its tower can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. So if you are lost in the city, spot for the its tower.
Remember to chill along Tjörnin pond. Tjörnin, which is surrounded by the impressive Reykjavík City Hall and numerous beautifully coloured old houses, is a natural pond and home to countless ducks, swans and geese that even stay for the entire winter season thanks to a little geothermal heating.
For its size, Reykjavik is a relatively modern city, only being found in 1786 and urbanely developed in the 18th century. Even though visitors are often distracted by the countless natural wonders surrounding this capital city. Reykjavik does have much to offer on its plate, be it for culture, history or dining. The downtown area has a quiet sentiment, which is far cry from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city, hence it was a refreshing change. Walking around at night felt safe, and you can very often get a glimpse into the Ikea-look-alike apartments while walking in the streets as their windows tend to be wide open. I love the balanced mix of the modern city and the natural wonders in the background! We didn't dedicate much time at the start for exploring the city, but we compensated for this during our last few days of the trip. It's a beautiful sight to just walk along the coastline, which is minutes from the downtown area. The views were equally stunning, as you can see the mountain ranges in the distance as well as enjoy the coastal breeze. Seems perfect for leisure city cycling and stone throwing. I really enjoyed the unobstructed view of the sky because of the low buildings and the mountain ranges in the far distance - something a metropolitan city can never offer.
There are many chances to stop along the West coast route to take in the landscapes - these were taken enroute back to Reykjavik, love how the setting sun casted a golden tinge when we stopped for some Icelandic ponies. I've seen many of them grazing along the roads but because I gave R barely 100m of leeway distance to brake and make a pitstop each time, we had to give them a miss time after time. It was lovely that we got to finally stop and spend some time admiring these docile creatures ♥ Along the way back, we got to witness the setting sun with gradients in the sky, such an unforgettable sight!
On my last day, I went to the capital city of Reykjavik in the late morning. I spent the whole afternoon exploring the city centre and popped into many little cafés, galleries and museums the centre had to offer.