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Baronstigur 43, Reykjavík, 101, Iceland

More about Reykjavík

Photos

Jungle curry chicken - inedible.Jungle curry chicken - inedible.

The Icelandic raven.The Icelandic raven.

One of the 5 pillars.One of the 5 pillars.

I hiking on Mt. Esjan - didn't get really far.I hiking on Mt. Esjan - didn't get really far.

Forum Posts

A choice of 2 hotels... and is April any good ??

by darrensunley

Hi,

I am looking at taking a trip to Reykjavik for 3 nights at the end of April with my parents (so it's not gonna be all night partying !!). Anyway, a couple of questions I have are...

1) - The choice of hotels that I've narrowed it down to are two .... the Radisson Saga hotel and the Hilton Nordica hotel. Now, all the reviews basically summarise it that the Hilton is the much better hotel (not that the Radisson is bad either) but it is quite a walk away from the centre of things. But there are apparently buses into town. Can anyone recommend one hotel over the other and say why please ?? My head tells me to go for the Radisson as we're only going to be there 3 nights and its location that will be more useful than a nice hotel - but I'm open to being convinced about the Hilton too !!

2) - I've looked at the average temperatures for Iceland and the end of April is clearly not warm - although not too cold either. Is this a good time to go (i.e. a decent compromise in terms of price/temperature) or is there anything that we would miss or places that would be closed due to the time of year ??

Thanks in advance,
Darren

Re: A choice of 2 hotels... and is April any good ??

by marielexoteria

I stayed at the Radisson Saga hotel and while the hotel isn't as centric as many others, I didn't find the walk to the city center either long or difficult in any way. It's actually a nice walk and the only thing you need to look out for is crossing at Hringbraut. There are buses stopping nearby, I think next to the National Library and one next to the University of Iceland but since we walked around Reykjavik, I can't tell how they go. However, look at www.bus.is for directions, timetables, etc.

Compare the Radisson Saga's location at http://www.backman.is/mapofrvk/part1.html with Nordica Hotel at (I think) http://www.backman.is/mapofrvk/part9.html and the main attractions we visited are located between part7.html and part8.html.

I think the big tours (Golden Circle and the like) are open at the end of April and so are the museums. Is there something closed? Possibly, but I don't think you'll run out of ideas of what to do.

Travel Tips for Reykjavík

Drinking in Iceland

by Jmill42

Wihtout a doubt, one of the best ways to blow your budget and have to leave Iceland early is by buying drinks in the clubs and bars. A GOOD price for a beer in a bar is 10-12USD! So, to skirt this horrible early departure scenario, go to one of the liquor stores and buy there and start drinking before you go out. It is vastly cheaper and you'll have money for the other sights!

BTW: Icelandic beer is fantastic. Viking is the one you will see the most, but any Thule and any of the rest are fantastic. Being with my friends after visiting one of the aforementioned liquor stores and just leisurely drinking in one of Reykjaviks parks talking about nothing and everything.

You don't have to leave a tip.

by Regina1965

Leaving a tip here has never been a custom in Iceland. I have accompanied many VT-ers to restaurants here and all of them are surprised that they don't have to leave a tip. Some of them have even found it insulting to a waiter not leaving a tip. But I have told them that leaving a tip is equally strange here as not leaving a tip abroad.

Being raised here in Iceland I have always found leaving a tip a strange custom and I never know how much to leave. But that is only because we are not accustomed to this.

But I have been thinking about this, maybe you should leave a tip in restaurants, especially in foreign currency - seeing that there is a big crisis here and foreign currency restrictions ;)

But, no, leaving a tip is not a custom here.

Icelanders are called the book-nation.

by Regina1965

We Icelanders love reading books and are called "bókaþjóðin" or the book-nation. Ca 2.500.000 books are sold here each year - and we are a nation of only 318.200 people (give or take a few).

Most of the books are published before Christmas and a thick booklet is sent to each home with all the new book-titles. That list is devoured by Icelanders. Everybody must get a new book (books) as a Christmas present. There is nothing like reading a new book on Christmas night.

There are many book-markets here, especially at Perlan (see my tip on that) and at Grandi. You can see people leaving the book-markets loaden up with books.

Our book-heritage are the Sagas of the Vikings and they can still be read by modern Icelanders - our language hasn't changed that much since the Vikings were alive here in Iceland.

When I was younger I read a new book every 3 days and finished reading the children's section at the library.

There is a 100% literacy here in Iceland.

Summer solstice June 21st - sumarsólstöður

by Regina1965

The Summer solstice is on June 21st and as Iceland is so high up north the sun hardly sets from mid-June to mid-July, with the longest day being on the 21st of June when the sun sets and then almost immediately rises. It sets at ca 00:04 and rises again at ca 1:30, but it never gets dark during this time. Time of sunset and sunrise on solstice.

This is the most famous magical summer-night here in Iceland (Mid-summer night being the other) and we flock to a good spot where we can watch the sun set. I go to Grótta in Seltjarnarnes, which is part of the Great-Reykjavík area and there were so many people there, locals and tourists alike, taking pictures and just enjoying this longest day of the year. There is something so magical about this night that we hardly sleep at all.

In Viking times the solstice was the main celebration of the year and they had a big "party".

We try to make the most out of this time of the year as the opposite goes for the winter months when there is up to 20 hours of darkness during the shortest days.

Landmannalaugar Bus

by Jmill42

The hike from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork is one of the most renowned hikes on the planet. It is a 4 day hike that takes you through some of the most alien-like, amazing terrain you will ever see. To get there, you can take one of the amazing "off-road Greyhound" buses, starting at the BSI terminal. I have no clue who designed thes buses, but the deserve a reward. As there really is only one good paved road on the whole of the island, these buses have to go through rivers, over rocks and bumps that would put a halt to some SUV's.

The price of a one-way ticket to Landmannalaugar is 4500 ISK (90 USD).
The return from Thorsmork is 3700ISK (75USD).

But, beware of the schedules, as they leave at very certain times and normally only once or twice per day. So, if you are camping and miss your bus, you might be in a little of a pickle.

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