Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is a perfect first stop on a trip to explore the rest of Iceland. It’s hip restaurants and bars, fun nightlife, and artsy culture will make you want to stay for more than just a day. But, just in case a day is all you have, here is the way to spend it.
A Perfect Day in Reykjavik!
Begin your day waking up from the amazing KEX hostel. I loved my stay there and the vibes were unbelievably hip, retro and artsy. The location was also perfect. If you don’t stay here, then at least come here for one of their live band nights or just to the bar and restaurant. It was definitely one of the coolest hostels I’ve stayed at in my life. You can also start with breakfast here in their library common room that looks over the water.
Next, stop and get oatmeal with homemade jam and granola or a beautiful coffee at the Reykjavik Roasters.
After breakfast it’s just a short walk from the coffee shop to visit the top of the famous church in Reykjavik, the Church of Hallgrímur. I’ve never seen a church look like this in my life. It cost a few Icelandic kròna to go to the top of the church, but the views of the city were well worth it!
On your walk back, step inside the bakery, Braud & Co to get some of the best bread and baked goods you may have in your life. I especially loved the muesli we bought for our camper van trip around Iceland. You can’t miss this place from the artistic storefront and all of the staff inside look like people from GOT (if you’re a fan like me)!
After grabbing some pastries, walk down to the water to enjoy the views and eat by the water side statue, the Sun Voyager. This is if the weather is nice, of course!
Then walk down the waterfront path to go inside the Harpa Concert Hall. It’s free to walk through it and the inside is absolutely stunning.
For lunchtime be sure to grab a famous Icelandic hot dog at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. At this hot dog stand you can get a 3 kròna hot dog with all the fixin’s. The most interesting ingredient they add on top is remoulde. I’d never had it before, but it really made the hot dog..shall I say…interesting. I really did like it though! Icelandic people sure love their hotdogs and fast food spots.
After your hotdog you can venture to the famous, Phallogical Museum in Iceland, which is quite literally a penis museum that houses more than 289 real penis parts of different animals found in Iceland. Sound weird? It is. After this, it might be time for a drink.
For a pre-dinner drink, make a stop at Slippbarinn and order a drink made with local Icelandic liquors.
Afterwards, if you’d like to try some of Iceland’s famous langoustine/lobster, then hit up Saegreifinn for the lobster soup or one of the MANY amazing restaurants in town. Reykjavik is a foodie city and there are tons of great spots to choose from. If you’re more on a budget and want something random, try out the tiny hole in the wall ramen shop called, Ramen Momo.
Afterwards hit up the night life at Kaffibarinn, catch a concert at the Kex hostel or go on the Reykjavik city pub crawl!
I hope you enjoy your time in Reykjavik as much as I did! If you need other ideas to fill in space, here are some other suggestions.
- Stop at a gas station to get some siginn fiskur (dried up fish). See if you like it or not!
- Do the free walking tour of the city to get your bearings and learn about the culture of Iceland.
- Do your laundry and eat, drink, or have a coffee at the Laundromat Cafe (a hip restaurant where you can literally do your laundry in the basement).
- If you’re heading to the airport or are coming in from the airport, then make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. Even though it is filled with tourists, it’s fun to experience! There are also other thermal baths to go to in Reykjavik as well.
And if you’re making a trip around Iceland’s Ring Road or Golden Circle, be sure to check out my itinerary here.
What to Pack for Iceland in Fall & Winter
Epic Stops I Made on Iceland’s Ring Road
Diaries From Around the World: 1 Month
I am going to Reykjavik on a school trip next October, what will the weather be like & what will I have to pack?
Also, I live in England so our currency is GBP, how much money do you think I should change to Icelandic Krona? We are only going for 4 days, but I do want to do some shopping!
I have a packing post of Iceland here! Hope this helps! I used the ATM when I arrived in Iceland to take money out and it was super easy! link here: https://www.travelingspud.com/2016/10/19/what-to-pack-for-iceland-in-fall-and-winter/
Iceland is on our short list of places to visit and we hope to get there in the next couple of years. I’ve definitely heard it’s one of the more expensive countries to visit, so it’s good to know that there are some ideas out there to enjoy it without breaking the bank. Thanks for the tips!
Where is Reykjavík recently posted…Where is Reykjavík Located