As a travel destination, Iceland is known for rugged wild lands. The waterfalls, fjords, and glaciers are all big (and growing) tourist draws, and are all well worth seeing.

But the country also has a vibrant urban side, which was a pleasure to explore during our trip earlier this year.


In particular, I was impressed by Reykjavik’s street art, which popped up on walls and fences all over the city, and which was done in a variety of styles.


Reykjavik is a small city; the population is only about 120,000, and it’s a short drive from the central core to the relatively undeveloped wildernesses beyond. In my experience, that made the city feel both charming and manageable. We walked through the business section and several residential neighborhoods, and it struck me as having an almost college town kind of feel.


Reykjavik is also a new city. Though people have been living in the area where the city is located for hundreds of years, the city is considered to have been officially founded in 1786.


The result is that for a European capital, Reykjavik feels very modern. Though there are a few older buildings, much of the cityscape is dominated by structures from the 20th and 21st centuries. During our visit, there was also plenty of construction going on, which mean more barriers and surfaces for artists to adorn.


Related Reading: 11 Pieces of beautiful and challenging Los Angeles street art

8 incredible pieces of street art in Paris

— Jim Dalrymple II


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s