When I visited the city of Reykjavik I only had two full days in the city. On the second full day I booked in for a tour of the Golden Circle, but on the first full day it was time to explore the city. I wanted a chance to see and explore the area around the city and so I set out on foot.
The city of Reykjavik in Iceland is by many standards small. Covering some 274 square kilometres with a population of 126,000 or just over one third of the population of Iceland as a whole. But once you set out on foot it does seem a whole lot bigger. The thing that did not help in this was the weather, while the photo below shows a layer of cloud it was not rain that was a problem. It was not even the very light dust of snow that was falling either, but the temperature of -10 degrees celsius.
I started the day with a walk from the hotel to Hallgrímskirkja, which you can see in the below image. Hallgrímskirkja is the tallest building in Iceland standing at a height of 74.5m. One of the things I enjoyed about the visit was taking the elevator to the top of the spire. While the view below is quite nice, the view from the spire gives a very different view of some other area’s of Reykjavik than you would get anywhere else in the city.
The location where I am to capture this image is known as the Perlan Building. The building is quite interesting in that it is a multi purpose building. A Glass dome sitting atop six hot water storage tanks each of which can hold around 4 million litres of hot water.
As the crow flies it is around 1.5 km between Hallgrímskirkja and the Perlan Building. However, when I look at the other spots I visited and the route that I likely travelled the walking distance was a whole lot further. I would estimate somewhere in the range of 15-18 kilometres for the day.
I still think that walking is the best way to see and experience a destination, especially if you have the time. While driving around a town leaves you with your focus split in two directions, the driving and the sightseeing. Tours can also helps to speed up the sightseeing, but can also see you speeding past other things you might like to see. So in a city the size of Reykjavik walking can be the way to go.