Eat, Sleep, Play: Reykjavik

It's been about a month since my visit to Iceland and I think that I have reflected enough and thought enough to suggest some great ways to spend your days. Unfortunately I'm a bit of a loser and don't go out to clubs or bars, so I don't have anything as far as those activities go. But, I do have some great day-time suggestions, some great food, and some great accommodations!

As some of us know by now, I prefer to stay in one location for the duration of my trip and take tours out of that location as I see fit, so, for my four nights in Reykjavik I stayed at a place called Hlemmur Square Hotel & Hostel. The location of Hlemmur Square is pretty fantastic, I have to say. It is located on Laugavegur which is the main shopping street in Reykjavik. It is a bit farther away from the downtown area than some would like, but you can get to other great Reykjavik sights within minutes (and, really, Reykjavik isn't that big, nothing is terribly far away). The hostel itself was fine. The lobby area was beautiful, the dorm rooms were a little less so, but still nice. My only real complaint was the state of the toilets and that was nothing to do with the hostel: I had seen it clean and it looked great. Apparently some travellers don't know how to put tissue in the garbage can, or flush the toilets? But, as I said, when newly cleaned the toilet areas looked fine. The beds, though, were really comfortable, I like me a firm mattress.

Oddly, my top two recommendations are my last two meals in Reykjavik. That's how the cookie crumbles, I guess! The first suggestion I have for you in the downtown Reykjavik area, it's called The Laundromat Cafe. The decor of this place is incredible, it is decorated with their own prints, there are books lining the counter in arranged in by colour, it has this cute shabby-chic vibe to it. The food was also fantastic, I had a really great Club Sandwich, but even better was this fresh-made juice. It was called a green juice, it was delicious! Spinach, mango, and ginger were the main ingredients - so yummy! They had a lot of items on the menu that I really wanted to try, too, and I'm sure they're great, based on my experience.

The other recommendation I have is on Laugavegur, so a great spot for lunch after you've spent the morning shopping for souvenirs. Durum is the name of the restaurant, and it is lovely, I gotta say. The inside is really fresh and open, surprisingly so, considering how small the space is. You get the feeling that everything is freshly made and uses fresh ingredients (I don't know if that's true, but it's the feeling you get). The food was really great, too. I had a Chicken Wrap (so basic) and I was really pleased with it. I feel like Durum is a great spot to have a quick, but healthy lunch (it all just seems so fresh!). Also, the prices aren't too bad for Reykjavik! I mean, I essentially paid $15 for a chicken wrap, but based on my experience, I'd say that's pretty reasonable.

I am definitely a wanderer in a new city, and based on my short amount of time in Reykjavik, I think that I've got three really great wandering  ideas. The first is this: get up early(ish), grab a hot drink (I got a Rocky Road from Te & Kaffi) and take a walk to Lake Tjörnin. You can sit and watch the ducks and geese and other birds. On my first morning at the lake two different people were feeding the birds which is a bit of added entertainment! I really recommend walking around the lake completely, you get to see such different views of the city. Plus it's really peaceful and a nice little stroll. Plus! In the same area there are a bunch of little plaques dedicated to Icelandic history. They're small, so there it isn't an information overload, they're great to read!

The second wandering opportunity I have for you is walking down the main streets (Laugavegur, Bankastræti, and Austurstræti) and just popping into the cute shops you find that strike your fancy. It's a pretty basic suggestion, but there are some great shops in Reykjavik: record shops, bookstores, candy shops, home ware and curiosity shops, so many souvenir shops with some pretty great stuff. Tons of cute little spots! Take some time to visit a few shops and take in the cuteness.

And finally, I really think that a walk around the Sculpture & Shore Walk is definitely a must-do wander. There are some really fantastic works of art, and, near the harbour, there are some really interesting monuments to shipwrecks that have taken place off the coast of Iceland throughout history. Sun Voyager is on the Sculpture & Shore Walk, the Harpa is along the path. Most people are already visiting those areas, so you might as well wander the walkway for a bit! It's really lovely, I promise.

So there you have it, my friends, some of my top suggestions for visiting Reykjavik! I didn't want to include things like Sun Voyager and Hallgrimskirkja simply because they are some of the top-rated tourist attractions in the city. If you've researched your trip at all you'll probably end up at those spots anyway. They are great, I just wanted to offer a few other suggestions!

Reykjavik is a gorgeous city, and I'm sure I've only barely scratched the surface of great experiences.
Eat, Sleep, Play: Reykjavik Eat, Sleep, Play: Reykjavik Reviewed by Erin MacNeil on 11:19 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Iceland is definitely on my bucket list, I love the general atmosphere and how different it seems from the usual tourist places. Reykjavik looks so lovely, I have a friend who's visited it recently and they really enjoyed it there. I adore the architecture, it's just so different from anything you get in Europe! Loving all the photos & thank you so much for sharing. Hope you're having a fab weekend so far! x



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