Reykjavík Travel Guide

  • Gullfoss.
    Gullfoss.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Gullfoss.
    Gullfoss.
    by IreneMcKay
  • one of the walk ways
    one of the walk ways
    by jnyvegas

Reykjavík Things to Do

  • Hallgrimskirkja

    Hallgrímskirkja is our biggest church (kirkja=church) and is named after Hallgrímur Pétursson, a reverend and hymn writer (1614-1674) who wrote the beautiful hymns "Passíusálmar" which are Iceland's most popular hymns (apart from the National anthem) and very dear to our Icelanders. Hallgrímskirkja is 73 m tall and was our biggest building until...

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  • Perlan - The Pearl

    4 out of 5 stars

    The pearl is another wonder of Reykjavík. Sitting atop 6 hot water tanks is a dome of glass which offers a revolving restaurant, a cafeteria, a geysir, and doors to the outside which give you panoramic views of the city and surrounding area. When the bus drops you off, there are no signs as to where to go. You may feel lost. Heading back the way...

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  • Blue Lagoon

    One of Icelands best-known places and surely worth a visit. It was among my personal hgihlights of my Iceland trip. Water from a geothermal power plant is pumped into this oasis in the middle of a volcanic field. The water is rich in minerals, creating a layer of mud on the ground and sides. This is collected and said to be good for the skin. For...

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Reykjavík Hotels

Reykjavík Restaurants

  • Coffee and Soup

    Nice coffee shop / restaurant which serves excellent soups in bread loafs. Beside the (usually two) soups, the menu is quite limited. The whole concept itself rather simple and down to earth. But this it what gives the restaurant its atmosphere: A relayed atmosphere, not sophisticated at all and open for everyone. The atmosphere stays also relayed...

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  • A fun upscale hamburger place

    Hamborgarafabrikkan actually means the Hamburger Factory. It is an upscale hamburger place, owned by two prominent Icelandic TV-personalities, Simmi and Jói, who also happen to be best friends. I know that they take great pride in their work and their burgers are of good quality and with a humorous twist as they say on their webpage.From day one...

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  • More Icelandic Food

    Nice little place where you can try some traditional Icelandic food like puffin as well as some local liqours. Although you won't get all of the Icelandic specialities here, this is a good place to try some food. Compared to Loki, another traditional food place, Inslenski Barinn is more modern and relaxed but has a more limited choice of...

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Reykjavík Nightlife

  • Probably Reykavik's most popular bar

    If there is a hipster place in Reykjavik, it is probably Kaffibarinn. At weekends, it is diffcult to get in. For the rest of the week, the atmostphere is rather relaxed and you can easily get into conversation with artsy people. during daytime, it is a café, but the place really comes to live in the evening when it becomes one of the most famous...

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  • A restaurant dubbing as a disco at...

    Thorvaldsen Bar closed down in 2015 and on the 7th of March 2015 the American bar opened up in this location.Thorvaldsen Bar is a restaurant during the day, but turns into a very popular disco at night during the weekend. It is open until 5 in the morning on Friday nights and 6 in the morning on Saturday nights. The nightlife in Reykjavík is...

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  • Typical Bar

    This is a typical bar with large screen televisions showing sports. There is a whole menu of "White Russians," 13 variations, or just enjoy a Gull or Tuborg on tap. Happy Hour is from 1600 -- 1900. Casual attire. If the theme was actual, you would score points for bowling shirts.

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Reykjavík Transportation

  • By Plane to Reykjavik

    Being a remote island nation in the North Atlantic, Iceland does not ofer many alternatives to an arrival by aircraft. Most probably, your arrival will be at KEFLAVIK Airport - Reykjavik Airport is used for domestic flights as well as some connections to Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Keflavik Airport is well connected with most Europe's capitals...

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  • Keflavik International Airport

    Flying in and out of Iceland is through Keflavik International Airport about a 45 minute drive from the city of Reykjavík. Information about the airport including Departures and Arrivals can be found at their website as well as much other useful information. Caveat: International destinations outside of the European Union use the furthest gates, so...

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  • Icelandair

    When traveling from North America, IcelandAir is the best way to get to Iceland. There are some very good deals on their website. I flew on the first flight in May of 2013 from Anchorage Alaska and my sister, 2 nieces (1 boyfriend), and myself flew over for a Northern Lights package in November of 2014 out of Boston. You can customize the packages...

