- Tapas BarinnVesturgötu 3b, Reykjavik 101 Icelandrecommended Tapas BarinnIt may look a little strange from the outside, a Spanish-themed tapas restaurant in Reykjavik, but don't let that deter you; Tapas Barrin will knock your socks off with its exotic southern twist on ... read moretraditional Icelandic fare. Grab an Icelandic beer from the bar and look over the menu. Will you try the mink whale, the shark, or the puffin first (The pros and cons of the minky whale industry notwithstanding)? Never fear, Tapas Barrin has you covered with a sampler platter! Have a little of each; you'll be surprised at how tasty it all is. For the morally (or otherwise) opposed, they have other, more whale-friendly, carnivore and vegetarian platters and dishes available which are equally delicious.
commented on this trip
To be honest, I think a visit to the local swimming pool (there are at least 5 in Reykjavik) is about the most Icelandic thing you can do. The pools all have several hot pools in addition to large swimming pools (and it only costs about 5 bucks). Finish off the experience with a coke and a hot dog and you're practically and Icelander :)
- Blue Lagoon spaSvartsengi, 240 Grindavik, Icelandrecommended Blue Lagoon spaNot to miss and right by the airport, so if you have a layover you can take a bus there and back (the bus company also offers free luggage storage). It's essentially an enormous hotspring pool that's ... read moredeep enough to swim in. There are natural silica deposits that you can use to give yourself an impromptu facial mask. There's also a swim-up bar in the middle of the springs and loungechairs.Margot B
I'm sure this is already on your itinerary, but I can't recommend it enough.recommended Blue Lagoon spaThe Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's premier Tourist Traps and what a wondrous one it is! After landing at KEP, I immediately bought a ticket from Reykjavik Excursions that provided me a ride to Bláa ... read morelónið, admission, luggage storage, and a trip back to the Hotel. It was ~$72 well spent and a great way to shake off jet lag and get ready of a busy time in Reykjavik. The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every 2 days. The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every 2 days. The facilities are are also top notch, starting with the Locker Rooms and Showers, and continuing on to the pools, the sauna's, the mud, and even a waterside bar. Once you're done, there is also a separate bar, casual cafe, a formal Lava Restaurant, and of course a gift shop.Eric Brink
I did Blue Lagoon just after arriving and then went into Reykjavik. It really eased the jet lag...recommended Blue Lagoon spaIt's mostly European tourists, but it's still a great way to wrap up your trip before heading to the airport... definitely not a tourist trap. Many different bus companies sell a airport-and-Blue ... read moreLagoon package, four hours at the pool and then direct transit to the airport. Drinking beer in warm blue water is awesome.Scott Weitze
The hotel-Blue Lagoon-airport bus ticket is a great way to finish off a trip before a long flight home.
recommended ThingvellirÞingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland (as part of the Golden Circle Tour). It is the site of a rift ... read morevalley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (where Iceland is literally being pulled about a centimeter at time). It is also home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. I love historical stuff, and my visit here (and especially at the Law Rock) was a Tourist highlight of my recent trip to Iceland. Parliament or Alþingi was established at Þingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1789. Þingvellir National Parkwas founded in 1930 to protect the remains of the parliament site and was later expanded to protect natural phenomena in the surrounding area. Þingvellir National Park was the first national park in Iceland and was decreed "a protected national shrine for all Icelanders, the perpetual property of the Icelandic nation under the preservation of parliament, never to be sold or mortgaged. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and where Iceland declared its independence from Denmark in 1944. The present church (across the valley) only dates back to 1859, since the original structure was destroyed. Next to the church a small and intimate graveyard hosts, among the others, two famous Icelandic poets, Jónas Hallgrímsson and Eiar Benediktsson. The pastor of the Thingvallakirkja is also traditionally warden of this National Park.Eric Brink
The Golden Triangle Sights are cool.
