When to go to Iceland
There’s really no bad time to visit Iceland due to the abundant activities you can do all year long. But if you’re pining for the aurora borealis, it’s best to target November to February; however, you can see them anytime from September to April. The northern lights can be seen on a dark and clear night. In the summer months, and especially in July, 24 hrs of daylight will keep the northern lights away.
I prefer coming here in the winter. There’s something majestic and pure about landscapes covered in snow. If this is your first time coming to Iceland, I highly suggest the winter months. You can always come back in the summer for a different experience.
If you’re not keen of crowds, early to late fall and early spring might be good times to come. You’ll still be able to do summertime activities in early fall. In late fall, you can beat the crowds and can claim to be one of the first people to see the lights for that season. There’s still a chance to see the lights in early spring. The changing landscape might also offer candy for your eyes for days.
Iceland holds an annual Winter Light Festival every year during the first weekend in February, but double check just to make sure. Hallsgrimskirkja gets lit up on the first night and on the last night, city center will be in darkness for an hour so you can take some epic pictures of Leifur Ericksson among the milky way (if you’re lucky and the sky is clear).
Leifur Ericksson lit up by the moon during the Winter Light Festival
How long to stay
Stay as long as your budget allows to give you the best opportunity to see the northern lights. Typically, 7 nights is a good length and is the amount for the free stopover offered by Icelandair. You might be able to see the lights during that time. I’ve been to Iceland twice, both times for 4 nights each, and by the time we get settled in, it was time to go. Don’t do what I did. Save enough vacation time to stay a proper week. The weather in Iceland is unpredictable so give yourself the best possible chance of seeing the mystical lights in the sky.
There’s plenty to do in Iceland so you won’t find yourself bored, even for this “small” island.
Typical Icelandic epicness
Where to stay in Iceland
Where you stay depends heavily on your taste and when you decide to go. The best deals are packaged with Icelandair or any other aggregate travel site such as Expedia. Keep in mind that hotels on the Icelandair docket are typically within the city center of Reykjavik. If you want to be close to all the action, any hotel within the a block of Laugavegur is good, especially the Centerhotel hotel chain. These places are reasonably priced and comes with free breakfast and refreshments all day. I would stay a block away from Hotel Fron and Centerhotel Skjaldbreid – there is an extremely loud club within the area that plays EDM (electronic dance music) to 4 in the morning, usually from Thursday to Saturday. If that doesn’t keep you up all night, the drunken patrons of the place will bathe your ears with screechy tunes of their own.
The area around Hallsgrimskirkja is actually really nice and peaceful and you’re still within an arm’s reach of everything on the main street. Staying in this area is nice because you’ll be close to the local public swimming pool of Sundholl Reykjavikur, a much better and more “real” place than the Blue Lagoon (much more on that hatred later).
For your first time to Iceland, stay in Reykjavik’s downtown area, but of course you may wish to venture out into less crowded pastures. For a unique experience, rent a summer home outside of the main city. They’re called summer homes but are built for guests all year round. A good website to search for such a place is http://www.icelandicsummerhouses.com/. Most of these homes have a hot tub. If you’re going with this route, get one that’s further away from everything so that you may enjoy the northern lights from the comfort of your hot tub, if you’re lucky.
Keep in mind that the further away from Reykjavik you go, the less civilizations you’ll encounter. Note that of the 300,000 Icelanders on the island, 200,000 live in the Reykjavik area. But the further out you go, the more Icelandic you become. Perhaps you’ll even backpack among the mountains, sleep under the stars, and perform coitus while trolls and elves watch you. There aren’t a lot of wildlife here so you won’t be eaten by bears. Your worst enemy is the cold. So if you’re venturing out there, bring everything necessary to stay warm.
Get ready for an epic time
Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
Iceland isn’t the only place to see the northern lights. As a matter of fact, it is rather a pricey trip just for this natural phenomena. If you’re in the US, you can see the lights in the northern parts of Canada and Alaska. You can see the lights in Norway or Finland or other northern hemisphere countries near the magnetic pole. The main attraction in Iceland seems to be the lights, but it really shouldn’t be. The friendly people, the culture, and the incredible natural youth of this land mass with its evolving environment are the main attractions; the northern lights is a bonus, albeit a huge one.
What I’m trying to say is… seeing the lights is a matter of luck so don’t plan your trip’s success on whether you see them or not. You might stay in Iceland for 2 weeks and not see anything or you might see them immediately the first night.
Before I dive into some tips for increasing your chance of seeing the green ribbons in the sky, let’s nerd out a little bit. The lights are the result of gaseous particles from the earth’s atmosphere colliding with charged particles from the sun’s atmosphere and are generally more intense with higher solar activity (solar winds).
The lights ARE NOT GREEN to our feeble eyes. They’re not sensitive enough to see the colors which can range from green to purple to red depending on the solar strength. You might have seen the northern lights without realizing it. They look innocently like cloud ribbons across the sky. The best way to tell is to take a picture of the sky; your camera can pick up the colors and will shock you, releasing warm liquid down your pants. Don’t panic, you can wash your pants. Enjoy the lights.
