If you follow along on Snapchat (ADALETA is my username) or Insta, you’re well ahead of the news that I went to Reykjavik, Iceland just a few weeks ago. This post took me a bit to get compiled because I have hundreds of photos, and I realized I can’t show you every angle of every shot because you’d be scrolling for hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that. It was hard narrowing them down, but I hope you enjoy the ones I choose to share with you!
Visit the Blue Lagoon. It’s one of the wonders of the world, and is referred to as a geothermal spa. When you arrive, you’ll have multiple packages to choose from. They’re all a bit pricey with standard being a minimum of 40 euros. Unless you travel with a towel overseas, you will need to purchase the next level “comfort” in order to get a towel and a drink (which can be water or a cocktail.) The towel was an absolute necessity, so likely most have to purchase this second package at the minimum.
You will have to remove any and all silver jewelry from your body because the sulfur in the water will tarnish the metal. However, this is the time to pull out the gold jewelry because the sulfur will help make it shiny. It worked like a charm for my two Mejuri rings, so I highly recommend you wear that gold chain into the spa 😉
There are two locker rooms, male and female. You will go in there, leave your belongings in a locker (which you will only know the password to) change into a swimsuit, shower and make sure to put conditioner in your hair and then you’ll be allowed to go into the lagoon. Their goal is to preserve the cleanliness so it makes sense why you need to shower before getting in!
We had the lovely pleasure of staying at the Fosshotel Reykjavik. I was pleased with the Scandinavian style room, the white sheets and the plethora of light shining through the windows. The staff were all extremely friendly and food was awesome. Breakfast was included with the room, but you have to make sure to get there before the entire breakfast area is packed with guests. WiFi is included with your stay, and I will admit that the hotel WiFi was the bomb dot com. I got a video uploaded in no time!
Embrace local traditions. In this area that overlooks Harpa, fishermen will hang their fish to dry. Dried fish is a big deal in Iceland. When it dries, it takes a jerky type texture, and is quite salty.
After some exploration this first evening, we decided to get some cocktails and food at a local restaurant called Slippbarinn. They’re well known for their cocktails, and it’s the hip place to be for dinner. I ordered a drink called the Lazarus which had three types of bourbon, dry curacao, cinnamon, lime, mint and pineapple. Sounds like a dream, right? We ordered a couple of appetizers, scarfed down some entrees and chatted until around 10:30 PM. We had no idea how late it was, because it was completely light out.
The next day, we had a morning full of meetings, and decided to take a quick lunch break. We walked across the way to Wok On, which is a brand new Asian inspired restaurant.
Later that day, our host pulled out some dried fish for a mini tasting. It tasted like jerky to me, but with a bit more saltiness and harder to chew. I did like it, but I don’t think I could ever choose fish jerky over beef jerky. It’s a no brainer for me and my beef obsession. We were also given some lamb cold cuts, which were supposed to be placed on a cracker or pita. So delicious, and honestly I never eat lamb.
After a day full of meetings, we decided to have a stroll through Laugavegur, which is a must. This is known as the official shopping street so you’ll have to go buy some trinkets. It’s very touristy, lots of cute shops, street art and shopping bags being tousled through the streets. I successfully found quite a few souvenirs for family and friends.
If you’re looking for an incredible view of the entire city, you must go to the Hallgrimskirkja Church.
You’ve seen the quintessential rainbow housetops photo of Reykjavik? That shot is taken from the church, and it is such a beautiful scene up there. While it was extremely windy and cold at the top, it was just so surreal to be there taking photos and experiencing the entire city view. Truly magical.
Try the beer garden. After that evening’s exploration, we decided to head to our hotel for dinner because there’s a well-known beer garden there. The restaurant’s got the largest selection of beers in Reykjavik, which made it quite a tough decision to choose which one to have. In case you didn’t know, beer is fairly new to Iceland because it wasn’t available in the country until the mid 90s. No one was making it or interested in it, so it just didn’t make its way over until recently but boy have they got the beer selections now. My favorite Icelandic local beer was of course an IPA from Ul Fur.
