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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Reykjavik

Reykjavik Holidays

Sleek buildings mingle with classic architecture in Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital. A trip here is a commitment to the unique, where cafes and markets stand beside geothermal spa pools and contemporary art installations. Reykjavik is super friendly, so discover what's waiting for you among its bright lights.

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The brightest lights of the North

Iceland holidays feature volcanic landscapes and unique heritage. But a city break to Reykjavik is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in Iceland's Nordic roots combined with contemporary style. The city is beautifully laid out, has community spirit in abundance and a host of stunning architecture, with the hotels forming just one part of that appeal.

Explore the streets and you'll find cosy cafes that become nightlife hotspots after dark, together with all kinds of intriguing cuisine and a series of popular shopping districts. Beyond those appealing distractions are country tours and the famous mineral-rich water of the Blue Lagoon, making Reykjavik as rejuvenating as it is exciting.

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History and art

Reykjavik is believed to be the first permanent human settlement founded in Iceland. The city has grown tremendously over the centuries, and today Reykjavik is recognised as an international leader in green energy and a good quality of life.

It makes sense that the people of the city are warm and friendly as a result, although you'll soon understand why they're so proud of their heritage. The history of Iceland factors in the great Vikings, whose exploits are retold in museums across the city, such as the National Museum of Iceland and the Maritime Museum.

If art is more your style, Reykjavik has much to offer you too. The Reykjavik Museum of Photography archives and exhibits photos from as far back as the 1870s, while the Einar Jonnson Museum is the oldest art museum in the country. On the more contemporary side, there are frequent exhibits and events at locations like The Living Art Museum and SPARK Design Space.

Shop beneath the Northern Lights

Shopping in Reykjavik is a popular pastime, and you're going to find plenty of familiar high street brands lining the streets of the retail districts. Fashion, gadgets, winter-wear, sporting equipment and local food remain popular choices for those of us looking to indulge ourselves.

On the more traditional side, make sure you check out the flea markets that run in the city every week. It's there that the true artisans showcase their trades, from homemade cakes and cheese through to intricate wicker works and tailoring. They say that you can find anything here if you know where to look, so don't be shy in striking up conversations with the locals.

Eat, drink and be merry

You'll find that cafes and restaurants turn from laid-back lunch venues to thrumming bars after dark. Places like Rosenburg, the popular jazz cafe, is a good example of this, as is Slipp Bar, where you can enjoy a night of comedy.

However, although many of those venues let the party roar until the break of dawn, by day you're going to find your breakfast, lunch and dinner trips in Reykjavik to be both professional and relaxing.

Venues like Snaps Bistro Bar and Kaffi Vinyl keep you upbeat with hot coffee and refreshing sandwiches, together with rich meaty dishes and a good selection of salads. Cafe culture is alive and well in Reykjavik – just be prepared for it to get a little more lively after dark in even the quietest of venues.

Tons of family fun

Little minds of every age will find plenty to do throughout Reykjavik during your package holiday to Iceland. The most active of which will likely crave the lights, sounds and sensations of SmaraTivoli in the suburb of Smaralind.

The immense shopping centre houses a pretty unique indoor amusement park, as astonishing as that may sound, which includes all the greats – think candy floss, bumper cars and climbing frames. If your kids are more into gadgets, there are also dedicated gaming centres, including the ever-popular Guitar Hero complex.

At the other end of the scale, The Pearl is a magnificent domed structure that looks like it belongs in a futuristic sci-fi story. It houses huge aquariums and a museum that gives a fascinating and engaging insight into the natural wonders of Iceland.

And of course, if it's the true healing water of the realm you're craving, get yourself and the family out to the Blue Lagoon, the famous mineral water geothermal pool that sees hundreds of visitors a month. It doesn't take more than a few seconds dipped beneath the surface for you to understand just how astonishing this place. You'll soon realise that Reykjavik is the place to focus your search for Iceland holiday deals.