0.4 miles from city centre
Well-heeled Vesturbær is made for lazy afternoons. Once home to fishermen’s cottages, its quiet streets now house families and students. Join locals for a dip and some friendly gossip at Vesturbæjarlaug swimming pool. At Eiðsgrandi, take a seafront stroll and suck in fresh salty air. Then, sweeten things up with homemade ice cream at Valdís.
Places to stay from £47 per night
In the city centre
“101” is Iceland’s hippest postcode. It’s peopled by artsy, woollen-capped clans and Macbook-toting media tribes. Cruise the Skólavörðustígur–Klapparstígur–Laugavegur triangle of streets for everything from saké bars to second-hand shops. Sip a latte in retro art-café Mokka, or sink craft brews in casual Kaldi Bar. Congrats, you’re officially cool!
Places to stay from £21 per night
1.5 miles from city centre
The city’s first suburbs slowly popped up here in the 1940s. Today, the area fizzles with life. At Reykjavík Zoo, giddy kids line up to see cute Icelandic horses and reindeers up close. In Kringlan Mall, check out trendy weather-proof threads at 66°North. Then saunter down Laugalækur Street to peruse artisan food shops like the Sausage Company.
Places to stay from £17 per night
4.7 miles from city centre
When Reykjavík rapidly grew after WWII, modern flats replaced this area’s old farm houses. Today, some buildings carry murals by Icelandic artists Erró and Sara Riel. At Árbær Museum, quaint grass-roof cottages and actors in folk dress recreate the old world. In Elliðaárdalur Park, you can pick wild berries to the sound of gushing waterfalls.
Places to stay from £41 per night
The planet's most northerly capital offers boundless history, culture and Icelandic charm. Most streets are filled with multi-hued houses which add splashes of colour all over the city. Reykjavik's compactness means it's easy to explore on foot, with a variety of cosy cafés and restaurants serving up traditional dishes like Brauðsúpa – delicious soup poured into a hollowed out loaf of bread.
You can explore the city's Viking origins at The Settlement Exhibition, where ancient ruins combine with digital technology. Other main sights include the towering Hallgrímskirkja Church and the National Museum, which tells the story of the country's foundations and unique culture.
A huge number of excursions run from the city to help travellers experience the best things to do outside of the capital. These include the famous geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, spectacular ice caves, geysers and giant waterfalls.
The main airport is located 50 km outside the city at Keflavik, with many arriving or departing travellers taking a dip in the nearby Blue Lagoon.
From £87 per night
From £166 per night
From £127 per night
|Most popular time to visit||June–August|
|Cheapest time to visit||November–January|
|Local currency||€ 10 = £8.58|
|Average weekend price||£135 per night|
|Average weekday price||£134 per night|
|Typical stay||2 nights|
We enjoyed a walking tour of the city's central area. We could get around easily by walking or short taxi rides. Tours or a rental car are necessary to see all the beautiful attractions away from the city. Reykjavik is an attractive city with quaint to modern architecture. There are opportunities for shopping for genuine Icelandic items. There are good restaurants, from every day and traditional eats to posh establishments. People are very courteous. Crime seems almost nonexistent. We felt totally safe out on the streets at night.
Four nights in Reykjavik were a little too much. We did the Golden Circle tour one day and could have done another one but we opted not to. Visited the Blue Lagoon upon arriving to Iceland then went to our accomodation after. The main street was lovely but really just need a day and a half or so of it. Next visit to Iceland will be spend exploring more of the island and what it has to offer. Also, a must is to visit Braudog & co, the most delicious bakery ever.
Parking can be difficult. The lot adjacent charges for parking until 6pm. If you park there, it needs to be moved by 9am. They only have a small amount of free parking along the backside of the hotel, first come basis. Lively bar and hot tub. Good energy. Breakfast is great, loved the homemade granola bars and coffee!
Reykjavik is a very nice small city with many restaurants, art displayed on buildings and streets and many natural wonders in close proximity. But be aware prices in Iceland are very high compared to most other cities/countries. Other than reasonable tour prices everything else is very expensive.
Reykjavik is a great city with many amenities. It may be smaller to other cities of the world, but it has wonderful local food scene. The people are enthusiastic about their city. Shops, bakeries and museums are there to entertain. We found sitting outside and soaking in (no pun, but it does rain a lot) the local scene was worth it. The scenery is beautiful and every changing based on the weather. The harbor added another variety. Give this city some time, as it is worth it.
Good start to weeklong stay. Easy access to transport and activities and tourist info to launch my stay. Good mix of affordable options and luxury. Points of interest for all ages, travel styles, budgets. Easy, comfortable and safe for solo (female) traveller.
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