Admire the bold architectural lines merging with Lake Tjörnin’s glassy reflection when you approach Reykjavík City Hall (Ráðhús Reykjavíkur), a distinctive modern civic center. Stroll around picturesque Lake Tjörnin and marvel at the structure’s intriguing design or visit the hall’s café and exhibition space to enjoy stunning views of the lake and its birdlife.
While discussions of a city hall go back almost 2 centuries, it was not until 1992 that Reykjavík finally unveiled its magnificent city hall. Designed by architects Margrét Hardardóttir and Steve Christer, Reykjavík City Hall was planned to incorporate elements of modern design with the natural lake surroundings. Walk around the lake to see the way the smooth concrete building appears to float on the water, its bold columns seemingly plunging into the still surface.
Enter the hall via its street-level entryway, which is incorporated into the walking routes that connect Reykjavík’s downtown area to the western side of the city. Explore the ground floor to find a spacious exhibition area and a useful information desk. Don’t miss the large relief map of Iceland, which traces the country’s topography and rugged coastlines. Plan your journey through Iceland or spot the volcanoes, fjords, mountains and glaciers you have already visited. Upstairs, the Reykjavík City Hall houses the offices of the mayor and other civic officials.
Stop at Café Öndin to rest and have a refreshing drink or snack. Enjoy magnificent views out across the lake from the café and spot the various birds that settle on the lake’s placid surface. The café provides a comfortable spot to view the lake in any season, including when it freezes in winter. Cross a footbridge to the theater Idno.
Reykjavík City Hall is located on the northern side of Lake Tjörnin. Access the hall easily on foot from downtown Reykjavík and the harbor. A local bus stops nearby as well. The hall is open daily for free, although some cultural events hosted by the hall may require tickets. Walk to the Cathedral of Christ the King in 5 minutes and Harpa and the waterfront in 12 minutes.