Reykjavik is Rich!

Reykjavik was listed as the richest city in the world in 2007 by The Economist Group and continues to thrive despite the world-wide recession many other countries have faced in recent years.

While it was affected greatly by the same financial problems as most of the world, the government in Reykjavik made sure that families did not get evicted and that small businesses were provided debt relief, among other debt measures that focused on maintaining jobs.

As a result Iceland has been able to grow while keeping unemployment very low compared to other countries. It is no wonder that dozens of major companies as well as international firms have their headquarters in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is Fashionable!

If you want a view of what the future holds for fashion, just walk down the streets of Reykjavik.

One of the most fashionable cities in the world, photographers and magazine journalists flock to the busy streets of Reykjavik for the next wave of chic, cutting edge fashion from the trendy inhabitants of this capital city.

While it is no wonder the Fashion Festival held every spring is a big hit, it seems like every day is a fashion show in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik is Unconventional!

A unique city such as Reykjavik deserves a unique mayor. Mayor JJn Gnarr certainly fits that bill as possibly one of the most unconventional politicians in history.

Not many capital cities elect former comedians, punk rockers, or taxi drivers into government positions but Reykjavik got all of that in one person when they elected Gnarr.

He formed the Best Party with the intention of parodying the other political parties and made many comical campaign promises such as a new Disneyland, free towels at swimming pools and a polar bear in the zoo. He even told the voters he had no intention of fulfilling these promises.

His election came as a surprise to many government officials and was seen as a backlash to the establishment of government officials who had lost the trust of the people.

Gnarr’s antics and humour have made him popular not only in Reykjavik but all over the world.

Reykjavik is Well Populated!

More than half the people in Iceland live in Reykjavik, roughly 120,000 to 200,000. It is no wonder with a majority of the population in one area that Reykjavik is not only the capital of the country, but also the heart of Iceland’s economy and government.

Of course another reason is that the interior of the country contains many active volcanoes, mountains and glaciers. It is no wonder that most Icelanders call southern Iceland home.

Reykjavik is Veteran!

It should not be a surprise that Reykjavik is believed to be the first permanent settlement in Iceland. Iceland used to be a colony of Denmark but in the 19th century Icelanders desired independence and gained it.

It is no surprise that Reykjavik would be the location for the first minister and government of Iceland. But it would not be until 1944, after World War II that Iceland would officially break all ties with Denmark and declare itself as a sovereign nation, making Reykjavik the capital.

Reykjavik is Freezing!

Did you know that Reykjavik is the northernmost capital in the world? Despite being in the southern part of Iceland, Reykjavik retains the title for being closest capital city to the North Pole. Thankfully the coastal weather and the Gulf Stream keep the summers cool and the winters mild.

The snowfall and temperatures in the winter are equivalent to most Northern countries in Europe. Because it so close to the Arctic Circle, on some days during winter there might only be four hours of sunlight and in summer almost 24 hours of daylight.

Reykjavik is Mysterious!

It is not uncommon for earthquakes to happen in Reykjavik as the earth underneath Iceland is still geologically active. Reykjavik takes advantage of this by utilizing geothermal energy which provides much of its power. The best use of this in Reykjavik however is the heated sidewalks and hot springs. The original name of the city, Reykjavik, translates into “Bay of Smokes” because of all the hot springs available.

Further, it is no wonder that Reykjavik is one of the foremost spa destinations in the world. There is nowhere else on Earth that provides the chance to see so many different natural phenomena than Reykjavik. Helicopters fly over active and inactive volcanoes to give tourists a once in a lifetime view. If that is too hot to handle, hiking tours to the magnificent glaciers leave from Reykjavik all the time.

As if that is not enough natural beauty to take in, on clear nights the chance to see The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, fill the sky with its majestic colours is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Reykjavik is the ultimate destination for lovers of the outdoors.

This guest post was contributed by Baltic Travel Company; an agency specialising in Baltic holidays, tours and cruises and travel packages in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.