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North Iceland : Akureyri
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[[Image:Akureyri.jpg|right|400px]]
 
[[Image:Akureyri.jpg|right|400px]]
  
'''Akureyri''' is [[Iceland]]'s third largest city, and the unofficial capital of [[North Iceland]].
+
'''Akureyri''' [http://www.visitakureyri.is/en], with a population of around 18,000, is the largest town in [[Iceland]] outside the [[Southwest Iceland|Southwest region]], and the unofficial capital of [[North Iceland]].
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
 
[[Image:AkureyriAirport.jpg|right|thumb|200px]]
 
[[Image:AkureyriAirport.jpg|right|thumb|200px]]
The city is accessible by bus (or car) via [[Route 1-Ring Road]], the highway that circles the island along the coastline.  It can also be reached more quickly by the smallish airplanes which connect Icelandic cities, flying over the deserted/partially-glaciated interior.
 
  
==By plane==
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===By car or bus===
Akureyri is accessible via a short flight from the [[Reykjavik]] Airport on domestic carrier Air Iceland [http://www.airiceland.is]. There are also seasonal flights between Akureyri and [[Copenhagen]] on Iceland Express [http://www.icelandexpress.com/].
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The city is linked to the rest of Iceland via the [[Route 1-Ring Road|Ring Road]], the highway that circles the island along the coastline. Buses between [[Reykjavík]] and Akureyri are operated by Strætó, while buses from [[Egilsstaðir]] and various other towns to the east of Akureyri are operated by SBA [http://www.english.sba.is/] and Sterna [http://www.sterna.is] along with some routes with Strætó.
 +
 
 +
===By plane===
 +
Akureyri has an airport with flights to and from [[Reykjavik]] Airport on domestic carrier Air Iceland [http://www.airiceland.is] several times a day. Air Iceland also has flights from Akureyri to three smaller villages: [[Grímsey]] (a small island to the north of Iceland, on the arctic circle), [[Þórshöfn]] (in the northeast on Langanes peninsula) and [[Vopnafjörður]] (the northernmost fjord in [[East Iceland]]).
 +
 
 +
Seasonal flights between Akureyri and [[Copenhagen]] are operated by Iceland Express [http://www.icelandexpress.com/].
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Being Iceland's northern capital city doesn't mean it's a huge metropolis.  Although it can get a bit hilly leaving the waterline, walking distances are reasonable for a fit traveller.
+
Being Iceland's northern capital doesn't mean Akureyri is a huge metropolis.  Although it can get a bit hilly leaving the waterline, walking distances are reasonable for a fit traveller.
The public bus system is free for all.
+
 
 +
Akureyri has a public bus system, called '''SVA''', which is free for all. The buses are not very frequent--each line has a bus every hour or so. The buses stop running at 23:00 on weekdays and only run between 12:00 and 18:00 on weekends and holidays, but when they're free why complain?
  
===By thumb or foot===
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'''BSÓ''' [http://www.bso.is/] is the only taxi company in town, and they have a taxi rank in the centre of town.
Iceland is typically a great country for hitchhiking, but be extremely careful of the weather in this region, as it is highly unpredictable.  As late as March or April, terrible Arctic blizzards can blow in off the sea, and hit you in an instant.  If you're even a couple kilometers out of town, and one of these storms hit, you will be stranded for an indefinite amount of time.  It's wholly possible to freeze to death, or at least come down with hypothermia or frostbite, in such a situation.
+
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
[[Image:Viti2.JPG|right|thumb|200px]]
 
Akureyri is a good base to explore some of the more remote areas of Iceland, such as [[Myvatn]].  Bus tours are available which take you to see the sulfur fields of the Devil's Kitchen, the enormous crater of Viti, and Godafoss (waterfall of the gods).
 
