Has Anyone Been To Reykjavik?

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Has Anyone Been To Reykjavik?

Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:42 am

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Re: Has Anyone Been To Reykjavik?

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:44 pm

@Scottrf

I went with my wife and in-laws last May for about 4-5 days, so happy to give a few pointers and ideas. First off, though, since you're going in December you're going to have very short days (and much shorter than what we had) so that's worth keeping in mind with visiting the sights, etc. Oh, and it'll be cold, and probably snow (heck it snowed when we went).

If you drive (or someone you're going with does) you should hire a car. Iceland's sights are not really possible to get to by public transport, so if you don't have a car you are relying on the pre-organised tours. This is what we had to do as none of us drive. It's perfectly fine, but having your own car makes you much freer, and allows you to get off the beaten track a little.

Another general piece of advice is to expect it to be expensive! You probably already know this if you've booked accommodation (a basic one-room self-catering apartment was nearly £100 per night), but food and drink (especially beer) is very expensive also. It's not completely prohibitive, but should be kept in mind if on a bit of a budget.

Reykjavik itself is a nice city, small enough and easy to get around. There are two places I would particularly recommend looking at. The first is the cathedral Hallgrímskirkja, designed to replicate (to a degree) some of Iceland's landscapes. The second is the concert hall Harpa, which I think is very beautiful. Other than that, it's worth taking a day or so to just stroll around the streets, along the sea front (see the famous sculpture 'The Sun Voyager), etc.

Obviously the main attraction of Iceland is the landscapes, and these are stunning. You actually get a first feel for them on the drive from the airport. Too many things to mention, but the two tours we did were:
https://grayline.is/tours/reykjavik/golden-circle-classic-tour-8706_9/
https://grayline.is/tours/reykjavik/south-coast-and-waterfalls-8706_146/
and every sight was well worth it. I particularly enjoyed the National Park, the black beach, and the glacier. The waterfalls were beautiful too. We also did the Blue Lagoon, which was fun.

Like I said, at the time of year you're going you'll be able to (hopefully) see the Northern Lights too. Of course, it depends on what exactly you like doing, and (as I said) if you have a car or not, but I would split my time at least 2/3 sights visiting and at most 1/3 in Reykjavik itself. Keep in mind once again that you'll have long evenings once the sun sets, and some of the Reykjavik visiting can be done then.

If you have some more specific questions, feel free to ask.

Mad for Chelsea

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Re: Has Anyone Been To Reykjavik?

Post by Scottrf on Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:18 pm

Thanks. Booked an apartment (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/171911) so would have somewhere to cook if need be and planning to hire a car.

Golden Circle I was planning on doing, and the south coast one looks interesting! You did via the tour rather than solo?

I think you're right, try to do something each afternoon, and spend mornings/evenings in the city.

I'm aware of the prices, I think I'm used to it after New York and Tel Aviv this year...but that was part of the reason to try and cook at least a couple of times.

Any restaurants you went to or decent bars in the city?

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Re: Has Anyone Been To Reykjavik?

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:37 pm

Yeah we did the tours. As we didn't have a car we didn't really have the choice. Since you're hiring a car you could do things solo, which would allow for more choice.

The apartment you booked is not far from where we stayed actually, we were at the corner of Amtmannstigur and Pingholtsstraeti. A good spot IMO, nice and central.

I'm afraid I can't remember the names of the restaurants/bars we went to. I do remember one nice restaurant whose prices were reasonable enough, and if ever I remember the name (or, more likely, my wife does), I'll pass it on. It wasn't far from where we stayed, so will be close to your apartment also.

Mad for Chelsea

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