24 hours in Reykjavik, Iceland

In En-Route, Europe, Iceland, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Pick & choose which suits you best.

Of recent years Reykjavik is becoming more and more popular. Initially, it was as a city break destination and a base from which to tour the Golden Circle, back in 2007.

Northern Lights dancing in the sky at Reykjahlíð, Eastern Iceland

However, fast forward to 2018, and I now feel the adventurous side is coming out more in people, and often time is limited in Iceland’s colourful capital.

Reykjavik is now frequently used as a landing point before heading off on a full Ring Road adventure around the rugged country. Or like us it was the last destination of our 12-day discovery in 2018.

Janis with a big diamond on the beach, Iceland

So, what can you fit in?

My first choice would be, and really this applies to most destinations, and that is “hit the streets”. It’s the best way to explore and appreciate the culture of a place.

Colours of the rainbow, Reykjavik, Iceland

Not a bad idea

We went distinctly low tech with a traditional foldout paper map for our Icelandic adventure. 

Sure we'd mapped our route out beforehand, and we're using 'Etta's' inbuilt GPS, but somehow there's nothing better than checking your plans out the old fashioned way the night before your next adventure.

Heart of Reykjavik

The main street that runs through Reykjavik city is Laugavegur, along here you’ll meet the hustle and bustle of the town day and night. Plenty of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants; a fantastic place to start.

Strolling up Laugavegur, Reykjavik, Iceland
Decorated, Reykjavik, Iceland

Travel Reading

Did you know?

That beer was banned in Iceland until 1st March 1989 due to the Prohibition in Iceland, it’s now celebrated as “Beer Day”

They’ve made it easy

Hallgrímskirkja (the church on the hill) is the centrepiece to Reykjavik and certainly worth a visit. I would urge you to include the full tower experience. It costs ISK 1,000 which is around £7/€8/$9.

Outside the Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland
Inside the Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland

They’ve even built a lift inside so you only have a few steps at the top to climb. The view from the 73-meter-high tower is incredible, and you can wander around the top to get the full 360-degree view.

The view over Reykjavik, Iceland

You’ll get unobscured views of the mountains across the ocean and the colourful city centre below.

Why not?

Start creating your own Icelandic adventure and discover the Northern Lights yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.

Head to the harbour

If time allows, then take a whale watching tour, but wrap up warm, even in the summer months. Not only may you get to see a whale or two, but you’ll also catch a glimpse of the local puffins.

Whale watching ships in the harbour, Reykjavik, Iceland

However, if you don’t have your sea legs then take a stroll around the working harbour and marina, fishing is a big industry in Iceland.

The Sun Voyager at dusk, Reykjavik, Iceland

You’ll come across The Sun Voyager a stainless-steel sculpture by Iceland’s Jón Gunnar Árnason, looks very much like a Viking ship. Also, along here is the colourful Harpa concert hall opened in 2011.

The Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland

Our Gadgets

Tempted to?

Discover Iceland’s enchanting Ring Road with its rugged landscape or the waterfalls and geysers around the Golden Circle for yourself. You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire covers all budgets and only a five-minute shuttle bus from Keflavik airport.

Into Town

Keeping with the wandering theme, head through the streets passing all the brightly painted buildings and some interesting statues along the way.

Finding yourself in Austurvöllur, this is a large public square, which has been the scene of a few protests over the years.

Here you have Reykjavik’s eye-catching white Cathedral and Parliament House.

Monument in Austurvöllur, Reykjavik, Iceland
Dómkirkjan í Reykjavík, Iceland
Parliament House , Reykjavik, Iceland

A Bright Idea?

It's those little things that can make the difference.  In Iceland you're in the midst of nature and we found just a simple USB rechargeable torch to be very useful.  You can't always rely on your phone. 

Got the munchies?

Well, if you made the incredible decision to visit Iceland, then you’ll be aware that it’s not going to be cheap to get fed and watered.

Hotdogs & Fast food - Icelandic style, Reykjavik, Iceland

Quite popular in Iceland is a hot dog, you won’t be the only one to have made that choice.

Queueing for a hotdog, Reykjavik, Iceland

Point to Note

In regards to food prices - We all know in Iceland food & drink can seem expensive. Gary and I found that if you are choosing a restaurant, then the difference between fine dining and convenience is less than you may be used to so you may just as well splash out and enjoy it.

Blue Lagoon

We visited the Blue Lagoon when we first visited Reykjavik in 2007, we slotted it in, on our way to the airport before heading back. It’s not too far and a pleasant way to relax before your journey home.

The original Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Tip

Don’t be caught out, the Blue Lagoon needs to be booked online in advance during busy times. Otherwise, you may not get in or get the time you require. It’s become very popular.

The time slots early or later in the day have the cheaper deals.

Street Art

Gary and I love to appreciate intriguing street art, and we found that Iceland, in general, had some great pieces, although, Reykjavik was alive with it.

Love the Gorilla - Street art, Reykjavik, Iceland
Lovers - Street art, Reykjavik, Iceland
Beauty - Street art, Reykjavik, Iceland
Performing - Street art, Reykjavik, Iceland
Pineapple chunk - street art, Reykjavik, Iceland
Trapped - Street Art, Reykjavik, Iceland
Head wrapped up - street art, Reykjavik, Iceland
The Octupus - Street art, Reykjavik, Iceland

Keep Charged

If you've hired yourself your wheels for your Icelandic adventure, then why not pick up a cigarette USB charger.  A great way to keep your devices charged as you're on the move.

Where we stayed

For the one night, we were based in Reykjavik; we stayed at Skuggi Hotel by Keahotels. The hotel is modern, (you can’t currently find it on street view). It has underground parking, which was our main reason for choosing it and it was in a reasonably central location.

Something from Get Your Guide?

Why not check out what else is on offer through Get Your Guide.

(These options are provided by GetYouGuide.Com. We will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you book through our site)

Why Not?

Catch up with our full 11 day Icelandic Ring Road tour

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Inspired to visit Reykjavik?

Catch the bright lights of Reykjavik, or tour the infamous Ring Road, you won’t regret it.

Why not checkout the latest deals on Booking.Com?

Booking.com
 24 hours in Reykjavik, Iceland

(Why not Pin It for Later?)

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

Trips100 - Travel Blogs
Trips100

If you enjoyed this post

Why not subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter?
Join Us
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.