When you relocate to Reykjavik for your international exchange, you won’t be spending all of your time at the university or the library. So, let’s take a look at what you need to see and do when you’re out and about in Reykjavik.
Reykjavik is one of several locations throughout Iceland that offers individuals the opportunity to witness these graceful marine giants in their natural environments. Several different touring companies offer 2-3 hour whale watching expeditions. Icelanders, however, also hunt whales, and their meat is served in restaurants.
Why should you go? It’s a very rare opportunity to see such wonderful creatures!
When should you go? These adventures run from May to September.
In Iceland, there are many sources of volcanic activity beneath the land’s surface. This creates geysers, thermal pools and underground springs, located all throughout the country. Witnessing a scalding stream of water shooting into the air is an extremely powerful moment, that’s for sure!
Where do you go? Located in the southwest region of Iceland, you’ll find Strokkur beside the Hvítá River, which is a very popular location to witness the wonders of a fountain geyser. You can also find several geysers in the south of Iceland in Haukadalur.
If you’d like to see a perfectly formed volcano with a tapered cone, be sure to go see Maelifell in the Myrdalsjökull Glacier Park. During the summer’s warm days, the volcano is covered with green moss and offers a wonderful photo opportunity. Plus, throughout the park, you can see additional volcanoes, hot springs and a host of picturesque sites.
When do you go there? Try to visit in the summer, or in the very early fall.
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most-visited attractions in all of Iceland. This geothermal spa offers its visitors a natural, relaxing bathing experience that is truly unparalleled, and the good news is that it is only about 40 minutes outside of Reykjavík. The water in the underground hot springs reaches a temperature of between 37–39 °C, and it has been deemed to be extremely beneficial for both the health and the skin.
Why should you go there? Who doesn’t love a spa, especially when surrounded by the natural beauty of Iceland?
This phenomenon that occurs during certain times of the year in the northern regions is also another of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Due to the continued increase in solar activities, the lights have been even brighter this year. Keep in mind that it’s best to observe the lights in more remote places, rather than close to the city.
When should you go there? Come to see the lights from mid-September to mid-April.
Slippbarinn might just be Reykjavik’s very first cocktail bar. It also sports a great location in the Reykjavik Hotel Marina, one of the city’s best hotels. The master mixologist at this bar has hopped onto the cocktail craze that has seemingly taken over Iceland, keeping both the hotel and the bar extremely relevant and popular with students. You’ll find both hotel guests and locals indulging in the perfectly crafted libations served at the bar, always mixed with fresh, local ingredients.
Kex Hostell, which was once a biscuit factory, is one of the top 10 cultural hotels in all of Reykjavik. With its trendy decor, it’s also one of the most popular bars. Locals and visitors alike gather at this fun place to drink from the fantastic beer selection and to dine on the tasty snacks. Live music is also sometimes offered, even adding to the up-and-coming vibe.
Micro Bar is usually deemed to be the best bar for beer lovers in the city, mostly due to the fact that it offers the largest selection in Reykjavik, from local brews to international bottles. Icelandic cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson has also decorated the walls with huge murals, adding to the funky vibe. It may very well be the hippest bar in Reykjavik.
Gallery Bar is a big draw for the more cultural student crowd, offering a unique blend between an art gallery and a swanky gentleman’s club. You’ll love the deep red armchairs, the fireplace and dim lighting, mixed with contemporary art, including vibrant, colorful paintings. While you’ll find a nice beer and wine selection, there is also a pleasing array of specialty cocktails.
Loftid offers a sophisticated air, which is probably why you’ll have to adhere to a dress code before you can enjoy the high-quality drinks and the classy atmosphere. So if you’re looking for an elegant night out in your best attire, then you’ve definitely found the right place. You’ll run into both a local and an international crowd here, as you sip cocktails in this high-end locale that is never even remotely too “stuffy.”