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The 15 Most Beautiful Cities in Iceland

By Alex Moretti


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Iceland is widely regarded as one of the most unforgettable travel destinations simply because there are just so many incredible landscapes to see and numerous activities to take part in here.

Not only does it feature some of the most stunning natural attractions in the world, such as breathtaking waterfalls, thermal pools, volcanoes and even glaciers, but it also has more than a handful of man-made places that you absolutely need to visit if you want to see Iceland’s traditional Viking roots at their finest.

This is why for today we decided to bring you our very own top 15 of the most beautiful cities that you could visit while in Iceland just so that you can skip the formalities and just go for whatever you personally see as the best option out there for you.

With all of that being said, let’s just jump right into our number 15 of the day, aka:

15. Hellissandur

Hellissandur chuch / funiceland.is

Despite being a very small village, Hellissandur still makes for an incredible vacation spot simply because of how many activities you can take part in while here.

Are you interested in hiking? There are more than a dozen different hiking trails for you to choose from here. What about bird watching? Just get your goggles out and go to the nearest park because you’ll instantly see some of the rarest specimens around.

That’s all fine and well but both of those pretty much pale in comparison to the beautiful street art murals that you can find here. They alone made it impossible for us to not include it on our list.

14. Húsavík

Húsavík / northsailing.is

If you’re a fan of whale watching then chances are that you’ve already heard all about this town right here as its reputation is pretty much legendary by now in the aforementioned community.

There is just something so relaxing about going out onto the water and observing one of the deadliest and yet most calm creatures that has ever been put on this planet which is why so many fans of the sport travel thousands of miles every year just to get a chance at seeing one with their own eyes.

13. Stykkisholmur

Stykkisholmur / iceland24blog.com

You can find this charming little town on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and right off the bat we should mention the fact that this is an incredible town to visit with your family or loved ones if you’re looking to take in the natural beauty of Iceland in all of its glory.

You can climb the highest peak here and look around for hours, observing the many different boats that circle in and out of the town while also checking out the nearby wildlife which is just pretty much always ready to hop on your lap and ask for free food you.

12. Isafjordur

Isafjordur / cruisemapper.com

The Icelandic town of Isafjordur is known as one of the largest towns in the Westfjords of Iceland, but since this place is pretty remote, not many people have gotten to take in its beauty so far.

It is still a very historically important part of Iceland, especially when you realize the fact that the original settlement here actually has its humble beginnings as far back as a couple of hundreds of years ago or so.

Even if you’re not interested in its cultural heritage, the Isafjordur town is still more than worth your attention thanks to its dramatic waterways and absolutely stunning volcanic peaks.

11. Selfoss

Selfoss village
Selfoss church / David Barkan / google.com

You can find this relatively small Icelandic town on Route 1 very close to Reykjavik and while it is nowhere near as charming or jaw-dropping as some of the other picks on our list, it is still more than worth the visit for anyone that wants to explore the Golden Circle at its finest.

The Olfusa River here is always worth checking out and let’s not forget the amazing countryside that comes with the package as well.

10. Geysir

Geysir / funiceland.is

The Great Geysir from Iceland’s southwestern side is pretty much one of the most popular locations that you could visit while in Iceland, and that’s because it has been active for well over 10,000 years now and it continues to blow up into the air as high up as 70 meters even to this day now.

This is a very stunning performance to see for yourself and one that we always recommend that you check out if you are in town.

Fun fact about it though, apparently the land used to belong to a farmer but because of its historical and cultural significance it now belongs to the country itself.

You can find the Geysir village in the Golden Circle and since it is such a popular location you shouldn’t have any problem finding a good tour guide to take you through everything that it has to offer.

You can also take part in the day tours while here which although a bit on the pricier side, more than make this experience worth it to say the least.

9. Hvammstangi

Hvammstangi / kayak.com

You will find the Hvammstangi village in the northwestern side of Iceland and as opposed to our previous mentions this is a lot calmer and more serene of an experience.

