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The Capital of Northern Iceland

Iceland’s second city and capital of the North is located just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle and is an attraction in itself.

Situated at the end of Iceland’s longest fjord, the views from the city are breath-taking. With a wide range of hotels and accommodation options, local tour operators offering experiences in the surrounding area, Iceland’s largest ski area, a rich cultural programme and a wide variety of excellent shops, bars and restaurants, there is something for everyone in Akureyri. The wider area offers countless experiences, including year-round whale watching, geothermal pools, charming towns and villages, world leading attractions such as the now famous ‘Beer Spa’, luxury accommodation and much more.

There are a myriad of different options when it comes to sleeping in Akureyri, with options including small guest houses, to quirky hostels and spectacular campsites under the stars.

The Acco - Apartments and Guesthouse is in the heart of the town at Ráðhústorg Square and only 10 minutes from the Hlíðarfjall Ski Resort. The Acco is suitable for all types of travel, including family skiing holidays, work travel or a comfortable city break.

If you’re looking to meet new people on your travels, then we recommend Akureyri Backpackers hostel. With dorm choices of 4, 6 and 8, the only thing you need is your sleeping bag! Each floor has shared amenities with an added kitchen and BBQ. This is the perfect choice for the explorer.

If you prefer to be at one with nature, we highly recommend the Hamrar campsite in Akureyri. From surrounding hiking trails, to on-site facilities and playgrounds, this option is the perfect choice to catch those Northern Lights and for a sleep under the stars. 

For some relaxed downtime with the family, shopping in Akureyri comes highly recommended, especially if you want to take a souvenir back home. This city boasts 4 shopping outlets, with something to suit everyone.

The Sunnuhlíð mall is the home to the quirky independent stores, most of which are family-owned. This mall also has its very own handicraft market, located on the second floor.

For basic necessities such as convenience, pharmacy and health-services, Kaupangur is located half-way uptown.

Akmidbaer (Downtown Akureyri) is home to fashion, books, and souvenirs. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for back home, this is the place to be! It’s also a one-stop-shop, offering bars and terraces, making it the perfect place for a shopping day out.

If you want to visit the flagship mall of Akureyri, Glerártorg is recommended. Here you can find anything and everything, and it is also popular amongst the locals. This shopping center also boasts two restaurants, and an ice-cream parlour.

Akureyri is bursting with flavour and new cuisines for intrepid explorers to try on their travels. From high-end restaurants to indie street food, Akureyri has it all. Iceland is famed for its freshly caught seafood, so it’s a must try when in the city.

Rub23 specialises in fish, meat and sushi and created a fusion with popular Western recipes, including sushi pizza! For a more relaxed grab and go option, why not try out Hamborgarafabrikkan? This small chain restaurant offers burgers galore.

Check out more of our dining recommendations in our restaurant checklist for the best evening in Akureyri.

AK Extreme


Experience one of the most exciting snowboarding festivals in the centre of Akureyri. Held over 3 days, this festival is for the ultimate adrenaline seekers, with music events happening alongside it at the Green Hat Music Club.


Donald Duck Children Ski Competition


For a more relaxed skiing experience, but still appealing to that adrenaline rush, is the Donald Duck Ski Competition. Hosted in MtHlidarfjall, it is one of the biggest ski events specifically for children aged 6-15. This event is perfect for families, with the inclusion of prize ceremonies and additional social events.


Arctic Open Golf Tournament


Located at the northernmost golf course in the world, this Summer Solstice competition attracts golfers from all over the globe. This yearly event allows the participants to play golf at midnight, with the sun still shining in the sky! This midsummer event is perfect for those wanting to play round-the-clock golf.


Ein með Öllu (Family Festival)


From fairgrounds to song concerts to entertainment for all, this family fun packed weekend is highly recommended. Alongside the festival is the Iceland Summer Games, all of which is concluded with a spectacular firework show.


Akureyri Christmas Holidays


Christmas and New Year offer a truly magical setting in Akureyri. The Winter Solstice provides the perfect opportunity to see the Northern Lights, as well as festive celebrations. New Year’s Eve is a particularly special one, with an enormous town bonfire and exciting firework display.

Make the most of exploring Akureyri with our additional activities guide.

Useful Information

Key facts

Currency:Icelandic Króna
Time zone:GMT -1 hour
Flight time:2 hours 41 minutes
Airport code:AEY
Holiday type:City Break / Activities

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Akureyri map

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