If you’re planning to visit Reykjavik, you’re in for a great time! The northernmost capital in the world offers breathtaking views of Mount Esja, interesting street art, lots of great restaurants and an incredible nightlife. To piggyback off of 8 Things to Do in Reykjavík for Under $15, here are a few more Reykjavík highlights including noteworthy restaurants, hostels, and the tour companies that I used to explore Iceland during my trip.
Where to Eat, Sleep & Explore
Yummy rye bread and herring!
Right across the street from Hallgrimskirkja Church, dine at Cafe Loki for homemade rye bread and traditional Icelandic food. Rye bread and herring was my favorite Icelandic dish. I recommend giving it a try!
I also enjoyed dining at the Icelandic Bar. I ordered a delicious lobster sandwich and fries. There are also all sorts of exotic dishes to try here including puffin and whale.
If you’re looking for vegan-friendly restaurants, this vegan food guide to Reykjavík shares lots of vegan restaurants in town. I can’t wait to visit some of these establishments on my next trip!
On a nice sunny day, Kaffibrennslan Bar’s outdoor patio is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee. I decided to stop in after smelling freshly baked croissants from across the street. Not only is the food delicious, but their staff went above and beyond. Kudos to keeping my wallet safe when I accidentally left my bag behind!
If you’re looking for a trendy cafe, head over to Cafe Laundromat. Their laundromat decor included lots of books and bookshelves, framed photographs and maps.
Unfortunately, I didn’t order any food here, but my nonfat latte tasted great!
Yet again, I left my credit card behind at the cafe but the cashier found me two blocks over – I don’t know how he did it, but I must say, I experienced great customer service at Cafe Laundromat!
If you’re looking for an affordable and centrally located accommodation, consider Loft Hostel. Loft Hostel is near attractions, shops, and restaurants.
It also has one of the cheapest bars in town which makes it a great place to meet locals and other travelers. Loft Hostel also hosts social events throughout the month including a clothing exchange that promotes sustainability.
A nice selection of Scandinavian and Icelandic beer at Loft Hostel.
One of my favorite places to hang out at the hostel was the rooftop terrace. I loved the views of the city and you can attend live concerts at the hostel every Friday night.
At Loft Hostel, guests are given key cards for room access. Each bed comes with a charging station, a personal reading light, and locker. Since my locker was hard to use, I kept locks on my suitcase and had no problems whatsoever.
Each bed comes with a spread, blanket, and pillowcase.
My 8-bed dorm had two en-suite bathrooms (cleaned every day) which allowed two people to use the bathroom at the same time – loved that!
The staff at Loft Hostel were friendly and extremely helpful. They allowed me to store my luggage before check-in and they helped me pick great restaurants and book tours.
The staff even left notes for my roommates reminding them of tour pick-up times.
Lastly, since Loft Hostel is a social and festive place, I recommend bringing earplugs to drown out any noise while sleeping.
Loft Hostel was more than a place to rest my head at night. Staying here made my trip memorable and I would definitely consider staying here again.
Walking City Tour
Our tour guide at the oldest cemetery in Reykjavik which is now a small park.
I can’t stop raving about how much I appreciated the CityWalk Reykjavik walking tour.
The free walking tour offered a great introduction to Reykjavík, Icelandic culture, and history. Best of all, tours are run by witty Icelandic historians who are passionate about sharing their love for Iceland. During the walking tour, we walked through the most historic parts of town including the oldest neighborhood and the oldest cemetery.
The oldest neighborhood in Reykjavik.
I would have missed so many hidden gems if I skipped the CityWalk Reykjavik tour. At the end of the tour, you can set your own price and tip in any currency you like.
After the tour, the CityWalk Reykjavik team and I had lunch at Gló, a popular health food restaurant in Reykjavík. The portions were large and I enjoyed Martin, Eric and Sara’s company.
If you’re looking to visit Reykjavik and need a proper introduction, don’t miss CityWalk Reykjavik’s free tour.
Golden Circle Tour
If you’re pressed for time, joining an organized group tour is a great way to see more of Iceland.
On the Golden Circle Tour Maria shares why she decided to book a tour with Golden Tours. She also shares highlights including the Secret Lagoon, Geysir, and Gullfoss Waterfall.
Iceland’s South Coast
Highly recommended by Loft Hostel, Sterna Travel makes my Visit Reykjavik highlights list because it surpassed all of my expectations.
On the 10-hour south coast tour of Iceland, we visited Vik Black Sand Beach, Skógafoss waterfall, and I even walked behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
My tour guide was very insightful and he described how global warming and volcanic eruptions continue to shape the island.
I cried from joy the first time I touched the glacier.
Sterna Travel offered the most affordable Iceland South Coast guided tour, and they were so accommodating to my last-minute request to join.
Sorry guys but I can’t remember the horseback riding tour company I used. Loft Hostel conveniently booked my tour and I can’t seem to find the name.
The good news is that both inexperienced (totally me) and experienced riders can visit Reykjavik and enjoy the gorgeous Icelandic horses.
Isn’t he stunning?
My horse was friendly and listened to all of my commands, but he couldn’t stop rubbing his boogers on me – I hope that’s a good thing!
Lastly, if you’re feeling really adventurous, visit Reykjavik and snorkel Silfra.
Silfra is about an hour away from Reykjavik and I wholeheartedly recommend snorkeling or diving with DIV.IS.
How many people can say that they’ve explored the shifting Eurasian and North American tectonic plates? Not many my friends!
Have you been to Iceland? What are some of your favorite Reykjavik highlights?
Author: Danielle Desir
Danielle Desir is a Travel Finance Strategist that uses her financial background and knack for financial planning to empower those who want to travel afford travel and excel in their personal finances. She shares creative planning strategies, saving tips, cheap flight deals and even talks about her student loan repayment journey on her blog, The Thought Card. Her financial expertise has taken her across the globe to over 21 countries and 3 continents (and counting), all while paying off her student loans, saving for a house, owning a home, and working full-time.