  
 +
Akureyri is a very picturesque town with its location by a scenic fjord, eclectic building styles and streets winding their way through gorges. Spend some time walking around the town centre, see the impressive church and check out '''Listagilið''' (literally "the art canyon"), home to a number of arts and crafts galleries and shops. The tranquil municipal botanical garden, '''Lystigarðurinn''' [http://www.lystigardur.akureyri.is/], is worth visiting, as are the several small museums dotted around town.
  
* [http://www.akureyritravel.is Saga Travel] ☎ (+354) 659 8888 offers variety of day tours from Akureyri around North Iceland. Sightseeing, excursions and Super Jeep tours to Askja Caldera, Waterfall Dettifoss, Cave Exploration - Lofthellir and Lake Mývatn area. Private guiding and tailor made tours also available
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Note that Akureyri is perhaps picturesque by Icelandic standards, but one may question whether it is a tourist destination in its own right. Tourists to Iceland typically go there because of the splendid scenery, not because of the cities. Akureyri is primarily a local hub, a place to start excursions to more interesting places.
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
[[Image:AkureyriPool.jpg|right|thumb|200px]]
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[[Image:AkureyriPool.jpg|right|thumb|Akureyri swimming pool|200px]]
Typical of Icelandic cities, there is a heated outdoor pool and hot-pots available to the public. Thorough showering before and after bathing or swimming is expected.
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*<do name="Akureyri Drama Society" alt="Leikfélag Akureyrar" address="Strandgata 12" directions="" phone="+354 460 0200" url="http://www.leikfelag.is" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The only professional theatre in Iceland outside of Reykjavík.</do>
 +
*<do name="Akureyri Swimming Pool" alt="Sundlaug Akureyrar" address="Þingvallastræti 21" directions="" phone="+354 461 4455" url="" hours="28 May-1 September: 6:45-21:00 M-F, 8:00-19:30 Sa-Su; 2 September-27 May: 6:45-21:00 M-F, 10:00-18:30 Sa-Su" price="450 kr" lat="" long="">A recently renovated and expanded pool. Two pools for swimming, several hot tubs, a water slide and a childrens pool. Close to the centre of town.</do>
 +
*<do name="Hof" alt="" address="Strandgata 12" directions="" phone="354 450 1000" url="http://www.menningarhus.is" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Akureyri's new house of culture, home to the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveit Norðurlands) [http://sinfonianord.is/] and regularly host to other performances.</do>
 +
*<do name="Akureyri Art Museum" alt="" address="Kaupvangsstræti 12" directions="" phone="" url="http://listasafn.akureyri.is/?page_id=497" hours="Open 12:00-17:00, closed Monday" price="Free" lat="" long="">Small art museum.</do>
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
 +
 +
'''Hafnarstræti''', in the centre of town, is Akureyri's main shopping street. Shops there include an Eymundsson book store with a café, several souvenir shops, clothing stores and the curiosity shop Frúin í Hamborg.
 +
 +
For local art and design, head to '''Grófargil''', colliqually known as Listagil ("art canyon"). It's a steep canyon by the street Kaupangsstræti and home to several studios galleries and shops.
 +
 +
A small shopping mall, called '''Glerártorg''' [http://www.glerartorg.is], is a short distance north of the town centre.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
A local way to eat a hamburger is with french fries included in the bun and kokteilsósa (a cocktail of mayonnaise and ketchup). A shop that sells a delicious version of this called a MacGratsky burger is '''Nætursalan''' located downtown right next to the main bus stop. This is a popular snack to end the evening after a heavy night of drinking.
+
A local way to eat a hamburger is with french fries included in the bun and kokteilsósa (a cocktail of mayonnaise and ketchup). A shop that sells a delicious version of this, called a MacGratsky burger, is '''Nætursalan''' located downtown right next to the main bus stop. This is a popular snack to end the evening after a heavy night of drinking.
 +
 
 
Akureyri also has the world's northernmost Domino's Pizza.
 
Akureyri also has the world's northernmost Domino's Pizza.
Rub23, located just below the cathedral of Akureyri, has a most friendly atomosphere and serves one of the best fish dishes in the area.
 
