World's Greatest Places 2021
Aerial view of Reykjavik, Iceland.
Jakub Podgorzak—Shutterstock
July 20, 2021 6:34 AM EDT

Reykjavík—Iceland’s capital, fueled almost entirely by renewable ­energy­—is alight with excitement. Upcoming hotel debuts include Radisson Red Reykjavík, a 203-room building painted red, black and white to reflect the country’s basalt columns and lava flows, and the much hyped Reykjavík Edition, the first from a modern luxury resort chain to open in the city. Also new on the scene is downtown vegetarian takeaway restaurant Chickpea, offering freshly made falafel, flatbreads and more. The world-famous Iceland Airwaves music festival is set to resume later this year with acts such as singer-­songwriters Bartees Strange and Arlo Parks, just as the aurora borealis returns to dance in the winter night sky. While the lively and colorful Reykjavík is a top-tier destination in its own right, it’s also a perfect home base for a more remote getaway, with gorgeous but underappreciated coastal towns like Vik and Seydisfjordur just a day’s drive away. —Alex Fitzpatrick

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