If you're looking to freeze your butt off but also witness some of the most stunning views you'll ever see but also pay a small fortune for beer but also bathe in a natural hot spring... Iceland has everything you need.
Iceland is quickly becoming the hip and trendy new place to visit. Our tour guide told us that the tourism industry has blown up over recent years, which explains why Icelandair now offers free "stop overs" - basically plan a trip to somewhere other than Iceland on Icelandair, and they won't charge you extra to stay for a few days. Good deal, right?
So the bae and I took advantage and booked a trip to London (more on that in another post) with a 3 day stop over in Reykjavik. Knowing basically nothing about Iceland before the trip, I did some light research but mostly decided to go with the flow. Lemme break down how it went:
- We stayed at an Airbnb super close to the Hallgrímskirkja, the iconic church centrally situated in the city. Airbnb is definitely the way to go - affordable, clean, and extremely easy if you stay in Reykjavik. The city itself isn't huge, so practically anywhere you'd wanna go is walkable. Definitely check out that church, take a cool picture for your 'gram of the Sun Voyager sculpture (see my own Insta post of it), and the Harpa concert hall.
- While food and alcohol are pretty pricey in Iceland, there's a few must tries, including whale, lamb stew, and fermented shark (hákarl) - that last one is just about as gross as it sounds and typically comes with a shot of Nordic liquor to handle it... but hey, when in Iceland! We were able to get all of these at Restaurant Reykjavik, which is buffet style so you can double up on your favorites. If you wanna go the Kardashian route, also be sure to check out Baejarins Beztu Pylsur for "the world's best hotdog" (I'll admit, they're pretty good).
- As beautiful and lively as Reykjavik is, you're not in Iceland just for the city, right? Take a day trip (or longer if you have the time!) out into the more remote parts of the country. If you're short on time, I'd go for a one full day tour of the Golden Circle - a loop starting and ending in Reykjavik that hits all the local natural wonders. There's a ton of different ways you can do the tour - including driving yourself - but the one we did featured geysers, waterfalls, a national park where 2 tectonic plates meet, and the Blue Lagoon's slightly lesser known (and therefore less crowded) cousin, the Secret Lagoon.
- A few things I didn't get to try (but now give some good reasons to come back) that you might wanna check out for yourself: Kiki's bar for drinks and dancing, that epic crashed plane in the middle of nowhere, and Jokulsarlon beach.
This is a trip I'd do all over again - plan your own stop over and let me know how you like it!