The City With the Heart-Shaped Traffic Lights

Akureyri is a town in northern Iceland and the fifth-largest city. Nicknamed the “Capital of North Iceland,” Akureyri is an important port and fishing center. There’s a lot to love about Akureyri. It’s small and manageable, with a quaint city center that seems to consist entirely of cafes and shops selling outdoor gear. There’s a municipal pool that's heated by hot springs, a great foodie scene, and a giant beer can outside the local Viking brewery. However, what’s made Akureyri famous is its heart-shaped traffic lights. Only the red stoplights are heart-shaped, and they’re shaped that way for a reason. Former mayor, Björn Björgvinsson, says the lights were installed after the financial meltdown of 2008, when there was a need for positive thinking and an emphasis on what's important in life. The heart-shaped stoplights remind citizens of what really matters and gives people a reason to smile at crosswalks and intersections.