Lystigarðurinn (The Botanical Gardens) is Akureyri's pride and joy. It was a public park, opened in 1912, and a botanical garden opened in 1957. It has approximately 6600 alien taxa growing in beds and nursery, as well as, 430 species of the native taxa. Located a mere 50 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, developing and maintaining the beautiful Gardens has been no mean feat. It all started in 1910 when a number of women in Akureyri founded the Park Association to beautify their town. A year earlier the town council had given them a hectare of land to play with, never realizing the ladies meant business. For the next forty-three years, the Gardens were run by the Park Society and increased to 3.6 hectares.
Apart from being tranquil and beautiful Gardens, the Botanical Gardens gradually became a place for scientific research. Many of the plants placed there were believed not to be able to survive on the Arctic edge. But, survive they did, and what's more: They prospered.
Within the Gardens, you'll also find fountains and tiny lakes where children like to play. At the southeast corner, you will find a few wooden buildings. One of them is a café/bistro with a large patio. It is the most delightful place to sit down and relax on a sunny day.