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Bubbling with more energy than the country's volcanoes and hot springs, Iceland’s capital packs a ton of character into a small place. Whether you're after a cheap weekend in Reykjavik or plan to stay a bit longer, there are big experiences to be had in this little city.
From the small army of galleries, arts venues and museums to the street art and unique architecture, culture abounds in Reykjavik. Stalwarts include Reykjavik Art Museum – a fish warehouse turned contemporary art hub – and the National Museum. The most amusing has to be the Icelandic Phallological Museum, where you'll find jars containing the private parts of whales, humans, hamsters and more, if you've always wondered...
Having given rise to such international acts as Björk and Sigur Ros, the music scene is still strong in Iceland too, with the capital leading the way. Live music is a regular nightlife feature. The striking waterfront Harpa concert hall has an excellent line-up, and the city hosts around 40 annual festivals. Events include indie-focused Secret Solstice in June and on-the-pulse Iceland Airwaves in November.
Looking for a relaxing break? You’ve come to the right place. The city is home to numerous natural spas, with outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs and steam rooms. Nauthólsvík Beach has an artificial hot tub and lagoon for swimming, both heated by diverted thermal waters. They’re separated from the ocean, where you can always jump in for a much more bracing dip.
A Reykjavik holiday also gets you close to nature and wildlife. For days out, Lake Tjornin is populated by Arctic terns, greylag geese and swans, while Hellisgerdi Park has an Elf Walk that's ideal for children. Then, there are boat trips to see the puffins on Lundey and Akurey islands, as well as whale watching around Faxaflói bay – a highlight for many who holiday in Reykjavik.
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