During the seven days in Iceland, I visited a few amazing places. One rather quick stop was in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. In this city, I fell in love with the views and the atmosphere. The hilly town is full of restaurants, bars, shops, and must-see locations such as Hallgrimskirkja, the modern cathedral. The question is, should you make a quick stop in this city or not? In my opinion, yes you should, there is no city quite like Reykjavik.
Why should you stop in Reykjavik?
Reykjavik is the largest city in Iceland, and most of the population lives here. Therefore most businesses are located in and around this busy city. For travelers who need to stack up on food and supplies, you’ll be pleased to find many grocery stores around, such as Costco, Netto and Kronan. However, Reykjavik isn’t only good for shopping; it’s also great for tourists in need of booking tours around the island. From here, you can book the famous tours such as the golden circle tour, explore the inside of a sleeping/extinct volcano tour, or book the scuba-diving/snorkeling trip, that’s just to name a few. As well for travelers without a car, Reykjavik is excellent for catching a bus to let’s say Akureyri a northern city where you can view the aurora lights. Furthermore, this capital has some pretty cool attractions and landmarks that you must make a point to visit.
What to see around this city:
Reykjavik has a fantastic geographical location, position on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. A walk along the bay will give you views of the ever-expanding city and tall snow-capped mountains. Here along the coast, you can find the first landmark, called The Sun Voyager. This steel sculpture of a boat represents “a dreamboat or an ode to the Sun. The artist intended it to convey the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress, and freedom.”
In the city center at the top of the hill, you can find the most famous landmarks of them all, the Hallgrimskirkja, a modern cathedral. This church is very futuristic and isn’t like any I have seen before. From here, walk to Laugavegur, the main commercial street of downtown Reykjavík, Iceland, and one of the oldest shopping streets. This street is hard to miss, it’s painted in rainbow colors, and the church faces it. From here, explore the Landnámssýningin, a Viking settlement showcasing the remains of buildings from the 10th century. The last stop on the must-see list is Tjörnin. A small lake, famous for the number of birds that reside here, like swans and geese.
Where to stay in Reykjavik:
I stayed in the Reykjavik Downtown HI Hostel, this establishment had a great location in downtown and was very reasonably priced. I booked a privet room that had two standard beds with a privet bathroom. It was the same as staying at a hotel, only cheaper and with access to the kitchen. I was able to cook dinner and make hot drinks. Overall it was clean/tidy, and the staff was friendly. If a hostel isn’t for you, consider one of the hotels below. The list is from the most expensive to the least costly.
-(all inks are from tripadvisor, for you to see deals and rates.)
Restaurants and cafes to try (if you have the budget):
Remember, restaurants, bars, and cafes are considerably expensive in Iceland (for more information read my previous post.) Therefore I did my best in picking out the reasonably priced restaurants for you to consider while you are exploring this city.
Emilie and the Cool Kids – this coffee shop has some tasty coffee, and the menu has some vegan options.
Café Babalú – this cafe has some fun decoration and great coffee.
Reykjavik Roasters– will have for you good coffee and snacks.
Early in the morning– it is considered to be an ideal breakfast place in Reykjavik.