If Reykjavik, Iceland isn’t on your radar, it should be. This STUNNING capital city is home to some of the best food, the nicest people, and the coolest adventures and you are making a big mistake (Big! HUGE!!) if you aren’t adding Iceland to your bucket list.
I hopped on a redeye for a four-day solo adventure to Reykjavik with a solid agenda and only a backpack (I’m too cheap to pay extra for bags) and had the time of my life. Check out what I did and what I think you should do too – I’d do it all over in a heartbeat.
Oh – and to spare you from the longest post EVER, I’m separating Iceland into two: What I Did, and What I Ate. You’re welcome.
Inside the Volcano Tour
They drop you….inside…a….volcano! Where else in the world can you do that?! Answer: virtually nowhere. I was a little hesitant when I booked this excursion since it was quite literally more expensive than my round trip flight, but it was the coolest thing I got to do on my trip. Be prepared for a bit of a hike, as you have to walk about 2 miles to the volcano, but once you’re there, it’s the most breathtaking thing you’ve ever seen. I HIGHLY recommend adding this to your agenda…I mean, look at these photos!
As I mentioned, the walk to and from the volcano is a bit exhausting, so wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots and dress warmly. It started to hail while we were on our way back, but we made it and were promptly served a delicious bowl of soup.
Wanna be in two places at once? You can when you snorkel Silfra, the area between Europe and North America’s tectonic plates! I was most excited for this tour and it did not disappoint. You’ll don a drysuit and jump into the water with your guide and your group. Again – one of the most amazing things I’ve ever gotten to see.
Walk. And Walk Some More.
To know me is to know I’ll stop for anything that’s painted on a wall, so this trip was a dream come true. Reykjavik is home to some pretty incredible street art and when I say incredible, I mean it’s the best I’ve ever seen. Just walk down any street in Reykjavik and you’re sure to stumble upon something beautiful.
Check out a local artists’ work at Dead Gallery, right in downtown Reykjavik. This impressive collection is created by Jón Saemundur and has a pretty cool message: Fearlessness leads to immortality.
Icelandic Punk Museum
Are you a fan of punk music? Or maybe you’re just a fan of something cool to do! Either way, the Icelandic Punk Museum shouldn’t be missed. Built inside an old public restroom (yes really), this museum is a tiny shrine to all things punk music. With bits of history posted, headphones blasting the best in punk, and instruments galore, this museum is a great way to see something different and get to know the local culture a little more.
Icelandic Phallological Museum
Yep, you read that right. Don’t miss the Icelandic Phallological Museum because it’s the only one in the world that exists. What is it, exactly? Um….just take a look.
You MUST check out Hallgrímskirkja, the most famous and largest church in Iceland. It’s located in the heart of Reykjavik and can be seen from almost anywhere – it’s THAT big!
Iceland is home to many landmarks that you might recognize. They’re all super walkable so you can really dive in to some amazing Icelandic (and even American!) history at all times.
The site of the 1986 summit between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the Höfði House, also known as the Reykjavik Summit House, is located close to the coast and boasts a great deal of history.
This beautiful sculpture is located along the coast and has the coolest meaning. The artist created it to represent the promise of undiscovered territory, and a dream of hope, progress and freedom.
Also along the coast, you’ll see the Partnership Statue, gifted to Iceland by the United States to commemorate 50 years of good diplomatic relations.
Harpa is the concert hall and one of Reykjavik’s most distinguishable landmarks. You can’t miss this enormous building when you’re heading to city center and it’s stunning both at nighttime and during the day.