Downtown Akureyri is best enjoyed on foot. Taking a stroll through the town centre is perfect if you’re looking to stop by a shop, a café or a restaurant. If you want to get acquainted with the roots of the town, walking through the old town and stopping by a museum or two will give you a glimpse of days gone by.
This is the beating heart of the town, where you’ll find the greatest density of cafés, restaurants and shops – everything from sushi to local design and the latest in Icelandic music. Although most shops line Hafnarstræti and Skipagata, you’ll find smaller shops, bistros, and galleries if you wander out into the residential areas. The centre is also where you’ll find bus stops and taxi stands.
Oddeyri and the Harbour
The second oldest part of town is Oddeyri, a spit of land formed by Glerá river sediment. The name Oddeyri was first mentioned in the sagas in the 13th century but became part of the town in 1866. The area is now home to Akureyri’s thriving seafood industry and several picturesque houses and buildings evoking the history of Akureyri. The Hof concert hall has a lovely giftshop and a tourist information centre, a perfect stop on your stroll along the water.
The Art Street
The centre of cultural life in Akureyri is Kaupvangsstræti, nicknamed Art Street, which curves through Grófargil in the middle of Akureyri. The buildings on Art Street used to house industrial operations, but when factories gradually moved elsewhere, it freed up a lot of housing that turned out to be ideal for the artistic crowd. The impressive Akureyri Art Museum, small galleries, exhibition spaces, and shops have now taken residence there instead.
The Old Town
Strolling south from Akureyri’s centre is a walk through the town’s history. The narrow strip of flat land between the water and the mountains is where Akureyri began, with picturesque rows of old wooden houses in every colour of the rainbow. Stopping for ice cream in Brynja, one of the oldest shops in Iceland, is practically a requirement for every visit to Akureyri and a glass of wine in a wine bar. Dine on fresh seafood at the oldest building in town, Laxdalshús, built in 1795, and have a chance to visit several museums, such as the former home of author Jón Sveinsson (Nonni) and Akureyri Museum, giving a glimpse into what life was once like in Akureyri.
Last updated 8 May 2023.