Things to do in Iceland
Given that Iceland's population is just over 300,000, a visitor in search of urban excitement will largely be disappointed. Instead the draw is the stunning, unique beauty of a country that sits atop the seam of two continental plates. It's a land of volcanic activity, with geysers erupting from the surface of the earth and, in the other direction, waterfalls plunging from the elevated interior to its coast. Include these stops on your itinerary:
Blue Lagoon. Just minutes from the Reykjavik airport, there's no excuse not to stop here and soak in the geothermally heated waters.
Culture House, Reykjavik. Stop at this museum to see original manuscripts of the Icelandic Sagas and the Edda, which inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
Geysir. In southwestern Iceland is the geyser after which all other geysers are named. Unlike Old Faithful, Geysir's eruptions are tied to tectonic activity and you can't count on seeing it erupt.
Vatnajökull National Park. The largest national park in Iceland, and one of the largest in Europe.
Northern Lights. The northern lights are visible on about 100 nights a year, from October to March. Activity peaks at around midnight.
Ground zero for the city's gay scene, this raucous venue in the nightclub district hosts DJ-spun music four nights per week. Billing itself as the "hottest gay bar in Iceland," Q-Bar serves as a meeting spot days and a hopping dance club most nights (typically Wednesdays through Saturdays, consis
Iceland’s 1.6-million-gallon cure-all, the Blue Lagoon, where people flock for soothing heat and an abundance of minerals, also has a bar. Of course, in the spirit of healthfulness, the Lagoon Bar does a nice trade in fruit and skyr (thick Icelandic yogurt).
This tiny boutique in the city's main shopping district sells the quality womens fashions of native designer, Guðrún Kristín Sveinbjörnsdóttir. Combining classic stylings with quirky Icelandic design touches, Guorun crafts feminine pieces that are one of a kind yet affordable.
Offering an Icelandic take on luxury wear, this destination for designer womens knits is adjacent to the city's artsy waterfront district.
At the 200,000-square-foot spa, six tubs and an outdoor pool are filled with the Laugardalur Valley’s healing thermal waters.
The mittens, made with native wool, are ideal stocking stuffers.
Guide Ragnar Lovdaltakes you to the eerily silent Langjökull glacier, rumored to shelter Iceland's elves year-round.
This trendy watering hole located down a small side street can be tough to get into. Prominently featured in the film 101 Reyjkavik, Kaffibarinn has been deemed (unofficially) one of the world's coolest bars.
Although chilly outside, it’s still hot (after eight years) inside this supernova nightclub with a spacious stage, where a galaxy of gorgeous carousers can make live videos of themselves.
Occupying a former paint store, this bistro is located just next door to the city's hottest shopping district. Ground zero for people watching — the second-floor bar has a picture window overlooking the street — Kaffi Solon is an artsy venue with more than just eats.