{Iceland} Streets of Reykjavik

It has taken me way too long to start blogging about our amazing trip to Iceland in June! I've been struggling with how to put such an amazing adventure into words. I would let the pictures do the talking, but honestly sometimes they don't even do it justice.

The first question Alex and I always get when we tell people about our trip to Iceland was...WHY Iceland? Iceland isn't exactly your typical country to travel to until recent. In our vacation searches, Iceland would pop up as a suggestion and it would constantly be in my face on my Instagram feed. We looked more into it and after some thought decided to just go for it and we booked our flights in January to go on a 10-day trip at the beginning of June!

I took well over 800 photos on this trip...obviously I won't be posting all of them but this trip will be broken up into a few different posts. We spent the first half of our trip exploring Reykjavik and the second half renting a car to take day trips in the country. We also stayed in an adorable little Airbnb near the city center the entire time.

Front door of our Airbnb

Front door of our Airbnb

Living room in our Airbnb

Living room in our Airbnb

Our days that were spent exploring Reykjavik started out with us making breakfast and coffee in our little Airbnb kitchen before a day full of walking. Reykjavik is very walkable and has lots of shops, cafes, bars, and stunning views along the way. Even though there are a lot of good restaurants, cafes, and shops, we made the majority of our meals at our apartment. Iceland is expensive! We went out for breakfast once and a very basic eggs/bacon/toast meal with coffee for two was around $50.

This was our $50 brunch...one thing is for sure, Iceland doesn't skimp out on the bacon! And to be fair it was a delicious brunch.

This was our $50 brunch...one thing is for sure, Iceland doesn't skimp out on the bacon! And to be fair it was a delicious brunch.

I'm getting ahead of myself though. Besides the understandable high cost for everything (they import most things), there aren't really any complaints about that country. The people are so kind and the entire country is gorgeous. There were many surprises about Iceland we didn't realize ahead of time:

  1. How walkable Reykjavik is--we walked all over that city the first half of our trip!
  2. The smell of sulfur everywhere (I mean I know it's an island with hundreds of active volcanoes, but I didn't realize how strong it would be. I look back at photos and can still smell it. Also nothing like an early morning eggy-smelling shower too!)
  3. How you would be driving through an area that looked like you just landed on the moon or Mars and a few minutes later would come over a hill to see a beautiful green pasture full of horses or a massive lake/fjord. The variety of landscapes is breathtaking.
  4. The prices like I mentioned....we were expecting it to be expensive but some things really shocked us (like how taxed and governed alcohol sales are!)
  5. How unbelievably friendly the locals are.
  6. The difference in climates! Now I know why so many people wear layers...they have to be ready for rain or shine and warm and cold temps all in one day.
  7. How CLEAN the city and country is. Even with the increase in tourism, they are on top of keeping the city in tip top shape.
  8. Cats roam the streets of Reykjavik! Definitely wasn't aware of this at all and the cat lover in me was pleasantly surprised.

Reykjavik is a unique, cozy city and I loved the days we had to explore it. At the bottom of this post I listed all the stores, cafes, bars, and restaurants we visited. We both hope to visit again in the future to enjoy more of this city!

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja

Harpa

Harpa

Inside Harpa

Inside Harpa

Sun Voyager

Sun Voyager

Best hotdog I've ever had. Seriously.

Best hotdog I've ever had. Seriously.

Stofan Kaffihus

Stofan Kaffihus

One of the many cats that roam Reykjavik's streets

One of the many cats that roam Reykjavik's streets

Shelf love at Reykjavik Roasters

Shelf love at Reykjavik Roasters

Cozy corner with a record player at Reykjavik Roasters

Cozy corner with a record player at Reykjavik Roasters

One of the most stylish restaurants I've ever had a beer in...Rok

One of the most stylish restaurants I've ever had a beer in...Rok

Beers on the glass balcony at Rok overlooking Hallgrimskirkja.

Beers on the glass balcony at Rok overlooking Hallgrimskirkja.

So many cute, plant-filled entryways

So many cute, plant-filled entryways

Ah Scandinavia, forever satisfying my inner plant lady...all the window sills lined with plants.

Ah Scandinavia, forever satisfying my inner plant lady...all the window sills lined with plants.

Noodle lunch

Noodle lunch

One of the best cinnamon rolls we've ever had at Braud & Co. We also wanted to try Sandholt, but they were unfortunately closed during our trip for remodeling.

One of the best cinnamon rolls we've ever had at Braud & Co. We also wanted to try Sandholt, but they were unfortunately closed during our trip for remodeling.

If you're curious about suggestions for places to eat or shop, here is a brief list of places we visited.

Cafes:

Stofan Cafe
Reykjavik Roasters
Mokka

Restaurants/Bars/Bakeries:

Baejarins Beztu Pylsur (hotdog stand)
Braud & Co
Noodle Station
Lebowski Bar
Dillon Whiskey Bar
Rok
Fiskmarkadurinn (a splurge, we wanted to have one fantastic dinner out and it was the best seafood dinner I've ever had!)

Stores:

Geysir
Farmers Market
Kormaks & Skjaldar
Assorted tourist stores

As I mentioned this is only one part of the many Iceland posts. I will be posting about our road trip adventures around the country soon. Miss you everyday, Iceland!

~Jessica