Reykjavik is often being used as a gateway to the United States by European travellers but it’s well worth a visit! Reykjavik’s inhabitants are open minded and friendly, the town has a small and city center with lots of exclusive art shops, good restaurants and great pubs. Reykjavik also has an extensive and internationally renowned art and music scene..plus a great nightlife! And let’s not forget the city is surrounded by gorgeous landscapes and nature which is perfect for hikers and nature lovers.
During my stay in Reykjavik I stayed in the Icelandair Reykjavik Marina Hotel, a trendy boutique hotel in the hip marine area, just outside the touristic area of Reykjavik. The hotel has trendy rooms, a nice café and a gym… in the hotel lobby!
Another great place to stay is the KEX hostel www.kexhostel.is. Located in an old biscuit factory, this is a hostel with a industrial feel, offering both dorms and rooms, an old school gym and a fun bar.
Address: Skúlagata 28
There are plenty of interesting bars in Reykjavik to choose from, here are my 3 personal favorites:
Next to the Icelandair Reykjavik Marina hotel is the Slippbarinn bar (www.slippbarinn.is). This is the place to be for locals, popular because of its cocktails, good food and vibrant atmosphere.
Address: Mýragata 2
For those who love beer, Micro Bar is definitely worth a visit. A great bar with a huge collection of local Icelandic beers. The knowledgable staff will guide you through the extensive choice of local beers.
Address: Austurstraeti 6
Kaffibarinn, a coffee shop turning into a bar at night. This is one of Reykjavik’s most popular spots at night. An excellent atmosphere, nice staff and an interesting crowd. Check it out!
Address: Bergstaðastræti 1
Reykjavik is the perfect place to get yourself introduced to the Nordic cuisine. There’s a wide range of restaurants where you can enjoy both Nordic and Icelandic seafood or special meat dishes. Reykjavik is a real hub of great restaurants and it’s almost impossible not to pick a good restaurant.
For real Icelandic food:
Fish Market (www.fiskmarkadurinn.is) might be the best restaurant of Iceland: the restaurant is known for using the freshest ingredients to prepare their fish dishes. Think of Icelandic mussels steamed with beer and grilled monkfish with bacon. The restaurant also serves sushi and offers delicious cocktails.
Address: Adalstraeti 12
Not into fish? Try Grillmarkadurinn (The Grill Market, http://www.grillmarkadurinn.is). A bit hidden, but worth looking for: great design, but more important… delicious food with the use of only local ingedrients. Try the Grillmarkets tasting menu, with a selection of dishes put together by the chef.
Address: Lækjargata 2A
After staying a few days in Reykjavik you might be up for something else. The best way to discover the surroundings of Reykjavik is by renting a car and indulge yourself in the magnificent sights that Iceland has to offer. On only one hour drive from Reykjavik you’ll find beautiful landscapes; frozen lakes and waterfalls.
Iceland is great for hiking: park your car and follow one of the many walk paths. Because of the excellent state of the Ring road which runs trough the country, cycling is also a great option. Other highlights in this area: from the marine area you can book and enjoy ‘whale watching boat excursions’, you can go Ice climbing and horse riding and of course… witness the Northern Lights (if you’re lucky). The best period to treat yourself to this magnificent natural display is between September and April.
Relax at one of the many thermal pools and spas in the Reykjavik area:
After a day on the bike, the perfect way to relax and to experience Reykjavík’s healing energy is to visit one of the many thermal pools and spas. The largest geothermal pool in the city is Laugardalslaug with extensive facilities. Address: v/ Sundlaugarveg 104 www.visitreykjavik.is/laugardalslaug
More photos of Reykjavík and surroundings.