It is actually jampacked full of outdoor activities that you can take part in, including horseback riding if you want to check out the countryside for once or you can just take some time off and explore the beauty of the Kolugljufur waterfall.

If you’re a fan of the wildlife then you’ll also be more than happy to check out the Icelandic Seal Center from the village which is pretty much just brimming with wild animals that just live amongst the locals.

This town used to be one of the most important trading centers in the country, and despite the fact that it pretty much lost that title by now, it still remains one of the most authentically Icelandic towns that you can find in the country.

8. Vestmannaeyjar

Vestmannaeyjar / adventures.is

You can visit the island of Vestmannaeyjar on the southeastern coast of Iceland’s mainland and despite the fact that it is significantly harder to actually get to it, we’d definitely say that it is more than worth it once you get the view from the top down.

We also recommend that you take the side paths while you do so because even though these will make your trip up way harder, they will also show you some of the country’s most remote areas which are always great to see.

For the most part, both the locals and the tourists know this town as the eruption site of the Eldfell volcano which pretty much almost erased the whole island altogether.

Be sure to take the road up to the cliffs of Ofanleitishamar while you’re here because that will really make for an experience that you’ll never forget.

Just remember the fact that in order to get to this island you will need to get on a ferry or an airplane so definitely make sure that you have your seat ready for you before you start making plans.

7. Hofn

Hofn / funiceland.is

If you’re on the lookout for a fishing village then look no further than Hofn because it will more than suit every one of your needs and that’s a fact.

You can find it on Iceland’s southeastern coast and honestly as far as tranquil towns go, this may actually be one of our personal favorites simply because of how calm and peaceful it is.

Since it is located very close to the Vatnajokull glacier, let’s just say that the views here are out of this world and while we’re at it we should also mention the fact that you can find a whole bunch of smaller islands next to Hofn which are all unique in their own way and they all deserve to be visited individually at least one.

Besides this you can also check out the Maritime Museum, a whole slew of hiking trails, thermal pools and a lot of water-based events such as kayaking and boat races.

6. Egilsstadir

Egilsstadir / kayak.com

You can find the Egilsstadir town right on the eastern side of Iceland and if you’re having trouble finding it, we recommend just checking out the Ring Road since this is by far the most easily accessible path that you can take for it.

Despite being a very secluded place, Egilsstadir does have its very own small regional airport which means that you can make it here from Reykjavik very easily.

On top of that, the town also features more than a handful of beautiful landscapes, including a bunch of very massive mountain heads, a lot of waterfalls and glaciers that spread out for miles upon miles.

Hiking wise you won’t be disappointed since there are pretty much dozens of different paths that you can take which all range from being more casual experiences to the few that require you to be an advanced hiker to actually be able to traverse through.

We highly recommend that you check out the East Iceland Heritage Museum while here and you can’t even consider not visiting the farmstead of Sænautasel while you’re around.

5. Kópavogur

Kópavogur / visir.is

Kopavogur actually has the second largest population after Reykjavik and it is pretty easy to see why it’s so popular right off the bat. Not only is it extremely beautiful and full of incredible activities for you to get lost in, but the locals also make quite a decent living here from tourism which is always nice to see.

This combination is very good for the people that live here as they can rest assured knowing that no matter what they’ll always be able to pay up and they’ll live out their lives in one of the most beautiful places on this planet and that’s a fact.

But what can you actually visit while here? How about the gorgeous Kopavogur Church or the Gerdarsafn Kopavogur Art Museum? Both make for incredible sites for you to visit but the attractions don’t stop there.

You have a plethora of different public parks to choose from thermal pools and if this interests you, you’ll be happy to hear that you can visit one of the many bird-watching areas in which you can identify as many as 30 different rare species passing through every now and then.

