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Kopavogur

The second largest city in Iceland

Kópavogur, in English ‘Seal Pup Bay‘ is one of the largest towns in Iceland located in the capital region right next to the capital, Reykjavík. It is a very relaxed and family-oriented town with endless opportunities for a great time!



Kópavogur is the second largest town in Iceland and has a population of about 37.000 people. It is the located right next to Reykjavík and their neighborhoods are very interlinked. Kópavogur’s name would translate to Seal Pup Bay but it was very common at a certain point for seals to hang out in its bay. Today this is rarer but still occurs.

Kopavogur Town by Flickr

Photo by Börkur Sigurjónsson

Kópavogur is a very family friendly town with active sport teams and fantastic swimming pools and outdoor attractions. It is home to the largest shopping mall in Iceland, called Smáralind where you can find all the most popular shops, a great cinema (Smárabíó) and restaurants.


  • The name Kópavogur means ‘Baby Seal Bay’
  • Kópavogs Swimming Pool is the biggest swimming pool in Iceland
  • The town has a slogan made famous by one of their former mayors. It is simply “It is good to live in Kópavogur”
  • Kopavogur is the 2nd largest city in Iceland
  • Kópavogur has the tallest building in Iceland, called Turninn, it is located right next to the Smáralind shopping mall
  • Kópavogur used to have a Mcdonalds but there are none in Iceland today

Kópavogur is located right next to Reykjavík and it completely parallels with it. Chances are you won’t even notice that you have left Reykjavík and entered Kópavogur. Its area reaches into the Heiðmörk park area and all the way to the ocean at the Kársnes peninsula. Its total area is 80 km2 (31 sq mi) and the density 415.1/km2 (1,075 sq mi).

You can easily reach Kópavogur by bus, rental car or even take a walk from the towns of Garðabær and city of Reykjavík to visit. Kópavogur is easy to enter, find and to explore. There are numerous buses and endless opportunities to walk around. It really all just depends on where you are going in Kópavogur as the town is quite scattered.


  • Visit Gerðarsafn Kopavogur Art Museum – have an artsy day at the Kópavogur Art Museum. It’s simply delightful!
  • Bathe in the local swimming pool! – there is nothing more Icelandic than a moment in the geothermal swimming pools and the ones in Kópavogur is especially great. Try the Kópavogslaug or the Salalaug for a great experience.
  • Go shopping – the biggest shopping mall in Iceland is located in Kopavogur, it’s called Smaralind and has over 100 shops and restaurants.
  • Get your jump on! – Rush Trampoline Park is one of the more fun and thrilling things to do in the capital region. Perfect for those who are traveling with kids!
  • Go Antic shoppingPortið Antic market is a hidden gem in Kópavogur! Open Thursday and Saturday.
  • Visit Kopavogur Church – Kópavogskirkja is one of the most unique buildings in the capital area and truly a spot worth visiting.

Kopavogur Church

Photo by Creative Commons - Jón Grétarsson

  1. Kruðerí – the most delicious bakery and coffee shop!
  2. Íslenska Flatbakan – a fantastic pizza place with some lovely vegan options.
  3. Wok On – the best fast food Thai in Iceland.
  4. Saffran – a healthier option with pizzas, nan burgers, fantastic salads, and chicken dishes. A family friendly place!
  5. Hamborgarbúlla Tómasar – the most famous Icelandic burger place, now a chain and available in London and Scandinavian!

There are many fantastic places to stay at in Kopavogur, some lovely AirBnBs, hotels, guesthouse or Bed and Breakfasts. Near Hamraborg is a little more lively and near Heiðmörk or Vatnsendi is quieter and country.

Hotels

  • Hotel Smári
  • First Hotel
  • Hotel Kriunes
  • Hotel Heiðmörk

Guesthouses, B&Bs and Apartments

  • B44 Homestay
  • Iceland Comfort Apartments
  • Icelandic Apartments
  • North Star Apartments
  • Lily Guesthouse

  • Garðabær
  • Heiðmörk Nature Reserve
  • Vatnsendi
  • Fákur Horse Riding Area
  • Rauðhólar the ‘Red Pseudocraters’
  • Reykjavík
  • Perlan
  • Nauthólsvík Beach
  • Elliðárdalur Garden
  • Vífilsstaðavöllur Golf Course