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Downtown Reykjavik

The World > Europe > Reykjavik > Holidays to Reykjavik
Natural spa Reykjavik

Holidays to Reykjavik

Reykjavik - off the beaten track but oh so good!

When there's just one city on your little patch of goodness, you better make it count! And the Icelanders do; Reykjavik is the world's northernmost capital, located in south-western Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. With its natural geo-thermal energy production Iceland can lay claim to being one of the most environmentally friendly countries on earth. So go green on your next European city break! 90% of public and private buildings are heated by geothermal activity and most of the Iceland's energy is created by geo-thermal stations.

 

The whole geo-thermal things plays large in Iceland, Reykjavik even has a hot water beach where you can relax and enjoy a warm bath! (Romantic weekends breaks anyone?)

 

Fireworks of a certain nature also seem to play a big part in Icelandic life. Over the New Year breaks period the Icelanders buy and set off fireworks so the place reverberates to the boom of thousands of dollars worth of gunpowder nightly. Not to be confused with the odd volcano that also goes boom occasionally.

 

Travel to Reykjavik is for the outdoorsy, scenic vistas traveller. Don't get us wrong; there is plenty to see and do in Reykjavik, but it would be a crime to miss the stunning vistas beyond the shopping avenues.

 

Eating out in Reykjavik

Cheap, expensive and everything in between

One thing to remember about Iceland is that it is one of the most unpolluted places on earth. The food here is something special; largely seafood based, but also a lot of meats like lamb, reindeer and beef. Service is also excellent and you'll not want for much if you're here on a short city break.

 

The budget options - A Naestu Grosum is a vegetarian restaurant which uses organic produce where possible. It's Indian in theme so you know what you're getting but the service and food quality belie the low price. It's really rather good! Not a vegetarian? Then try Restaurant Galileo, an Italian restaurant and pizzeria, situated in the Falcon house, one of Reykjavík´s oldest houses, right in the city centre by Inghólftorg square.

 

Mid price options - your key to mid-price eating in Reykjavik is Laugavegur, the main shopping street. Café Opera is in the very centre within walking distance of the street so you can build up an appetite in the shops before settling in for a high quality meal with very good service. Eat like a Viking in the Viking Village, about ten minute's drive from the city centre in Hafnarfjordur, traditional foods in a themed setting.

 

Splurge - too easy! Einar Ben is located at Ingólfstorg, the lively main square, in a typical turn of the century timber-house. Top quality food with an Icelandic twist.

 

What to wear, when to go

 

Thankfully temps in Reykjavik rarely fall below -15C in winter, you'll be pleased to know. It warms up during summer to a hearty 10 - 15C, although there's not much rain. Spring is the sunniest time of year with long, light-filled days.

 

Reykjavik - the number one greenest city!

 

Reykjavik is a destination city - a place you go because it's so different from where you came from. The land of the Vikings is not a huge city so if you're expecting party central it won't happen. What you will find, however, is a clean, green city founded in a area of natural beauty with a massive geo-thermal aspect.

 

Horse riding - if you're here to see stunning natural beauty, why not see it from the top deck of a horse? The terrain and the vistas are well worthwhile and the friendly tour guide will have whatever level horse rider you are feeling comfortable. Finish the experience with a soak in a 'hot pot'.

 

Hire a car - and take the golden circle route. This is a scenic drive that will show some of the best of Iceland. You'll drive past geysers and power plants - all based around geo-thermal activity.

 

City Museum - so you want to know how the ancient Vikings lived? The Reykjavik City Museum will show you in an exciting, interactive way. Built around a Viking longhouse the high-tech displays are interesting and informative.

 

Harpa - is the new concert and conference centre in Reykjavik and if you're lucky enough to get tickets to a performance, it's a must do. You can still tour the modern venue though, with its perfect positioning on the harbour. The glass wall by Olafur Eliasson is quite brilliant.

 

The must see - the Gulfoss waterfall is a truly stunning natural feature with a myriad trails around it so you can see it back, front and side on. Take a guided tour out there (not far from the central city), or hire a car for the day.