Reykjavík. Easily one of the best city breaks.
Despite being such a small city, Reykjavík more than makes up for it with an abundance of atmosphere and stunning views.
Back in November my boyfriend (James) and I flew to Iceland for two reasons:
- For a slightly delayed “summer” holiday
- Ignore the stress that comes as a package deal in the final year of our degrees
The break helped us to continue our denial over impending exams and essays anyway.
We spent just over 4 days in the city, and it was plenty of time to explore Reykjavik itself. But unfortunately it wasn’t long enough for us to discover Iceland outside of the city centre. Iceland is already on our list of places to return.
After a “semi-smooth” flight in what looked like it had come straight from the bargain bin of planes we arrived at the airport in Keflavík. The journey from the airport into the city centre takes roughly 45 minutes, and whether you’re planning on booking transport prior to arriving or in the airport itself it’s really easy and stress free.
We stayed in the Arctic Comfort Hotel from a deal we got with Groupon. (I’d definitely recommend having a look on these types of daily deal sites; there are always offers on for Iceland.) Our hotel room was absolutely lovely with a fab view of the mountains. Although the glass wall connecting the bedroom to the bathroom was questionable… Put it this way, any remaining boundaries that existed between us were well and truly shattered that week.
The walk from our hotel into the city centre took an average of 20 minutes. It would have been faster if it hadn’t been for the black ice camouflaged on the pavements… It was touch and go at times. Top tip = be prepared to cling/dive/grab onto the nearest person when the ice inevitably takes you out. It’s every man for himself out there.
Aside from the perilous pedestrian hazards, the walk into Downtown Reykjavik is lovely. It is essentially one long road through all the main shops and restaurants, or you can choose to walk along the main road next to the sea to see the stunning mountain views.
After walking past a few shops it soon became apparent that the Icelandic people are very fond of their Puffins. There are hundreds in the form of miniature ornaments, magnets, hats and stuffed animals adorned the windows of nearly every souvenir shop. Surprisingly at the end of our trip neither of us actually came away with anything that had a Puffin embellished on the front of it. James did attempt to eat one in a restaurant (thought that’s a completely different story).
With so much to see and do, Reykjavík is fantastic for a short break with family, friends or loved ones. Although we went during the winter, I’ve heard that it is supposed to be equally as beautiful throughout the summer months.
The MUST visits when in Downtown Reykjavík:
- Skólavörðustígur – for a great walk through Reykjavík
- Hallgrímskirkja Church – An impressive building, especially during sunrise. You can go up to the top of the tower for a small fee
- The Old Harbour – It’s a beautiful walk down to the Harbour, with various boating trips taking place here
- The Solfar (Sun Voyager) – Sculpture by the sea next to the city center
- SO MANY AMAZING restaurants to try! – Although be prepared, food is not cheap in Reykjavík
More to follow soon about our excursion exploits in Iceland…