You’ve seen Hallgrímskirkja, walked around Tjörnin, stood in line for “einn með öllu” (one with everything) at the famous hot dog stand Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and been into countless of charming little shops on Laugavegur. You’ve bought a puffin teddy bear, a traditional lópapeysa (Icelandic knitted sweater), some waterproof Icelandic fashion from 66North – oh, and you checked Harpa, the concert hall by the waterfront, off the list too. So now what do you do? What else is there to see in Reykjavík?
Reykjavík is a relatively small city and the most famous sights are within walking distance from each other in the downtown area. This means that any efficient tourist is highly likely to simply run out of sights to see, when spending a day in this charming little capital in the north. However, there is absolutely no reason to be bored. Here is how you should spend the rest of your day:
Go for a geothermal swim
One of the best parts about Iceland is the geothermal waters. Sundlaug (swimmingpool), spa or geothermal beach. It doesn’t really matter. Just go. One of Reykjavík’s many public swimmingpools can be highly recommended. Grab your swimsuit and go soak in the waters under the open sky and relax until it is time for dinner.
Dine in Grandi
After your visit to the swimmingpool you should go for dinner at Grandi. This area is approximately 10 minutes walking distance from downtown and is a far less touristy neighbourhood, where locals like to hang out and grab a bite, a drink or an ice cream. Start with a drink at the holistic gypsy bar and boutique Luna Flórens and continue the evening with a dinner at the Coocoo’s Nest, a delicious sourdough pizza at Flatey or a flatbread wrap at Lamb Streetfood. Another great place to grab a bite is Grandi Mathöll, which has a casual and trendy Scandinavian vibe.
Taste a local brew
After dinner go for a beer at a local bar. Craft beers have become quite the trend in Reykjavík and a beer from one of the many local breweries are indeed worth trying out. Check out Skúli or Kaldi Bar. These are both great local places with a laid back and trendy vibe.
See a show or the sunset
The sunsets in Reykjavík can be absolutely amazing during the summer days. You’ll have to wait a bit for it as the sun sets really late, but it is totally worth it on a beautiful day. While you’re waiting you should consider checking out Reykjavík’s comedy scene. The Secret Cellar in downtown has an English stand up comedy show every evening – and the entrance is free.
Cover photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash