Reykjavik, Iceland: How to get the best experience
January 1, 1970
by Kate Baron
One of my favourite countries I visited abroad was Iceland. We went to the largest city that I still, do not know how to pronounce – Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. I arrived in complete awe! This city was such a treat to explore.
Lately, Iceland has become such a popular country, I thought what a perfect opportunity to ease the stress of all travel planning and give the low down of what to expect, what to do, and how to have the perfect experience in.
First things first…
Flying to Iceland:
For the past couple years, flights to Iceland have been as low as $300 roundtrip. WOW Air is of one of the best airlines to book a trip through. Be prepared that yes, it may be around $300, but it does not incorporate the price of add-on luggage, food on the flight, and any other necessities you might need to be comfortable. If you’re not worried about carry-ons, food on the flight, or any other costs, then the one catch is to make sure you are keeping an eye out for these amazing deals. They don’t come often and when they do it’s only for a couple days.
What to expect once you arrive:
Weather in Iceland
EVERYONE, Iceland is not full of ice – that’s Greenland!
From April to August you can find nothing but bright green grass. You don’t see much grass in the city, but once you get out into the country, it’s all over! As for the other months, it snows every so often but rarely sticks for more than a couple days.
Do not forget a windbreaker! I got taken by surprise at how windy Reykjavik is. Have you been to the windy city in Chicago? It’s windier than there. Have you been to Wellington in New Zealand? Also, windier than there. My hair was all over, hat flying off, I was almost blown over! Don’t be too worried, this is not everyday weather, but it’s always good to be prepared.
Transportation around Reykjavik
Reykjavik is a small city, it takes around 20 minutes to walk.
There are taxis available for transportation, but I highly recommend walking. There are colourful buildings from all angles and so many unique boutique shops. This city is on a hill, so always wear your best walking shoes.
What if I’m walking and get lost?
Don’t be panicked if you’re lost. You’ll be okay. One of the pros of Reykjavik being so small is it’s not hard to figure out where you are. All you have to do is pick a street and keep walking away from the water; every street leads to the middle where the famous church, Hallgrimskirkja stands.
As Iceland’s currency couldn’t be more beautiful, it is very, very expensive.
1 Icelandic Krona equals 0.0099 U.S. dollar
Take into consideration of your currency and always do the math when purchasing. Make sure you know how much you are spending. This is something I didn’t do on a night out with friends. I was ordering gin and tonics and each drink was $17 – that’s crazy! I sit here today writing this blog and I am not completely broke from $17 gin and tonics, but wow was I surprised when I looked at my bank account the next morning. Although, you can’t put a price on a good time, right?
Attractions in Iceland:
Hallgrimskirkja Church is located at the very top of the hill. This church is 73 meters high (240 ft). As locals come here to catch the beautiful view at the top, being a tourist, it seems this is something you can’t pass up.
I always say… explore as a tourist, do as a local.
There is an option to take an elevator to the top, costing only 500 ISK, which is 5 U.S. dollars.
The Golden Circle
This is one of the most popular routes for tourists. It covers about 300 kilometres (186 miles), going from Reykjavik, into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. During this route, you stop at the Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir.
Gullfoss is a beautiful, beautiful waterfall! This waterfall comes from Iceland’s second largest glacier, the Langjokull. They are both 100% made by nature. It falls down 32 meters (105 ft.) into a canyon which walls reach up to 72 meters (236 ft.) high!
Geysir, sometimes known as The Great Geysir, is the first geyser described in a printed newspaper. The modern Europeans were the first to discover this geyser! Pretty cool, ay?
Strokkur is one of the famous geysers that visitors love to experience. It erupts every 6-10 minutes, reaching up to 15-30 meters (49-98 ft.) high before vanishing back down. This is everyone’s favourite attraction and you can tell just by people watching. Everyone stands with their phones out waiting to capture this amazing moment. Some people decided to make a game out of it and count down to when they thought it would erupt. Overall, this was one of my favourite geysers to see in Iceland. It kept me on my toes and in awe each time.
and as you can see, I was one of those tourists waiting with my phone in front of my face to capture the eruption.
Aside from the Golden Circle tour, my all-time favourite…
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is the world’s famous man-made hot spring. I am almost positive this is on everyone’s bucket list. Within the Lagoon, you have options to smear silica mud masks on your face or hang out at the bar for a yummy cocktail. OR why not do both at the same time?! I know that’s what I did.
The Blue Lagoon is a moment of complete relaxation. You can get water massages, spa treatment, and private baths.
From Reykjavik to The Blue Lagoon, be prepared to spend roughly $130 roundtrip.
Like I said earlier, visiting Iceland was one of my favourite travel destinations and I am waiting for the day I get to go back. If you explore the city, take on the Golden Circle route, experience The Blue Lagoon, and make sure to learn as much as you can about Iceland, I promise you will make the best memories. You will meet the nicest and most beautiful people in Iceland. (The reoccurrence of blonde hair and blue eyes keeps your eyes peeled open)
Enjoy Iceland and Cheers!