  
The Indian Curry Hut, located at Hafnarstraeti 100b, has some of the best curry in all of Iceland--perfect for warming up after a winter's day!  It's a take-away, though as of March 2009 there were two chairs and a counter.  The owner of the restaurant is very friendly, with an interesting life's story.
+
Rub23, located just below the cathedral of Akureyri, has a most friendly atmosphere and serves one of the best fish dishes in the area.
 +
 
 +
The Indian Curry Hut, located at Hafnarstraeti 100b, has some of the best curry in all of Iceland--perfect for warming up after a winter's day!  It's a take-away, though there are two stools and a counter.  The owner of the restaurant is very friendly, with an interesting life's story.
  
 
===Splurge===
 
===Splurge===
Strikid: Fresh, high quality restaurant. Their chocolate cake is the best I've ever had, hands down. Mostly fish, lobster, but one or two meat dishes. Has an amazing view at the top floor of a building at the coastline.
+
Strikið: Fresh, high quality restaurant. Their chocolate cake is the best I've ever had, hands down. Mostly fish, lobster, but one or two meat dishes. Has an amazing view at the top floor of a building at the coastline.
Greifinn: Considered high quality, just sells sandwhiches, starters, soups. Obviously a nice restaurant though.
+
 
Frederick the 5th: Haven't been, but apparently is a "Slow Food" restaurant, where it takes about 3+ hours for all of your courses to be finished. Supposedly a great experience, extremely high class. The chef cooks European cuisine, but uses local ingredients so adds an Icelandic touch.
+
Greifinn: Considered high quality, just sells sandwiches, starters, soups. Obviously a nice restaurant though.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
  
A nice bar is across the street from the main movie threater. It seems that people in the city enjoy an 'early' movie theater around 8pm or so, and, as customary in Iceland, go clubbing/barhopping after midnight. However, the clubs close at 1AM, at least during the weekdays. A strange wheel-of-fortune with shots, beer, and nothing, is there, for 1500 Kr.
+
A nice bar is across the street from the main movie threater. It seems that people in the city enjoy an 'early' movie theater around 8 pm or so, and, as customary in Iceland, go clubbing/barhopping after midnight. However, the clubs close at 1 am, at least during the weekdays. A strange wheel-of-fortune with shots, beer, and nothing, is there, for 1500 Kr.
  
  
Line 50: Line 64:
 
There are many guesthouses more inland immediately away from the city center. They double as residences for college students, but they are the cheapest lodging you'll find, at around 8000 Kr double and 5000 single.
 
There are many guesthouses more inland immediately away from the city center. They double as residences for college students, but they are the cheapest lodging you'll find, at around 8000 Kr double and 5000 single.
  
* Gista [http://www.gista.is]
+
* '''Gista''' [http://www.gista.is] is renting out apartments with Hotel standard. Located 3 min walk from the centre of Akureyri. Very good accomodation for groups, as the whole house (3 apartments) can be rented, which can accomodate up to 16 people.
  
* Hotel Krea ran at around 16000 for a double and around 12500 for a single. The staff I encountered at the hotel was extremely helpful in explaining what to do and where to eat, even though I didn't stay there.
+
* '''Hotel Kea''' ran at around 16000 kr for a double and around 12500 kr for a single. The staff at the hotel is extremely helpful in explaining what to do and where to eat, even if you don't stay there!
 +
 
 +
==Contact & Internet Access==
 +
 
 +
Akureyri has good mobile phone coverage (including 3G). Wi-fi internet is often available at cafés  or hotels. Here are additional internet access options:
 +
 
