The key to Reykjavík is the rest of Iceland, according to the generous readers who gave their travel advice for this week’s Hack Your City. “You’re not going to Reykjavik to see Reykjavik. You’re going to Reykjavik to see Iceland,” says jjdebenedictis. “Reykjavík proper can really be done in a day or two,” says ImRightYoureNot. And you’re gonna have one hell of a day after these tips. Go read the best comments under the Staff tab, or check out some highlights below.
Each Monday on Hack Your City, we ask readers for your best tips on a city: driving tips, restaurant recs, things to do, and any other advice for visitors and locals. Then on Thursday, we present the best comments. We’re working our way around the U.S. and around the globe.
- “The cheap food is expensive (seriously, fish and chips is like $25) but the expensive food is cheap (relative to NYC prices),” says Sitzpinkler. “The top rated restaurants run about $100 for their tasting menus.” (It’s an island without much farmland, point out a few readers.)
- Or to save money on food, says llaalleell, “it’s worth it to get an apartment rather than hotel because then you can cook for yourself.”
- “Go to the cheap grocery store (called Bonus, it is yellow with a drunk pig logo) to buy food,” says plaidscreen. “Don’t bother with the pricey 24/7 one (the green one) that is downtown.”
- If you only have time for the city, at least get to the outskirts, which haloboy817 calls “absolutely breathtaking. I was in complete awe by the mountains, volcanoes, plains and gorgeous scenery.”
- Several readers recommend visiting in winter, when you have a better chance of seeing Aurora Borealis thanks to the 19-hour nights.
- Get out of the city, not just for day trips, but for nights in hotels around the country. “It’s worth the trip further south/east down to the glacier lagoons, waterfalls, and diamond beach,” says shockwaver. “It’s hard to base yourself in Reykjavik and explore the whole island,” says James.
- Take a shuttle from the airport, because a cab is $130, says AGH.
- “Fuel is DRASTICALLY cheaper at Costco than elsewhere,” says NotADentist.
- In another comment, shockwaver gives great practical advice, like how at pools and hot springs, “you will be expected to shower naked with soap before getting in.” Plus lots of traffic tips.
- “HOLY SHIT DON’T GO DURING EASTER!” says BdgBill. “Easter is some kind of super holiday in Iceland,” and places . We were on the road during Easter week and pretty much everything except hotels and *some* gas stations were shut from Thursday through Tuesday.”
- If you come during the summer months, says Santos L. Halper, “bring a sleeping mask.”
- “The music scene in Reykjavik is fantastic—it’s a great mix of traditional and experimental,” says llaalleell. “Definitely see a show at Harpa if you have a chance, especially the symphony. But live music is not hard to find.” (This comment has loads of tips about local attractions.)
- “Follow the Grapevine for local English language news and tips on what’s happening in town,” says marakins.
- “Icelanders have a very dry humor,” says Bjartur. “If you think something is meant to be even a little funny, it probably is, so enjoy it.”
- “Visit the Phallological Museum,” says beervendor. Actually they say “DON’T visit the Phallological Museum,” but then they make it sound great: “Yes, that’s the world’s preeminent dick museum. They have everything from mouse dicks to whale dicks, and every dick in between, and an actual human dick as the collection’s centerpiece. It’s expensive, small, and often crowded. It is actually pretty interesting. Maybe on your 3rd day in the city. Or if you REALLY love dicks.”
- “On the way out, get a few bottles of ‘Black Death’ and get the back story,” says Kalvan. “A nice aquavit type liqueur.”
- “I’d recommend stopping by Icelandic Street Food for either lamb or fish soup,” says shockwaver. “The lamb soup was absolutely amazing! Plus, they give you free refills on your soup.”
- “Lots of touristy bars, some very nice, but if you want to catch the old grumpy locals arguing about politics and such, go to Olstofan,” says Slammy.
- “Everyone will tell you it’s overrated, but I still think the [geothermal spa] Blue Lagoon is worth doing,” says AR123. “Do it either on the way to or from the airport, you can get a transfer that includes a stop there. Be sure to bring your own conditioner, as the water tends to make your hair tangle.”
- Or, says kylf, “Go to a municipal pool. There are two great ones in Reykjavik: Sundhöllin (period art deco pool with rooftop hot tubs; the last time I was there I sat in one next to an MP) and Laugardalslaug (gigantic all-outdoor pool, heated). There will be locals of all ages there 365 days a year and it costs maybe $8 for admission and towel rental.”
- “Would highly recommend the outdoor pool at Hofsós,” says Judge. “It was wonderful, and only $9 entry for a geothermally heated outdoor infinity pool with views of what looked like the Iron Islands from GoT.”
- “Highly recommend the Settlement Exhibition,” says Bjartur.
That’s all the highlights, but many of them are pulled from long comments full of more tips. So go check those out. Then come back Monday, when Hack Your City goes to the town that my dinky hometown used to be named after.
Let’s have fun! (??)