Iceland is internationally best known for its many active volcanoes and spectacular scenery, while the capital Reykjavik has recently also emerged as an attractive destination for tourists looking for a small city with a good party life. With just over 120,000 inhabitants, it is by no means a big city we are dealing with, but in the downtown area, both restaurants, shops and nightclubs are close together.
Iceland’s historical approach to Norway means that many Norwegians interested in history and culture choose to take a long weekend or a longer stay on the giant island. In the same way that large parts of northern Norway have dark times in winter, this also applies to Iceland. That is why most tourists travel during the summer months, as the temperatures can be just as pleasant.
Travel to Reykjavik
According to DigoPaul, several airlines take you directly to Reykjavik most of the year. The flight takes about 2 and a half hours, and although Reykjavik is a relatively small city, most tourists want this as their main base as they travel around the large island to see both natural attractions and man-made sights. The official currency in Reykjavik is the Icelandic krone.
Norwegians will experience Reykjavik as a cheap city to holiday in. Especially locally produced goods will be affordable. Reykjavik is a safe city to travel in as a tourist, with relatively little crime. The worst will probably be party noise and noise in the city center, especially in the summer months when many tourists come here with just this as the main purpose. The drinking water can be drunk from the tap.
Hotels and restaurants in Reykjavik
As mentioned in the introduction, Reykjavik is a fairly small city measured in area, so you will hardly find any hotel in a bad location here. In addition, the standard of most hotels is almost always high, which has also sent prices up. It will not be perceived as particularly cheap to stay in Reykjavik, but it will in any case be cheaper than in Norwegian hotels.
As a coastal town and island nation, of course, much of what is served in Icelandic restaurants is based on ingredients from the sea. Seafood lovers will enjoy themselves at nice prices, but there are also some kitchens with an international touch, such as Mexican or Asian.
Attractions in Reykjavik
We have already talked about it – Iceland is best known for its active volcanoes and countless heat sources, or outdoor steam baths as many call it. But it is also an eldorado for museum-goers as well as history-interested Norwegians.
The golden circle
The three most famous sights in Iceland are all accessible from the capital Reykjavik. The tour that takes you to Gullfoss, Tingvellir and Geysir is called “The Golden Circle” and is done in one day. Gullfoss is one of the finest waterfalls in Iceland, while in the Geysir area you can see the active geyser Strokkur. Finally, the trip passes the beautiful Tingvellir National Park.
The blue Lagoon
The famous heat source “The Blue Lagoon” is not in the center of Reykjavik itself (39km away), but regardless of an attraction that you want to see. It is a naturally heated outdoor water source where you can enjoy a lovely bath that few other tourist towns can offer. If you do not want to travel that far, there are also a number of such water baths in the center of Reykjavik itself.
This is perhaps most interesting for foreign tourists, but not all Norwegians have seen whales. From Reykjavik there are many tourist companies that sell such trips, and you do not have to travel far from the coastline before you can see the whale in its natural habitat. Such trips offer several different whales, and often also dolphins and seals.
Festivities in Reykjavik
Reykjavik is not known as the most exotic party city in Europe, but attracts more and more young people due to a very good nightlife. Being a relatively small town, Reykjavik has very many nightclubs and pubs, where it is popular to take a tour of all the nightclubs through an evening. The city also has several exciting microbreweries that are well worth a visit for those who like good beer.
Museum and Hallgrimskirkja
Reykjavik has a lot of exciting things for those interested in culture and history. The National Museum takes you on an interactive exhibition where you learn more about the Vikings and their lifestyle. The art museum has the largest visual art collection in Iceland, while Perlan (see next section) also has an interesting museum. With its 74.5m, Hallgrimskirkja is Iceland’s largest and an impressive sight.
Throughout the city’s water tower you will find a central meeting point for both residents and tourists. In the completely unique building you will now find a revolving restaurant / café, as well as a museum called the Saga Museum that tells about Icelandic history. The top of the building consists of a glass sphere, which offers fantastic views of the Icelandic capital.