16 April 2019

4 interesting facts about Reykjavík

interesting facts about reykjavik

If you are traveling to Iceland, there's a big chance that you'll pass through Reykjavík. Reykjavík is pretty impressive, and you should know something about the only real city in Iceland. Here are some interesting facts about Reykjavík.

 

UNESCO's city of literature

Icelanders are book people

  Image: Tom Murphy VII [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Did you know Iceland has the most books published per capital in the world? One in every ten Icelanders will write a book in their lifetime, so UNESCO saw an opportunity to make Reykjavík a city of literature. That does not mean that everyone’s a great writer, but we love to express ourselves with our beautiful and complex language. Reykjavík is the fifth city in the world to get the title and the first non-English speaking!

 

A criminal settled it

Ingolfur settled Iceland

Ingólfur Arnarson was not only Reykjavík's settler, but he was the first person ever to inhabit Iceland. Sounds like a great guy right? Actually, Ingólfur was a fugitive from Norway for some unknown reasons. Now a famous statue of him stands on top of Arnarhóll in downtown Reykjavík. We know Ingólfur was the first settler because of the Landnámubók (book of settlements) which names the first 400 people who inhabited Iceland. We hope Ingólfur didn’t do anything too horrible!

 

City of cats

Cats in Reykjavik

Dogs were banned in Reykjavík from 1924 till 1984 and the ban was not entirely lifted until 2006. Because of that ban cats ruled over Reykjavík and they still do. Just going downtown for an hour, you might see as many as five cats! Though we don't know for sure how many cats are in Reykjavík, it's estimated that as many as 20.000 roam the streets of the city.

 

No Big Macs® here

Mcdonalds isn't in Iceland

If you're a big fast food fanatic, This interesting fact of ours may startle you. Reykjavík is the only capital in Europe to not have a single McDonalds or a Starbucks. Don't worry, we have some fast food chains here like KFC and Taco Bell. And we actually had a McDonalds until 2008 when the place closed down due to the financial crisis, and we haven't looked back since.

 
Back