This trip came to be when I decided to take my first solo trip to Ireland (where I currently am). I noticed airlines were doing stopovers for free or for a minimal charge to increase tourism to Iceland. As it turned out, Iceland has been gracing my bucket list and I took the opportunity to go. I really wish I could have stayed longer, but I plan to go back in the summer when the weather is a little warmer and see more that this great country has to offer. You must visit the land of fire and ice and learn all about it!
Where to stay:
There are so many options of places to stay in Reykjavik from hotels, to hostels, guest houses, and even Airbnb!
I stayed at the Skolabru Guesthouse in the city and I really loved it here. It was close to food, bars, stores, and a quick walk to the city center and the water. This guest house is sort of like a hostel. I had my own room (for very cheap) and it came with two twin beds and I shared a bathroom and kitchen with other rooms in the house. I never really saw anyone else but I know they were there – I could hear them. Fun Fact: Skolabru guest house is on the shortest street in Iceland, Skolabru. I enjoyed my time here and the beds were extremely comfortable. I will stay here again when I come back.
What to do:
There are so many options but as I was only here on a 2 day stopover, I had to choose wisely. I ended up picking 2 tours and walking the city myself.
The Blue Lagoon.
You can visit this geothermal water on your way in or even out of the country. Flybus, who I used for my airport transportation and round trip service to the Blue Lagoon caters to those who would like to visit.
I went during the sunrise and it was incredible to watch.
Read more here: Visiting Blue Lagoon
The Golden Circle Tour:
If there is only 1 thing you can do in Iceland, this is it. I had the distinct pleasure of going on this full day tour with Bustravel Iceland. For me, this was the highlight of my trip. There are so many magical stops during the tour and you learn a lot about the country in the process. Bustravel offers many more tours, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a great experience while in Iceland.
Read More Here: The Golden Circle Tour in Iceland
So maybe I slacked a little bit in this department. I was running on no sleep and I needed to work and do school stuff around my travels .. but I can tell you this.. I am 100% obsessed with the pastries and breads in Iceland! Every place I went I made sure to get some. They are everywhere, so you won’t have to look far at all.
Being that I am in love with pizza in every way possible, I had to try the local pizza! It did not disappoint. There was really no comparison in taste other than the crust was like a New York Style. I grabbed a pizza from Gamla Smiðjan. I found it to be delicious!
Unfortunately I did not get to try the famous lamb hot dog. Next time though!
Seafood is very popular in Iceland but I didn’t get a chance to have a ‘proper’ meal while I was in town. This is on my list for next time.
I did go in January so it was very cold. I under packed on the weather gear. I would highly suggest snow pants and very warm clothing, especially if you go on the tours. The wind chill was brutal and I found that it took me a long time to warm up, even hours after being inside.
Iceland likes to party, so don’t be shy. Go have a drink and mingle with the locals. They are just as curious about you as you are about them.
Take a stroll along the streets and see what you can find. I didn’t have a lot of extra time but I managed a few shots!
You are probably wondering where all the selfies are? I actually spent more time immersing myself in the culture on this trip and didn’t take the opportunity for selfies .. it was also very cold outside and I was not ready for it. Here is one of me freezing 😉
Overall: Iceland was somewhat budget friendly, beautiful, the food was delicious, the people were great, and I would go back in a minute!