Reykjavík is the capital of Iceland, the world’s most northern national capital. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. With a population of 119,000, it is the heart of Iceland’s economic and governmental activity.
Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which Ingólfur Arnarson is said to have established around 870. Until the 18th century, there was no urban development in the city location. The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades, as it transformed into a regional and later national center of commerce, population and governmental activities.
Today, Reykjavík is the centre of the Greater Reykjavík Area which, with a population of 200,000, is the only metropolitan area in Iceland. As a highly modernised capital of one of the most developed countries in the world, its inhabitants enjoy a first-class welfare system and city infrastructure. Its location, only slightly south of the Arctic Circle, receives only four hours of daylight per day in the depth of winter; during the summer the nights are almost as bright as the days. It has continued to see population growth in past years as well as growth in areas of commerce and industry.
Reykjavík was recently ranked 1st on Grist Magazine’s “15 Greenest Cities” list.