From Lækjartorg, turn right into the short Bankastræti and on, up the small hill, into Laugavegur (hot spring road), the route once taken by local washerwomen to the springs in Laugardalur. This is Iceland’s major commercial artery, holding the main shops and a fair sprinkling of cafés, bars and restaurants. Not surprisingly therefore, on Friday and Saturday evenings in summer it’s bumper to bumper with cars, horns blaring and with well-oiled revellers hanging out of the windows. However, before you give yourself over to extensive retail therapy, there are a couple of more cerebral attractions worthy of your time and attention in this part of town.

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