recommended Hjartatorg (Heart Square)Hjartatorg (“Heart Square”) is a small urban oasis that reminds me of People's Park in Berkeley (except safer). It's located in downtown Reykjavík between Laugavegur, the main shopping street, and ... read moreHverfisgata. It's a popular hangout, with a diverse collection of interesting folks. When I was there, a DJ was spinning tunes, people were swinging on hammocks above, one guy was dancing, a "Free Market" was available, and a nearby bar offered tables to watch the action. And with a few Tourists (including me) thrown in, it wasn't clear who was watching who. What the place also feels like is a failed development project that was taken over by the masses and molded into their image.Eric Brink
The People's Park of Rejkavik
- Listasafn Íslands (National Gallery of Iceland)Frikirkjuvegur 7, Reykjavikrecommended Listasafn Íslands (National Gallery of Iceland)The National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafn Íslands) was established in 1863. Before settling at its present location, the collections were held in various places. The role of this museum is to ... read moreincrease and relay knowledge of Icelandic cultural heritage, from the nations earliest settlement through to the modern day. I spent a pleasant and very educational couple hours here, and it was well worth the walk past the Tjörnin to get here. The first highlight is the Making of a Nation - Heritage and History in Iceland Exhibition. It is presented in the main galleries on the second and third floors. Here the past meets the future as I explored how Iceland, its culture and society, developed from the early settlers in the late 9th century up to the modern days. The exhibition contains about 2,000 artefacts from all periods of Icelandic history as well as numerous well selected photographs from the 20th century. Various forms of multimedia are used to educate and inspire as I chose to either walk through time or follow special and well marked themes through the exhibition. I also enjoyed the Exhibit that commemorates the 40th anniversary of “The Match of the Century” between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. That was a big "Cold War" deal back in 1972, and it was cool to look at the pictures, one of the actual chess boards, a seating recreation, and some of the actual notes and final game positions. Last but not least during my visit was the photography exhibit on the 1st Floor. This particular gallery presentation recalled a bold rescue of British Sailors who had run aground on the Iceland Coast many years ago. The gift shop is also nice. I left with a nice Thor's Hammer statue I gave to my Son when I returned. He thought it was really cool.Eric Brink
This is a really cool museum
- J. Vilhjalmsson - Professional Knivemaker & GunsmithLaugarnesvegur 66 - 105 Reykjavikrecommended J. Vilhjalmsson - Professional Knivemaker & GunsmithDuring my last few foreign trips, I've had the good fortune of purchasing a locally-made knife as a souvenir. That would be a ceremonial dagger from Toledo Spain last year and an Icelandic Hunting ... read moreknife this time around from Johann. It's a beauty. I also got to see his very busy workshop and physically hold some of his other hand-crafted blades and rifles. It was fun and educational to have him explain his craft. He even picked me up at the Hotel and them dropped me back off, whilst driving his well-maintained vintage Cadillac. This interaction and the knife (which traveled well within my checked luggage) was a key highlight during my stay in Reykjavik.Eric Brink
I've gotten into a tradition of buying trying to buy local crafts including knives.
- Icelandic Fish and ChipsTryggvagata 11, 101 Reykjavik, Icelandrecommended Icelandic Fish and ChipsIcelandic Fish and Chips Organic Bistro is located in the Harbour area and does it's English equivalent one better. No grease-fest here, as my light and crisp barley battered cod (with "skyronnaise) ... read moreand seasoned potato wedges (with a pint of beer to wash it all down) were excellent. There was a line out the door when I arrived, but it moved fast. After you're seated, you go up and order the fish at the counter, which is then soon delivered to your table. If and when i return to Reykjavik, you'll find me here again.Eric Brink
I had a really nice meal here.
- The English PubReykjavik, Icelandrecommended The English PubWhilst inside The English Pub, it's easy to forget the you're in the middle of Reykjavik, rather than Jolly Old England. When I wandered in, it was dark, full of happy folks, and accented by a singer ... read morecrooning easy listening songs in English. There's also a nice outdoor patio that accents the beer and good times.Eric Brink
Kind of an Expat place, but the atmosphere is cool.
