Iceland may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

AkureyriIceland

Visit museums and a magnificent church and stroll leisurely in the botanical garden of what has been nicknamed “the capital of northern Iceland.”

One of the best places in Iceland to learn about rich Nordic culture is Akureyri. Visit its museums and tall, iconic hillside dominating the cityscape. Mountains enclose the quaint buildings of the city center, in which a folk culture prevails. People have inhabited the area since the 9th century. Learn of its role as a base for the Allied Forces during World War II.

The most famous site of the region is the Akureyri Church, which stands atop a hill. Climb steps to reach its portal and head inside to see religious treasures. Marvel at the angel statue and central panel of stained glass. A boat hangs from the ceiling, marking the Nordic tradition of praying for the safety of those at sea.

For a sense of local culture, visit the Jón Sveinsson Museum, dedicated to a writer and Jesuit priest. The black-and-white wooden cottage is also known as “Nonni’s House,” in reference to his nickname. It is an example of typical 19th-century Icelandic homes. Watch clips from the 1940s of the writer and learn about his children’s books.

Add a bit of color to your trip at the Akureyri Botanical Garden. Bring a book to read while sitting on a bench in the presence of pretty floral displays. The park contains a mix of native Icelandic species and imported plants.

Capture photos of Súlur Mountain, an ever-present giant looming over the city. Follow the path from Glerárdalur Valley up to the peaks.

Geographical factors in the region ensure a surprisingly warm climate compared with the rest of northern Iceland. Winter snow decorates the charming buildings. Attend one of the events taking place in the city, such as the annual medieval festival.

The only international airport in northern Iceland serves the city. Take a taxi for the 2-mile (3-kilometer) journey north to the city center. Reykjavik is 235 miles (378 kilometers) west, a drive which should take 4 or 5 hours.

Visit Akureyri, one of the country’s major urban areas, for a sense of Iceland’s culture, geography and natural beauty.

Where to stay in Akureyri

Top Hotels in Akureyri

Akurinn Guesthouse
Akurinn Guesthouse
2.5 out of 5
Brekkugata 27A, Akureyri, Northern Iceland
Get Rates

Situated in Akureyri, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Akureyri Church and Akureyri Botanical Garden. University of Akureyri and Arctic Botanical ...

4/5Very Good! (46 reviews)

"Easy to find the house but is not easy to get the key,"…"

Reviewed on Oct 13, 2019

Akurinn Guesthouse
Gula Villan Brekkugata
Gula Villan Brekkugata
2.5 out of 5
Brekkugata 8, Akureyri
Get Rates

Located in City Center, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Akureyri Church and Akureyri Botanical Garden. Arctic Botanical Gardens (Lystigardurinn) ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (12 reviews)

"Great location. It was a little noisy. The down pillow and blanket had so many pokey feathers, I couldn’t use them. The instructions for check-in said to see booking confirmation information but nothing was there. There is no front desk, but when you go to the front door there is a bell and they ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 28, 2019

Gula Villan Brekkugata
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
3.5 out of 5
Thingvallastraeti 23, Akureyri
The price is ¥11,238 per night from Dec 2 to Dec 3

Located in the heart of Akureyri, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of University of Akureyri and Akureyri Church. Arctic Botanical Gardens (Lystigardurinn) ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (709 reviews)
Good hotel

"Bad parking. can’t sit up against the wall by the bed"…"

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2020

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Akureyri

Pearl of the North Apartments
Pearl of the North Apartments
3 out of 5
Mödruvallastræti 5, Munkathverárstræti 33, Akureyri, Northeast Region

Situated in Akureyri, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Akureyri Botanical Garden and University of Akureyri. Hlidarfjall and Sulur are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (8 reviews)
Nice place would stay again

"It was a nice place! Hard to find but they had Netflix which was a plus when we got back after dinner!"…"

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2019

Pearl of the North Apartments
Akureyri Log Cabin
Akureyri Log Cabin
3.5 out of 5
Heiðarbyggð 22, Akureyri, Northeast Region

Situated near the airport, this cabin is within 9 mi (15 km) of Jon Sveinsson Museum, Akureyri Church, and Arctic Botanical Gardens (Lystigardurinn). Akureyri ...

5/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)

"Amazing cabin with a beautiful view! Beds where supper comfy, and was the perfect spot to come back to after a day of exploring the north of iceland."…"

Reviewed on Oct 21, 2019

Akureyri Log Cabin
Sunnuhlid houses
Sunnuhlid houses
3 out of 5
Sunnuhlíð, Akureyri, Northeast Region
The price is ¥11,201 per night from Nov 30 to Dec 1

Situated in a rural location, this cabin is within 9 mi (15 km) of Akureyri Church, Arctic Botanical Gardens (Lystigardurinn), and Akureyri Botanical Garden. ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (5 reviews)
A hidden gem near Akureyri

"An amazing place with stunning mountain and sea views. Super cozy. A hidden gem near Akureyri. Only 10-15 minutes drive to town. Friendly owner. Will stay again. Highly recommended."…"

Reviewed on Dec 30, 2019

Sunnuhlid houses
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Akureyri

Top things to do in Akureyri

Reviews of Akureyri

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
54
5 - Excellent 59.34065934065934%
4 - Good
36
4 - Good 39.56043956043956%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 1.098901098901099%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 18, 2019

Would like to come back in the summer and spend more time here

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 4, 2019

Lovely views

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 28, 2019

Definitely would the drive to stay at least a couple nights if visiting Iceland. Plenty to do, great overall small city feeling and the landscape is incredible.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 3, 2019

This is the most charming town we’ve seen.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 30, 2019

Didn’t explore much. Just stayed the night.

4/5 - Good

Ionut

Aug 19, 2019

Nice smaller city, lots of trails to walk, jog or bike. Amazing views of mountains and the water!

Cities near Akureyri