Kópavogur is Iceland’s second largest municipality by population. It’s located right next to Reykjavík and therefore often overlooked by travellers, but it has a lot to offer for those looking for a nice day out. In this article, we will give you suggestions on where to go.
Visit a museum
Gerðarsafn is a modern and contemporary art museum. In the museum, works by Icelandic and international contemporary artists are showcased. It’s the only museum in Iceland built in honour of a female artist. Gerður Helgadóttir (1928-1975) was a pioneer in three-dimensional and glass art. The museum has about 1,400 of her works on display and hosts a large collection of works by 20-century artists Barbara Árnason, Magnús Á. Árnason, and Valgerður Briem. Kópavogur is also home to the Natural History Museum. The museum focuses on geological and zoological aspects of Iceland, with different types of rocks and minerals and Icelandic animals on display. You can find both museums at the Culture Houses of Kópavogur at Hamraborg 6a.
Attention please, shopaholics! Smáralind, Iceland’s largest shopping mall, is located in Kópavogur. You will find over 80 shops and services there, including big chains as well as local businesses. There are also plenty restaurants, cafes, gift shops, and supermarkets. Perfect for those on the lookout for some good deals on Icelandic design products or just to have a cup of coffee. There’s a good public transport connection between downtown Reykjavík and Smáralind, and in summertime, there’s even a free shuttle bus service between the two locations.
Icelanders love going to the pool and soaking in hot tubs. Hot tubs are a place to relax, soothe aching muscles after working out and last but not least, to socialise. Conversations in hot tubs can get lively, with people discussing everything from politics and the state of society to the weather and their cats. Check out Sundlaug Kópavogs, which has an Olympic-size pool, two indoor pools, three waterslides and seven hot tubs. There’s a large sauna, plenty of play areas for kids and an adjacent fitness centre. Or head to Salalaug, which has a 25m outdoor pool, a waterslide and fountain, two hot tubs, a whirlpool and steam room, in addition to a large indoor pool.
Go to a concert
Classical music enthusiasts should make a beeline for Salurinn in Kópavogur. It is Iceland’s first specially designed concert hall, built in 1999. Since then, two-weekly concerts have been held, along with many conferences and other events. Salurinn seats 300 people, offering comfortable chairs and good sound quality in an intimate setting.
If you’re hungry, there are plenty of options to get a good meal in Kópavogur. For the best pizzas and breadsticks in Iceland, go to Íslenska Flatbakan, located at Bæjarlind 2. If you’re in the mood for Thai food, then head to Bangkok, serving delicious traditional Thai food. Looking for a dessert, then go to Joylato for freshly made ice cream.
Bláfjöll is a popular ski area, conveniently situated just half an hour from central Kópavogur. It’s the largest ski resort in Iceland, with runs of varying difficulty levels covering a total of 15km. The slopes are wide and well-maintained. The longest is 2.5km and has an elevation difference of 240m. The most difficult is 700m long and has an elevation difference of 200m. A ski rental and a ski school are located on-site. Depending on the weather and snow conditions, the season runs from January through May. Keep an eye on Bláfjöll’s website to follow regular updates about opening times. Opening hours (subject to change due to weather and snow conditions): weekdays from 14:00 till 21:00 and weekends from 10:00 till 17:00. Have a look at their website for entrance fees and weather updates: Bláfjöll Ski Resort.
Make your adrenaline rush! Rush Trampoline Parks are fun and exciting. Rush has trampoline parks around the globe and also runs a park in Kópavogur. Their branch in Kópavogur has lots of high-energy equipment like trampolines, climbing walls and a dodgeball field. Trampoline parks are fun for the whole family, and Rush puts an emphasis on safety. They also offer options for special events and birthday parties.