Laugardalur (Hot Spring Valley) is a major centre for sports and recreation in the capital. In Laugardalur you will find a youth hostel, a campsite, and the largest outdoor thermal pool in Reykjavik, Laugardalslaug, in which you can swim all year round. It is very hard to describe the experience of tip-toeing over frozen ground in your swimsuit and immersing yourself in gorgeous water that nature (and some ingenious Icelandic geothermal engineering) has thoughtfully heated to just the right temperature, but the number of returning visitors definitely suggests it’s worth trying.
Laugardalur also has free entry to our beautiful Botanical Garden, with woods, ponds and birdlife. Beneath the branches the lovely Café Flora is a hidden gem.
The Family Park and Zoo in Laugardalur is open all year. The Zoo includes most Icelandic animals, both wild and domesticated, from foxes, reindeer and seals to cattle, horses and sheep. In summer the Family Park offers many rides and play equipment for children of all ages. Outside the summer season the Family Park remains open as a play area. At the edge of the Laugardalur valley, not far from Laugardalur Arena, is a strangely shaped, domed white building. It is known as the Reykjavik Art Museum’s Ásmundarsafn sculpture collection. This used to be the studio of Asmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982), a pioneer of Icelandic sculpture. In addition to his works exhibited inside the museum, a sculpture garden outside contains many of his monumental works.