Frequently Asked Questions About Akureyri
When is the best time to travel to Akureyri?
The best time to visit Akureyri depends largely on what type of activities you plan to do while in the area. In general, the peak season for visitors is from late June through August, as this period features warm and sunny weather with long days. During these months, the city’s outdoor attractions are in full bloom – pondering over Iceland’s natural beauty at Lake Mývatn or taking a dip in one of Akureyri’s geothermal pools are some of the most popular activities. For those interested in winter sports, December – March is an ideal time to visit; skiing and snowmobiling in nearby ski resorts are particularly popular during this time.
Which is the best place to stay in Akureyri?
The area to stay in Akureyri is the city center, which offers a variety of accommodation options and is conveniently located close to many attractions. Hotels, guesthouses, and apartments are all available within the city’s confines; some of the more popular ones include Hotel Kea, Guesthouse Kjarnalundur, and Akureyri Apartments. Additionally, visitors can find more budget-friendly hostel options nearby as well. Staying in the heart of the city allows travelers easy access to sights such as Hof Cultural Center and Akureyri Church. With an abundance of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues within walking distance of most hotels in this area, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to stay in the vibrant city center. For those looking for more off-the-beaten-path accommodation options, there are plenty of charming cottages and cabins available throughout the region. These can provide travelers with a unique experience while still allowing them convenient access to all of Akureyri’s attractions.
What are some of the best sights to see in Akureyri?
1. Akureyri Church: This beautiful church is a must-see for visitors to the city. Built in the 19th century, it features stunning stained glass windows and intricate carvings. It stands as one of the most popular attractions in Akureyri.
2. The Christmas Village: Every winter, Akureyri transforms into a magical village filled with lights and festive decorations. Visitors can find traditional Icelandic holiday activities such as horse-drawn sleigh rides and snow sculptures on display throughout the town.
3. Arctic Botanical Gardens: Located just outside of town, these gardens are free to explore and feature many species of plants found only in this region of Iceland. From vibrant wildflowers to rare arctic trees, there’s something to delight every nature lover.
4. Mývatn Nature Baths: The Mývatn Nature Baths are located in a geothermal area just outside of Akureyri. Visitors can enjoy the therapeutic waters and relax under the midnight sun or gaze up at the stars.
5. Whale watching and other wildlife excursions: Akureyri is one of the best spots for whale watching in Iceland. Boats depart daily for three-hour cruises that offer up close encounters with humpback whales, dolphins, seals, and more. There are also several land-based animal tours available in this region.
6. Skiing and snowboarding: In winter months, nearby ski resorts offer some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Iceland. Akureyri is a great base for exploring these slopes, as well as its own family-friendly resort at Glerárfjall Mountain.
7. Hiking and trekking: The countryside around Akureyri offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Trek through the nearby mountains or explore the nearby trails by foot or bike. For those looking to go further afield, there are several organized multi-day treks available that take you deep into Iceland’s wild landscapes.
What are some good places to eat in Akureyri?
1. Restaurant Sjávargrillið: Serving up fresh seafood and local Icelandic dishes, this is one of the most popular restaurants in Akureyri.
2. Kaffi Krús: This cozy café serves up delicious homemade soups and sandwiches with a view of the harbor.
3. Árbær Bistro: Located on an old farmstead just outside of Akureyri, Árbær offers traditional Icelandic cuisine prepared with local ingredients.
4. Bryggjan Brugghús: Sample locally brewed beers while you enjoy classic pub grub at this lively bar and restaurant.
5. Gamla Smiðjan: This gourmet restaurant specializes in game meats like reindeer, wild boar and Arctic char.
6. Krambúðin: This quaint bakery serves freshly baked breads and pastries made with Icelandic ingredients.
7. Café Loki: Located in the center of Akureyri, this cafe offers traditional Icelandic dishes such as skyr pancakes and fish soup.
8. Uppsteypt Bistro: Enjoy a modern twist on classic Icelandic cuisine at this upscale restaurant located just off the main square.
9. Friðheimar Tomato Farm Restaurant: Sample fresh tomato soup and homemade pizzas cooked in an outdoor wood-fired oven at this unique farm-to-table experience.
What are some good shopping spots in Akureyri?
1. Hof Bazaar: This downtown bazaar houses a variety of local shops offering handmade crafts, souvenirs, and clothing.
2. Tenging Art Gallery & Gifts: Find a selection of Icelandic art and locally-made jewelry, pottery, and glassware at this gallery.
3. Ólafsdalur Crafts & Souvenirs: Pick up unique memorabilia from this shop located on the banks of the river.
4. Víðimýrarkaup Shopping Center: Shop for fashion and electronics in this modern shopping mall featuring stores like H&M, Toys R Us, and Zara.
What are the best spots to enjoy nightlife in Akureyri?
1. Bryggjan Brugghús: Located on the harborfront, this brewery and restaurant features live music, craft beer, and delicious food.
2. Glerárbíó: An independent cinema showing classic films and documentaries as well as hosting concerts, lectures, and workshops.
3. Kaffi Akureyri: Enjoy a cocktail or two while listening to great music at this lively bar.
4. Strikid Pub & Grill: Have a drink and some snacks at this cozy pub located in the heart of town.
5. Djúpivogur Concert Hall: Catch an evening show at this large hall with excellent acoustics that hosts classical musicians, DJs, comedians, and more.
6. Bláa Lónið: An art gallery and café located in a former fish factory and featuring works by local and international artists.
7. Akureyri Library: Visit the largest library in the north of Iceland, lending books, magazines, and music recordings to the public.
8. Gamla Bakarí: An independent bakery serving up classic Icelandic pastries such as skonsur (doughnuts) and kleinur (twisted doughnuts).
9. Kirsuberjatréð Akureyri: A living museum dedicated to preserving traditional crafts like weaving, making wooden toys, baking rye bread, basket-weaving, and metalwork.
What are some nearby day trips from Akureyri?
1. Lake Mývatn: Located about an hour’s drive from Akureyri, Mývatn is a large lake offering plenty of activities such as bird watching, fishing, and hiking.
2. Dettifoss Waterfall: Take a day trip to the mighty Dettifoss waterfall – one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe.
3. Ásbyrgi Canyon: Explore verdant forests and crystal-clear streams along with otherworldly rock formations at this national park.
4. Siglufjörður: Visit this charming seaside town located on the northernmost edge of Iceland for its rich history and stunning views.
5. Húsavík: Enjoy whale watching, bird watching, and exploring the beautiful landscapes of this coastal town.
6. Goðafoss Waterfall: Travel to this spectacular waterfall located in northern Iceland to marvel at its cascading waters.
7. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: There’s no better place to witness the power of glaciers than by visiting this starkly beautiful lagoon near Vatnajökull National Park.
8. Reykjavik: Take a day trip from Akureyri to Iceland’s vibrant capital city and explore its museums, restaurants, and shops.