Akureyri: Northern Iceland Capital City

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On one side of Iceland, you will witness the mighty glaciers, volcanoes, and the giant ocean and on the other side, you will get to see the beautiful town offering a magnificent view. One such town is Akureyri, the second largest town in Iceland after Reykjavik. Located at a distance of 100 km from Arctic Circle, this is the Northern Iceland’s capital. Rich in culture and art, this little big city of Iceland invites travelers throughout the year. The wooden houses of Akureyri are painted in bright colors that look fascinating, perfect to capture the artificial beauty in your handy camera. To give a blend of entertainment with the culture and art, the city has cozy bars. Leading down from hills, the steep streets of Akureyri reach the friendly city center. Every corner of this city will mesmerize you with its art and beauty. The traffic lights of the city are given a unique shape, with stop light in red heart shape.

unique house in Akureyri north Iceland, capital of north Iceland

Sight Seeing In and Around Akureyri

The fourth populous town of Iceland, Akureyri offers a calm environment in comparison to other cities. You will witness many cultural sites in this town such as museums and botanical gardens (world’s most northerly). It is easy to cover all major spots of the town on foot. The most popular swimming pool in Iceland will invite you to take a dip. This charming town offers a lot of things to do during your trip. You can use this place as your accommodation and explore the beauty of northern Iceland. If you are planning to stay here for one or two days then you can explore the area around Lake Myvatn and witness the Myvatn Nature Baths and Grjotagja hot springs where you can get a calm dip in the warm water. You can also drive for one hour north to Húsavík and visit the GeoSea hot springs. 

To make your trip smooth and easier, many tour guide companies will offer you a trip to popular places around the town. Since exploring on your own gives a different experience, you can also rent a car. You can hop on a boat and visit the second-largest island of Iceland, Hrisey island. The people lounge at the poolside and outdoor cafes brings life to this town. To experience the living pattern of old age people, visit Laufas turf houses that have been renovated with traditional tools. Horseback riding, whale watching, Akureyri church, you get to witness all this in one place.

Most Popular Activities in Akureyri

Way to Reach There

Since Akureyri is located in the northernmost part of Iceland, it is surrounded by many beautiful sites. You can drive to this “Capital of the North” from any place of Iceland very easily. If you are starting from Reykjavik then the most common way is via ring road Route 1. It is located at a distance of around 400 km from Reykjavik and takes a drive of around 4-5 hours in the summer season. If you are visiting during winters then it may take up to 6-7 hours depending on the route. Driving by car will offer you beautiful scenes of hills, mountains, glaciers, and fields. If you want leisure and do not want to drive for long hours then you can land at Akureyri airport.

Akureyri church in Akureyri city in north Iceland, capital of north Iceland

When You Should Visit The Town

Akureyri town invites people in all the seasons but visiting this place depends on your itinerary. If you are willing to do golfing at this place then visiting between May and October would be suitable as green fields are open during only these months. Even after being placed near Arctic Circle, Akureyri features one of the warmest climates in Iceland. Summer season is perfect to explore Diamond Circle while the winters are perfect to witness the Northern Lights. You will find a lot of accommodations inside the town including hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. The cafes, restaurants, and ice-cream parlors will give a good experience to your taste buds.

Map of Akureyri

Interesting locations in the area

Locations
Activities
Hotels & Restaurants
  • Hotel Kea
  • Hotel Edda
  • Akureyri Backpackers
  • Rub 23
  • Hamborgarafabrikkan
  • Strikið

More Locations in North Iceland

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