Pack Your Bags: Reykjavic, Iceland

I know, I know...

those pictures

from Iceland

made you want to throw on eight layers of clothes,

pull out your fuzziest boots,

and book a ticket east to Iceland.

I mean, it even made me want to go...

and I had just got back like the night before.

It's understandable.

The place is crazy gorgeous.

There are tons of places to visit outside the capital city, Reykjavic,

but it's inevitable to become the main hub for most trips to Iceland.


you're some hardcore mountain climber or deep-sea fisherman,

which, no offense, I'm not sure that any of us are.


We stayed at the

Hotel Odinsve.

It's not crazy expensive in Icelandic prices,

it's really well located right off the main drag

and near the famous Lutheran church,  Hallgrimskirkja.

The hotel has really nice staff,

and for larger groups- offers some

swankily-outfitted apartments.


In my opinion, I think the best part of Iceland is outside the capitol.

Iceland s beauty is in the waterfalls, the hiking, the hot springs...

and so this list is a little shorter than most other city guides.

I mean, the country may have thousands of years of history...

but Reykjavic is a bit too small & new to offer cultural competition

 for cities like Paris & Rome.

I'll be posting a full list of the places outside the city,

but for now, ladies and gents, my favorites from Reykjavic.


This famous church has become an icon for this city

since it's recent completion in 1986.

Designed to look like the distinct basalt rocks

found so often around Iceland,

this Lutheran church is a warm and welcoming sight

for tourists wandering around Reykjavic.

Say hi to the famous explorer

Leif Eriksson

on your way in.


Learn about the famous Icelandic Sagas at this museum


on the outskirts of town

 at the modern building called "The Pearl..."

You'll probably have to take a taxi to get to.

After you work your way through the gory stories

that have become so legendary in Icelandic folklore

{some of which seem very cool and some which seem a bit outlandish}

make it up to the top floor to the cafe and panoramic deck.

Go for a walk around the outer viewing platform for amazing views of Reykjavic,

take silly pictures of yourself in the reflective mirror...

and then head inside to the cafe for a cup of coffee to warm back up.

(To be fair, this museum is better for the literary nerds than random tourists.)


Beyond the rainbows & glaciers,

the main surprise I discovered here

was how good the food in Reykjavic...

You won't go hungry here,

though you may go broke from the exchange rate.

Tucking in and out of good eateries

is the perfect activity while wandering through

this chilly little town.

C Is For Cookie

Right across the street from Hotel Odinsve,

there is the cutest coffee shop

with some of the best food in the world.

Ok, perhaps I'm slightly exaggerating there, 

but I'm not lying when I say their coconut cake can not be topped.

It's inexplicable...

and totally acceptable as a breakfast food.


The oldest coffee shop in Iceland

has a quiet mellow vibe

and some delicious coffee.

Go feel like an Icelandic hipster

and hang out there with a tatty paperback for a few hours.


If fish & puffin start feeling a little heavy on your stomach,

and you need some good old grease to get you back in business:

Go to the Roadhouse.

It's a 5-10 minute walk from the main street in town

and has some crazy burger concoctions,

like the one I got...

a burger topped with macaroni & cheese and bacon.

I don't regret anything about that experience,

except that I could only stomach half of it.

Next time.

And they have really good milkshakes.

The peanut butter one almost made me meow.


Ok, so you've made it all the way to Iceland.

{Well done.}

It's time to get crazy and eat some crazy Icelandic cuisine.

This tiny place is a favorite of Chef Jamie Oliver

and when you look at the menu, 

you'll know why.

Shark sashimi?

Whale steak?

Puffin tarts?

Reindeer medallions?

Horse tenderloin?

The whale steak at Prir Frakkar. Not for the small-stomached.

Oh my goodness. 

It's not just kitschy,

but it's also really good!

I'd make a reservation

or plan on going before 7pm.

The small space will fill up with locals

and well-guided tourists soon thereafter.


Located down on the water by the docks & whale-watching boats

sits the humble little restaurant, Seabarons.

The no-frills restaurant offers a short menu

of freshly caught kebabs

(that you literally choose out of the fridge & they cook)

or their legendary Lobster Soup.

The soup comes with, approximately, 500 slices of bread & butter...

and the coffee in the dispenser is free.

Take your giant cup of chunky lobster soup and mug down!


{AKA "The Hot Dog Stand"}

On the Iceland Air flights,

they have an ad that plays on your personal tv

that says that the most popular restaurant in Reykjavic

is a hot dog stand.

After you find out where that is

and sit there for 20 minutes

while car after car pull into the tiny parking space

and dudes hop out to nosh down a dog,

you start to realize how true it is.

The Icelandic people love their hotdogs,

and they were, literally, the cheapest hot meal I saw the entire time.

It's a pretty routine formula:

bun, dog, raw onion, fried onion,

mustard, ketchup & some remoulade.

It is pretty tasty.

I only had one.

My husband on the other hand cleared a dozen during our time in Iceland.

It was somewhat impressive

and completely disgusting all at the same time.


Now there are the facts as I know them

and now,  I need to know one thing from you:

 Who's going back to Reykjavic with me next fall?

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy