A Run Around Reykjavik

(Last Updated On: July 12, 2022)

I’m currently training to run a 10k. On a recent business trip to Iceland, I really didn’t want to miss out on any training so I thought what better way to do a bit of sightseeing than by incorporating a work out? Reykjavik is a small city in comparison to its other European cousins and even during peak tourist season it’s a very easy city to jog round.

A run around Reykjavik - visiting Hodi House
Hodi House in Reykjavik where presidents Reagan and Gorbachev met in 1986

I started at one of the city’s most famous buildings – the Hodi House on Saebraut. This lone white building was most famously the venue for the Reykjavik Summit in 1986. It’s here where presidents Reagan and Gorbachev met in what was effectively the first step to ending the Cold War. At the moment if you look back towards Borgatun you will see a solitary piece of stone. It’s a part of the former Berlin Wall, which was brought to the city as gift from the Neu West Berlin Art Gallery in October 2016.

A run around Reykjavik - visiting Solfarid
The Solfarid (Sun Voyager) ship in Reykjavik celebrates Iceland’s viking history

From here I crossed the road to the Sculpture & Shore Walk which runs along Reykjavik’s tranquil waterfront. I ran towards the city passing the famous Solfarid (Sun Voyager) Viking ship sculpture on my way to the Harpa Concert Hall. This striking asymmetric building is made up of irregular framed windows that glimmer constantly and change colour with the light. Entry is free to walk around or if you have more time in Reykjavik why not book in for a show or concert?

A run around Reykjavik - visiting Tjornin Lake
Tjornin Lake is a popular place with the local birds and bread-throwing human residents

Carrying on I headed away from the waterfront and up to the Catholic Christ the King Cathedral (Domkirkja Krists Konungs) and onto Tjornin – a picturesque little lake which sits next to Reykjavik City Hall. It is a popular place for locals and tourists to come to feed the resident species of birds. Many people now call it “the biggest bread soup in the world”.

A run around Reykjavik - visiting Hallgrimskirkja
This Lutheran church is one of Reykjavik’s most iconic buildings with views from the top

The final stop of my run around Reykjavik was the Hallgrimskirkja Church, probably the city’s most famous building. This 73-metre-high Lutheran church is Iceland’s largest church and is free to go into. If you want to see the views from the top of the church then for ISK900 you can take the lift to the top. Also be sure to check out the statue standing outside the front of the church – this is Leifur Erikson, son of Eric the Red. The statue was a gift to Iceland from the USA in 1930 to commemorate the 1,000 year anniversary of the world’s first ever parliament at Alpingi, located in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland’s Golden Circle.

Thanks to my mini run, I was able to see the main highlights of Reykjavik and keep up with my training – a winning combination in my view!

Have you combined marathon training with sightseeing on any of your adventures? Let us know your favourite cities to run around in the comments section below.