Visible from almost any point in the city, Hallgrimskirkja Church sits at the top of Skolavordustigur Street, the central art and design shopping street in the capital. The iconic building is 74,5 meters (240 ft) high, and a visit to the top will reward you with awe-inspiring views of Reykjavik and even Snaefellsjokull glacier on a clear day. 

Completed in 1986, the concrete structure took over 40 years to build. The tower was renovated in 2009. The soaring modernist church’s design resembles the basalt lava flows found in Iceland‘s natural landscape, especially the basalt columns around Svartifoss waterfall. The architect Gudjon Samuelsson designed the church in 1937. Samuelsson often used Icelandic nature as inspiration.

The church features a gargantuan pipe organ, designed and constructed by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn. The organ weighs over 25 tons. It is 15 meters tall. The organ is driven by four manuals and a pedal, 102 ranks, 72 stops and 5275 pipes. The organ is quite powerful and capable of filling the huge space of the church.

Named after 17th-century hymn writer Hallgrimur Petursson, Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran church, as are most churches in Iceland. Services take place every Sunday. The wonderful acoustics and the enormous pipe organ make the church an ideal venue for classical music concerts.

In front of Iceland’s largest church is a statue of Icelandic Viking Leif Eiriksson. He was the first European to set foot on the North American continent around 1,000 AD. The Icelandic sagas suggest that Leifur found  North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus did.  The impressive statue was a gift from the United States on the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Althing Parliament in 1930.

How to get there?

Hallgrimskirkja is located in the city center of Reykjavik, so if you are in this part of Reykjavik this dominating landmark is impossible to miss.

Opening Hours

Hallgrimskirkja Church is open every day 9-21 from May to September, and 9-17 from October to April. The church tower, from which you get an excellent view over Reykjavik and surrounding areas, closes half an hour before the general closing time. The tower is not open on Sundays during mass.

Is there an entrance fee to Hallgrimskirkja church?

There is no charge to visit the church itself, but if you wish to enter the church tower you must pay a moderate fee.

How high is the tower of Hallgrimskirkja church?

It is over 74 meters (240 ft) high and offers a singular view of Reykjavik. We fully recommend going up there, since the view is breathtaking and it is also fun and interesting to see Reykjavik from that high up.