The harbour area which we call Grandi is one of my favourite places here in Reykjavík. It has got a very relaxing feeling to it and I love going to Kaffivagninn, the fishermen's café, and just walk around in this area and have a look at the ships and sit by the ocean. There is another café, Grandakaffi, there which opens at 6 in the morning for the early-birds. In this area there are two other cafés/restaurants, Sjávarbarinn and Te og kaffi. So in this one street by the harbour you can get hot meal in 4 restaurants, not bad.
There is a very interesting museum Víkin in Grandi which should not be missed.
Grandi, one of our fish processing, is situated at Grandi as well. When I was younger I used to work in fish processing during the summer time, but in another fish processing in Reykjavík, which they turned into a bank now. It was very popular amongst young people to work in a fish processing as they pay was better than working outside planting trees, but the work hours were from 7 in the morning until 17 or 19 in the evening, which are long hours for a 14 year old.
Grandi is lined with fishermen huts on one side, some of which have now been turned into handicraft galleries selling artwork from our artists, f.ex. clothes and bags etc. There is also a very popular ice cream parlour there, which opened in 2013.
If you walk Grandagarður street to the very end of it there are benches by the ocean with a lovely view of the bay and of the northern waterfront of Reykjavík. I go there often.
By Grandi is Örfirisey with its oil-tanks and lately the area by Grandi has been flourishing on a landfill and now there are several supermarkets there and all kinds of activities. But the old main street in Grandi is still my favourite street there.
We've been to Reykjavik's Old harbour to go on a whale-watching tour with Elding (which was great by the way).
Build in 1913 (so not really thát old) it was a huge undertaking to fill up the piece of land that now forms the part between the harbour and Hafnarstraeti. Rocks were moved from the hills where now Hallgrimskirkja and Perlan stand.
Besides several companies that do whale- & puffin-watching tours, there are quite a number of restaurants in the old harbour. We haven't been to any of them (no time left), but some looked very appealing.
There were also some shops and small galleries.
I liked the atmosphere there.
There's a shipyard there too, you can almost walk up to the boats they're working on.
By Reykjavík harbour there is an area which is lovely to visit. There is an outside exhibit on Reykjavík then and now, with a lot of photos from Reykjavík in the olden days in comparison to what it looks now. I recommend going there as the city has changed a lot and there you can find out about the story of the city and of certain places in the city.
There is also an old locomotive there as well which used to carry rocks from Öskjuhlíð hill, where Perlan - The Pearl stands now.
There you can also find drawings of all kinds of fish which is caught in the ocean surrounding Iceland.
The city is forever changing the information signs by the harbour. This summer (2012) I saw that new information signs had been put up, all on how Reykjavík has changed through the centuries.
By the east end of the harbour there are also a lot of information signs on what plans the city has on changing the harbour for the better. Like building a swimming pool there...
The harbour area is close to the Harpa Building. It is a picturesque harbour with lots of boats. You can book a cruise here; you can go whale watching. The old warehouse buildings of the harbour have been converted into restaurants and shops. The steam engine that once delivered materials to build the harbour is on display as a monument. There is another monument for Iceland's brave fishermen. There are also photographs on display showing the harbour in bygone years.
At the Reykjavík Old harbour is the Whale Watching center of Reykjavík. From there you can buy tickets from Elding, which operates 4 boats, and Hvalalif (tickets at the Lobster boat). The Puffin Express also leaves from The Old harbour, see my tip above. Ironically you can also see the whalers docked opposite the Whale watching boats.
There are some sea-food restaurants in the Old harbour, including Humarskipið "The Lobster boat" which is permanently docked in the Old harbour, see information on the restaurant on the website of hvalalif.is, which I add here below. Then there is Sægreifinn "The Seabaron" and Sushi-smiðjan - Sushi take-away and more restaurants in the streets leading to the Old harbour.
