So you just landed in Iceland ready to discover its spouting geysers, threatening volcanoes and thundering waterfalls? Great idea! But wait, what’s the rush? Spend a day or two in Reykjavik, one of the smallest European capitals and a city that might hide a lot more than you expect!
Discover these top things to do in Reykjavik:
1. Cool cafés
If you are looking for a cosy atmosphere while enjoying your brew, then Reykjavik has got you covered! Take “Café Babalú” for example, it’s like you’ve just walked into your grannie’s living room! Popular with locals and expats alike, it can be difficult to find yourself a spot downstairs. But no worries, the upstairs is even cosier and quieter too!
Or how about “Stofan Café”? I spent a big part of the afternoon on one of the cosy sofas in the basement reading “Last Rituals”, a famous Icelandic novel. Cause when in Rome, …. right?
2. Street Art
Walking along popular Laugavegur street you’ll come across some beautiful modern street art. The project is called “Wall Poetry” and adorns large parts of house walls in the city centre.
But not all of it is modern; on Skúlagata street for example, Reykjavik takes you back to its past and present with murals reminding you of the fishing industry of the city.
3. A vibrant harbour
The smell of fish and chips, the buzz of the whale watching tours, barracks transformed into restaurants, ice cream parlours and some brilliant museums: the harbour of Reykjavik is a great place to wander around, grab a bite and learn some more about Iceland’s maritime history.
It’s also where you’ll find one of the city’s grandest landmarks: the Harpa Concert Hall. The distinctive coloured glass facade is said to be inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. Definitely pay a visit: the interior is even more impressive than the outside!
4. Scandinavian architecture
Take a closer look at one of the many traditional Scandinavian houses in Reykjavik. “The Falcon House” for example is decorated by statues of falcons outside, reminding us of the time when falcons were kept here before being shipped to Europe. And on Aðalstræti you’ll come across the city’s oldest timber house.
More into modern design? The previously mentioned Harpa Concert Hall has got you covered! And what about the Halgrimmskirkja, which looks more like a space rocket than a church to be honest.
Take the elevator up to admire the view stretching far beyond Reykjavik’s city centre!
5. Appy Hour
It’s not exactly a secret that alcohol costs a small fortune in Iceland. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to go dry. Install the free app “Appy Hour” (oh yes, I love the word play just as much as you!) and discover where and when to drink for half price. It lists the times, prices and distances to where you are, how much handier can it be?
Have you been to Reykjavik? What’s your opinion and/or memory of the Icelandic capital?