Reykjavik

Reykjavik provides an amazing island experience filled with awe-inspiring Northern Lights, incredible waterfalls and natural beauty that has to be seen to be believed.

What you need to know about Reykjavik

Language: Icelandic is the national language. Many locals speak English, especially younger locals in the main cities.

Currency: Iceland's currency is the Icelandic Krona.

Banking: All major bank cards are accepted by retailers generally in Reykjavik.

Weather: The weather in Reykjavik is crazy and fun. In the summer there is almost 24 hour sunlight, and in winter there can be as little as four hours of light, with Arctic winds bringing temperatures well below freezing - a hat, scarf and good winter clothes is a must!

Reykjavik means nourishment and nighttime fun

Reykjavík is surprisingly chic for its size. It's just a town by universal principles of size, especially in contrast with huge cities London or Paris, but it is stacked full with charming places to visit, unique pieces of art on the streets, appealing food options, and cool bistros and bars that offer lots of drink options, including local lager Gull which is delicious.

The capital has seen a steady flood in openings of new places to eat, a significant number of which are at a very impressive level culinarily.

Chameleon-like changes happen to Reykjavik's daytime cafes that transform into delicious eateries and funky bars as night-time falls (if it does fall at all depending on the time of year), so there is no shortage of tables available.

Tapas-style feasting, excellent examples of Icelandic cooking and burger joints all rub shoulders with other staple imports like American diners, Middle-eastern curry houses and the obligatory Irish pub. The live music on offer in Reykjavik is super entertaining; locals love astoundingly impromptu celebrations and gatherings over a pint, imaginative DJ sets are commonplace and local amateur bands are found in bars around the city most evenings.

There is even a penis museum for the fans of the more random tourist spots.

Lots to learn in Reykjavik

You can get a full introduction on the history of Iceland right in the middle of Reykjavík, from its Settlement Exhibition that is woven around the uncovered Viking longhouse of the region's first occupants, complimented by the tremendous National Museum that houses many of the nation's most valuable artefacts.

In the Old Harbour area of the city you can captivate the children at a high-octane Saga Museum, or find out about the sea history that saw settlers from Norway and further afar travel to Iceland in the first place.

Get out & explore the natural wonders of Iceland

Regardless of whether you travel to Reykjavík for a short visit or a longer Iceland holiday, make sure to travel to the areas outside of the city itself. Private attraction visits and guided group tours flourish as a burgeoning tourism industry continues to grow. There are many options to get out and see the Northern Lights or travel around the island's 'Golden Circle' with its incredible waterfalls, geysers and natural beauty. Globedge recommendation here is 'Bus Travel Iceland' tour operator, and cross your fingers that you get the amazing Julia and HBO as your guides.

Also be sure to visit the sight of Iceland's old parliament - Þingvellir which translates into English as Thingvellir - is a huge national park where the world's first democratic government was established in 930AD.

globedge-travel-reykjavik-old-parliament

Þingvellir - the site of Iceland's original parliament near Reykjavik

The much heralded (and pretty pricey!) Blue Lagoon, or the less spectacular looking Secret Lagoon alternative, are outdoor places to relax near Reykjavik in natural geothermal springs - an experience that you will struggle to find elsewhere, especially in winter when the land around the Lagoon is snow covered, the air is crisp & cold, and an early morning dip may let you bathe under a star-filled sky. In the daytime the vibrant colours of the water are an incredible sight.

 

Guides to Reykjavik

Best hotels in Reykjavik

Places to eat in Reykjavik