Akranes gained municipal rights in 1942. The main activities are fishing, fish processing, commerce and industry.

The Akranes football team ÍA has a strong influence on the inhabitants of the town and moods can swing according to who won the latest football game. Garðavöllur is an 18 hole golf course, quite challenging and renowned for its beautiful surroundings. Langisandur is a lovely sandy beach perfect for activity for the whole family.

Two lighthouses can be found at Breiðin, in south Akranes. The smaller one was built in 1918 and is always open. The higher lighthouse (19,2 meters) is open everyday during summer and it´s possible to walk the top and enjoy the beautiful view. There are also old fish drying racks at Breiðin and relics of ancient concrete slabs where salt fish was laid out to dry in good weather.

Garðar Museum preserves a comprehensive collection of exhibits from former times, bearing witness to farming, housekeeping and social conditions in and around Akranes. Among the exhibits on display are boats and ships, as well as a selection of other items connected with seafaring and fishing, such as trawl-wire cutters from the so-called Cod Wars with the British.

On Akratorg square is the sculpture Memorial to sailors by Marteinn Guðmundsson and in front of the retirement home, Grettir’s challenge by Magnús Tómasson.

There are scheduled buses daily between Reykjavík and Akranes with connections to Snæfellsnes and Akureyri.