 +
*<do name="Akureyri Hotspot (RP Media)" alt="" address="Akureyri, Iceland" directions="" phone="+354 490-4901" url="www.akureyrihotspot.is/splash" hours="" price="Starting under 2 EUR" lat="" long="">City wide internet hotspot service. Service planned for campgrounds. Free web access to tourist guide, car/hotel bookings. Vouchers for full access can be bought on site or with local partners.</do>
 +
*<do name="Municipal Library of Akureyri" alt="Amtsbókasafnið" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.akureyri.is/amtsbokasafn/english" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Cheap Internet connections are available here for 300 kr pr. hour.</do>
 +
*<do name="FAB Tourist Center" alt="" address="Strandgata 49" directions="" phone="+354 820-0980" url="www.fabtravel.is" hours="7:30-23:00" price="" lat="" long="">Internet access, wireless hotspot, VAT refund, currency exchange, information center, café and ticket sales for FAB Travel tours.</do>
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
Several buses run mostly hourly from the city centre to other important places like the airport and neighbouring settlements.
+
[[Image:Viti2.JPG|right|thumb|Víti|200px]]
 +
 
 +
Akureyri is a good base to explore some of the more remote areas of Iceland, such as [[Mývatn]]. Several buses run mostly hourly from the city centre to other important places like the airport and neighbouring settlements and bus tours are available which take you to see the enormous crater of Víti, and Goðafoss (waterfall of the gods).
 +
 
  
  

Latest revision as of 02:31, 30 September 2013

Akureyri.jpg

Akureyri [1], with a population of around 18,000, is the largest town in Iceland outside the Southwest region, and the unofficial capital of North Iceland.

Contents

Get in[edit]

AkureyriAirport.jpg

By car or bus[edit]

The city is linked to the rest of Iceland via the Ring Road, the highway that circles the island along the coastline. Buses between Reykjavík and Akureyri are operated by Strætó, while buses from Egilsstaðir and various other towns to the east of Akureyri are operated by SBA [2] and Sterna [3] along with some routes with Strætó.

By plane[edit]

Akureyri has an airport with flights to and from Reykjavik Airport on domestic carrier Air Iceland [4] several times a day. Air Iceland also has flights from Akureyri to three smaller villages: Grímsey (a small island to the north of Iceland, on the arctic circle), Þórshöfn (in the northeast on Langanes peninsula) and Vopnafjörður (the northernmost fjord in East Iceland).

Seasonal flights between Akureyri and Copenhagen are operated by Iceland Express [5].

Get around[edit]

Being Iceland's northern capital doesn't mean Akureyri is a huge metropolis. Although it can get a bit hilly leaving the waterline, walking distances are reasonable for a fit traveller.

Akureyri has a public bus system, called SVA, which is free for all. The buses are not very frequent--each line has a bus every hour or so. The buses stop running at 23:00 on weekdays and only run between 12:00 and 18:00 on weekends and holidays, but when they're free why complain?

BSÓ [6] is the only taxi company in town, and they have a taxi rank in the centre of town.

See[edit][add listing]

Akureyri is a very picturesque town with its location by a scenic fjord, eclectic building styles and streets winding their way through gorges. Spend some time walking around the town centre, see the impressive church and check out Listagilið (literally "the art canyon"), home to a number of arts and crafts galleries and shops. The tranquil municipal botanical garden, Lystigarðurinn [7], is worth visiting, as are the several small museums dotted around town.

Note that Akureyri is perhaps picturesque by Icelandic standards, but one may question whether it is a tourist destination in its own right. Tourists to Iceland typically go there because of the splendid scenery, not because of the cities. Akureyri is primarily a local hub, a place to start excursions to more interesting places.

Do[edit][add listing]

Akureyri swimming pool
  • Akureyri Drama Society (Leikfélag Akureyrar), Strandgata 12, +354 460 0200, [8]. The only professional theatre in Iceland outside of Reykjavík.  edit
  • Akureyri Swimming Pool (Sundlaug Akureyrar), Þingvallastræti 21, +354 461 4455. 28 May-1 September: 6:45-21:00 M-F, 8:00-19:30 Sa-Su; 2 September-27 May: 6:45-21:00 M-F, 10:00-18:30 Sa-Su. A recently renovated and expanded pool. Two pools for swimming, several hot tubs, a water slide and a childrens pool. Close to the centre of town. 450 kr.  edit
  • Hof, Strandgata 12, 354 450 1000, [9]. Akureyri's new house of culture, home to the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveit Norðurlands) [10] and regularly host to other performances.  edit
  • Akureyri Art Museum, Kaupvangsstræti 12, [11]. Open 12:00-17:00, closed Monday. Small art museum. Free.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Hafnarstræti, in the centre of town, is Akureyri's main shopping street. Shops there include an Eymundsson book store with a café, several souvenir shops, clothing stores and the curiosity shop Frúin í Hamborg.

