At Hit Iceland we are always excited when a new restaurant opens in Reykjavík. The restaurant flora and variety in quality food are fast approaching the best any city in the world can offer.  Now we must remember that Reykjavik measured in population is just a small town.  But on many other scales, like the number of quality restaurants, it is a large city.  This is because Reykjavík is a small town with a large city ego; a small town girl with a big city attitude.  This is such a wonderful thing for us living in the city as we have access to things only available in big cities.

The head chef Hákon is a renowned Icelandic chef


Reykjavik is the birthplace of Iceland. According to written sources from the 13th century, it is the place of settlement of Ingólfur Arnarson; often referred to as the man who found Iceland. Archeological research has confirmed that already in the ninth century a Viking village existed where Reykjavík is now. The result of the study can be viewed at an exhibition in Aðalstræti.

Reykjavík City Center is also the center of government in Iceland and much more

The Reykjavík city center district is the center of government, culture, and commerce in Iceland. In the city center, there are many government buildings and institutions, both for the Icelandic government and the city. The most prominent building is, of course, the Icelandic parliament by the tiny park Austurvöllur. When the parliament is in session, a flag is waving one the building. When the public is offended Icelanders flock in front of this building to demonstrate and demand changes.  It is in a way an icon of our precious democracy.  Other impressive buildings are the offices of the prime minister, formerly a prison from the 18th century, the city hall, the main church and the marvelous modern music and conference hall Harpa with outer walls designed by the Danish / Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson.

Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur are two streets you must know and see in Reykjavík

The city center is crowded with restaurants and coffee houses. At the city pond, there is the great sculpture “In memory of the anonymous official” by Magnús Tómasson, facing The city hall. To the south of the core center and the pound are the main buildings of the University of Iceland. The Reykjavík airport is also in the district of the city center. From the center towards the east is the main shopping street, Laugavegur initially leading to the hot springs of Laugardalur where the people in Reykjavík would take the laundry for washing.
From Laugavegur is a turn to Skólavörðustígur leading to the big church, Hallgrímskirkja, on the hill is Skólavörðuholt. The street is the home of fantastic design shops, galleries, cafés, restaurants, small stores and artist shops. From the tower of the church Hallgrímskrikja, the view is excellent. In front of the church is a statue of Leif the Lucky the man who we claim discoverer of America, by the American sculptor Alexander S. Calder.

All the old marvelous houses we managed to preserve in the City Center in Reykjavík

Alongside Laugavegur is Hverfisgata, with the old museums house, with standing exhibitions of Icelandic culture and the National Theater, an impressive design by Iceland's most prominent architect Guðjón Samúelsson. The city center is also a great place to live, and understandably most of the houses are old since this is the first district built in Reykjavík. Since other districts didn't start to develop until the twenties and the thirties, the district of the city center is the heart of Reykjavík.

For the residents of the city center, Reykjavík provides good service, like preschool, primary and secondary schools, college and other educational institutions. There is a beautiful old indoor swimming pool built almost a century ago, currently under renovation with a long-awaited outdoor swimming pool to be added. People who live in the city center, the district is considered to the best and most attractive place to live in Iceland today.

Reykjavík Iceland map of City Center (Miðbær) district

If you are going to visit the Reykjavik the capital of Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin Reykjavík City Center.

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

The district Breiðholt got its name from a farm that was once on the outskirts of Reykjavik. While the district was in development, it was divided into three neighbourhoods; Lower Breiðholt, Upper Breiðholt, and Seljahverfi. The district Breiðholt was originally a building development project developed under an agreement between the government and the labor movement to eliminate inadequate and hazardous housing. Up until that time, a lot of Reykjavik's poorer residents lived in old WW2 barracks and other temporary buildings from the war.  Buildings in all the new neighbourhoods popped up at a new and unrecognized speed in the seventies, and the eighties and Breiðholt soon grew to become the largest district in the Reykjavik municipal.

Breiðholt as a project was an effort to eliminate poor housing in other districts

Because the development was partly a social project, there were more social problems associated with the name Breiðholt at that time then Icelanders had known before. Partly because the city of Reykjavík built and owned many apartments in Breiðholt. Today this has changed, and Breiðholt is a nice neighbourhood with good quality service. The district quickly became the most populated in Reykjavík with more that twenty thousand residents. At its peak, more than twenty-five thousand people lived in Breiðholt. There are several schools, both primary and secondary schools, in the district.  Schooling has always been a priority in Iceland since Icelanders have always valued education.

A nice place to stay although not in a walking distance to City Center in Reykjavík

Breiðholt has a delightful swimming pool, a large indoor Gym used for both handball and basketball and an outdoor soccer field. Between Árbær and Breiðholt is the extraordinary salmon river Elliðaá and the beautiful valley Elliðarárdalur. Along the river is a pathway, highly popular among all residents of Reykjavík, and a public park. The district has good transportation and good access to a system of public transportation.  The district also has a large commercial area Mjóddin with many stores and services.

Reykjavík Iceland map of Breiðholt district

If you are going to visit the Reykjavik the capital of Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin Reykjavík and Reykjavík districts.

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.