Eat and Drink -
First thing we did in Reykjavik was look for food. I didn't do any research on which restaurants to go since Sen and I love to restaurant and bar hop when we are in a new city, this trip was no exception. Food experience is part of our adventure. However, I asked you for some recommendations on one of my IG posts and you delivered! Thanks to @ix2392, Sen and I tried Puffin, Whale, Horse, and Shark. Thanks to @gradytatefitness we tried Hardfiskur (no photo though). My favorites were Shark, Reindeer and Hardfiskur.
I must agree that food and drinks in Iceland is pretty expensive.
Two hacks for alcoholic drinks:
1. Purchase them at the duty-free store at the airport, it is located on the same floor as the baggage claim. The alcohol there are way cheaper than what you will get anywhere else in the country. 2. go out during Happy Hours where drinks are at 50% off, every restaurants' Happy Hour are a little different, but it almost always surrounds 5PM - 9PM.
The most economic but tasty item we had during our trip is the Icelandic Hot Dog. We tried a total of 3 hot dog stands and our favorite one is The Hot Dog Stand. It's super cute, the hot dog was really good, and the staff had a great sense of humor. When you order the hot dog, make sure to order it with everything in them. The hot dog had a layer of crispy onion on the bottom, very crunchy and tasty.
I also really liked the Lamb Soup.
For the rest of the days, we went and got groceries from a discount supermarket called Bónus. We compared its price with another supermarket in the city and the price at Bónus is definitely a lot lower. Tip: check out the operating hours to the Bonus store closest to you, since it opens late and closes early.
Here are a list of places we visited in Reykjavik:
Blue Lagoon is one of the must visits for this trip. I know this is a "tourist trap", that it is pricey, and there are many other geothermal pools in Iceland that are cheaper or even free, but this was still a must visit for us.
TIP: **You must pre-book the tickets before your visit and the tickets goes fast**
Blue Lagoon is very close to the airport, so many people make their visit after they land or before heading to the airport. However, due to our arrival and departure times, we paid it a visit on our second day in Iceland. The drive from Reykjavik to Blue Lagoon is around 40 minutes, follow the GPS until you are close to the lagoon and can see directional signs, then FOLLOW the signs, the GPS will take you to a factory instead.
The water is around 98-104°F (37-40°C), and is self-cleansing, it renews itself every 40 hours or so.
TIP: apply lots of hair conditioner to your hair and tie it up before you get in the pool, to prevent them from drying out by the water.
TIP: remove all of your jewelry to avoid being damaged by the water.
We got the package that provides a bath robe, slippers, towel, a drink, Silica and Algae masks. Before we went, I was a little concerned about not being able to find the robe after we get out of the pool, but the racks that were provided had numbers on them, so they were easy to identify. We were there for a good 3 hours, it was very worth the hype.
This church was a must visit for me since seeing something like this in a photo is one thing, but seeing it in person, was a totally different feeling. I didn't know this building was just finished in 1986 and thought it was much older due to the design. Totally was imagining the Vikings using this church way back when, GoT style!
There is no cost to go inside the church, but there is a small fee to go on top to the observation deck. There was a huge line for the observation deck when we were there, so we decided to skip it. However, definitely go in the church, have a seat, and feel the energy.
This was one of the top recommended places to visit on multiple sites, so we went. It is located next to the ocean, so it was a really nice walk. The front of the Harpa Concert Hall has a very small bridge with geothermal river running beneath it and I was pretty fascinated.
Inside the concert hall was very cool as well, there are gift shops, a bar, restaurant, the "walls" and "ceilings" of the place are all of these giant windows, as you can see in my photo. The windows would constantly change color from blue to pink to purple, very mesmerizing. We were there for quite a while trying to capture the colors in our photos but end up thinking this outdoor photo looks better.
I feel like the main point on seeing this sculpture is the walk along the ocean. We did it at night and the view was amazing! The weather in Iceland changes often, and when we got to the Sun Voyager, it was snowing, which made the experience so much better. There were plenty of parking lots across the street from the ocean, so you can park there and use that as a starting point.
Walk Around & Discover:
There were so many places to explore in the city, whether its to window shop, cute cafes, or simply walk around the streets and take silly photos.
Hope this post was helpful to your trip planning and let me know if you have any questions!