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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Perlan

This unusual glass-domed structure combines the practical aspects of the city’s water heating system with spectacular architectural vision.

In the early 1990s, the architect Ingimundur Sveinsson created an exciting tourist attraction by resting a glass and metal dome on top of the city’s six hot water tanks. The structure includes a huge exhibition space, a revolving restaurant and a 360-degree viewing platform.

Five of the six aluminum tanks still contain the city’s hot water, with over 1 million gallons (4 million liters) of water in each one. Hot water is pumped through the metal framework of the dome in the winter to keep the building warm, while cold water cools it in the summer. It is an incredible feat of engineering.

Within the dome is the Winter Garden, a large open space used for exhibitions, conferences and concerts. Go to the fifth floor to find the famous Perlan restaurant. Book a table here to combine fine dining with ever-changing views; it takes 2 hours to do a full rotation. From the ground floor a fountain spouts water every few minutes, simulating Iceland’s geysers.

Don’t miss the hexagonal outdoor viewing platform with a panoramic telescope at each of its six corners. After taking in the spectacular views, check out the gift, gourmet and Christmas shops on the fourth floor. 

One of the tanks has been converted into the Saga Museum. Important moments from Icelandic history have been recreated using life-sized waxwork people. All the clothing, weapons and props have been made using authentic methods. The sculptors modeled the waxworks on Reykjavík residents, so you may see familiar faces when you walk around the city streets.

Perlan is located in Öskjuhlíð, a green space that has been replanted with trees. Explore the hiking and bike trails or take the path down the hill to Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach.

Perlan and the Saga Museum are open year-round. There is an entry fee for the Saga Museum. To reach these attractions, walk the short distance from the city center or take a bus.


Guide to Exploring around Perlan


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Best Lodging Options Near Perlan

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Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre $179
Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

Smidjustigur 4, Reykjavik
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Laugavegur and Harpa. Reykjavik City Hall and Reykjavik Harbour are also within 10 minutes.

    Grand Hotel Reykjavik $107
    Grand Hotel Reykjavik

    Grand Hotel Reykjavik

    Sigtun 38, Reykjavik
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Laugardalur, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Asmundarsafn and Laugavegur. Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool and Hallgrimskirkja are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura $97
      Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura

      Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura

      Nautholsvegur 52, Reykjavik
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the airport, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Reykjavik University and Perlan. Hallgrimskirkja and University of Iceland are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Hotel Odinsve $93
        Hotel Odinsve

        Hotel Odinsve

        Odinstorg Thorsgata 1, Reykjavik
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Asgrimur Jonsson Collection, Laugavegur, and Hallgrimskirkja. Reykjavik City Hall and Harpa are also within 10 minutes.

          105 - A Townhouse Hotel $62
          105 - A Townhouse Hotel

          105 - A Townhouse Hotel

          Háteigsvegur 1, Reykjavik
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Hlíðar, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Kjarvalsstadir and Laugavegur. Reykjavik City Hall and Hallgrimskirkja are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            ODDSSON Hotel $103
            ODDSSON Hotel

            ODDSSON Hotel

            Grensásvegur 16a, Reykjavik
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Háaleiti, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Reykjavik Park and Zoo and Laugavegur. Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool and Perlan are also within 2 mi (3 km).

              Alda Hotel Reykjavik $112
              Alda Hotel Reykjavik

              Alda Hotel Reykjavik

              Laugavegur 66-68, Reykjavik
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Laugavegur and Hallgrimskirkja. Reykjavik City Hall and Harpa are also within 15 minutes.

                Hlemmur Square $53
                Hlemmur Square

                Hlemmur Square

                Laugavegur 105, Reykjavik
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Hlíðar, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Laugavegur and Hallgrimskirkja. Reykjavik City Hall and Reykjavik Harbour are also within 1 mi (2 km).