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Reykjavík Shopping

  • Flea Market (since 1989)

    Only open on weekends! You never know what you will find in the indoor flea market, local crafts, used clothing, books, gadgets, bric-a-brac, and tchotchkes. I found my Icelandic cap there hand knit by Soffia. There is also a food section and a food court (with yet another pylsa stand). Honestly, this may not be to everyone's taste, but it is...

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  • Ég tala ekki íslensku

    What a great idea! You will see many people carrying plastic shopping bags that bear the phrase "Ég tala ekki íslensku" translates as "I don't speak Icelandic." How fun. I can not tell you where exactly this shop is located, but my sister bought some gifts there and got one of the bags. There are many places to buy your souvenirs and you may notice...

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  • Something for the room

    There are many times while traveling that you may wish to have a snack or a beverage. On an excursion, you may wish to carry some fruit or a bottle of water. You may want something handy in your hotel room for that late night craving. If so, try the 10-11 convenience store. Brightly lit and filled with anything that you may want on the fly. I stop...

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Reykjavík Local Customs

  • Reykjavík nightlife. Beware - we drink a...

    We Icelanders drink a lot, like so many nations living so far north. But only during the weekends, then there is madness down-town. And during the summer times there are various festivals around the country and there is a lot of drinking.We don't really have a wine-culture and beer-drinking was forbidden here until 1989, imagine that!! From 1915...

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  • Icelandic Celebrations

    From our friends at What's On. New Orleans may have its Mardi Gras and Rio de Janeiro it's Carnival, but Iceland has three days, Bolludagur, Sprengidagur, & Öskudagur.

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  • Appelsín

    Appelsín is a local carbonated beverage with an orange flavor. The kids drink it through a black licorice straw (available at the 10-11). I have been told this many times and it seems to be true, though what they do not tell you, and why one might be suspicious, is that if you put your black licorice straw into the bottle without thinking, there is...

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Reykjavík Warnings and Dangers

  • VAT - Be sure to get your refund

    Iceland may not be as expensive as it seems.If you are shopping in Iceland, be aware that there is a VAT (Value Added Tax). For any good that you are taking out of the country, get a tax free receipt. Fill in the information and turn in all of the envelopes at the airport on your way out of the country. Your refund will be processed and will appear...

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  • Pay Toilets

    You will be told that while in Iceland you will not need cash as everyone accepts credit/debit cards. There are two instances when this is not true. At the flea market (Kolaportið) and at Þingvellir National Park if you need to go to the bathroom (200 ISK). If you are on the Golden Circle Tour, be sure to use the facilities at Gullfoss.

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  • Stairs: steep or slippery

    Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall:To get to the lower trail, you will need to descend a long staircase. In the summer the danger is more in going back up if you are not in good shape, but there is always the danger of falling down the stairs. In the winter the staircase can be treacherous, and the reward is not as great as the trail is closed due to...

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Reykjavík Tourist Traps

  • Smartest Guy in Iceland

    If you book the day long Golden Circle Excursion (recommended), your first stop will be at a tomato hot house to see how Iceland can produce foods under glass. Then you can have some tomato soup for 1000 ISK! I do not know how this guy got the contract for the tour busses to stop here, but he is making a killing on tomato soup at $9 USD for a cup....

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  • The Blue Lagoon

    Even though this is an obvious tourist trap (you can tell by the lack of locals), that doesn't mean that you should not do this, it is a beautiful setting. Do not book this in the middle of your stay, it is way out by the airport and you will waste your time riding the bus to and from when there is so much else to experience. Even Beyoncé and Jay Z...

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  • Bus from the Airport

    K*Express bus advertises on EasyJet the self checkin printout K*Express bus for € 8 (about 1250 Island Kronen)return to Reykjavik center. which would be a excellent price but their 4 buses per day don't connect with the plane, the office is in quite a distance together with a rental car company you might end up after dragging all your luggage there...

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Reykjavík What to Pack

  • 64 degrees North

    Reykjavík is the northernmost capitol city at 64 degrees North. With heat being almost free, Icelanders keep the indoors very warm, but if you go out for long periods of time, you may wish to bundle up, even in the summer. If you do not pack enough layers, stop in at a red cross (thrift shop) for extra clothing at an affordable rate. Be sure to...

