Hafnarfjörður

  • Part of the town center is charming and filled with beautiful houses
    Part of the town center is charming and filled with beautiful houses
  • One of the striking characteristics in Hafnarfjörður is the harmony between lava and houses
    One of the striking characteristics in Hafnarfjörður is the harmony between lava and houses
  • The Viking Village is the center and home of the annual Viking Festival
    The Viking Village is the center and home of the annual Viking Festival
  • The harbor is one of the most important parts of Hafnarfjörður
    The harbor is one of the most important parts of Hafnarfjörður
  • There are so many old and renovated homes in Hafnarfjörður
    There are so many old and renovated homes in Hafnarfjörður
  • The town center is the saddest part of this beautiful Icelandic town, an architectural disaster
    The town center is the saddest part of this beautiful Icelandic town, an architectural disaster
  • Hafnarborg, although in the center, is an important cultural center for fine arts in Iceland
    Hafnarborg, although in the center, is an important cultural center for fine arts in Iceland
  • Hafnarfjörður developed one of the largest industrial areas in Iceland some years ago
    Hafnarfjörður developed one of the largest industrial areas in Iceland some years ago
  • Some of the lovely houses are actually quite old
    Some of the lovely houses are actually quite old
  • Another view on the awful town center that killed the most charming part of Hafnarfjörður
    Another view on the awful town center that killed the most charming part of Hafnarfjörður

Hafnarfjörður consists mostly of residential areas and two relatively large industrial areas in addition to the crucial harbor.  This third largest town in Iceland has thus more characteristics of a town rather than just a suburb from Reykjavík.  The population is 28.189 in 2016 acording to offical numbers.  Hafnafjörður like Kópavogur and other towns in the larger capital city area has gained considerably from its neighbor Reykjavík.  One could argue that Reykjavík municipal lacked significantly in urban planning and land development for years with the consequences that both businesses and people floated to the neighboring towns. 

Hafnafjörður is an attractive town with a significant history

In recent decades, the growth has been extensive in Hafnarfjörður.  Unlike Kópavogur and Garðabær though the town has a much deeper and longer history.  The name Hafnarfjörður has a clear historical reference.  It means the bay of harbor.  From early on, as far back as the 15th century, Hafnarfjörður was a trading post and later became a significant trading center.  The harbor was also important in developing the fishing industry and fishing trade in Iceland from the early 18th century.  Over the year’s new techniques in fishing and initiative in the fishing industry came from Hafnarfjörður.  Today the fishing industry is still important to the town´s economy.

Hafnafjörður, unfortunately, has a rather sad town center

The center of Hafnarfjörður is the oldest part of the town. Built on a beautiful slope that gives the town a unique character.  Some of the old houses are quite impressive, and the old town is beautiful.  Interestingly many of the old houses have been renovated in recent years, and many are gorgeous.  Sadly a major mistake occurred in Hafnarfjörður when the town’s main street and the center was rebuilt, two or three decades ago.   Instead of rebuilding old houses and keep the town’s character, authorities decided to build huge and clumsy buildings in the center that totally overshadows the old and interesting part of the town.

People who live in Hafnarfjörður love it

Hafnarfjörður provides excellent serves for its residents.  Most people that live in Hafnarfjörður are quite satisfied with the schools, kindergarten, swimming pools, sports teams and the welfare system for young and old in the community. Most would agree that living in Hafnarfjörður is nice. One of the most active and interesting cultural centers in Iceland is in Hafnarfjörður, Hafnarborg − The Hafnarfjörður Centre of Culture and Fine Art.  Hafnarborg is probably one of the leading cultural centers in showing exciting fine art, both new and old. 
From 14th to 17th of June every year, Hafnarfjörður becomes a modern day paradise for Vikings and people interested in Viking history.  Just days before Summer Solstice the town celebrates the growing and popular Viking Festival.

Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin Hafnarfjörður

 

Below is the location of Hafnarfjörður on the map of Iceland