Iceland is definitely one country you absolutely need to visit, and the cherry on top of that all-natural inspiring sundae of adventures is the capital city, Reykjavik. Here are five things I recommend doing during your stay.
1. Soak up the 360 view of Reykjavik from the Hallgrímskirkja Church
Check. out. that. view.
All… the way… around…
The colorful roofs, the crisp Icelandic breeze, the quick 2 minute elevator ride to the top – all things you won’t see or get anywhere else.
2. Book a tour around the rest and best of Iceland.
Almost all of the tour companies in Iceland are located right in the middle of Reykjavik, so take a walk around town, make a quick pit stop and book a tour around the Golden Circle to see visually engulfed in the Gulfoss waterfall and see the original Geysir (READ: Why You Should Explore the Golden Circle in Iceland).
Or journey down to the South Coast to hike a glacier and soak up the sun under Skogafoss. (READ: 5 Reasons Why Iceland’s South Coast is the Best Coast).
Oh, and with either tour, you’ll probably spot some gorgeous Icelandic horses along the way.
3. Enjoy Scandinavian decor at your hotel or hostel.
Located right in the middle of Reykjavik, let me introduce you to Loft Hostel, conveniently next to Scandinavian shopping, good eats and loads of pubs. Plus it features an awesome interior that fuels the creative juices. (READ: Why the Loft Hostel Isn’t Like Any Old Hostel)
Then I discovered Hotel Holt, home to the largest private art collection in all of Iceland. To say that I fell in love with each and every room is an understatement. (READ: I had the best sleep of my life in an Icelandic art gallery.)
4. Eat at these awesome restaurants around town.
Who isn’t constantly on the hunt for good food? We wanted to make sure we tried as much Reykjavik had to offer, including Asian, Indian, Icelandic and Spanish-inspired cuisines.
Noodle Station – A tiny noodle shop with no table service, supposedly Thai inspired but it tasted more like a fusion between Thai and Chinese. It’s roughly around 12 USD for a bowl. Choose your meat and they fill a bowl with broth, noodles and veggies. If you’re craving a carbonated drink, be ready to shell out around 6 USD for a fountain soda.
Photo by Tineey
The second place we tried was Shalimar, and thank goodness we decided on Indian/Pakistan cuisine. Awesome decor, and an interesting spiral staircase – the service was a bit slow, but the food was so worth it. They had a tasting menu perfect for two, priced at around 30-40 USD per person. You got naan, rice, three entree dishes and two desserts – all tasty, all delicious and most importantly, filling.
Photo by Tineey
For Spanish-inspired tapas-style Icelandic cuisine, you’ve got to try Tapas Barinn. (READ: Eating in Iceland: Tapas Barinn) Eclectic meat choices, including whale and puffin.
Mar Restaurant, located right on the water, had the most peaceful and romantic ambiance, along with an amazing (and extensive) wine list. The mostly seafood dishes were killer. The banana creme brulee with fresh raspberries? Definitely a must-try dessert. (READ: Stay a While: Indulging at MAR Restaurant in Reykjavik)
5. Hit up a pub with live music
After a day of glacier hiking, sightseeing and cliff climbing, we got back to our room at Loft Hostel and decided to hit up some bars. We found this absolute gem of a pub on Ingólfsstræti called Den Danske Kro – a Danish pub with live music. You walk in and it’s packed with cheerful groups of friends dressed casually, sipping beer and singing along to a live band with awesome musical taste singing covers (sometimes) better than the originals.
Watch some of my favorite moments in Iceland here:
So, when are you booking your ticket?
Thank you so much for reading this post. Follow along on my day to day inspirations + travels on my instagram: @projectinspo.