Reykjavik is an amazing city. Small and green, with a rich nightlife and no less rich history, amazingly clean air and many attractions, it has been recognized more than once as the “most-most”. The northernmost capital in the world, the cleanest and richest city, one of the most cultural capitals, the city of literature – it’s all about the “Smoking Bay”, about Reykjavik – the capital of Iceland.
There are several dozens of thermal pools in the city, there are no industrial enterprises on its territory, and houses are heated with water from geothermal sources. The historic center, Old Reykjavik, is good both as an example of early Scandinavian architecture and as a place for leisurely walks along cozy lawns located between lakes, old buildings and buildings.
Reykjavik is a hospitable city, accommodation here can be found for every taste – from inexpensive hostels with beds and apartments without “stars” to luxurious 4-5 * hotels. There are hotels for smokers and non-smokers, for young people and couples, without meals and on the bed and breakfast system. Not a problem to accommodate pets. Most of the hotels are decorated in a traditional (light and simple) Scandinavian style, but luxurious European design is also found.
The golden tourist mean is hotels and apartments 2-3 *: they are cozy and inexpensive. In most hotels, even the most inexpensive ones, you can rent a car and a bicycle, there is parking, and a shuttle service to the airport is provided.
Rent a Car
The square of Reykjavik is about 10 times smaller than Moscow, and if you wish, you can get around it on foot. You don’t really need a car to get around the city, but it will be useful for traveling around the country, because the real Iceland begins where the asphalt ends.
There are many rental offices in the city, there are both local (“Geysir”) and international (“Hertz” and others), you can also rent a car in many hotels. There are enough parking lots (they are mostly paid), and it is not a problem to find a free place. You can park your car for free right along the curb, with a partial drive onto the sidewalk – in the absence of prohibition signs. There are no toll roads, a calm and polite driving style is adopted.
It is necessary to strictly follow the rules – especially in terms of transporting children and the prohibition of talking on a mobile while driving. It is better to return the rented car with a full tank, as the cost of the missing fuel will be deducted from the deposit at inflated prices.
The Reykjavik Card tourist card entitles you to more than just free bus travel. With it, you can visit the thermal pools and some of the galleries and museums of Reykjavik for free, as well as receive discounts at restaurants and souvenir shops. In addition, cardholders can visit the zoo for free and take a ferry ride to Videy Island. Some local travel companies give discounts on excursions in Iceland upon presentation of the card.
Reykjavik Cards come with a validity of 1, 2 or 3 days. The cost of the card for the day for children under 18 is 1650 ISK, for adults – 4000 ISK. You can buy it in large hotels and hostels (at the reception or at the administrator), in museums, tourist information centers and even at bus stations.
Shopping in Reykjavik is best started from Laugavegur Street – it is full of shops and souvenir shops, Christmas decorations, designer clothes, handicrafts and handicrafts. You can continue shopping in the large shopping center Kringlan of. website (in English) and in the Smaralind mall of. website (in English), and on weekends it is worth visiting the popular Colaportid flea market (open from 11:00 to 17:00).
Souvenir “must-have” – sweaters “lopapeysa” and other things from sheep’s yarn Lopi. They are warm, soft, cozy, not afraid of moisture and are deservedly considered the hallmark of Iceland. Local shops have a huge selection of gifts – from Viking-style items to jewelry made from volcanic lava. A good purchase would be Blue Lagoon cosmetics, made on the basis of algae and minerals from the famous Blue Lagoon, and winter equipment from the local brand 66°NORTH.
You can buy local products for gifts, but be careful. Many delicacies are, to put it mildly, unusual, both in taste and smell (especially fish and cheeses). It is best to go to the Colaportid market for them – and be sure to try before you buy! Excellent gifts will be local Reika vodka (although it is cheaper to buy in duty free) and incomparable Icelandic mustard.
Shop opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00, on Saturdays from 10:00 to 16:00. To the delight of tourists, woolen shops are open on Sundays as well.
They say about the weather in Reykjavik that there is no autumn and spring there – only winter and summer, and that the Icelandic weather has no patterns. It can snow or rain at any moment, and sometimes it is warmer in winter than in summer. Local weather is determined by two factors – daylight hours and wind. The more sun and less wind, the better, but you need to be prepared for anything.
According to citypopulationreview.com, the best time to travel is from June to September, the warmest months are July and August. On average, the climate is mild due to the proximity of the Gulf Stream, with changeable weather and frequent, but not heavy rains, so it is advisable to take waterproof shoes and clothes with you. Since Reykjavik is located close to the Arctic Circle in latitude, there are very long days in summer and nights in winter.