City Hopping | Reykjavik, Iceland

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of content recently but as you can imagine, things have been hectic with a poorly household, Christmas and general toddler antics! I have got so much content planned, I’ve actually filled January with all our December fun!

As many people know, we spent a few days at the beginning of the month (baby-free) in Reykjavik! Ash booked the trip for our anniversary and it was meant to be a surprise, but for the travel agent ringing our home phone and me answering! He’d booked two nights in a hotel, as well as a Northern Lights tour (it’s one of my bucket list experiences) – and of course, it was another new capital city to cross off! Unfortunately, on both nights our tour was cancelled, due to cloud coverage and we actually ended up struggling to pass the time!

Day 1
We had an early morning flight, so upon arrival, we were fortunate enough to be allowed to check in early at the hotel, dump the suitcases and head straight into the city. We were about 25 minutes by foot from the city centre, which was nice as it was a good walk and as you’ll find, there’s not much to do in the city. A quick look on Google revealed that there were numerous Christmas markets – only open at weekends! There was ‘one’ in Ingolfur Square but when we arrived, we realised it was a small ice rink and two wooden stalls (with only one of them open, selling hot drinks)... needless to say, we were both a bit disappointed! We grabbed some food and went back to the hotel in time to get ready for the tour – and when we found it wasn’t running, went back into the city for drinks (and to watch Arsenal play Manchester United!).
Day 2
Another quick Google showed a place called Perlan, which looked worth a visit. It was in the opposite direction we had previously walked into Reykjavik city centre, but roughly the same distance. Perlan is a museum, with observation platform which houses the geographic wonders of Iceland in a unique and interactive way. Admission worked out to be equivalent of £50, so needless to say we didn’t visit the exhibits (a shame, as it looked good and would have passed the time, too), so we paid £3 to go to the penultimate floor and soak up the views. It was so windy, so we didn’t stay up there long – and taking photos proved difficult. But it was a clear day and we could see for miles. We went back into the city again afterwards and when we went back to the hotel to find our tour cancelled for a second time, stayed in for dinner and chilled in our room with Netflix!
Tips
After our three days, I’ve learnt a fair bit about Iceland and if you’re planning a visit, there are some things you’ll need to know.

·         There’s no train line in Iceland, so if you’re not hiring a car, bus and taxi are your only options. I can’t tell you how much taxis cost, but our airport to hotel bus transfer worked out to be £50. Double that for the return leg and that was a third of our money wiped out! My advice is to hire a car. That way you are also not limited to the city centre and can venture out to the island’s famous landmarks and geographical features.

·         Similarly, food and drink are A LOT. We were paying £5 per coffee. Bars and restaurants run various lunchtime specials and happy hours, but it’s only a couple of £ off at a time. On our first day, we had a lunchtime special and managed to get a pint, a burger, three wings and fries for just over £30 (per couple). Our second night at the hotel was more pricy: two courses and a bottle of wine for £100. Beer was cheaper than wine – but soft drinks were expensive too, sometimes a similar price to alcohol.

·         Oh, there are plenty of museums and exhibitions – but we weren’t able to find any free ones! I think there was a pass you could buy that allowed you access to a selection of museums, but travelling by foot, we would have struggled to fulfil this. Among the usual science and art museums were the Settlement Museum and Phallological (yes you read that right!) Museum!

·         There are also so many escorted tours you can take, which often include hotel or bus station pickups/drop-offs – for example, The Golden Circle; Lava Caves; Blue Lagoon; and Langjokull Ice Caves. If you know there’s something you want to do, book it in advance. But also be warned, Northern Lights tours can be cancelled due to weather conditions and as it’s out of the tour guides control, you won’t receive a refund (instead, you’ll be offered the same tour the following day). I really wanted to go to the Blue Lagoon, but not only did we not have a way of getting there. We forgot to pack our swimwear!

I’m glad we were able to tick another city off the list, but obviously disappointed we couldn’t see the lights. We were both in agreement that we wouldn’t return to Reykjavik, as we had seen it all – but I think an island road trip would be fun and beautiful!

Love, Lucy xx 

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Love, Lucy xx

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