When researching your visit to Iceland you will often see the expression “capital area”. But what does that mean? The capital area (or "Höfuðborgarsvæðið" as we say in Iceland) consist of the municipalities of Reykjavik, Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Mosfellsbær, Seltjarnarnes and Kjósahreppur.
These are located very close to each other and cooperate on various levels such as police and public transportation. In the capital rea you find about 60% of Iceland´s population and some of them have newly build areas which are basically the suburbs of Reykjavik.
When driving to Reykjavik from Keflavik international airport you will cross Hafnarfjörður and Garðabær while just touching Kópavogur. All three are south of the capital and are after Reykjavik the biggest municipalities with a combined population of almost 80 000. With this size and many people living here you can find Iceland only IKEA and Costco very close to each other, in case you want to do some big shopping for your trip or need furniture.
North of Reykjavik you find Mosfellsbær which you will cross on your way North and Kjósahreppur. In Mosfellsbær ( or Moso as some locals call it) you are close to Halldór Laxness’ house Gljúfrasteinn which is worth a visit if you are interested in Literature.
West of Reykjavik you find the Seltjarnarnes peninsula which is so close to the Reykjavik center that is possible to visit by foot. Also if you want to reach it by land you will always have to cross Reykjavik. At the far end of the peninsula you find the famous lighthouse Grótta.
Also remember when booking your accommodation not in Reykjavik but in the capital area to check if tour operators offer pick up from your accommodation. Otherwise your cheaper accommodation may end up with additional costs for taxi rides or private tours.