Reykjavik, Iceland is everything you imagined and more. It’s absolutely amazing and it’s not as cold as you would think. I will give you heads up and say that Iceland is very expensive when it comes to food and eating out. You may have already heard this, but let me give you an example so you won’t be so surprised when you visit. Be prepared to spend between $15-$20 for fast food and quick bites. Expect prices to double for dining restaurants. This is not to scare you off, but I just want you to be aware and not have a heart attack when buying your first meal. People warned us that it was expensive, but we still didn’t know to what extent. Besides that Iceland is super cool (in more ways than one 😎).
We had two Airbnb houses among our group and both were right in the city center. Our particular house was even more convenient because it was located right down the street from Bus Stop #9. The house was a little small but it worked out very well for our group with more than enough beds to accommodate us. We took full advantage of our Airbnb’s kitchen! We hardly ate out due to those prices, and we had some great home cooked meals (special shoutout to Chef Kahlil).
We were informed that taxis were super expensive here, so we didn’t even think about that as an option. The only transportation we had was to/from the airport and to/from our tour excursions. We used Gray Line for our airport transfers and transportation was included in our tours. This is where Bust Stop #9 was very handy. I highly recommend staying in the city center or close to a bus stop.
Side note: Someone from our group rented a car, but I’m not sure of the exact price. I did hear that the price wasn’t too bad, but they charge a crazy amount for the deposit.
Day 1 – Friday
We landed in Reykjavik around 9AM and didn’t make it to our Airbnb until about noon. It takes about 45-minutes to make it to Reykjavik from the airport. We used the afternoon to explore the city and get acquainted with our huge group. The trip started off with just our Driftr Travels Podcast crew to about 50 people in total (simply amazing). Our first Iceland tour consisted of chasing the Northern Lights. We used Green Key Travel and it was a great experience.
There are several different options, and we decided to just go with the bus tour. The tour was $59.00 and it lasted for about 4 hours. Now keep in mind, you may not get a chance to catch the lights. It all depends on Mother Nature. As for us, we didn’t catch it through the naked eye but some of us were able to catch the Northern Lights through our DSLR cameras. Make sure you are layered up with warm clothing because you’ll be outside quite a bit.
Day 2 – Saturday
This was the best day of the trip! We started our morning off with the Blue Lagoon. There are several different times you can visit throughout the day but our group decided on the morning so we could catch the sunrise. We booked our visit for $126.00 through Reykjavik Excursions because it included transportation. The Blue Lagoon is absolutely amazing and it’s a must!
Blue Lagoon Tips:
- Bring flip-flops (you can purchase some there if you forget)
- Bring a towel (unless your purchase an upgraded package)
- Bring a waterproof case for your phone
- Don’t bring a bunch of extra possessions (you can’t leave stuff around the Blue Lagoon and the lockers are really small)
We rested after the Blue Lagoon to prepare for our night activities. We had a super fun time exploring the city and bar hopping. The only place I can remember the name of is Prikid, and it was a cool little spot. They played Hip-Hop music and had a great atmosphere. The Hip-Hop culture is lively in Iceland! All of the spots we ended up in was chilled and friendly.
Day 3 – Sunday
Sunday was our free day. Different people partook in different activities such as snowmobiling, the Golden Circle, and sight-seeing. The group I was with explored the city and pretty much walked around the entire city center. We made our way to Hallgrímskirkja, which is the largest church in Iceland. You have to pay $10 to go to the top of the tower, and it is well worth it to see the beautiful views of the city.
From there, we walked across the city to Cafe Haiti. This was worth the troubles of walking through the snow because the food and coffee were delicious! Elda Thorisson-Faurelien opened the cafe in 2007, and she is super friendly. Please note that the location listed on Google is their old location. I would call before going to just confirm the location.
Iceland is amazing! The people are nice, the city is beautiful, and there’s a lot of exploring to do. It felt like I was in a Winter Wonderland the entire time I was there. I would definitely visit again and explore outside of Reykjavik more. I’ll just be more prepared for their food prices.