Reykjavík, Iceland

By | November 28, 2021

According to abbreviationfinder, Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the most important city on the island. It is located in the southwest of the country in Faxaflói, a bay that opens the doors to the Atlantic Ocean. It has a very important fishing port and can be considered the industrial, commercial and cultural center of the country.


The literal translation of the name of the city is that of “smoking bay” and has its origin in the steam emitted by the hot springs. It was named after Ingoffur Arnarson when he saw them before founding the city in 870.

From the 18th century the industrial development of the island began. Denmark used it mainly as a cotton industry. It was in 1786 when the town received the letter of municipality. Coinciding with this letter, the Danish crown granted Reykjavik an exclusive trade route.

In 1843 it became the seat of Parliament and in 1918 it became the capital of Iceland just as the nation became a sovereign state and began to govern itself.

Finally, it was in 1944 when Iceland obtained definitive independence from Denmark.

After World War II the city began to grow economically thanks in part to the arrival of a large number of peasants who came to the city in search of work.

In 1986, Reykjavik hosted the summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, highlighting the new situation in the world of the Icelandic capital.


A mayor is the one who governs the city who is democratically elected by citizens over 18 years of age, for a period of 4 years. The municipal council is formed by 15 members who are in charge of the administration of the different areas of the city governed by the mayor.


Located on the southwest coast of Iceland, its coastal area is very irregular in shape, with peninsulas, straits, inlets and tiny islands. Most of Reykjavík is located on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula.

The main rivers that we find in the city are the Ellioaar, which are not navigable. In the surroundings of Reykjavic we find Mount Esja, 910 meters high, the highest in the area.


The capital of Iceland is located in the southwest of the country in Faxaflói, a bay that opens the doors to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the most important city on the island and the largest in extension. It has a very important fishing port and can be considered the industrial, commercial and cultural center of the country.


Despite being so close to the Arctic Circle, Reykjavik has a climate that we can classify as pleasant given its latitude. This is due in part to the North Atlantic Current which is an extension of the warm Gulf Stream.

The average annual temperature can be placed at 5 ºC, with a minimum of -1 ºC in winter and 11 ºC in summer.

Annual precipitation ranges between 1,300 and 2,000 mm.


The current population of the city exceeds 120,000 residents and is made up of a fairly homogeneous mix of descendants of Celts and Norwegians. Reykjavik’s population in 2008 was 119,848, of whom 58,762 were men and 58,959 were women. See population of Iceland. The combined population of the Reykjavik metropolitan area in 2008 was 201,585. The city is a large multicultural center with more than 100 different nationalities and 9.0% foreigners. The Reykjavik metropolitan area is made up of six municipalities:

  • Alftanes: 2,361
  • Garðabær: 9,913
  • Hafnarfjörður: 24,839
  • Kópavogur: 28,561
  • Mosfellsbær: 8,147
  • Seltjarnarnes: 4,428

Economic development

Reykjavik has experienced tremendous economic growth throughout the 20th century, becoming an important Atlantic fishing center and the country’s main industrial city. Most of Iceland’s goods and merchandise are produced in the capital.

The most important industries that it has are naval, food, and textile manufacturing.

Economically, fishing is one of the main activities. As for crops, potatoes and turnips stand out.


Places of interest

Despite being small, the city has certain tourist charms that are worth visiting. The modern Hallgrims Church or the Lutheran Cathedral, the National Gallery or the Natural History Museum.

Reykjavik houses are built with aluminum or white concrete and are very colorful, there are tours for all tastes.

The Hallgrims Church, called Hallgrimskirkja is an imposing building that stands out above the buildings of the city that are usually low in height. In front of it you can see the statue of the Icelandic navigator Leif Ericson, a gift from the USA to commemorate the millennium of the founding of the Althing in 1930.

Harpa is a concert hall that stands out as the most modern building in Reykjavik.



Evangelical Lutherans dominate most of the local religion, although there are also other Protestants and some Catholics.


The official language is Icelandic, but there are areas where Danish and some English are spoken.


Artisanal products for which the Icelandic capital is known garments are handmade wool of sheep, the jewelry of silver and glassware.


The basis of Icelandic cuisine is found in fish and it is not surprising since they are an island. It stands out above all salmon raised in salmon farms.

The meat also plays an important role in your diet. The lamb wild, the partridge or reindeer are among their favorite foods.

Since the abolition of the dry law that prohibited the consumption of alcohol. The aguardiente or brenivin, also known as Black Death, are among his most consumed beverage.

Holidays and traditions

  • On April 20 the First Day of Summer is celebrated.
  • On June 17th is the National Day of Iceland, the day that commemorates independence from Denmark the year 1944.
  • In the months of July and August Festival takes place Music of Skalholt, one of the most important cultural events of the year.

Reykjavík, Iceland