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Reykjavik ideas

Thank you all who responded to my earlier post. I have taken the safe way and scheduled tours for many sights and activities. I am now seeking ideas for experiencing Reykjavik with its cuisine, culture, and activities to see and do in town. I saw the tour to take the Food Walk but figured I could do that without paying a guide. Any suggests to experience authentic food and culture while walking though town would be appreciated. Also, any suggestions for the abstrct and off-the-wall items would be welcome.

Thank you again for all your input.

Posted by
185 posts

I would highly recommend booking the guided food walk. Sure, you can experience the food and culture on your own, but I got more from the guided experience, and having a local guide placed things into a better context. Personally I'm an introvert who does not like fish or lamb, so I was stepping outside of my comfort zone. I took the tour with Reykjavík Food Walk -- https://thereykjavikfoodwalk.com/ -- and considering the actual cost of restaurant dining in Iceland, along with having a guide, I thought it was a great value. The tour was 13,900 króna, or about $108-$113 considering the exchange rate.

Anyway...

Cafe Loki -- https://loki.is/ -- I loved the lamb meat soup here, along with some buttered rye bread. Also known for their rye bread icecream, which was simply amazing. Almost like an Icelandic take on cookies & cream. While on the food walk, I also sampled some smoked lamb and charred flatbread which was amazing as well.

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur -- http://www.bbp.is/information-in-english -- Just get on YouTube and search Reykjavík hotdog stand. Probably the among the most Icelandic food experience and certainly the cheapest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXPtWlRY-3M

Messinn -- http://messinn.com/ -- The food tour went to the location at Lækjargata 6. Like I said, I dont like fish, and I couldn't bring myself to try the mashed cod, but the arctic char was pretty good.

Íslenski Barinn -- https://www.islenskibarinn.is/ -- Also had lamb soup and some Islandic beer here.

Steikhúsiđ -- http://steik.is/vefur/ -- Nice steak house. I went here a couple times, once for their surf & turf as they refer to the whale and Icelandic horse (amazing!) and a second time for a good ol' steak.

Posted by
65 posts

I use the Hop on Hop off bus for the two day pass. It is easy to use. We get to see other sections of Reykjavík of interest outside the old section. https://www.re.is/tour/hop-on-hop-off/

At the stop at Old Harbor:
Saegreifinn (Sea Baron in English) is one of the great restaurants in Europe. Warning before ordering because portion sizes are large...ask what is included with the meal. Our weekday lunch entry included the amazing unlimited salad/tapas bar, desert bar, soup, and salad. That was enough food for days. https://www.saegreifinn.is/

Across the street and at the bus stop also is a fantastic gastro brewery with tours: https://bryggjanbrugghus.is/

Further down the street is Kaffevaginn which was wonderful for coffee and breakfast.

One of the hop on hop off bus stops is at the swim park in Laugadalur. This is a huge swim complex we love visiting. Outside this venue is a hot dog stand worth trying an Icelandic hot dog.

From this park, you are really close to the bayside walkway down to Harpa.

The next stop on the hop on hop off is the Harbor stop. This is where you can rent a car from Enterprise if you need one.

At this stop is the ferry for Viday Island. This ferry ride is only a few minutes long. John Lennon memorial is on this island. http://imaginepeacetower.com/

Definitely stop in Harpa building. Beautiful building (with clean facilities which is few and far between in this city). Go upstairs for great photo ops of the bay.

Hop on hop off stop at Perlan. Perlan is free to go to the roof for a great view overlooking the city. Nice but pricey restaurant. Perlan has a Aurora immersive movie experience that is well worth the price. (Especially if like during our last trip in the fall, every night was cloudy. This was a good chance to feel like we saw the Aurora even though we’ve seen one before.). I didn’t think the rest of the museum was worth the time investment but other folks in our group did the glacier show (you put on crampons to climb a simulated glacier cave) and liked that.

Finally, and this is not in any tourist guide:
There are bike/scooter/pedestrian paths laced throughout the city. These are not only fun to see how the residents navigate sans tourists but are lovely and you’ll see the real Reykjavík. Great short cuts too. There are scooter and bike rentals at most large hotels.

There is a good tourist guide at the airport, be sure to pick up...lists current events going on.
https://visitorsguide.is/
I wished I had this on the first trip. The coupons are worth it.

Wishing you fun and a good trip!

Hi Bill,

There are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik, but I would say that the main ones are Hallgrimskirkja (the big church, take the elevator up the tower), go have a look at the Sun Voyager before going to the Harpa concert hall which is a nice pice of architecture. Then walk Laugavegur, the main shopping street to really experience the vibe of Reykjavik. It has also a lot of nice restaurants and bars to stop at. If you go towards to pond, you can stop at city hall. If there is no event taking place, then you can see a huge 3D map of Iceland. The old harbour also has a nice vibe (although some construction are happening there right now).

There are also plenty of museums, with probably the most bizarre one being the phallological museum. Perlan is a bit outside of the city, but they have some well done exhibitions in there and if you just want to have a coffee to enjoy the view over the whole city, it's also possible. The settlement exhibition is probably one of the most popular one. You can buy a city card, which will make it cheaper to go to museums, but only if you do 3 or more. Otherwise you can also take a free walking tour with a guide around the city. this will take 2 hours and the guide is paid by the tips you leave them (but it's not mandatory).

And if you want to know more about events taking place on the week you'll be there, here is an article that's being updated every week: https://traveo.is/what-to-do-in-iceland-this-week/ .

Hope this will help you and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Jonathan