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Friday 20th January 2017 Stay with us

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Guided tour through the campus of the University of Iceland close to Hotel Saga.

14:10 – 17:00    DeCode Genetics and the Nordic House

Nordic House

Nordic house form the Facebook of NHThe Nordic House in Reykjavík is a cultural institution opened in 1968 and operated by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Its goal is to foster and support cultural connections between Iceland and the other Nordic countries. To this end the Nordic House organizes a diverse program of cultural events and exhibitions.
The house is the venue for front row activities in the Icelandic cultural calendar: Reykjavík International Film and Literary Festivals, Iceland Airwaves and The Nordic Fashion Biennale—launched by the Nordic House.
The house maintains a library and the Nordic Region in Focus information service.
In addition, there is a shop for Nordic design and food products, exhibition space and auditoriums. The house also features an acclaimed restaurant serving New Nordic food.
The Nordic House is designed by acclaimed Finnish modernist architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). The house is one of his later works, a hidden gem among the better known masterpieces, and features most of Aalto’s signature traits. These are evident in the ultramarine blue ceramic rooftop that takes its organic shape from the mountain row in the background, the central well in the library and the extensive use of white, tile and wood throughout the building.
Alvar Aalto also designed the furnishings in most of his buildings. In the Nordic house, all installed furnishings, lamps and almost all of the furniture are by Aalto.

 DeCode Genetics

DecodeHeadquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, deCODE is a global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome. A combination of factors provide unprecedented power to uncover the genetic basis of virtually any disease or trait. These include the generous participation of so many Icelanders in our discovery work, our comprehensive genetic and genealogical resources, the relative genetic and social homogeneity of the Icelandic population, and its high quality universal healthcare.
Using unique expertise and population resources, deCODE has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of common diseases (LINK to Publications). The purpose of understanding the genetics of disease is to use that information to create new means of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease.


Saturday 21st

Reykjavik on your own, shopping, dining, museums, etc.

Saturday 21st  January 2017  On your own

Walking tour options from Hotel Saga at 13:15. Local Lion members will join you and guide you.

Harbor area

KortTake bus 14 (busfare is 420 ISK no exchange with driver) from Hringbraut to Grandi. See map. From Grandi is a nice walk in the harbor area. Start to walk to Farmers & Friends at Hólmaslóð 2. After some shopping (remember tax free) go back and follow the street Grandagarður until you reach the Reykjavik Maritime Museum Víkin (admission 1.600 ISK). On the route you can make a detour to Whales of Iceland at Fiskislóð 23-25 (admission 2.900 ISK). There are several small shops and cafés on Grandagarður. Aurora Reykjavik (admission 1.600 ISK) at Grandagarður 2 is the place to enjoy northern lights even during daytime. From Aurora Reykjavik you follow Rastargata and walk in the harbor area. Take the path behind Icelandair Hotel Marina. On Ægisgarður are several companies offering boat trips to see whales in the sea around Reykjavik.  From Ægisgarður you can follow Mýrargata and then Tryggvagata to Downtown Reykjavik.


Lækjartorg – Hallgrímskirkja - Laugarvegur

Take bus 14 from Hringbraut to Lækjartorg or walk from Hotel Saga to Lækjartorg. From Lækjartorg walk up Bankastræti, in Bankastræti are several shops with outdoor clothing, 66°N and Cintamani. Turn right on Skólavörðustígur and follow it up the hill to Hallgrímskirkja. There are several shops on that street. If the weather is clear take the elevator (admission 900 ISK, open 9:00 – 17:00) in Hallgrímskirkja to the top and enjoy the view of Reykjavik and surroundings. You can see Bessastaðir, the official residens of Icelands president. From Hallgrímskirkja follow Frakkastígur down to Laugarvegur, make a left turn and follow Laugavegur down to Bankastræti.

Harpa – Þjóðmenningarhús

Take bus 14 from Hringbraut to Lækjartorg or walk from Hotel Saga to Lækjartorg.

Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Center, Austurbakki 2, is a short walk from Lækjartorg. The façade of Harpa is the idea and work of Olafur Eliasson a world known Icelandic -  Danish artist.

Þjóðmenningarhús, Hverfisgata 15, (open 10:00 – 17:00, admission  1.500 ISK) is a part of the National Museum of Iceland. It offers the exhibition, Points of View, drawn from various national museums and other cultural institutions.

Other options

Kringlan shopping mall

Take bus 6 or 3 from Hringbraut to Kringlan  or use the Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing bus.

Swim with the locals

Walk the street Neshagi from Hotel Saga to Hofsvallagata and make a right turn. After short walk you find Vesturbæjarlaug (swimming pool) on your left hand. On the way back to Hotel Saga you find Kaffihús Vesturbæjar on the corner of Hofsvallagata and Melhagi. Nice local coffee shop open from 9 to 23. Vesturbæjarlaug is open 6:30 – 22:00 except Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 – 18:00.  Admission is 950 ISK.

National and University Library of Iceland.

The library building is a prominent feature in Reykjavik, situated close to the University of Iceland, the National Museum and Hotel Saga. The large square building, with its characteristic red aluminium siding, was opened in 1994 when the two largest libraries in Iceland merged. Saturday and Sunday opening hours are 11 – 17.

National Museum of Iceland

Is just outside Hotel Saga across Suðurgata. You walk past in when you take bus 14 to Kringlan or Lækjartorg. (admission 1.500 ISK). Several exhibitions about Iceland both in past and present. The National Museum of Iceland's permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation - Heritage and History in Iceland, is intended to provide insight into the history of the Icelandic nation from the Settlement to the present day.

Hop-On Hop-Off

On the hopThe Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing gives you the opportunity to see different parts of the Capial area of Reykjavik (day-pass 3.500 ISK).

The Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing bus stops close to the National Museum at the same place as bus rout 14.