This area is coming more and more alive and I see more restaurants, souvenir shops and activities open up every year. The old green fishermen's huts there are now buzzing with life, ever so lovely. Some artist renovated the fishermen's hut for their own money and now there is a goldsmith there, galleries selling Icelandic art, a ceramic shop, a souvenir shop, Höfnin - which is a restaurant with Icelandic home-made food (mömmumatur), Kaffi Haítí - a fair-trade coffeehouse, Tjull og taft - which sells suiting and Icelandic design. And Cinema no 2, which is a cinema hall with Icelandic nature pictures.
It is very lively there in December as well.
A lot of people here say it is like being abroad visiting the Old harbour ;)
Here is a a 360° view of the harbour
It was here in the harbour area of Reykjavik that we first really started to appreciate the special light of an Icelandic winter. The snow-covered mountains across the water were glowing in the sunlight, and the colourful fishing boats made for great photo opportunities.
Known as the Old Harbour, it was constructed between 1913 and 1917 (so not very old then!) Prior to that local merchants built short piers extending from their warehouses into the natural cove here, but it wasn’t until the early years of the last century that the city had the funds, and the commercial imperative, to construct a proper harbour. Nowadays it is the focus for all sea-going activity here. This is the place to come if you want to go out on a whale watching trip. I would have loved to have done that, and they do operate even in the depths of winter, but with only a few hours in the city it wasn’t practical on this occasion – another time though for sure. It also seemed to be the place to come to eat fish and chips, but we had other plans for lunch!
112 Reykjavík is the postcode for the suburb Grafarvogur "Gravecove". A part of Grafarvogur is Bryggjuhverfið "Wharf district". It is a quaint little district, really colourful and lovely. I often walk through there when I go down-town. It is small, but there is something so special about it and it is so different from other parts of Grafarvogur. As the name entails it is built by the ocean with small boats in front of the buildings, ducks and sea-birds. If you want to walk from Bryggjuhverfið into the main part of Grafarvogur you walk under Gullinbrú "The Golden bridge". It is a lovely walk and you can walk by the lovely cove before you enter the residential area. There you will find Grafarvogur church and the library. I often go down there to the cove from my home. It feels like living in the country side instead of Reykjavík.
Bryggjuhverfið is still kind of under construction and there is no store there, only a car-dealership. And beside this district is a sand factory and the inhabitants complain about sand in this district.
See my tip on Grafarvogur suburb.
There are more photos in a travelogue here.
I was walking along the East Harbour and there was a building being built – it looked massive. Reykjavik is investing in tourism and culture and this building was going to be the National Concert Hall and Conference Center (to be opened in 2009). However, it might be late 2009 because I was there June 2009 and it still did not look close to completion. But I am sure they are rushing to reach the deadline.
The building is described as “iconic” and rightfully so. When open, this will really light up the East Harbour!
Along with a cluster of some of the city's better seafood restaurants, you'll also find whalewatching boats and fishing boats here in Reykjavik Harbor, along with, of course, container ships bringing in various imports to town. The harbor was constructed in the early 1900s by a Danish engineer and continual improvements have been made over the years.
"I had a great time in Iceland, even better than I expected, honestly. I met so many warm, friendly people. It felt like a little family there at times." Eric Demby
Walking down the port, you get both great activity and tranquility. With the bustle that one would expect from a developing country and it's port, you also get the peaceful nature of the ocean and the beautiful pieces of sculpture and art located around the area. Seeing the sculpture of Solfar, said to be an artistic representation of a Viking fishing boat, against the backdrop of the sea is interesting. You get great views over the bay area and it really is worth a wander.
One a clear day, it is a great idea to take a stroll along the harbor. And, while the wind can be amazingly strong here, a certain sculpture is worth the walk. "Sun Voyager" by Jon Gunnar Arnarson will immediately catch your eye as its silvery finish and strange lines representing a Viking ship going to sea are striking against the water of the bay.
In the absence of other natural resources (except for abundant geothermal power), the Icelandic economy depends heavily on the fishing industry, which provides 70% of export earnings and employs 12% of the work force. This photo is that of a large fishing vessel in Reyjkavik which also has the capability to process the catch while at sea.