Reykjavík, established by Viking settler Ingólfur Arnarson around 870 C.E, is the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland. The census of 1703 recorded that Reykjavík had 69 residents and consisted of a farm and a church. The impressive statue of Leif Erikson, in the center of town, reminds all of Iceland’s Viking heritage. Its name translates to ‘smoky bay’, due to the geothermal nature of the surrounding area.
Today about 200.000 people live in the Icelandic capital, roughly 60% of the country’s population. It has evolved into a sophisticated city. The northernmost national capital in the world is also one of the cleanest, greenest, and safest on Earth. Walking Reykjavik streets one will find rich culture, history, music, shopping and in the late hours vibrant night-life. Colorful rooftops and the elegant spire of Hallgrímskirkja Church dominate Reykjavik’s skyline. Known for its arts, Reykjavik hosts a number of internationally recognized festivals, notably the Iceland Air music festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival and the Reykjavik International Film Festival.