Iceland’s capital has sky rocketed in popularity over the past decade. A country once known for their Viking culture and progressive politics (Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was Iceland’s and Europe’s first female Prime Minister), their impressive natural landscape has taken centre stage, enticing visitors from all over the world.
Flying from New York to London, I decided to stop over in the nations capital of Reykjavík for four nights, spending one day in the city and two exploring the countryside.
After the shock of Reykjavík’s slower pace wore off (I didn’t realise quite the impact NYC had had on my want and need to do all the things all the time until I left), I decided to spend the morning wandering the streets and the afternoon exploring the history.
It’s hard to fit all of Reykjavík’s delights into one day, but here’s how to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
If you’ve come in the middle of summer like I have, you’ll notice Reykjavík doesn’t exactly get dark … ever. When my flight touched down at 12am I was taken aback by just how bright it was outside, and getting the bus into the city watching people wander round in the wee hours of the morning in daylight was surreal.
So make the most of this light!
Get up early and head on down to the waterfront and walk around the harbour. You’ll see whale watching ships set out for the day, and have a closer look at the still snow-capped hills surrounding the city.
It’s time to head for brunch and there’s no better place to do so that The Laundromat Cafe. Like the name suggests, there’s an actual laundromat downstairs so you can finally wash those dirty clothes that have been sitting in a plastic bag for too long. The food isn’t too pricey and the atmosphere is eclectic. Get in before 11:30am if you want brunch or after for their day menu. I opted for their Goats Cheese salad and it was every bit as delicious as I’d hoped.
After you’ve devoured your lunch. Have a wander around the town. The charming bright coloured houses are any Instagram-lovers dream and make your way up to the cathedral (Hallgrimskirkja) for the bet view of the city.
If you have tours booked for the following days to the surrounding waterfalls or are heading off on a ring road road trip, make the most of your down time in Rekjavik visiting cafe’s – or if it tickles your fancy – the famed penis museum.
While Rekjavik and Iceland in general is known to be pricey, if you’re looking for a cheap but delicious meal try their hotdogs at the ridiculously cheap Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – your budget could even stretch to two.
Have you been to Rekjavic? Let me know your recommendations in the comments below.