If you are planning a late dinner in Reykjavík, make sure it is before 10 p.m. After this time, bear stop serving food, while most restaurants close altogether.
Fortunately for us, a friendly bar waitress told us that she knew of ONE restaurant -- Italia, at Laugavegur 11 -- that stayed open past 10 p.m. Since we were in the area, we quickly made our way towards Italia, while still checking out the other restaurants along the way.
After finding no other open restaurant, we ate at Italia, where the first thing the waitress told us is that the restaurant closed at 11:30 p.m. It was just enough time for us to eat our meal while not feeling pushed.
This happened to us in the middle of winter... Perhaps restaurants stay open later in the summer? If anyone has any information about summer closing times, please contact me and I will update this tip.
A smallish supermarket downtown Reykjavik with a limited selection of foods and other items, it has a captive market during the wee hours. The price level nears the double of regular supermarkets, so avoid it if you can.
Fun Alternatives: Starve till the morning and move on to the Bonus supermarket. Half the price on most items!
The Blue Lagoon is probably the one thing people associate with Iceland and also the one thing that attracts most tourists. The lagoon is actually not a lagoon, but an artificial pool with hot water heated up by a heating station (or something like that). Sure, the water is nice and it's pretty cool to be able to swim in minus 30 degrees. But despite from that the price for getting inside is way too high (in my opinion) and there are definitly better options if you have some time to spend.
Unique Suggestions: Well.. since the price is so high to get in you should come early in the morning and enjoy the water whilst it's not crowded of tourists and screaming children. Come early, relax and have a nice drink by the waterside.
Fun Alternatives: If you're going to Iceland you should add a couple of days to go outside Reykjavik, preferably to the northern parts of the country where there are plenty of options so take a swim in one of the natural lagoons under ground. One of my favourite places on earth is in the area of Dimmuborgir. Ask any local where you can take a swim and I'm sure they will help you out.
If you intend to use a 24-hour Tourist Card to visit museums and galleries in Reykjavik, beware the opening times. Most are open from 11:00am-5:00pm, which means that you will have to rush through them to get any sort of value out of the card. But do you really want to do that?
Well, everybody can decide is this a trap or not. I think it is an interesting film to watch, when you cannot really 'order' to real volcanos to do the show while you are in Iceland. Some might say this is just a trap, getting the feeling that it is a rip off. Well, these volcano shows have won prizes and several tourist groups come to see them everyday, so that kind of reputation cannot based just on good ads. But then, instead of spending hours inside watching films, I woudl use that time in Reykjavik to do something else. Wandering along the coast or taking a hike to Esja.
Unique Suggestions: Price 650 kr for 1 hour show, 850 kr for 2 hour show.
Fun Alternatives: One more time. This is not a trap. It is here, because I know it is one of the most advertised attarcations in town. It is worth of seeing, if you are interested in geologic of Iceland and the nature of this spectacular island.
There are great souvenir shops in Reykjavik! You can buy everything taxfree, you just let the shopkeeper fill out a form and hand it in at the money exhange counter at the airport.
But ... it all stays extremely expensive even without the taxes!
Unique Suggestions: Make sure it doesn't say "Made in Taiwan" on the back!
Visit www.vikwool.is for the real stuff ...
Fun Alternatives: Just think ... you might never come back again ... is it worth it ... ?
(it probably is, I have bought lots of souvenirs and I'm very glad to have them)
Well it is what it is. For a tourist it is a trap because all the exhibits were in Icelandic. To make matters worse, the whole museum is two medium sized rooms and several flights of stairs with displays. It's quite small and really not worth visiting.
Unique Suggestions: Look at all the stuffed wildlife and collected species. You might not be able to read the animals name (unless you can name every Icelandic species of animal, plant, and fungi by scientific name).
You do get to see a stuffed Great Auk (extinct since the 19th century) which made the visit worthwhile
Fun Alternatives: Almost anything else in Reykjavik would be a better alternative. Try other museums in town. I was disenchanted by this one and avoided the rest. Time was limited too.
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