Icelandic design is internationally renowned for its ingenuity, creativity and unique style, and Icelanders are justly proud of their aesthetic culture. The agency Iceland Design and Architecture focuses on this cultural pride and highlights some of the design delights that can be enjoyed throughout the country. From hotels to cultural venues, we look at some of the greatest sites that Reykjavík and the rest of Iceland have in store.
It is a rare treat to have an operating fishing harbour right in the centre of the capital, and in recent years, the harbour area has become more and more interesting and alive. The Harbour Path is a beautifully simple work by architect Massimo Santanicchia and his team (Mattia Gambardella and Ragnar Már Nikulásson). According to architect Hildur Gunnlaugsdóttir from the city of Reykjavík, the project aims at connecting the harbour and to revive some of its dead spaces. Using yellow, white and blue quick-dry paint, also used for marking road surfaces in Iceland, Santanicchia and his team connected the entire harbour area with a 1.4km-long(0.86mi) path that reaches from Harpa to the Grandi. Most people did not realise that it was possible to walk through this area, thinking that some of the areas were fenced off and inaccessible. Hildur Gunnlaugsdóttir said she felt that a strong graphic connecting path would address the issue.
The area of Reykjavík downtown harbour plays an important role in the city’s master plan for the years 2010 to 2030. As the harbour’s storage buildings have emptied, designers and creatives were the first to follow the competitive workspace rents. In just a few years, gaming companies, custom bike shops, coffee houses and galleries have followed. With new hotels and housing planned, the area is constantly changing. The aim is to re-establish its original role as one of the city’s most vibrant areas. Luckily, the new plans also back away from the pre-financial crisis plans of rebuilding everything from scratch. Rather, the plan is to mix new and old buildings with respect to the old. First steps will be taken on the currently empty slot between the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina and the Reykjavík Maritime Museum.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.