The best way to take pictures of the northern lights is using the time-lapse technique with a tripod. You’ll need the steadiness of the tripod for long exposure. The automation of the time-lapse allows you the freedom to gaze at the lights and not have to fidget around with the camera all the time. Don’t know how to take time-lapse videos? I can teach you, but I have to charge. My time-lapse brings all the girls to the yard, and they’re like, “It’s better than yours.” You’re damn right, it’s better than yours. Wait… what are we talking about again?
Northern Lights on flight to Iceland
Okay, some tips to see the lights:
- Book an overnight flight and get a window seat. This might be your best shot at seeing the magic. Your biggest northern lights nemesis is the weather, and specifically thick clouds covering up the sky. You won’t have this problem at 40,000 ft. So sit back, sip a glass of wine, turn off your headrest screen, stalk the window like a maniac and take pictures of anything white outside. If you’ve never seen the lights before, you won’t really know if you’re looking at them – so take pictures. Keep in mind that light from the airplane cabin will bleed into your pictures and ruin them entirely. To combat this, wrap a blanket about yourself in a cocoon with no sense of shame and pin your camera and face against the window (like how I did it). If you don’t want to look like a weirdo, buy a lens skirt like this: http://amzn.to/2kGuZ7r. It blocks out all the cabin lights so your pictures will come out so fresh and clean. Note, if you do see the lights on your flight, TELL NO ONE, especially your friends across the aisle. Then you can smugly laugh at them when they learned they missed out on it. We need more evil in this world.
- Stay for at least 7 nights. The weather is your nemesis in the pursuit of the lights, and in Iceland it can change dramatically day to day; however, give yourself the best chance of seeing the lights by staying longer. If you’re flying with Icelandair on your way to Europe or elsewhere, the airline offers a 7 nights stay over for free. Take advantage of this deal if you can.
- If you can’t stay for 7 nights or longer, book the northern lights tour the first night you’re there. Most tour companies in Iceland offer “make-up” tours: if you don’t see the lights, they will keep taking you on the tour every night until you do see them. Some will even give you a voucher to come back the following year to try again if you don’t see them on your stay. Increase your chance by going the very first night. The tours mostly start around 10 PM so there’s plenty of time for you to do other things, including dinner and naked bath house shenanigans. Almost every tour company in Iceland will do Aurora tours, but make sure they offer the deal aforementioned.
- If touring isn’t your thing, rent a car and drive outside the city for 20 minutes. Find an area with relative clear skies and minimal city lights and start snapping away.
- if you’d rather not drive a car, go out to the Reykjavik bay around 9:30, aim your camera towards the mountains, and take sporadic shots every few minutes. You might get lucky – we did (see below).
- Check the forecast to see your chance of seeing the lights that night if you’re short on time and can only dedicate one night to this hunt (http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/Europe).
What to do (7 days itinerary)
This itinerary is built for the winter. The summer itinerary includes the majority of what’s shown here except for ice-related activities (obviously). Also note that it is made for people who haven’t been to Iceland before.
DAY 1: Get acquainted with Reykjavik
If it’s possible to get an overnight flight to Iceland, I highly recommend it (see the details above about seeing the northern lights). If you’re flying with Icelandair, you can book your bus pick-up to Reykjavik on the flight, but you probably want to do this beforehand. There are two main shuttle services: Reykjavik Excursions’ flybus (https://www.re.is/flybus/) and Gray Line (http://grayline.is/airport-transfer/). I prefer flybus because there’s a lot of them so you won’t have to wait very long. The buses also come with wifi. They will take you to the main terminal where you can transfer to smaller buses for direct drop-off at your hotel (this option is the flybus+ package). Reykjavik Excursions also offers a host of tours, but I would recommend using smaller tour companies because it’s just more efficient when you don’t have a giant bus full of people.
Book the Blue Lagoon as part of your transfer to the hotel. I DISLIKE the Blue Lagoon because it is truly a tourist trap. The only people you’ll find here are other tourists. The Blue Lagoon is also so far away from anything that it will be the only thing you do in the area. It is really close to the airport, though, so you should do it right away if you must experience it. The bus will take you right to the entrance where you can store your luggages before going in. Note: in Iceland you will need to take a shower completely naked before getting into their thermal pools; this goes for local pools in Reykjavik as well. I’m not going to delve deeper into this attraction as there are hundreds of other sites where you can get more information.
Spend the afternoon and evening walking around downtown Reykjavik. This assumes that you’re doing the Blue Lagoon and come to check into your hotel around 3 PM (typically when hotel check-ins become available). Some hotels will let you check in early with a small fee or you can just leave your luggage at the front desk and go explore. The city of Reykjavik is far and wide, but the downtown area and all the attractions are all within short walking distances. If you flew overnight, this might be a good time to relax, settle down in your hotel, and take a nap.
