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Reykjavík is a close-knit, inspiring and beautiful city. There are many great sights and marvelous museums, fabulous dining facilities, and lovely stores to peruse. The citizens here are friendly and welcoming to tourists. From an architectural point of view, the region is simply magnificent. Perlan is one of the architectural highlights of the city. During June every other year, a two-week arts festival is held in Reykjavík, taking place in even-numbered years.

Although it is a small city of only 180,000 people, Reykjavík has an incredible amount of activities and events to fill the day. After World War II, the area saw increased immigration from Europe, as Iceland was recognized as a place of solace and tranquility. From that time until the late 1960s, multicultural suburbs in and around Reykjavík began springing up. As a result, there are countless shops and cafes still in existence that were built during that time period, celebrating cultures from all parts of Europe. Every weekend, the nightlife really comes alive, and a handful of fun spots are open quite late. To this day, the city is very safe and cozy, and the only reason that you might not want to walk the streets in the middle of the night is the chilly Icelandic wind. In the daytime, your surroundings in Reykjavík are so picturesque that at times you will think you are in the middle of a dream. Trees and flowers line the streets, parks are everywhere, and the elegant Tjornin lake is enchanting.

Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock at the Port of Reykjavík. Taxis will be waiting to take you to your destination in the capital city.
Reykjavík has an efficient bus system (551-2700, www.bus.is). You can pick up detailed route information at the main bus terminals located at Laekjatorg, Hlemmur and Artun. If you'd like to rent a car while in Reykjavík, there are several companies that can outfit you with a quality automobile. Contact Avis (533-1090, www.avis.is) or Europcar (568-6915, www.europcar.is). Lastly, you can simply take a taxi to your destination. Call BSR (561-0000) to arrange for a pick up.

Local Interests
Kjarvalsstaðir is located on Flókagata (552-6131) and is a fabulous art museum full of outstanding works from hometown artists past and present. This establishment gets its name from Johannes Kjarval, who was the most well known painter in Reykjavík's history. His works transcend time with their beauty and sophistication, and many of them are on display at the museum. The exhibits change monthly, and different contemporary artists are featured all the time.

Perlan (The Pearl) can be found at Öskjuhlið Hill (562-0200, www.perlan.is) and features two spectacular man-made geysers. The structure that houses the main geyser is a gigantic glass dome that is an incredibly impressive piece of architecture. People from all over Europe come to Reykjavík just to have an afternoon at the geysers, an experience cherished by those who are lucky enough to partake in it.

Tjörnin is a beautiful lake and resort area perfect for relaxation during the summer, and ideal for ice-skating during the winter. Ornithologists take note; this is perhaps the best place for bird watching in all of Iceland

Activities
Dining and Nightlife
There are several restaurants in Reykjavík that are real standouts. Perlan in Öskjuhlið (562-0200, www.perlan.is) is the restaurant that adjoins The Pearl geysers and observatory. The food is rather pricey, but outstanding. In addition, the picturesque view out the windows of the dining room will leave you speechless. This is the best place in Reykjavík to watch the sunset or to gaze out toward the horizon. This romantic spot is a favorite among local men who wish to propose to their wives over a pleasant dinner. The lamb and the Icelandic fish are two of the best entrees at this lovely restaurant. Við Tjörnina is located at Templarasund 3 (551-8666) and features the best seafood in Reykjavík. All of the dishes are a dazzling blend of fish, vegetables, and fruit, and the results are always magnificent. Potturinn og Pannan can be found at Brautarholti 22 (551-1690, www.potturinnogpannan.is) and serves great fish and lamb dishes. The salads are quite popular, as well, and the service and atmosphere are cozy and pleasant. When the night comes, locals and tourists love to relax at the Gallery at Hotel Holt on Bergstaaastræti 37 (552-5700). Here you will find the most extensive wine list in Reykjavík, and you can sit and sip while perusing the lovely artwork.

Shopping
Rammagerðin is located at Hafnarstræti 19 (551-1122) and sells terrific souvenirs and memorabilia from Iceland. The clothing is unique and interesting, and many tourists enjoy picking up a couple of garments from this quaint little store. Álafoss Verksmiðjusala is found inside the Alafoss Factory Store (566-6303, www.alafoss.is) and is full of clothing and wool items, many of which are quite desirable. The shopping area around Bankastræti and Lækjartorg is the main cultural center, and inside the Kringlan Mall is where you will find a wide array of fine jewelry and high quality leather items.



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