Reykjavik - The Northernmost Capital

Jun 22, 2013

After lounging for hours in the Blue Lagoon we finally made it to our lovely (airbnb) apartment that was conveniently located on the Laugavegur- the main street of Reykjavik. Our plan was to wait for our travel buddies Rachael &Christian to arrive and then hit the famous nightlife of this town! And not just any nightlife, but repeatedly praised as one-of-a-kind and it so happened that it was also the weekend of summer solstice!

It’s a known fact that the party here starts late and by late I mean 1am. Some could even call it early. For us, we were sleeping like babies at 1am…until we heard the door open up- the fellow travelers had arrived and they were in full party spirits! They drag us out of the bed and started pouring us shots (yep, that’s the type of friends we travel with)! We hit the runtur scene just like the locals around 2am and the bar district was full of people who seemed to wander from one pub to another or continue drinking somewhere in between. We had a blast partying the Viking style and we ended our night where everyone else also seemed to end it- at the fast food stall! ;)

Reykjavik's Runtur (means pub crawl)!
Can you believe this is in the middle of the night? Around 2.30am.

The next day we toured around the town and we continued to be really lucky with the weather. Under the blue sky we walked around the old harbor, checked out the lively quarters of down town and made our way to the church of Hallgrímur, which is the biggest church in Iceland. What’s actually nice about this capital is that it’s not full of sights and places you have to go to, but more about the genuine feeling the town gives you. In contrary to common believe of Iceland being excessively expensive, we found the price level to be pretty decent- of course it helps if you eat hot dogs for lunch and dinner! And why wouldn’t you, after all, it comes close to being a national dish! I mean, where else in the world is a hot dog stand considered as one of the ‘main sights’? Throughout the entire trip we definitely had our fair share of these delicious hotdogs! Also, most of the bars on the main strip have happy hours from about 4pm-8pm, which translated into buy one, get one for free policy. So it is possible to eat and drink cheap.

Reykjavik is full of nice cafes and bars (on left our favorite: Bunk Bar)
The city is full of awesome graffiti! 
Hallgrímur Church
Strolling around the town from main street to pond Tjörnin
The Old Harbour
The main sight: Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur Hot dog stand
Made in Iceland: The coolest handcraft!

One of our favorite Reykjavik moments though, was the Saturday night sunset watch at the Sun Voyager- statue. It’ a boat-shaped statue that lots of people misinterpret as a Viking ship (actually we called it that too), but in fact it was originally made to represent light (sun), freedom and hope. What makes it also so special is the location; right by the sea overlooking the mountain range in the distance. Your regular sunset just got that much better!

Sólfar- The Sun Voyager
The beautiful and calm sunset
The coastline of Reykjavik

Reykjavik offered us a great introduction to Iceland and we really enjoyed its small town vibe and atmosphere. At the same time, we were as eager as ever to get on the road and find out what the rest of the country would have in store for us. And we knew that whatever it would be, it would be spectacular…


TIPS & LINKS


General Information:
Official site for tourism
Lots of information for the city: sights, where to stay, where to eat or where to swim etc.
{Here you find almost everything you’ll need- from travel to entertainment- in Reykjavik (and Iceland in general)}
- Including Reykjavik Bar Guide 2013 (pdf)- very good information on nightlife

Miscellaneous:
- Icelandic blog based in Reykjavik- lots of travel tips & useful information about Iceland
E-newsletter about life in Iceland
- Find out more on Tiny Iceland 
Outdooractivity tours (hiking, trekking, and much more!)
Bars (One of our favorite finds in the main street)
Our accommodation
{Great apartment with facilities for 2+2 people (kitchen, living room space, dining table, laundry etc.) - fully equipped. Just a stone's throw away from everything you need to see/do in Reykjavik. We had a very nice stay here and even met the owners (who were very friendly and helpful)!}


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