Top Parks and Gardens in Reykjavik
Though Reykajvik is a relatively compact and laid-back capital, its always nice to find a green space to take a break from city life. From the thermal pool of Laugardalur to the art installations of Viðey, here are some of the best parks and gardens in Reykjavik.
Once the source of the city’s hot water supply, Laugardalur is a major center for recreation; the public swimming pool, fed by a geothermal spring, is accessible year-round and allows visitors to take a warm dip on a cold, winter’s day. There are also a concert arena, bike paths, a petting zoo, and botanical gardens.
A short boat ride from Reykjavik city center takes you to the island of Viðey. In addition to birds, panoramic views, and a network of walking and bike trails, you’ll find Richard Serra’s Áfangar—which consists of 18 basalt columns—and Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace Tower, which is lit each year between John Lennon’s birthday and the date of his death.
Located at the southeast corner of Lake Tjörnin, Hljómskálagarður Park is popular with joggers and cyclists, and best-known for its collection of sculptures by five female Icelandic artists. The lake itself if an attractive spot to linger, especially for birdwatchers, who might spot Arctic terns, eider ducks, and whooping swans.
Austurvöllur is a popular gathering place for locals due to its proximity to Parliament—it served as a significant spot during Iceland’s recent political protests. Locals flock here to soak up the elusive Icealndic sun and to hang out in the cafes of nearby Vallarstræti and Pósthússtræti.
Dedicated to mothers with young children, Mæðragarðurinn is a popular spot for families. The park is home to a statue of a mother with a child that was created by famed Icelandic sculptor Nína Sæmundsson.