The next day was long, with lots of meetings but we persevered and decided to do some more strolling through Laugavegur to find a few more last minute gifts.
Going to Harpa is a must. The really neat thing about the building is the ever-changing colored windows. The window colors can be changed by the staff to reflect a season, holiday or special occasion, which is really cool.
That evening we decided to go for a delicious meal at the Apotek Restaurant. I thought it was interesting that the name of it was apotek because that’s a European term for pharmacy. Because it was a special goodbye dinner (our last night) we went a bit crazy with trying new food. We went with the six course tasting menu and got to try different things we likely wouldn’t try anywhere else (e.g. puffin and whale)
1 We started everything off with a “refreshing” shot of Brennivin which is an Icelandic schnapps.
2 Then there was a bite of puffin (which my family was petrified about, but alas when in Rome right?)
3 Next was some slow cooked ocean perch with beetroot purée, spicy butter, serrano ham and beetroot.
4 Next was minke whale. This was different, and something I would never ever try. Another one of those when in Rome moments, but it was surprisingly delicious and it’s a delicacy in Iceland.
5 The Icelandic sea trout had some yuzu mayo, truffle mayo, crispy quinoa and apple
6 Icelandic plaice was completely new to me. Samphire, green asparagus, blood orange and lime beurre blanc.
7 The main entree was an Icelandic lamb fillet with leeks, pickled onions, browned celeriac, baked carrots, spinach and dill cream.
8 Dessert was delicious. It was called Skyr fantasia with Skyr fromage, Skyr mousse, strawberry and lime gel and lime sponge cake.
This was a really nice way to end the the trip of a lifetime. I really hope to make it back to Iceland, explore more and take the Mr with me so he can see it for himself. There’s something neat about reading a post about a destination, and also seeing a video about it. But there’s nothing like seeing it for yourself, with your own eyes. Travel really is one of the greatest joys in life.
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
Money. Icelandic krona is the currency in Iceland. While thing are reasonably priced, they can be higher or lower than what you’re used to in the US. For me, it was about the same I’d expect but eating out was definitely more on the pricier side. Also if I compared Reykjavik cost to Oslo costs, I’d say Oslo is significantly more expensive than Reykjavik but that’s from my experience.
While Iceland is not technically connected to Scandinavia, it is a Scandinavian and Nordic country. Just like it was in Norway, the language barrier is non-existent. Icelanders speak extremely proficient English, which is a relief. Makes traveling much easier, when you know the local people will likely speak English.
The weather can be finicky and unpredicted. For someone like me who comes from a really hot place (the desert gets up to 110 degrees fahrenheit during the summer) this was definitely a cold place even during Iceland’s summer. I recommend winter attire for the most part but especially during the winter time. There was a lot of daylight and not much darkness in May. I read about this a bit and the sun goes down for a short period of time. We didn’t realize it was 10:30 at night the first evening because it was so light out as we were eating dinner!
In regards to flights, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you fly Icelandic Air. If you’re planning a big trip to Europe, I highly recommend taking Icelandic Air to Reykjavik, staying a few nights there and then going forward to the rest of your journey through Europe. The airline allows stopovers for up to two weeks and there’s no additional cost for staying several days there. Cannot recommend this enough!
When you make plans for your trip, make sure to book the Flybus from the airport to downtown Reykjavik. It’s a bit of a drive, but Reykjavik Excursions will get you there in no time. There is no Uber, so if you need to travel throughout the city you will need to take public transportation, walk or a taxi.
I even did a YouTube video vlog of this journey, so make sure to tune in down below. It’s short, but one of my favorite vlogs so enjoy! Also, if you didn’t know I do have a YouTube channel and one video gets uploaded each week (sometimes even two.) Make sure to hit that subscribe button 😉
If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Iceland, I would highly recommend it. Any burning questions? Leave them in the comments!