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Trending: Reykjavik

Harpa concert hall

Harpa concert hall

Why Now: Word has traveled fast about Iceland’s small but vibrant capital. Just a five-hour flight from many points in the U.S., Reykjavík is accessible in a way that’s hard to beat—but it’s the city’s approachable coolness and hipster edge that really have visitors buzzing.

Where to Go: Book a room at elegant Hotel Borg, a 1930s art deco-style boutique hostelry planted in the heart of Old Town, steps away from Parliament House, museums and the best shopping in the city. Put on your walking shoes and weave up and down Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur streets, which are peppered with art galleries, wacky wall murals and dozens of boutiques starring local luxury brands such as Geysir—be sure to pick up a cozy wool blanket or Icelandic sweater.

Take your midday break at Reykjavík Roasters and sip artisan coffee to vinyl tunes before capturing sweeping Instagram-worthy views of the city from atop nearby Hallgrímskirkja church—arguably Reykjavík’s most famous landmark. For authentic Nordic dining, reserve a table at Dill Restaurant for a seven-course Icelandic meal. All booked? Try the halibut soup or double-smoked lamb at Matur og Drykkur instead, a local favorite housed in an old salt fish factory. After dinner, sample the robust music scene that has produced global talents such as Björk and Of Monsters and Men. Catch a rising jazz band at Rosenberg or an orchestra performance at the honeycomb glass-cased Harpa concert hall.

HIT THE TOWN → Blue Lagoon Get pampered at this giant geothermal spa about 45 minutes from downtown. → National Museum of Iceland Discover the country’s storied history, from Viking settlements to today. → Kaldi Bar Microbrews are king at this relaxed hangout on Laugavegur.

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