Reykjavik , capital of Iceland, is a small but vibrant city with friendly residents, great nightlife, and lots to explore. City has an abundance of shops -main shopping street is Laugavegur-, museums and culture spots, souvenir shops and coffee shops on every corner. Name of the city means smoky bay. Name comes from ancient past when first settlers arrived and found hot springs all over the place from which steam and smoke was rising. Visited Reykjavik in October, a very windy and typical winter day in Iceland. Winter in Iceland starts in October, so I was aware of what to expect. Despite the freezing cold temperatures, we were lucky enough, one of our days there to get some sunshine.
Citywalk tour was a brilliant choice.Tour is free but a donation is highly recommended, as €8 -€10. Nanna, our tour guide, a fresh young girl was full of joy and provided us with plenty of information regarding sights, history and life of the city.
During our walking tour,stopped by Ingolfur Arnarson’s statue. Arnarson was a Norwegian Viking and the first settler in Iceland. Anderson and his fosterbrother Hjoerleifur picked a fight with the sons of a powerful earl in Norway and murdered both of them. After that, he had to leave Norway and sailed to Iceland with his wife, Hallveig Fróðadóttir, their families, slaves and their belongings. This was around the year A.D. 870.
One thing not to miss, when visiting Iceland, is seeing Northern lights. We had to drive one hour outside Reykjavik. Night was partly cloudy and chances of seeing them according to the forecast were 50%. After a long wait in the dark and freezing cold waiting for the northern lights to appear, well worth our effort, we had the chance of seeing them Such a great adventure and night to remember. Next day, after heavy rain, stormy weather and windy as hell , lights where even visible in Reykjavik town. How amazing that was !! Northern Lights tour prices from €36-€40.
One thing that caught my attention was long and difficult to remember street names. One of most popular streets is Skolavordustigur, a lovely shopping street in Central Reykjavik, nearby to Laugavegur Street,main shopping area, and all the way up to HallgrimskirkjaChurch.
Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran parish church, one of Reykjavik’s main landmarks. Tower at 74.5 metres (244 ft) provides an amazing 360° view all over the city. There is a always a queue to the lift up, but totally worth your time. Ticket to the top costs around €10. View not to be missed!!
Sun Voyager, is an impressive striking steel scuplture, located at Sæbraut Road by the seaside of the city, designed by artist Jón Gunnar Árnason, that resembles a Viking long ship but best described as a dreamboat, an ode to the sun. Had a lovely walk seaside, admiring view and snowy mountains on the other side of the harbour.City has plenty of statues, graffiti and art spots.
When it comes to food in Iceland, fish is the absolute choice. Fresh salmon, cod and delicious mussels , fish soup, all so fresh that simply melt in your mouth. Amazing food, tasty flavours, accompanied by warm bread and fresh butter. Innovative decoration that captures the eye, fish lamps in front of a blackboard showcasing menu and prices and cosy seating with a view to the harbour. Price per person € 35-€40.
A little gem just outside the center of the city, 15 min driving, is the area of Elliðaárdalur waterfalls. So much beauty and absolutely stunning nature, a beautiful park, located between two rivers and great hiking trails, just outside the capital. Ideal for a walk in nature.
-If traveling on a budget better avoid taxis, which are extremely pricey.-Buses accept only cash, no card payments. 4 km taxi service cost me €17
-Cheapest and most convenient way to commute from the airport is Flybus. Prices to central Reykjavik from €40
-Iceland air and Wow air offer competitive rates
-Accommodation in central Reykjavik prices from €40-€55 per night
-Bonus Supermarket offers excellent value and cheap eats vs 10-11(super market) products are 30% up
-For art lovers art living museum has free entry
Contemporary art exhibition @ art living museum
–Kaffibarinn -one of popular spots in the weekend -great socializing -crowded though
-kaffi and te @ Laugavegur 27 – best tea and a lovely spot after shopping
–Harpa is a concert hall and conference centre, covered by glass facade and designed by renowned visual artist Olafur Eliasson .Worth visiting inside as well . There is a lovely elegant coffee shop and an amazing art -gift shop
-Icelanders do love meat of lamb. Lamb soup is a must during freezing cold days. Available for take away in 10-11 super market from €5
-If you fancy antiques and old stuff, foodies and clothing, visit Kolaportid, flea market, located in the old harbour and open on the weekend. You can get clothes and sweaters in cheaper prices. Wasn’t excited but worth a quick look
– Tap water in Iceland comes from springs in the ground and is of great quality.
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