Summer 2018 | August 3-7
Reykjavik was the final stop of my mini European exploration of Summer 2018. I did spend a day in Helsinki, Finland, but there is not much to report on considering I only ate snacks and drank beer. It was raining when I arrived in Iceland, so I do suggest you pack a light jacket and wear sneakers especially if you plan to walk all throughout the city. Also, bring your camera because there is a photo opportunity at every corner.
My five day plan suddenly became three because of visa issues. All my sightseeing and plans were cut short and my stops were very short which was a bit annoying but gave me a thrill to discover as much as I could in such little time. Check out some of the places I visited below and follow along using this map of my travels here:
Hlemmur Square: I found this awesome hostel on booking.com and this was my first stop after leaving the airport. It was spacious an affordable, but looking back I wish I had booked a private room knowing that I prefer my own space. I chose this place because of its central location in the city and how easily I could access every site on my visit list.
Roadhouse Reykjavík: My knight in shining armor was found at this amazing spot. I only had Euros and the nicest man changed my Euros to Icelandic Krona for me and we had the nicest conversation about everything and nothing. This was my first unofficial stop in my adventure around the city where I ate; two bacon cheeseburgers, two house salads (I don’t even like salads like that), I drank two tall glasses of pineapple juice, and two cups of tea. Yes, this was all in one sitting because I hadn’t eaten the night before. The service was excellent and if you ever visit and are looking for a place with American cuisine, this is definitely the spot. R
Hallgrímskirkja + Leif Erikson Statue: This is the tallest church in Iceland. It has grey walls with vertical, parallel lines covering the entire exterior of the building. The inside was magnificent with tall ceilings and a simple design on the inside. The outside of the building had a lot of space where people could site around or possibly picnic (I’m not sure if this is possible or allowed).
The Leif Erikson statue that was given to Iceland by the US is also in front of the church, and the view is quite nice with a garden in front of the building for some great photos.
Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre: This venue is probably one of the most incredibly mesmerizing places I have ever seen in my life. The entire building is made of glass, and it is so big you could literally get lost by simply going up the steps. The shopping center is very cute and expensive, especially for a broke girl like me.
The views it gives are simply magnificent. Most of the building is surrounded by water, and on one side you can see the boats in dock ready for sailing, and another side you can see the boats sailing on the water. You can also sit on the inside and people watch or watch cars go by on the road below. There is so much to do in this one building and it is definitely a must see.
The Perlan: I walked to the Perlan from my hostel and it is quite a hike- I literally walked through some bushes to get here- and it was kind of a bummer. The exhibit was closed due to construction, but the view is absolutely brilliant. At the top of the hill where the Perlan lives, there is a great overlook of the city, and and even better view of the Hallgrímskirkja. I was very excited to see inside the Perlan after doing the research, but it was closed due to construction. However, check out these bomb photos of the site, thanks to Pexels. I also found me three new boyfriends whom you can see below ;).
Tjornïn + Reykjavík City Hall: Tjornïn is a lake located in central Reykjavík. It is close to the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre and there is a mini bridge across the Tjornïn to get there. I would even argue that City Hall is located on the waters. I walked here and sat on the edge of the water to feed the ducks as the gathered around me. I found out they are quick vicious creatures when it comes to food, so that was my first and last time feeding them.
Tjornïn is close to a Pride shop and Cathedral of Christ the King (Landakot Church) which was another of my stops. I walked around the lake and met another boyfriend and we got on well until I had to leave. It’s a great spot to hang, relax, o have a picnic, and it makes a great backdrop for photos. Must see.
Takeaway: Reykjavík was a cool city to visit, despite the fact that it posed a few issues for me when I first got there. The banks close at 4PM on Fridays for the entire weekend; very different from the USA and it messed up my whole plan (especially since I was traveling with cash in euros).
The people were pleasant and friendly, and if you don’t know any word of the language, it’s not big deal. They speak and understand English well. If you are traveling to Reykjavík, be sure to check out this blog on some tips to keep in mind.
Recommendation: I definitely recommend visiting Reykjavík during the summer if you don’t fancy cold weather and snow. There was a high of 60 degrees while I was there in the summer, and apparently that was great weather, but if you like the cold and snow, feel free to go during winter months. Also, be sure to check out the spots discussed above and some tips I have to offer before you go.
Until Next Time…
– Tiffany ♥