If you’re planning a trip to see the Northern Lights, Iceland is one of your likely destinations. Many people who visit the country come only for the wonderful spectacle of the lights, but if you do have time to explore more, there is plenty to discover. Once you’ve seen the increible phenomenon of the Northern Lights, Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, is a great place to enjoy for a couple of days.
The tallest building in the country is the 244ft Hallgrimskirkja Church, in Reykjavik, and, as you would imagine, it offers the best views anywhere in the city from its bell tower. This famous landmark is visible from almost everywhere in the capital and, once seen, the building is never forgotten. Designed by Guojon Samuel in the 1930s, the unusual structure was created from inspiration drawn from his fascination of lava formations. Many people say that the building resembles an ice formation, which is quite fitting considering its location.
Inside the church is a beautiful organ standing 15 metres tall and weighing in at 25 tons. The organ was designed to produce powerful notes capable of filling the huge space inside the church. It can create tones that range from the dramatic to the delicate, and it has been used, since its construction in 1992, in many famous recordings.
If you have an interest in archaeology make a beeline for the Reykjavik 871+/-2. Built around the ruins of a 10th century Viking longhouse, this museum is located in the heart of the city. Inside you’ll embark on the most incredible journey, which gives you a wonderful insight into what life was like in the country centuries ago. It is the combination of technological genius – in the form of hi-tech displays and interactive multimedia tables – and archeological artifacts that make this museum so special. Ancient artifacts include fish oil lamps, awk bones and an iron axe. The name came from the estimated date of the tephra layer, which lies beneath the present day museum. The boundary wall of the ancient longhouse is the oldest structure in Reykjavik.
For something completely different on your trip to visit the Northern Lights, Iceland offers many thermal pools – including the very famous Blue Lagoon. Reykjavik has several pools that you can visit and they are not only a fabulous source of completely natural relaxation but they are also believed to be a great tonic for the body and the mind. An important part of the country’s culture, these thermal pools allow you to both relax and re-energize.
The three city attractions above are just a taste of what this wonderful capital city has to offer. When you are on a trip to see the Northern Lights, Iceland opens its doors to offer so much more – so take advantage.