Five reasons to fall in love with Reykjavík Magnússon

Merle Schaack

As a guest reporter for Iceland Monitor, Merle came from Germany to Reykjavík and immediately fell in love with the city. Here´s her Top Five things about the capital of Iceland.

1. The swimming pools

Sure, places like Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon are special Spa experiences, but I find everyday relaxation in one of the many public swimming pools even more rejuvenating. My favourites: Árbærlaug, which is great for both good and bad weather with its sun loungers in the water and the indoor pool for when it gets really unpleasant outside. Laugardalur is the one I choose when I want to do laps, relax in a whirlpool or play beach volleyball. And Vesturbæjarlaug is always worth a visit. It has a special vibe that puts me in a good mood as soon as I walk in.

Photo/Merle Schaack

2. Creative scene

While Reykjavik may be small for a European capital, it can definitely hold its own when it comes to culture! Open mic nights, stand-up comedy, karaoke – Dillon, Gaukurinn, and many other venues have something going on every evening. For the international audience, many events are also conducted in English. I find the transformation of Hús máls og menningar every evening particularly fascinating. Then, the cozy bookshop and café turns into a concert hall with dancing and party atmosphere.

Photo/Merle Schaack

In general, the musical diversity on the city's numerous stages is immense. And who knows, perhaps you might experience the next big Icelandic music export during a spontaneous visit to a concert at Kex Hostel?

3. Community spirit

"That's Iceland" must be one of the most used phrases in Reykjavik. It is said whenever you realise that you have mutual acquaintances. This happens quickly because people meet each other with great openness and helpfulness. Feeling alone in Reykjavik? No one needs to be afraid of that. Just go to the next spontaneous jam session, swap meet, or dance class, and you'll be amazed at who you run into - mutual acquaintances guaranteed! That's Iceland...

4. Sunsets at Ægisiða

There are several beautiful walking routes in Reykjavik, but the one along the coast at Ægisiða is my favourite. Especially in the evenings when the sun sets over the sea. You

can sit here for hours, gaze at the horizon, and let your soul unwind – if it's not too cold and windy...

5. Nature Getaways

As beautiful as city life may be, especially when the sun is shining, one must venture out into nature. And since sunny hours are scarce here, it's best to do it quickly. Luckily, Esja offers a hiking, climbing, and recreational area right on the outskirts of the capital. One can also go for a hike around Úlfarsfell after work. But even a bird-watching stroll towards Grótta in Seltjarnarnes quickly makes you forget that you are only minutes away from Iceland's largest city.

All photos are by Merle Schaack


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