A central place of worship is usually a prized tourist attraction in any European capital. In Reykjavik, its central place of worship is arguably its only tourist attraction… but what an attraction it is.
The world’s most northerly capital city is unquestionably charming, but admittedly it has little in the way of landmarks for tourists to remember it by. Those that see Reykjavik’s Hallgrímskirkja however, will not forget it in a hurry. The church’s seventy-three metre high tower standing in the middle of an otherwise architecturally flat city is hard to miss, yet it’s the building’s shape and unique exterior that makes the Hallgrímur church truly stand out. Does it represent a huge bishop’s mitre, a Viking’s spear or a spiky phallic totem? Few seem to know and most tourists don’t seem to care, satisfied enough with having found somewhere iconic in Iceland’s capital worth taking that obligatory selfie in front of.
The church is open daily to visitors from 9am until 9pm. Entrance is free.
Visitors can also climb the church’s tower for stunning panoramic views across the city. The fee (2016) is ISK 900 (around £5) with concessions for children. Tickets can be bought from the church’s gift shop just inside the church building. Opening hours are shorter during the winter months and the tower is closed completely during masses and religious ceremonies.
More details on opening times, ticket prices, the history of the church and how to purchase an organ pipe can be found on the official Hallgrímskirkja website here.
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