Now the blog post everyone has been waiting for (drum roll please)…HEREEE’S REYKJAVIK.
As Reykjavik was only a brief part of my journey in Iceland, I will attempt to make this post as concise as possible (channeling my inner Hemingway for once).
Let’s start from the beginning…
I had a couple of friends from my hometown who were already here when I arrived (random I know). They were staying for 8 days, and I happened to catch them on their last day. If that’s not an act of God, I don’t know what is.
As I like to be descriptive and simultaneously get off topic, here is more useless information: they were staying at an Airbnb close to Hlemmur Square (bus stop 10)- my first stop after Keflavik Airport. Even though not much is going on in this area, the location did not hinder us in anyway from exploring the city. Reykjavik is walk-able, so it only takes a few miles to get to wherever you want to go.
Below are the places we visited:
- Perlan- a museum showcasing mainly ice caves. We did not visit the museum inside as most of it was under construction. What we did do was walk around outside exploring the art and admiring the view of the city. The architecture of the building is beautiful as is the cafe inside.
- Old Harbour- We initially wanted to see if we could catch a ferry to Videy Island, but there were no boats going to and from- most likely having to do with weather. Videy Island hosts Yoko Ono’s Peace Tower and the Milestones project (an art display featuring pillars of columnar basalt). The island is also a great place for walking and biking (or so I’ve heard). If you’re not planning to take a boat/ferry excursion, there’s not much else to see at Old Harbour.
- The Phallological Museum (AKA the strangest place in the world). This is in fact so bizarre I will dedicate a future post solely about this museum. In the meantime, I’ll let the picture below do the talking.
- Landakotskirkja (The Landakot Church)- This is also known as the Cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland. There are neat Viking inscriptions on the entrance doors. Upon going inside, we were serenaded with organ music. This was a quick stop- only taking about 10 minutes of our time.
- Lucky Records- If you’ve ever found yourself not able to find a record and/or DVD, you are in luck (hence the name). This store has anything you could dream of in the way of records and DVDs.
- Lake Tjornin- A somewhat crowded area, this was merely a short stop as we walked around town.
- Cafe Babalu- If you’re into Star Wars, you’ll love this place. Ahem. I mean you’ll love the restroom.
- Sightseeing- Most our time spent in Reykjavik for the day was sightseeing. We happened upon a lot of neat graffiti and random beer bottles.
My favorite part about Reykjavik was the nightlife. On my last night, I stayed in a hostel (Loft Hostel- next to bus stop 6) close to most of the restaurants and bars. I spent about $40, which is pricier than most hostels, but this one was in prime location. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in Reykjavik (which I advise against), that’s the way to go.
As I got in about 9:00 PM that night, I only went to a couple of bars- one was the Lebowski Bar and the other one- I don’t remember except it was about 2 blocks always from the Lebowski Bar (good luck finding it).
Reykjavik is more of a 4 hour day stop and/or a one night stay. There’s not much to do here (especially in the wintertime) and is highly commercialized- which is too bad because it’s a super quirky city! The “attractions” aren’t anything to write home about, but the vibes are great and it’s VERY VERY safe- safe as in I walked 4 blocks to the bus station at 5:00 AM and stood outside waiting for a bus for approximately an hour by myself.
Don’t worry about converting currency to Kronos. Card is accepted everywhere. Most of my lunch and dinner meals in Reyjkavik were about 20 Kronos. Breakfast landed between 12 and 15 Kronos. Tip is included, which no one seems to understand. But yes, it’s still on the pricier side.
I also didn’t tear or break or force anything while I was hear even though the title implies that. Don’t always believe what you see.
If you want to see Iceland for what it really is- raw beauty – get out of Reykjavik.
“When we grow up, concepts gradually get easier and we leave the images to the poets.”– Stephen King, The Shining