Cool and cold. The world’s most northerly capital is a real hotspot once you get to know it. As far as ‘scenic’, ‘breath-taking’ and ‘jaw-dropping’ goes Iceland’s capital has you covered. Whether it’s the iconic Northern Lights or the landscapes, a holiday to Reykjavik has plenty to keep you captivated.
For lovers of the outdoors, this destination is a firm favourite. While there is a distinct village feel in Reykjavik’s centre, the surrounding area is crammed full of natural wonders – from stunning glaciers to volcanic landscapes. Fancy embarking on a jeep safari? How about trekking?
Reykjavik is the ideal setting for an adventure-fuelled getaway. Meanwhile, true relaxation can be found by bathing in the thermal waters at the Blue Lagoon, or embarking on a boat trip in surrounding waters – make sure to keep your eyes peeled for whales.
If you’re looking for a rural setting, Alftanes is your best bet. This small village is perfect for adventure-seekers, the surrounding nature is perfect for those who like to lace up their walking books and explore some jaw-dropping hiking trails.
This district is a favourite among young people thanks to its numerous concerts. Discover the delights of the Jazz Festival at the end of April, or visit the Icelandic Museum of Design.
Located on the outskirts of Reykjavik, there’s plenty of hustle and bustle to be found in this town. There are a number of guesthouses dotted around the area, as well as stylish coffee shops and markets.
Relax in the Blue Lagoon
Visiting this natural spa should be top of your list on a visit to Reykjavik. Home to a thermal spa area and swim-up bar, this iconic attraction is the ideal way to kick back and enjoy your holiday. There’s even a separate massage waterfall and sauna. A visit here is an indulgence everyone needs to experience.
Whale watching in Reykjavik
With ships sailing from the old harbour, heading out onto the water makes for a great day trip. On a short sojourn, you’ll almost always catch a glimpse of a few whales, but keep your eyes peeled for rarer humpbacks
In Iceland we recommend that you pack those suitcases full of warm winter clothing. However, if you’ve got some free space in your case, the local shopping is well worth exploring. The city’s main streets are lined with clothing shops and souvenir stores selling everything from faux fur coats to quirky gifts. You’ll also find plenty of ski shops selling good quality gear all year-round.
Experience its iconic concert hall
If it’s authentic culture you’re seeking, the Harpa concert hall should be on your to-do list. A feat of modern design, it’s impressive from the outside too. Marvel at the glass geometric exterior, or head inside to explore. You’ll find spectacular views of the city alongside a stylish coffee shop and chic cocktail bar.
Embrace the Reykjavik nightlife
This city is famed for its nightlife, with some of the best clubs and bars in Europe. 24-hour sunlight during the summer means it is the perfect time to enjoy parties. While the winter months are the perfect time to huddle up with the locals and share some cocktails.
Sightseeing in Reykjavik
Reykjavik is steeped in history, so you’re bound to stumble across charming churches and ancient architecture on your travels.
The Hallgrimskirkja church is one of the most famous sites in the city, towering above the landscape. Climb up the tower for stunning views of the city, or take a tour to learn more about the considerable history of this religious building. For those interested in Iceland’s political history, a visit to the parliament is worthwhile. Austurvollur plaza is a great place to enjoy when the sun is shining, with a number of restaurants dotted around it.
Visit A Lava Cave
See a different side to Iceland’s volcanic landscape by heading underground and exploring the lava caves. Formed thousands of years ago by molten magma erupting to the surface, the distinctive caves offer a landscape like no other. Weathered, eroded and polished by the elements and time, the cave walls are filled with fascinating formations. For the pick of the bunch, head to Leidarendi cave - about a 25-minute drive out of Reykjavik. Guides will walk you through an underworld adventure and shed light on the geological history of Iceland, the caves and the lava. Visit in winter and you’ll see the cave’s incredible natural ice sculptures.
Kolaportið Flea Market
Rather than scout around Reykjavik’s thrift stores for a quirky holiday souvenir, head to Kolaportið Flea Market. This vast, indoor bargain haven can be found in the old harbour area. Just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre, it’s chock-full of the usual vintage items, antiques, bric-a-brac and toys. But there are also a few hidden gems worth looking out for. Adventurous foodies can find Icelandic delicacies such as fermented shark. If you’re after something a little sweeter, the freshly baked pastries and Icelandic candies are a touch less daring. Remember to take plenty of krona as most stalls won’t take cards.
Go Craft Beer Tasting
Craft beers have soared in popularity and there’s no better place to enhance your hop palette than Reykjavik. Even though beer was banned in Iceland up until 1989, an artisan beer scene has flourished ever since. New to the scene? A glass of Einstök Icelandic Pale Ale is a great place to start. Sup one at the uber-cool Kex Hostel. With 9 other beers on tap and a quirky industrial themed bar, you’ll find it on the waterfront. Craft beer hunters on a budget will want to stop off at Skúli Craft Bar for the wallet-friendly small glasses. The ever changing ale menu keeps you on your toes too.
Cuisine in Reykjavik
With its coastal location, it’s no surprise that Iceland loves its seafood. Mussels are a favourite among locals and feature highly on menus in the city. If you’re looking to sample freshly-caught fish, try the seafood soup. This steaming bowl is crammed full of mussels, salmon and haddock mixed with crème fraiche and tomato.
If you want to indulge your sweet tooth, however, you’d best try Iceland’s ice cream shops! There are outlets to be found around every corner, boasting every flavour under the sun. Alternatively, head to one of the city’s cafes to get your fill of traditional cake and coffee – ideal in the winter when you’re trying to escape the chill.
Restaurants in Reykjavik
There are a number of restaurants in Reykjavik, so you’ll never be too far away from something to eat. Cafés are inexpensive with a great selection on the menu, including traditional desserts. If you’re seeking something authentically Icelandic, there are many new-found Nordic eateries serving up great ambience with its cuisine.
Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fuelled adventure or a romantic trip away, you’re sure to be surprised by a trip to Reykjavik. From its infectious atmosphere to its captivating culture. Indulge in delicious local cuisine, enjoy a stroll along the harbourfront or take advantage of the therapeutic properties of the Blue Lagoon. There are numerous things to keep you occupied in Iceland’s laid-back capital.
Booking your holiday to Reykjavik with easyJet holidays is a great way to enjoy your next city break, entirely hassle-free. Best of all, you’ll save on your trip when you book your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays, leaving you with plenty of pocket money for your getaway.