Expatify

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Exploring the Cities and Towns of Iceland

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Reykjavík

Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland. This city has a population of 120,000, and its greater metro area (the only one in Iceland) has a population of over 200,000. It is located in the southwestern part of the country, and is its governmental and economic center. It is the world’s northernmost capital city, located just south of the Arctic Circle. Because of its location, there can be days that receive only four hours of sunlight during the winter, and then brightly lighted nights in the summer. Nevertheless, some consider it an excellent place to live, being one of the greenest and most stable cities in the world, with a substantial welfare system and developed infrastructure. It is not the most urbanized place, as it is spread out and resembles a cluster of suburbs. There is a small bus system in this city that has 20 different lines. Reykjavík is home to three universities, and a few cultural institutions. There is a nightlife scene, but alcohol is very expensive.

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Hafnarfjörður

Hafnarfjörður is located slightly south of Reykjavík, and has  a population of 25,000. It is famous for having some cultural festivals, like the annual Viking Festival which is held on the summer solstice. It is also now considered the rock music capital of Iceland, being home to several popular Icelandic rock bands. There are three swimming pools in this city. The town is located on lava and boulder formations; according to local mythology, many elves inhabit these lava locations.

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Akureyi

Akureyi is the second largest urban center in Iceland, even though its population is only around 17,000. It exists as an important port and fishing center, and is often called “The Capital of North Iceland.” Some attractions in this city include the world’s northernmost botanical gardens as well as an 18-hole golf course. Its climate is relatively warm considering its location, being the warmest in Iceland, and its harbor is free of ice. The town is surrounded by marvelous mountains and other nature. There is a large amount of culture in the city considering its size, being full of bars and famous restaurants, and folk culture tends to be prevalent. Akureyi holds the largest library in the country, as well as a handful of museums and a swimming pool.

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