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  • Swimwear is a must

    Icelanders love the hot water, so be ready to get wet, and I am not talking about the hotel pool. I am talking thermal beaches and outdoor public pools, or even the Blue Lagoon. Grab a towel from your hotel and go soak with the locals. Some pools will rent towels and sell suits in case you forget. The Blue Lagoon even rents bathing suits (yuck!!)

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  • Comprehensive Guide to Events

    Planning your trip to Iceland? Get all the happenings with the interactive calendar at the web site. Stop by Laugavegur 4 for free coffee and the monthly guidebook. The helpful staff can answer your questions, even if you are looking for something off the wall, like when I wanted to know if the Christmas Goat was up at the Ikea. Did I mention the...

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Reykjavík Off The Beaten Path

  • Beneath the Sun of Peace and Settlement...

    There is a sculpture located by the busy Miklubraut street - by the exit leading to Breiðholt suburb. I guess it goes unnoticed by the passengers driving by, as it has been here since 1972.I lived in this area from 1973-2001 and very often I have passed this sculpture without thinking about it.It is called in Icelandic "Undir friðar og landnámssól"...

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  • Grásteinn - dwellings of the Hidden...

    There is a rock split in two in Grafarholt outskirt of Reykjavík. It is located by ring-road 1 Vesturlandsvegur.There were road constructions here in 1970-1971 and the workers meant to move the rock. During the road constructions the machinery started breaking down, which invariably happens when the dwellings of the Hidden People are disturbed....

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  • The Chapel of Holy Barbara.

    There are ruins of a small medieval Catholic chapel in a lava field in Hafnarfjörður town. It is The Chapel of Holy Barbara (Kapella Heilagrar Barböru). The chapel is by an ancient road through the lava field. Here travellers could pray or seek shelter in bad weather.The lava here is from an eruption sometime between 1100-1300 and is called...

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Reykjavík Sports & Outdoors

  • Laugardalslaug - Pool at Laugardalur

    Geothermally heating pools and hot pots are a big part of Icelandic culture, and one of the great things about our Reykjavik tourist cards was the fact that entrance to all these pools was included. So, we headed for Laugardalslaug, the biggest pool complex in town to make sure we knew what all of the fuss was about.There is an Olympic-sized as...

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  • Jogging/biking/etc.

    I was in Reykjavik on a national holiday, the First Day of Summer (Sumardagurrin fyrsti), so I had the opportunity to see kids and families relaxind and many of them were out exercising around town.

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  • Hiking outside Reykjavik in Hveragerði

    Unique geothermal area! Walking trails around Hveragerði and vicinity are innumerable so everyone should be able to choose a trail according to one’s interest and ability. The Hengill area is a vast outdoor area where hiking trails have been marked. The hiking trails in the valleys vary in levels of difficulty and length. A hiking map of the area...

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Reykjavík Favorites

  • budget Supermarket Bonus

    In Iceland, more tourists are on a tight budget than at most other places. Therefore, looking for a discount supermarket may be a way to stretch your budget. Unfortunately, Aldi and LIDL have not found their way onto this island nation – therefore you will have to look for „Bonus“. The only discount – supermarket chain in Iceland is easily...

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  • Credit and bank cards / Icelandic Banks

    According to the tourist information, you will find only Icelandic Banks in Iceland. Although one of them may cooperate with your local bank, personal assistance is very difficult and you may have to deal via phone with your bank back home to get any assistance in case of problems.Iceland is part of the EEA (European Economic Area), but not part of...

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  • Excellent and delicious tap water !!!

    For any traveler knows something as simple as water can either make or even break your trip to anywhere …. Iceland without a doubt in my mind has the cleanest and most delicious water on earth !!!!!! I had read that it smelled like sulfur ?!?!?! the only time I smelled water like sulfur was when we were at the blue lagoon ….. other than that I...

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Top 10 Coastal Drives: Reykjavík

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Most visitors to Iceland do the "Golden Circle Tour," embarking from Reykjavik and traveling inland to see Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the island's geothermal geysers. However, Iceland's "Ring Road," or Route 1, forms an 830 mile (1335 km) circle around the country with incredible coastal views and even more landmarks to behold. Traveling east on Route 1 from Reykjavik includes sites such as Skaftafell National Park and Jokulsarlon, the largest glacier lagoon in Iceland. If you only want to travel a section of the road, the trip from Reykjavik to Jokulsarlon is just 233 miles (376 km).

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