- The Laundromat CafeAusturstraeti 9, Reykjavik, Icelandrecommended The Laundromat CafeIt was my first day in Reykjavik and I was hungry. It was mid-afternoon and my jet-lagged body also wanted a place to sit and relax over a cold beer. I was somewhat slowed down by indecision, lack of ... read morelocal knowledge, and prices that I thought were a little high. Finally, the inviting book-lined confines, cool retro-style decor, laid-back ambiance, and a happy mixed group of people within The Laundromat Cafe lured me in. I ordered a club sandwich and a beer. That and the service were just slightly better than average. What I enjoyed more was the people and views into the kitchen, along with a cool interior that made me feel at home. I appreciated a chance to catch me breath, relax, and re-energize before heading out again at the direction of my Tour Book.Eric Brink
A neat little place for Lunch
- HljómskálagarðurReykjavik, Icelandrecommended HljómskálagarðurHljómskálagarður park is a lovely park located along the southern part of the Pond (Tjörnin). There are lots of ducks and other water fowl looking for food, and a number of interesting statues to ... read morefigure out the details. It is a popular park and recreation area in the summer time with a play area for kids and barbeque where you can bring your own food and barbeque in the park. Hljómskálagarður park wasn't always a park as it used to be the Reykjavík dump for the most part of the 19th century. There is also a small forest in the park, which is the first attempt in Iceland to plant such a thing. That speaks to the joke about what to do if you're lost in an Iceland Forest? Stand Up. Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1f8276/#ixzz24zJanXoA Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1f8276/#ixzz24zIwCFrNEric Brink
recommended DettifossDettifoss is a waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. I believe it as our group saw the spray miles away and to stand ... read morenear the edge of this waterfall scared the shit out of me. There wasn't much distance (or safety factor) between the the flimsy looking barrier rope and doing a Peter Pan over the cliff. At the same time, the experience and this demonstration of nature's power was wonderful and awesome. As I safely wandered all over the place (including the Selfoss falls upstream) and couldn't get enough. I left humbled and exilerated at the same time. Dettifoss was definitely a key highlight of my too short Iceland trip. Dettifoss is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier and collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. The falls are 100 metres (330 ft) wide and have a drop of 45 metres (150 ft) down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of volume discharge. The waterfall can be reached by a new tarmac road, finished in 2011. On the west bank (the side I was on) there are no facilities and the view on the waterfall is somewhat hindered by the waterfall's spray. On the east bank there is an information panel maintained by the staff of Vatnajökull National Park (Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður) and a maintained track to the best viewpoints. The waterfall is featured in the 2012 science-fiction film Prometheus, standing in as landscape on a primordial Earth.Eric Brink
Go North Young Man!
- Fiskfélagið/FishcompanyVesturgata 2a, Grófartorg, Reykjavik, Icelandrecommended Fiskfélagið/FishcompanyGreat meal, surveying lots of different Icelandic Cuisine. Get the tasting menu. Somehow the local salmon sashimi was THE BEST sushi I've ever had (and I've been to Tokyo and SF). Definitely ... read moreexpensive, but not out of bounds for a great restaurant in Reykjavik.Scott Weitze
One of the best meals I had in all of Europe.
- Svarta KaffiLaugavegur 54a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
- SægreifinnTryggvagata, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
- Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur Bollagarðar 4 -170 Seltjarnarn, Pósthússtræti, Reykjavik, Iceland
- Hamborgara BúllanGeirsgötu 1, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
- EymundssonAusturstræti 18, Reykjavik, Iceland
- Eymundsson SkólavörðustígSkólavörðustígur 11, Reykjavik, Iceland
- Photography Museum of ReykjavíkTryggvagata 15, 6th floor, Reykjavik, Iceland
- Þingvellir National ParkBláskógabyggð municipality, district of Arnessysla, Iceland
- Harpa Concert HallReykjavik, Iceland
- The Sun VogagerSaebraut, Reykjavik