Downtown Reykjavík

Immerse yourself in culture, cuisine, and heritage at the beating heart of the Icelandic capital.

The street of Frakkastígur in Reykjavík with the Esja mountain in the background
The Laugavegur street in downtown Reykjavík on a summer day
The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer
The street of Frakkastígur in Reykjavík with the Esja mountain in the background
The Laugavegur street in downtown Reykjavík on a summer day
Best time to visit
All year
Free & paid
Charging station

Discover the lively city center of Reykjavík

As the home of the Harpa Concert Hall, Hallgrímskirkja church, and so much more, downtown Reykjavík (or Miðborg) is an unmissable stop on your tour of Iceland.

The compact capital of Iceland has a small yet charming downtown to match, making it easily walkable. Yet there’s so much to see and do, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to explore!

Marvel at the city center’s top sights and attractions by day, then stay up at night to party with the locals at the best bars in Reykjavík. Or head to the seafront to take in the beauty of the Northern Lights. Pop into trendy cafés, shop for Icelandic crafts and clothing, and feast on mouth-watering meals.

When visiting Iceland, soaking up the local culture is something you shouldn’t overlook. And downtown Reykjavík is the best introduction you can have to your Iceland trip.

Other attractions near downtown Reykjavík


Sky Lagoon

Slip into the warm waters of this geothermal spa and take in sweeping views of the North Atlantic.

8 km (5 mi)

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland, in autumn colors

Þingvellir National Park

Step back in time and see Iceland’s natural and cultural history up close at this major historic site.

48 km (30 mi)

A man floating in the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

Soothe yourself with a visit to this astounding hot spring and geothermal spa.

49 km (30 mi)

The town of Akranes with mountains in the distance


Visit the outdoor folk museum and a historic lighthouse in this cute coastal town.

49 km (30 mi)


FAQs about downtown Reykjavík

Downtown Reykjavík is the center of Iceland’s capital city. Known as Miðborg in Icelandic, It’s a buzzing place where you can experience a mix of local history, cuisine, shopping, and nightlife.

Many addresses in Reykjavík that feature the zip code 101 are part of downtown. This is why people refer to it simply as ‘101 Reykjavík’ or ‘101’.

You’ll find Reykjavík’s downtown centered on the streets of Laugavegur, Bankastræti, and Austurstræti. These run parallel to the shoreline and are lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés.

Also in the Miðborg area, you’ll see the pretty Tjörnin pond, the Sun Voyager (Sólfarið) sculpture, and Harpa Concert Hall. Hallgrímskirkja church, designed by renowned Icelandic architect Guðjón Samúelsson, is part of downtown too.

Then there are the plazas, like Ingólfstorg, Lækjartorg, and Austurvöllur. These are important heritage centers of Reykjavík, lined with historical buildings and featuring statues of prominent Icelanders.

To the west of downtown is the Old Harbor of Reykjavík and Vesturbær, the ‘West Town’. To the east of Reykjavík’s city center you’ll find Hlemmur, the main bus station, now home to a trendy food hall.

Keflavík International is the main airport for Iceland and is located around 50 km (31 mi) from downtown Reykjavík. This drive would usually take you approximately 45 minutes.

There are direct flights to Keflavík from airports across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

You’ll also find a smaller airport directly south of the city center. This is Reykjavík Domestic Airport and is only used for internal flights within Iceland.

There are so many cultural gems awaiting you in Reykjavík’s city center. These are the top things to see and do:

  • Stroll down the bustling shopping street, Laugavegur
  • Sip coffee and people-watch from a cozy café
  • Take a selfie at the Instagrammable Skólavörðustígur (aka Rainbow Road)
  • Pop into museums like the Settlement Exhibition and Punk Museum
  • Taste Icelandic and global cuisine at a restaurant or food hall
  • Enjoy the view from the top of Hallgrímskirkja church
  • Sample delicious ice cream, one of Iceland’s favorite treats
  • Marvel at the colorful street art dotted around town
  • Try a hot dog from the legendary Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur stand
  • Party the night away at lively clubs and bars in Reykjavík

If you’d love to learn more about Icelandic nature and history, you should visit Perlan museum (‘The Pearl’). Situated just outside downtown, this interactive museum introduces you to the country’s natural wonders.

At Perlan you can discover simulations of an ice cave, volcanoes, glaciers, and even the Northern Lights.

You won’t find any natural hot springs in the city center of Reykjavík. But you can go for a dip at Sundhöllin, a public swimming pool that’s just around the corner from Hallgrímskirkja church.

Or you could relax at Nauthólsvík geothermal beach, where warm waters mix with the sea and a large hot tub lines the golden sand.

For a more luxurious soak, head to the Sky Lagoon. It’ll take you approximately 15 minutes to drive here from downtown.

If you want to rent a car in Iceland, you can pick it up at Keflavík International Airport and drive yourself downtown.

To get to the city center, head east on Route 41 and then Route 40 for approximately 40 minutes. As you approach Reykjavík, take the exit to turn left onto Bústaðavegur. Then 1.8 km later, merge onto Route 49.

After approximately 1 km, turn right onto Njarðargata. Here you will enter the downtown area of Reykjavík.