Take a dip at the Blue Lagoon. With steam rising from 40 degrees Celsius waters it easily evokes an otherworldly feeling. Open year-round (yes, it obviously does not freeze in winter), both locals and tourists have taken advantage of the healing properties in its mineral rich waters. A long soak leaves your skin supple and eases away muscular tension.
What do you like best about your city?
It’s like an extremely large country village with a strong cosmopolitan and cultural streak. Guaranteed safety since the community is small enough to spot suspicious looking strangers yet large enough for everyone else to mind their own business. As for culture, where else can you find poetry in milk cartons?
If you love long walks surrounded by nature or just want to take amazing holiday pictures, the best place to go is Thingvellir. The site of the oldest parliament in Europe, tribes and their leaders have gathered in the Stone of Laws or Logberg since the 10th Century. Now, the whole area has been designated as a national park with lots of scenic paths going through lava formations, freshwater springs and even skirts a large river. The walk is particularly beautiful in autumn when changing foliage takes on an amazing array of colors.
The greatest concentration can be found in Laugavegur and side streets just off it. Many locals prefer to go to Cafe Paris for lunch or dinner but just across the street is a small resto-bar that the younger citizens have discovered. Cafe Brons features a menu that challenges your mindset. Care to try a smoked lamb carpaccio?
It’s hard to choose as there are three top festivals that come to mind: Meningarnott or Culture Night, The Iceland Gay Parade and of course Iceland Airwaves. However, Meningarnott is probably the wisest choice because of its variety. Meningarnott is one summer night where literally hundreds of people head for a public concert at the largest park, view a grand fireworks display, participate in the Reykjavik Marathon or just bar hop as all bars and restaurants have small side concerts and are open until the last customer heads for home.
No one can beat weekends in Reykjavik. Take part in a runtur literally a pub crawl since you see a whole platoon of inebriated people crawling their way from bar to bar starting at midnight of Friday and Saturday. Start at Thorvaldsen´s where locals welcome the presence of newcomers at the bar. Make your way to Oliver’s for a little bit of frenzied dancing and maybe you might find someone to wind down with at Apotek where a nightcap is as lethal as the first shot of Icelandic brennivin.
Best Day Trip Out of the City
It’s called The Golden Circle Tour, a quick day trip out of Reykjavik that gives you a great sampling of Iceland’s natural wonders. The trip includes Gullfoss a majestic waterfall where the wide Hvita (white river) rushes southward, Thingvellir the site of the first European parliament and of course Geysir a hot spring that hurls hot water up to 60 feet in the air.
Something that not many tourists would know about
Reykjavik or Iceland is really not that cold. In fact, we have a white sand beach. Called Nautaholsvik, this is a thermal beach found in Reykavik. Warm water flows directly into the sea which means you can actually take a dip! There are public facilities which make it convenient for families and small groups of friends.