Architecture in Iceland


So I’ve seen pictures of Iceland but there are not many buildings on these photos, it’s mostly landscape. Is there any nice architecture in Reykjavík or other cites in Iceland?


Hi Embla,

I personally really love a lot of buildings in Reykjavík, of course there is the awesome concert hall Harpa, at the harbor, but also the warmwater tank Perlan is interesting, or Hallgrimskirkja. The architecture of Hallgrimskirkja resembles the basalt structures in Skaftafell National Park, which is really nice.

In the countryside I liked the futuristic churches in Stykkishólmur and Blönduós or the concert hall Hof in Akureyri.

Then there are of course the traditional turf houses/churches. They are very cute and can be found at various locations around the island, nice ones are for example at Glaumbaer.


Hi Embla! I am really into art and architecture myself and I personally recommend going to Austurstraeti in the center of downtown Reykjavík if you like the old-time Icelandic buildings. Here you can find also the Icelandic parliament building, and in the surrounding area you can find old time houses preserved the way they were when they are first built, some are even dated to the 1800s! You can see also on some houses pictures followed with some tidbits about the history of the house (sadly most are in Icelandic) or awards from Reykjavik city for a great job in preserving the classic building structures. Right in front of the Tjornin Pond you can find my favorite building in Reykjavik, the Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík (Women’s School in Reykjavík) and Iðnó :smiley:


Hey Embla. I think the above answers cover most of the information about architecture here, but I also think the general style of Icelandic houses is very charming. There are lots of corrugated iron roofs and walls, painted bright colours, so when you have a perspective from, say, the top of Hallgrímskirkja church, the city looks incredibly unique and beautiful.


I like Akureyri Church, it’s a little bit of an old fashioned place but it’s architecturally important o Icelandic history. if you want to see the old way of doing things, the Open air museum at 'Arbær is a good first stop. They also have a display on old Icelandic architecture and about how the old wooden and corrugated iron houses are taken care of.
Hallgrímskrikja is also a must, but across the street is another often overlooked place, which is the sculpture museum. It’s a strange block of black, and the inside is even more fascinating - if you can, you should ask to go into the circular top room. it’s pretty cool.
If you are travelling around, there is also a church called Þingeyrakirkja near Blönduós town, which is one of the first stone buildings in the country. it’s small but beautiful and somewhat strange all alone in the middle of nowhere. - The church at Blöndós itself is also a pretty cool. it’s very modernistic in its form. In a way, it’s somewhat similar to the church in Breiðholt (yes, Icelanders went a little artistic on churched :P)