Travel tips: Reykjavik

I just came back from a 4-day trip to Reykjavik, Iceland.

If you’re Vikingland-bound any time soon (and you should be, because it’s almost an unveiled secret by now), the facts below may help you.

CityMap Reykjavik
Reykjavik is on the South side of a bay.

The flight: ICELANDAIR

Icelandair, the national airline of Iceland, just started all-year-round flights from Toronto to Reykjavik. ** It's a maximum 6 hour long flight in comfy Boeings ** Check the Icelandic documentaries in their entertainment offer, it's a treasure (saw ELECTRONICA Reykjavik; ICELAND AIRWAYS festival; SIGUR ROS Heima; and one about the 2008 crisis).
Icelandair, the national airline of Iceland, just started all-year-round flights from Toronto to Reykjavik. ** It’s a 6-hour flight in comfy Boeings ** Check the Icelandic documentaries in their entertainment offer, it’s a treasure (saw ELECTRONICA Reykjavik; ICELAND AIRWAYS festival; SIGUR ROS Heima; and one about the 2008 crisis).

**

From the airport to the city

KEFLAVIK is a modern airport located at 45 minutes from the capital Reykjavik. *** TIP: buy your liquor while in the airport, it is tax-free.
KEFLAVIK is a modern airport located at 45 minutes from the capital Reykjavik. *** TIP: buy your liquor while in the airport, it is tax-free.
There are two companies running bus shuttles to the city. *** TIP: buy a round trip directly, to save about 5 dollars. The total roundtrip is about $45. *** TIP: they have wifi in the bus, so don't waste time updating your Facebook in the airport.
There are two companies running bus shuttles to the city. Their desks are easy to spot by the exit door. They run hourly, so do not panic if you miss one.*** TIP: buy a round trip directly, to save about 5 dollars. The total round trip is about $45. *** TIP: they have wifi in the bus, so don’t waste time updating your Facebook in the airport.
The 45-minute ride from the airport to Reykjavik is a float on lava fields surrounded by once-wicked volcanoes. *** TIP: keep your Canon handy.

**

Hotel, internet, language, money

Iceland runs on 220V power, so you will need an adapter like the one in the picture. ** Internet is widespread (hotels, coffee shops, concert hall, airport shuttle, pubs)
Iceland runs on 220V power, so you will need an adapter like the one in the picture. ** Internet is widespread (hotels, coffee shops, concert hall, airport shuttle, pubs)
The Icelandic language is beautiful but not easy. Fortunately they all speak English and are warm people. *** MONEY: to get the amount in CAD, just cut two zeros (roughly).***
The Icelandic language is beautiful but not easy. Fortunately they all speak English and are warm people. *** MONEY: to get the amount in CAD, just cut two zeros (roughly).***
There is a Best Western, if you are looking for a familiar hotel name. ** TIP: Cab drivers know it as HOTEL REYKJAVIK.
There is a Best Western, if you are looking for a familiar hotel name. ** TIP: Cab drivers know it as HOTEL REYKJAVIK.

**

The city 

The downtown/uptown core is walkable, all within a 60 minute leisure stroll. ** in the picture, a Yonge&Bloor, Reykjavik style.
The downtown/uptown core is walkable – a beautiful walk – all within a 60 minute leisure stroll. ** in the picture, a Yonge&Bloor, Reykjavik style.
Mount Esja looming across the bay from downtown Reykjavik.
Mount Esja looming across the bay from downtown Reykjavik.
On a sunny day you must get on the Hallgrímskirkja church tower.
On a sunny day you must get on the Hallgrímskirkja church tower. ** the dark building at top-right is HARPA, the concert hall where the Tectonics festival was held *** TIP If it’s sunny, don’t hesitate and climb to get the pictures. In April, most of the days are not sunny.
Quite a few record stores in Reykjavik's downtown -  a sight missing already in Toronto.
Quite a few record stores in Reykjavik’s downtown – a sight missing already in Toronto.
The loonie can't really buy you much in Rekjavik. A souvenir hat knitted in the national pattern carries a 33 CAD tag. ** TIP: Iceland is not a cheap destination.
The loonie can’t really buy you much in Rekjavik. A souvenir hat knitted in the national pattern carries a 33 CAD tag. ** TIP: Iceland is not a cheap destination.
Reykjavik girls? All beautiful blondes. Not a cliche, as you can see -) *** TIP A pint of Tuborg is 10 CAD in downtown, but virtually all pubs have a 4-7 PM happy hour (beer half a price).
Reykjavik girls? All beautiful blondes. Not a cliche, as you can see -) *** TIP A pint of Tuborg is 10 CAD in downtown, but virtually all pubs have a 4-7 PM happy hour (beer half a price).
IMAG1536
The Reykjavik mall is not in the downtown core, but a 10-minute taxi ride away.*** TIP Taxis are not cheap in Reykjavik. They are limo-style and for a 10 minute ride I paid about 16 CAD.
The liquor store in Reykjavik
The liquor store in Reykjavik
The national theatre is located behind the mall in Reykjavik, and you can see what they were playing in April 2013.
The national theater is located behind the mall in Reykjavik, and you can see what they were playing in April 2013.

 

Just across the theater is the Iceland National Broadcast Centre. Listen here to sounds from the FM stations in Reykjavik, as I recorded them in my hotel room.

**

The concert hall: HARPA

Harpa, the most beautiful instrument, is the name of this fabulous building in Reykjavik. A concert hall, conference place, a building with a drama to tell about its upcoming. *** TIP Take the tour and enjoy at least one event in this 21st century concert place. It has several concert halls, a fab restaurant at the top, magic light and Mount Esja as neighbour.
Harpa, the most beautiful instrument, is the name of this fabulous building in Reykjavik. A concert hall, conference place, a building with a drama to tell about its upcoming. *** TIP Take the tour and enjoy at least one event in this 21st century concert place. It has several concert halls, a fab restaurant at the top, magic light and Mount Esja as neighbour.
Harpa Reykjavik.
Harpa Reykjavik.
Harpa Reykjavik.
Harpa Reykjavik.

**

Blue Lagoon

The trip to Blue Lagoon was 80 CAD. It included transportation and access. The alley to the place is carved into lava. *** TIP: take a towel from the hotel. It costs 8 CAD to rent one.
The trip to Blue Lagoon was 80 CAD. It included transportation and access. The alley to the place is carved into lava. *** TIP: take a towel from the hotel. It costs 8 CAD to rent one.
Inside the Blue Lagoon. One of the top ten wonders of the natural world, according to Discovery. A 45 minute ride from Reykjavik. ** TIP: If you pay a trip and take their bus, they return hourly. You can spend as much time as you want without the stress of a deadline.
Inside the Blue Lagoon. One of the top ten wonders of the natural world, according to Discovery. A 45 minute ride from Reykjavik. ** TIP: If you pay a trip and take their bus, they return hourly. You can spend as much time as you want without the stress of a deadline.
TIP: outside the Blue Lagoon, you can take a walk on safe paths.
TIP: outside the Blue Lagoon, you can take a walk on safe paths and take pictures like this.

3 Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your blog?
    My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my users would genuinely benefit from some of
    the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay
    with you. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s