4. Seyðisfjörður

Seyðisfjörður / austurland.is

Despite being one of the smallest towns in Iceland, Seyðisfjörður is also one of the prettiest places we’ve ever seen and it also earns its spot on our list because it is one of the best places where you can see puffin colonies.

Puffin colonies, in case you didn’t know by now, represent Iceland’s cultural and natural beauty at its peak, which is why the locals here make sure to take care of them as much as possible.

This town is very beautiful in itself, almost entirely surrounded by mountains and the shoreline, making it a top choice for anyone that is currently looking for a calmer and more relaxing vacation destination.

Since there are only 700 people currently living here, it is no wonder that the community is very nice and accepting of tourists, especially considering just how much revenue they make off of them in the first place.

The Blue Church here is also well worth the visit simply because it is a unique architectural wonder unlike anything you’ll ever see again.

3. Akureyri

Akureyri / icelandairhotels.com

You can find the Akureyri town on the northern side of the country and not only is it one of the loveliest fishing villages around, but it is also one of the most culturally and historically significant places in all of Iceland because of its roots which date all the way back to the 9th century.

For those that didn’t know this, back then the Norse Vikings settled in this area pretty much taking it over and it is always fascinating to see just how jaw-dropping the marks they left on the place really are so many years later.

We recommend that you take the path towards the Art Street here, or the Kaupvangsstræti as the locals call it.

The Akureyri Art Museum and the Hof Cultural Centers are also very much worth your time simply because of how many incredible visual and performing arts they feature on display.

While not the most incredible on this list, the Akureyri Church is also very impressive to gawk at and while you’re at it make sure that you check out the Gasir Medieval Trading Place and the Botanical Garden because these will truly make your experience here unforgettable.

2. Hafnarfjörður


You can find Hafnarfjörður in the southwestern side of Iceland and if you’re wondering why we put this town so high up on the list it’s because it’s widely considered to be the hub of Viking culture in Iceland which is no simple feat.

This is where the annual Viking festival takes place also which is always fun to see especially when you realize that this has been going on for so many years now that it’s practically a part of the locals’ culture altogether.

Since this is also one of the oldest towns on the island you can also take part in several unique activities such as hidden world tours or even horseback riding trips.

One of the highlights of our visits here was definitely the many different lava fields in the town which are pretty much spread all across the place since the town itself was built on 7,000-year-old lava rocks.

Last but not least we recommend that you check out the Krysuvik Cliffs and the Helgafell Mountain while here since these are by far some of the most stunning places we’ve ever visited while in Iceland.

1. Reykjavik

Reykjavik / visitreykjavik.is

Honestly, did you really expect to see another city on the first place? Reykjavik is by far one of the most stunning places in Iceland and that’s a fact. Most people that come to Iceland make at least a quick stop in Reykjavik and can you even blame them?

Sure, Iceland has plenty of natural wonders that will make you forget about visiting its capital, but when it comes to cities and villages there’s no place better to visit.

There are so many incredible sites to see here which are a hundred percent unique to it, including the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the Old Harbour and of course, we can’t possibly forget about the Pearlan Museum while we’re at it either.

Mount Esja is always a treat to see and regardless of how long your stay is, you need to visit the golden sands of the Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach at least once.


Most Beautiful Cities in Iceland
Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland / Tom Podmore / unsplash.com

This list may seem a bit incomplete for those that have already visited Iceland and that’s honestly understandable since there is no way for us to write down every single memorable site to visit here.

There are just too many of them to count, but hopefully we managed to direct you towards the top 15 best cities that will make your stay here worthwhile. For now though thank you for reading and we hope that this guide was helpful enough for you and that you got what you were looking for from it.

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About Alex Moretti

Adventure junkie, content creator and storyteller, Alex left his nine-to-five career lifestyle to become a full time world traveler. He started his journey to the unknown 5 years ago and visited more than 30 countries and 400 cities ever since. Learn more about Placeaholic's Editorial Process.

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