Akureyri is a small city located in the north of Iceland. It is the second biggest city in Iceland with it modest 18000 inhabitants. This city is called the capital of the north in Iceland, because it is the only city that you will see there. It is definitely a nice peaceful city that you have to see if you plan to go in Iceland. The city is located just under 50km of the polar circle. You can go to Akureyri from Reykjavik, wether by the road number one, driving 400 kilometers, wether by the airplane. The town is surrounded by the moutain. The town has quite a lot to offer. Moreover it is a great location and point of departure for different activities located around one hour from the city. And as it is not easy to find an accomodation in Iceland, maybe that Akureyri will be a great option. In summer you can visit the surroundings as Myvatn lake, and the evening you can walk in the city, observe the view and eat in the restaurants.
Best things to do in Akureyri
See the church AKUREYRARKIRKJA
The Akureyri church is the symbol of Akureyri. It is a Lutheran church and was designed in 1940.
the church contains a large 3200-pipe organ and a series of rather untraditional reliefs of the life of Christ. There’s also a suspended ship hanging from the ceiling, reflecting an old Nordic tradition of votive offerings for the protection of loved ones at sea.
Visit the botanical garden
The garden is on of the northern most botanical gardens in the world. There are about 6600 species of plants. The occasion to discover the plants growing near the polar circle in a cold climate. The park is very popular both by locals and visitors. A wide variety of both Icelandic and foreign flora is to be found there and new species are always being added to the collection. The garden, therefore, is an excellent choice for those wishing to take a break from the stress of daily life. However it is just opened four months in the year, from June until September.
See the northern light
The Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, are one of the most spectacular shows on earth and can frequently be seen in Akureyri and surroundings from September through April on clear nights. The Northern Lights exist in the outmost layer of the atmosphere. They are created by electrically charged particles that make the thin air shine, not unlike a fluorescent light.
Visit the old town
If you take a stroll from the Akureyri’s central towards south you will have the opportunity to walk through the history of early Akureyri. You will walk past the old Theatre, the old Primary School , and the Old Hospital built in 1827. You will also have the possibility to visit several museums.
Walk on the shopping street
Shops in Akureyri are mainly concentrated in two places, the city centre along the street Hafnarstæti and in the shopping mall Glerártorg by the street Glerárgata. You will find there plenty of souvenir shops.
Get to know the local culture
If you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, then Akureyri has a number of galleries and museums to check out. The cultural and conference center was opened in 2010 and hosts multiple musical and theatrical events as well as exhibitions of all sorts.
Go to the swimming pool
It is one of Iceland’s most popular pools, with 25 m outdoor pools, water jets, water slides, a splash pool, an indoor pool, four hot tubs, a steam bath, a sauna and an extensive outdoor area.
The pool is open all year round but it’s especially nice to soak in the hot tubs in the cold winter days.
Hlíðarfjall is a station located just beside the city. And with the cold season it can be opened 180 days a year, covered in a blanket of white, and it’s right next door to Akureyri. Probably the best ski resort in the country.
See the sailing sculpture
This sculpture is located on the waterfront, and it is called ‘sailing’. It is considered as a sister of the scupture in Reykjavik, called ‘Sun voyager’.