For local art and design, head to Grófargil, colliqually known as Listagil ("art canyon"). It's a steep canyon by the street Kaupangsstræti and home to several studios galleries and shops.

A small shopping mall, called Glerártorg [12], is a short distance north of the town centre.

Eat[edit][add listing]

A local way to eat a hamburger is with french fries included in the bun and kokteilsósa (a cocktail of mayonnaise and ketchup). A shop that sells a delicious version of this, called a MacGratsky burger, is Nætursalan located downtown right next to the main bus stop. This is a popular snack to end the evening after a heavy night of drinking.

Akureyri also has the world's northernmost Domino's Pizza.

Rub23, located just below the cathedral of Akureyri, has a most friendly atmosphere and serves one of the best fish dishes in the area.

The Indian Curry Hut, located at Hafnarstraeti 100b, has some of the best curry in all of Iceland--perfect for warming up after a winter's day! It's a take-away, though there are two stools and a counter. The owner of the restaurant is very friendly, with an interesting life's story.

Splurge[edit]

Strikið: Fresh, high quality restaurant. Their chocolate cake is the best I've ever had, hands down. Mostly fish, lobster, but one or two meat dishes. Has an amazing view at the top floor of a building at the coastline.

Greifinn: Considered high quality, just sells sandwiches, starters, soups. Obviously a nice restaurant though.

Drink[edit][add listing]

A nice bar is across the street from the main movie threater. It seems that people in the city enjoy an 'early' movie theater around 8 pm or so, and, as customary in Iceland, go clubbing/barhopping after midnight. However, the clubs close at 1 am, at least during the weekdays. A strange wheel-of-fortune with shots, beer, and nothing, is there, for 1500 Kr.


Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are many guesthouses more inland immediately away from the city center. They double as residences for college students, but they are the cheapest lodging you'll find, at around 8000 Kr double and 5000 single.

  • Gista [13] is renting out apartments with Hotel standard. Located 3 min walk from the centre of Akureyri. Very good accomodation for groups, as the whole house (3 apartments) can be rented, which can accomodate up to 16 people.
  • Hotel Kea ran at around 16000 kr for a double and around 12500 kr for a single. The staff at the hotel is extremely helpful in explaining what to do and where to eat, even if you don't stay there!

Contact & Internet Access[edit]

Akureyri has good mobile phone coverage (including 3G). Wi-fi internet is often available at cafés or hotels. Here are additional internet access options:

  • Akureyri Hotspot (RP Media), Akureyri, Iceland, +354 490-4901, [14]. City wide internet hotspot service. Service planned for campgrounds. Free web access to tourist guide, car/hotel bookings. Vouchers for full access can be bought on site or with local partners. Starting under 2 EUR.  edit
  • Municipal Library of Akureyri (Amtsbókasafnið), [15]. Cheap Internet connections are available here for 300 kr pr. hour.  edit
  • FAB Tourist Center, Strandgata 49, +354 820-0980, [16]. 7:30-23:00. Internet access, wireless hotspot, VAT refund, currency exchange, information center, café and ticket sales for FAB Travel tours.  edit

Get out[edit]

Víti

Akureyri is a good base to explore some of the more remote areas of Iceland, such as Mývatn. Several buses run mostly hourly from the city centre to other important places like the airport and neighbouring settlements and bus tours are available which take you to see the enormous crater of Víti, and Goðafoss (waterfall of the gods).




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