What are the Best Things to Do in Akureyri?

Akureyri, Iceland is the second-largest city on the island, and has earned the moniker of “Iceland’s Northern Capital.” While the Akureyri Iceland population hovers near 20,000, it’s only surpassed by the Greater Reykjavik region. While the size of the city is more akin to a town in comparison to European metropolises, you’ll be amazed at the variety of things to do in Akureyri. With wondrous relics from history and a lavish scenic landscape, you’ll enjoy traveling around Akureyri.


To assist you in discovering what Akureyri has to offer, and what you can take away, Akureyri as well as some of its secrets, follow this guide. It includes a list of what to see in Akureyri, Iceland so you’ll be prepared before you go! 

Where is Akureyri, Iceland?

Akureyri, North Iceland is situated just 100 km south of the Arctic Circle. It’s a bustling city adorned with quaint shops, picturesque cafes, and superb museums. You can take in the enchanting sights as you explore the base of Eyjafjörður Fjord.


If you’re visiting Iceland, you should try to branch out from the familiar territories of the Golden Circle. While you’ll definitely want to see Thingvellir National Park and the blue lagoon, Akureyri offers a stepping stone to other natural phenomena. Using Akureyri as a base-camp, you can take short day trips to sites such as Dettifoss waterfall, Godafoss waterfall, and Asbyrgi canyon.

The Best Things to Do in Akureyri 

Here is a short list of the top things to do in Akureyri.

Akureyrarkirkja Church

Of all the things to do in Akureyri, visiting and photographing Akureyrarkirkja church is a must. Since the church’s construction was completed back in 1940, photographers have been flocking to the site to capture renowned architect, Guðjón Samúelsson, famous work. 

Pedestrian Street

While you’re taking in the church, you can also find things to do in Akureyri at night. The street adjacent to the holy site is named Pedestrian Street, and it acts as the gathering point for the city. Along this road, you can find a slew of restaurants, retail shops, hotels, and cafes.

Akureyri Botanical Garden

Akureyri Botanical Garden lays claim to the title of the world’s most northern botanical gardens. With its beginnings dating back to 1910, the women of Akureyri wanted to create a spot for tranquility and scientific research. In a statement to defy the harsh climate of the Arctic Circle, you can find over 400 different types of flora thriving in the beautiful gardens. 

Christmas House

It’s difficult to find a region in the world that loves Christmas more than Iceland. This claim is supported by Akureyri Santa House. You can embrace the Christmas spirit year-round at this charming little house. Opened back in 1996 by owners, Benedikt and Ragnheiður, you can find everything and anything Christmas related in their gift shop. 


If you feel like giving the little ones a friendly scare, you can even find Grýla, a troll that eats misbehaving children, downstairs in her cave.


If you’re a golf fan looking for things to do in Akureyri, you’re in luck. Akureyri has the perfect grounds for you. Jadarvollur is the world’s northernmost 18-hole golf course. The greens open in spring and the season runs until the end of autumn. If you’re visiting the island in June, you might even catch the Arctic Open. 

Akureyri Museums

Akureyri has some of the most fantastic museums in the world. Whether you’re interested in a progressive local art scene, a family-friendly exhibition of Iceland’s industrial age, or the history of Iceland’s endeavors in aviation, you can find all of these in museums in Akureyri.

Lake Mývatn

If you’re looking for things to do in Akureyri or just happen to find yourself in the north along the Diamond Circle, then you need to make a stop at one of northern Iceland’s most popular sites. Amidst a splendid natural environment, you’ll find the volcanic Lake Mývatn. 


So close to the Arctic Circle and rife with pristine slopes, you can rest assured that you’ll stumble upon some premium skiing sites in this area. During the winter months, you can find activity swarming around Hlíðarfjall Skiing Mountain. This is also one of the best things to do in Akureyri at night, as the slopes are lit by floodlights.

Whale Watching

Traveling around on the Diamond Circle can lead to some extremely memorable experiences, especially if you take a slight detour to the harbors in Dalvik. Here you can find some of the best spots to go whale watching. While you’re scanning the waves for these majestic beasts, you can turn your gaze back to the cliff sides and catch a glimpse of the illustrious puffin.

See Akureyri from Your Own Campervan

While you can certainly fly into Akureyri from Reykjavik, nothing can beat the experience of seeing all of this majestic country from the comfort of an Iceland camper rental. Luckily, Rent.is has the perfect traveling and accommodation solution for you to see the wild side of the island. For more information, contact us today!


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