Day 1 - 3 Mar 2020
Content: Arrive at Reykjavik airport from Luton airport. Get the gloves & scarf on & get ready to step out in the cold!
Content: Pre-organise transportation to Reykjavik. We booked coach transportation from the airport to take us directly to our hotel in Reykjavik beforehand on Viator. The trip takes 45 minutes in total & you’ll save so much time than trying to organise transport on the day. Once in Reykjavik, everyone on the coach was issued into smaller mini vans depending on where your hotel was, so you could be transported as close as possible to your hotel. We were dropped outside hallsgrimkirkja church and our hotel was a minute walk from here.
Content: Check into the hotel. This hotel was in a prime location right in the centre of Reykjavik, with a view of hallsgrimkirkja from the window. You can help yourself to the coffee machine near the lobby for free all day, so fill up your flask & get ready to head out into the cold to explore. Pre-warning: the water in all the hotels in Reykjavik smell like eggs, due to the sulphur content from the geothermal origins of the warm water. It’s just something you have to get used to!
Content: Take a walk around Reykjavik & explore the city. Get to grips with your new surroundings to get your bearings. We walked to the sea front to see the voyager statue, then walked along the front towards Harpan opera house (it’s free to wander round inside & is very much worth it for the beautiful architecture). We then took a walk to the harbour & explored the shops & cafes in the area. TIP: download the app ‘appy hour’. This will give you all the restaurants & bars that hold happy hour deals with the timings for these. As alcohol is notoriously expensive in Iceland, we only drank alcohol using the happy hour deals & we saved SO much money.
Content: For a budget friendly Icelandic dinner, check out Icelandic Street Food. There a several locations around the city, but we visited the one a few doors down from hard rock. The small restaurant only has 3-4 options on the menu, including a lamb soup, fish stew & shellfish soup. The soups have the added option of either being served in a cup or a bread bowl. If a cup of soup doesn’t sound filling, don’t worry! The soups all have free refills so you can indulge into your fit to burst. Their food is seriously flavourful & very more-ish. And if that wasn’t enough, they even have free desserts on offer which change daily (we got crepes with Nutella on the day we visited which was the perfect end to our meal!).
Content: It goes without saying that a northern lights tour has to be on your itinerary for your trip to Iceland! We prebooked ours on Viator before our trip. Make sure to plan your trip for your first night in Iceland, as if you don’t see the lights on your tour, most operators will allow you to keep going back for free until you see them! TIP: it’s unbelievably cold whilst you’re waiting for the lights, so put all your thermal layers on & take a hot chocolate with you or five!
Day 2 - 4 Mar 2020
Content: Help yourself to the free breakfast which is a mixture of European continental & Icelandic lo treats - including the infamous skyr Icelandic yoghurt. Make sure to fill up so you’ll be less likely to spend money on pricey lunches in Reykjavik!
Content: As we visited Iceland outside of the whale watching season, we visited the whales of Iceland museum. It is a great exhibition perfect for adults & children alike. It houses many life-sized models of different whale & dolphin species suspended from the ceiling, so you really get to appreciate size of these gentle giants. It also educates you on current whaling laws in Iceland, with it being one of the only countries in the world where whaling is still legal, along with promoting conservation efforts for these amazing creatures. Definitely worth the visit!
Content: For a budget friendly activity, check out the free walking tour of Reykjavik with CityWalk. These are run by a group of volunteers and are free to book online. All they ask is for a donation of your choosing at the end for their time. It was a great way to learn more about the city, as we’d walked past many of the buildings without realising what they were! The guides are also super friendly and will be happy to give you any recommendations. A budget friendly, educational trip. It is all outdoors though, so make sure to wrap up warm.
Content: Whilst on the walking tour, you’ll pass the oldest & most famous hotdog stand in Iceland. Make sure to grab one on your way past!
Content: After the walking tour, seek shelter in a nearby bar (check the appy hour app for deals!) to warm up with a glass of wine or three.
Content: If you love street food, this is the one for you. Cheaper than a sit down meal by far but pricier than street food in the UK, it is the perfect spot if you can’t decide what to have for dinner! Hlemmur Matholl is an indoor quirky street food market that offers a variety of food, from cheese and wine to tacos to stone baked pizzas, there’s something for everybody here. This was the first time we’d ever had dates on a pizza, and we haven’t looked back since - delicious!
Day 3 - 5 Mar 2020
Content: Fill up on a big breakfast before a busy full day tour of the golden circle.
Content: If you’re on a budget and you can only choose one tour to do in Iceland, the golden circle has to be it! We prebooked our trip with Viator & it was a full day trip, collecting us from a bus stop about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. On the tour, you get to see geysers, gulfoss waterfall & thingvellir national park, a UNESCO world heritage site. If you’re lucky, you may also stop to see some Icelandic ponies too! A brilliant day out with the most stunning locations, truly unforgettable.
Content: A similar concept to the restaurant we visited on the first night but with a wider selection of choices on the menu. Although not typically Icelandic, we had fish & chips (which were refillable!!!) & the fish stew. All options have free refills & the staff were super friendly. There’s chocolates on the table for a sweet treat after your meal, & the owner even came and handed us a handful of chocolate bars to take with us on our departure. A wonderfully tasty budget friendly eatery!
Day 4 - 6 Mar 2020
Content: The last day in Iceland so time to check-out before the trip to the famous blue lagoon!
Content: Prebook transport to the blue lagoon on your way back to the airport. The blue lagoon is a 40 minute drive from Reykjavik but only a 5 minute drive from the airport, so team your visit to the lagoon with either your arrival or departure to the airport.
Content: A trip to Iceland isn’t complete without a trip to the blue lagoon. Drop your luggage at the storage facilities outside the entrance and be ready for a full day of relaxation. You get a drink including in your ticket price (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are both included) plus free face masks. Although a mainstream choice of spa due to its increasing popularity, the lagoon is very peaceful. And due to the rising steam, you can’t see in front of you which makes you feel like you have the whole pool to yourself. Pricey, but very much worth it! And it was the perfect way to end our time in Iceland.
Content: Get the coach to the airport from the blue lagoon ready for your departure from snowy Iceland.