Bessastaðir the presidential residence
  • Home
  • City areas
  • Garðabær


With its vast wild nature from Heiðmörk Nature Reserve in the east to Álftanes peninsula in the west, it is ideal for outdoor living. Less than 20 minutes from the city center and home to the President of Iceland, the town of Garðabær draws many visitors a year.

Visit Hofsstaðir Archaeological Park for a rare glimpse of the remains of the second largest farm from the age of settlement in Iceland. Find local shops, restaurants, and services at the town center Garðatorg, and visit the Museum of Design and Applied Art, which hosts exhibitions presenting Icelandic design. Witness the magnificent pastoral setting of Álftanes (Swan Peninsula) by the sea, with clear ponds bustling with migratory birdlife. See the ancient farmstead of Bessastaðir, the official residence of the President of Iceland. And to end your fulfilling day, visit the major attraction, Álftaneslaug thermal pool, which features one of the largest water slides in the country and Iceland‘s only wave pool.

Things to do in Garðabær
The Museum of Design and Applied Art
The Design museum on the outside

The founding charter of the Museum of Design and Applied Art states that the Museum is to collect and preserve the part of Icelandic cultural history encompassing design, especially from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. 

The front of Bessastaðir the presidential residence

Bessastaðir is the official residence of the President of Iceland. It is also an important historical site that has played a prominent role in the history of the country.The property of Bessastaðir has a history that runs from the Age of Settlement.

Álftaneslaug swimming pool
Álftaneslaug pool

The swimming pool in Álftanes offers their guest a bright, warm and relaxed atmosphere but at the same time those who want more action can also find it here.

Ásgarðslaug swimming pool
Ásgarðslaug pool outside

Ásgarðslaug is an outdoor swimming pool with hot tubs and a children's pool. A small water slider is in the children's pool. The pool is wheelchair accessible. 

Hofstaðir viking settlement
Hofstaðir on a sunny day

Hofstaðir is a Settlement Age farm discovered in 1986 in Garðabær town. It is a big Viking Age longhouse dating back to 870-930. It's 8x30 metres on the outside with a floor surface of 170 sq.m, which makes it one of the largest longhouses discovered in Iceland.

Cycling and walking paths in Garðabær
Map of cycling paths

Garðabær has both beautiful walking and cycling paths for all nature lovers who like to explore the capital area by foot or bike. 

City Areas