Set on fog-shrouded Faxaflói Bay, Grandi is Reykjavík’s industrial-fishing hub, but in recent years the harbor has also transformed into something else: a buzzy creative district. In addition to a number of eclectic museums, visitors will find cozy restaurants and hip boutiques tucked inside repurposed fishermen’s garages—making it the perfect area to spend an afternoon shopping and enjoying contemporary Icelandic cuisine and culture.
For its flagship store, clean beauty brand Sóley Organics chose a location that complemented the rustic, sustainable, organic character of the brand. “Grandi is such a vibrant and inspiring neighborhood, and an ideal part of our storytelling,” says managing director Vala Steinsdóttir. The interior is light and airy, while the exterior is adorned with paintings of herbs by Gestur Guðmundsson and Na Rfi.
Omnom Chocolate and Ice Cream Shop
Founded in 2013 in an abandoned gas station near Grandi, Omnom went on to build its factory in the old port because, according to cofounder and chocolate maker Kjartan Gíslason, “this has always been an exciting area where trendy things happen.” At the on-site shop, visitors can choose from more than 15 types of chocolate bars and indulge in chocolate-covered sundaes.
The eight concepts at this food hall range from pizza to Korean tacos, but be sure to try the fish and chips at Frystihúsið—made with fresh-caught cod—which you can enjoy on weekdays while watching boats bring in the day’s bounty. “We want to share this closeness to the pillar of the Icelandic economy—our fish—with our guests,” says project manager Júlía Helgadóttir.
A 360-degree simulated ride above Iceland with special effects such as mist and fragrances, FlyOver “whisks you away on an exhilarating journey,” says marketing manager Emilia Sigurdardottir. Guests are suspended mid-air before a 60-plus- foot spherical screen that zooms over tough-to-reach parts of the island, with visuals and music created by top Icelandic artists.
Grandi by Center Hotels
This chic property in a former steelworks is the latest opening from a family-run Reykjavík hospitality chain. Director of marketing Sigríður Helga Stefánsdóttir says that the 195-room hotel is ideal for travelers who are “in search of a genuine experience and interested in culture and design-with a touch of luxury.” Don’t miss the tasting menus at the on-site Héðinn Kitchen & Bar.
Located in the Marshall House (a cultural center in an old fish factory), i8 Grandi is a new outpost of the renowned i8 Gallery. The space features year-long exhibitions, with artists encouraged to change or add to their works throughout the shows. “If you visit once or 10 times, you’ll see something new,” says gallery director Geneva Viralam. “We want it to be ever-evolving.”