How to fall in love with Reykjavik in one day

How to fall in love with Reykjavik in one day

If you only have a few hours to see the capital of Iceland, don’t worry, we’ve put together a selection of places that every self-respecting traveler should see and that won’t take much time.

Thanks to Icelandair’s successful connecting flights, many end up in Reykjavik with just a couple of hours between their next flight. But, fortunately, this is enough to make you fall in love and want to return.

If you have the time and energy, you can easily get around the city on foot. So take a taxi from Keflavik Airport or wait for a regular bus. All this can be booked in advance to save time on searching upon arrival.

How to fall in love with Reykjavik in one day

What to see

The first stop will be Hallgrímur Church, which is considered the largest in Iceland. Its tower can be seen from everywhere in the city. The rugged design was made to match the basaltic lava that flows in the north of the country. Here you can take a selfie with the monument to the famous explorer Leif Erikson. It was made by Alexander Stirling Calder.

Iceland is a very cold and windy country, so the roof of the church was made in exactly this shape, as well as the windows, so as not to let frost in.

Another iconic place in the city is Harpa, a concert hall located in the city harbor. Its outer shell consists of thousands of multi-colored three-dimensional pieces of glass, which were made by one of the most beloved artists among the people, Olafur Eliasson, especially for this building. The building itself was designed by a Danish architectural bureau.

There are regular tours of the building (usually several times a day, but it all depends on the season). They cost $15 per person and will be worth it if you’re into design or architecture. But you can go for free if you decide not to use the services of guides.

Be sure to check out the fifth floor to see the Eliasson-designed glass staircase that looks like it’s in zero gravity. The church offers beautiful views of the embankment and numerous ferries plying to Videy Island.

How to fall in love with Reykjavik in one day

Where to eat

It seems that everyone living in the always chilly Reykjavik has their own version of where the best coffee in the city is brewed. In general, the coffee culture here is quite important: many important political decisions were made while drinking a cup of strong black coffee. And for a nation in which everyone knows each other, a coffee shop is just another place to socialize.

For a special atmosphere, go to the Stofan cafe. It is made in the Viennese style and will set the right mood for your morning with its white and blue Delft porcelain cups, fun chairs and table lace tapestries.

Another option is Café Loki, which is located directly opposite Hallgrimur Cathedral. Despite the fact that this place is considered very touristy, the food here is very tasty and at the same time, it is truly Icelandic (ask for a double portion of dark bread and local butter for breakfast).

If you’re interested in finding out what hákarl, a local delicacy made from fermented shark fins, is, come back here for lunch, and you can also order a small portion to try. If this does not appeal, then you can choose a soulful soup with lamb meat and ice cream with the taste of rye bread.

How to fall in love with Reykjavik in one day

What to buy

Iceland doesn’t have many of its own designers. But they still exist: the best of them are on Laugavegur street. The Kiosk boutique is one of the highest quality examples; it is run by 8 young designers. Be sure to check out EYGLO’s tops, Hildur Yeoman’s colorful patterned pants, and Milla Snorrason’s hats and sweaters.

If you want to buy something for your home, the Scandinavian countries, as a rule, do not disappoint in this regard. A little further from Kiosk, down the road, is Hrim, a store of unusual gifts and items for the home. Here you can find everything from exquisite teapots to phone cases with inscriptions in the spirit of “My Selfie Machine”.

How to fall in love with Reykjavik in one day


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