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Iceland Mag

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Best of Reykjavík August 22-29

By Staff

  • Landscape sculpture This beautiful man made hill is called Þúfan (the Hill), and is an artwork by Ólöf Nordal, located at Reykjavík's old harbour. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Reykjavík Culture Night
Reykjavík Culture Night is essentially an event that takes place all across Reykjavík, both within most of the museums and art galleries of the city but also within the streets, squares, and often even inside residential gardens. Over the course of the day, the downtown area is filled with people from all around the country, as well as numerous tourists, which gives our small city of Reykjavík a metropolitan feeling.
During the past years, over 100,000 guests have attended the festivities, and annually the list of events is over 500, making Reykjavík Culture Night one of the largest and most popular events in Iceland. Another factor that makes this day so great is that all the festival’s events are free of charge. So everybody can find something to their liking, since the diversity of events is immense and caters to all age groups.
There are three big outdoor concerts in downtown Reykjavík on the schedule:
In the backyard of Bar 11 at Hverfisgata street indie rock music radio station X-ið 97.9 with Bar 11 kicks off a nine hour music marathon at 14 (2pm) with Kaleo, Dimma, Agent Fresco, Reykjavíkurdætur and more. Until 23 (11pm)
Radio station Bylgjan throws the biggest garden party of the year at Hljómskálagarður park with many of Iceland's most popular musicians performing: Hjálmar, SSSól, Kaleo, Jón Jónsson, Bo & Co, Skítamórall, Hafdís Huld and Skítamórall. There will be barbecue a soft drink for everyone attending between 18-20 (6pm-8pm). The concert starts at 18 (6pm) and ends at 22.15 (10.15pm).
At Arnarhóll hill we have Tónaflóð 2014 from 20-23 (8pm-11pm), held by public radio station Rás 2 in collaboration with Vodafone. The line up is: Skálmöld, Mammút, Mono, Town and Nýdönsk. 

See the packed schedule and an events map in English here

Lady Lína You will maybe see her downtown Reykjavík. Photo/Jón Kaldal

Cat lover's paradise
Maybe it’s not quite like the famous Japanese cat island Tashirojima, but downtown Reykjavík is packed with cats. These are no stray cats, but well-kept pets that are allowed to roam free around the neighborhood. The cats even have their own Facebook page.

The Reykjavik Marathon
About 15.000 runners will take part in the 31st Reykjavík Marathon on Saturday 23. The race starts and ends at the same place, at Lækjargata street by the Pond (Tjörnin), close to the city hall in the center of Reykjavik. 

Reykjavík Dance Festival starts this weekend
The festival was founded by artists in 2002 and has since grown into an exciting annual art event, including work-shops, forums, and parties. This year, twelve new works by Icelandic choreographers will be presented as part of the Reykjavík Dance Festival‘s programme. From August 23rd until the 30th.

You can take a dip in the North Atlantic
There is a great forecast for this weekend. Why not take a dip in the North Atlantic? The Nauthólsvík geothermal beach near Öskjuhlíð hill is popular among locals who practice sea swimming all year round, an activity that has grown in popularity in recent years. Nauthólsvík beach offers changing rooms, showers, and outdoor hot tubs that are open all year around.

...and since you are in the area
Go and explore Öskjuhlíð hill after the swim. During the Second World War, the United States Army occupation force built various bunkers that are dotted around the hill. Those war remnants are still visible, although somewhat run down and completely lacking any markings, making them difficult to find. The hike around the Öskjuhlíð area is highly enjoyable and the iconic “Pearl” restaurant, atop the old water tanks, is only a stone’s throw away.

Get close to Vikings
The National Museum of Iceland was refurbished in 2004 and now presents an interesting exhibition that features most of Iceland’s national treasures. The museum’s role is to increase knowledge of the Icelandic culture and cultural heritage, dating from the country’s first settlement, up until today. The museum has an informative children’s section where visitors can dress up in Viking attire, among other things. 

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