Iceland is the trip of your life time. It’s really that good! But before you head out into nature, take your time to discover Reykjavik. It’s more than just the city where you touch down.
Before you start walking around though, get dressed properly. I have been checking the weather for the last six months and I can tell you that the temperatures change only miniscule. No matter if spring or summer. Summer is a weekend with 18 degrees Celsius. All other times it’s only spring not matter what season. With that in mind don’t be put off with our attire. It was cold while we were there. The Vikings of course were running around in shorts, no joke!
So what is there to do now while you are in Reykjavik?
An absolute must-see in Reykjavik is the Harpa, an event and concert hall, super impressive from outside and inside. An absolutely stunning building! We spent easily an hour walking up and down and around. Oh, and there are two gift shops inside.
Even if you don’t want to visit one of the many museums (whale, aurora, viking saga), do not skip the old harbor. We ignored the museums but made our way to the mini light house next to the grass breast (aka Thufa). From the Thufa you will have an excellent view on the Harpa with the Hallgrimskirkja behind. At the mini light house can check if your clothes are made for this climate. In case you need a reason to go shopping.
The Hallgrimskirkja apparently resembles the landscape of Iceland. I couldn’t say that I noticed that. Nonetheless the church is impressive in its stark simplicity. It was built by only two people (I think I read that somewhere, a guide-book maybe?) and finished in the 80’s. The big statue of Leif Erikson in front gives the whole place a deeper meaning (Vikings by Neil Oliver or if you can’t be bothered to read then try these Vikings). Buy a ticket and take the elevator up. The view from the church tower is stunning.
Make a stop at the Sun Voyager on the waterfront. Bring a coffee and snack on one of the many available pastries (we had rhubarb cake and cinnamon roll). All this cold is certainly inviting to add another layer of fat. Or you just come better equipped for this weather. Whatever your plan is, sit down for a minute and just look properly. Think about these people and what they achieved. It was nothing short of a miracle at that time.
The oldest house in Reykjavik is right in the city center. Don’t be like us and look for a longhouse, go and search for the Reykjavik City Museum. There you will find the Viking settlement exhibition and said longhouse with an interactive display. Yours, Pollybert