Iceland is laced with landscapes so scenic and ethereal that one trip to this beautiful Nordic island country isn’t enough. Mist-caped lagoons and mountains, electric whorls of the whimsical aurora borealis or northern lights, cascading waterfalls framed by black volcanic rock – these just skim the surface of the magic that Iceland unveils to the errant visitor. Besides being home to some of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Iceland is also celebrated for its popular metropolitan lifestyle as seen in Reykjavik, architecture and design, fashion, and delicious yet daring cuisine options.

Though if anyone is keen to explore this Nordic nation, there’s one place that makes for a necessary pit-stop to this otherworldly sojourn. The country’s capital city Reykjavik is not only its largest city but also the most densely populated one as well (which is not saying much about Iceland considering how sparse its population is in numbers), it is the epicentre through which one ventures to the rest of their tour of Iceland. Loosely translates to ‘smoky bay’ due to ample hot springs, Reykjavik is also home to an amalgamation of natural, cultural, and historical sites that will tell tales of Icelandic life, past and present.

For a nation that made up for its economic crisis through tourism, Reykjavik is strikingly cosmopolitan. It is a versatile combination of colourful architecture, jaw-dropping design, flourishing wildlife, and creative people. From the great outdoors to great nightlife, Reykjavik is your conduit to this land of ice and fire. Explore the best of Reykjavik with these 10 best places.