If you leave your hotel before sunset, head out to Sólfarið (or Sun Voyager) for a nice shot of the pink sky (maybe, if the weather is right). You can also see Harpa Hall from here. Take your time and stroll toward Harpa Hall along the Sculpture & Shore Walk as the night sets in. Harpa Hall will light up with magical colors and is the ideal time to visit. Go inside, check it out, and perhaps book a show for another night. Head back into the main strip of Lagauvageur and eat at Kryddlegin Hjörtu (Your Heart’s Delight). The organic food here is a fusion of Mediterranean and Icelandic. It is delicious and a good introduction to food in the area without jumping head first into a head of lamb, unless that’s what you want to do right away.
For your night time activity: go on the northern lights tour, hang out at any of the cafes or bars in the main drag, or if you’re there during the Winter Light Festival, join in with the locals in the festivities.
Blue Lagoon full of tourists
DAY 2: Get acquainted with Iceland’s natural phenomena
Explore the Golden Circle. This is the most basic and fundamental tour you’ll do in Iceland and is highly recommended because you’ll learn about the geological aspects of this “young” land mass. Tours typically start at 8 AM and end 8 hours later and will take you to these places: Thingvellir (or Pingvellir) National Park, Gullfoss (Golden) Waterfall, Geysir (Geyser) Hot Spring & Haukadalur geothermal area, and the waterfall Faxi. These are basic stops that most places will stop at. Depending on the tour company, you can include additional stops and sights along the way. There are so many varieties that I’m not even going to entertain listing them here.
I LOVE PINGVELLIR. It’s one of those places that stays in your mind far after your visit. I still think about that place today. So if you don’t even want to entertain going on a tour because you’re a cool traveler and don’t need tour guides, then get a car and go to Pingvellir. The vast valley, waterfalls, idyllic sceneries, scuba-diving-possible cracks in the earth, and volcanic surroundings will keep you entertained for a long time. Take your time here.
If you are looking for a tour, I highly recommend GeoIceland (http://geoiceland.com/geoiceland-golden-circle.html). Javier, the owner of the tour company, was a scientist studying the natural landscapes of Iceland before making it his permanent home so he knows what he’s talking about. His tour also runs the opposite of most other tour companies so you’re not following the throngs of people all the time. Ask for him specifically for the tour.
Assuming you’re back to Reykjavik around 4-5 PM from the Golden Circle tour, head over to Brauð & Co. (Braud) for the best pastries in all of Iceland. It’s a small bakery off the main road. You’re going to want to bookmark this spot in your mind and visit as many times as you can. The rhubarb and chocolate bread is incredible but everything is pretty much spot on. You’re going to get fat. It’s okay. Work it off later. There’s another bakery on the main road called Sandholt (it’s also a restaurant), but Braud is 5x better and is so close to this bakery that it would be a shame if you went here instead of Braud. Shame and dishonor. On both your households! Juliettttttttttt!
If you’re in Iceland around the Winter Light Festival timeframe, continue from Braud to Café Loki located on the corner of the street overlooking Hallsgrimskirkja. Get Loki’s Porri-plate to share amongst your group. This plate features all the traditional Icelandic pickled foods including whale, shark, lamb face, and other disgusting and delicious morsels that will make you throw up in your mouth and/or smile with holy joy. What I’m saying is that the food is potent and isn’t for everyone, but you must definitely try it. Request a seat by the window and enjoy your meal with Hallsgrimskirkja as your view – it’s pretty awesome, especially if the weather is clear and the sunset lights up the sky. The traditional platter isn’t going to get you full so remember to order some lamb soup (an Icelandic specialty) to complement your adventurous tastebuds. The rye bread and dessert are also excellent. If you get everything I’ve suggested here, this meal will cost you roughly $65. Food is not cheap in Iceland.
By the time you finish at Cafe Loki, it’ll be night time. If you’re still up for some activities, head over to Sundhöll Reykjavíkur, a public swimming pool about 5 minutes from Cafe Loki. Now THIS is the real swimming pool experience. Inside the facility are two swimming pools, one warmer than the other. Outside on the second floor are two hot thermal pools, one warmer than the other. Be aware that public pools are places where locals hang out and the same people will go to the same public pool over and over. It’s where children learn to swim, and where parents chat and wind down from a hard day at work. You might be the only tourist there so here’s your chance to get to know the locals. Note that the keys are colored to signify male/female lockers. And don’t wear your shoes into the locker room; people will look at you with utter disdain.
After melting your body at the thermal pool, head back to your hotel for your northern lights tour or check out the Winter Light Festival festivities or head to the Reykjavik harbor for a chance at the northern lights. You may also want to check out Lebowski Bar for a few drinks. Expect a white russian drink to rob you of $12.
Gulfoss (Golden Waterfall)
DAY 3: Explore Reykjavik
Depending on where you are on Laugavegur, the starting point for your self-guided city tour will be different. If it’s close to you, head over to the visitor’s center. The attendants here are very helpful. They can give you more great ideas on where to go and what to explore in Iceland.
For breakfast, head to the Old Icelandic Restaurant. If you’re the first here, grab the window seat and people watch over warm lamb soup and pork chops. You may also try the fish of the day. I particularly like this spot for its proximity to the people walking around on the main street. This meal will probably run you close to $50, depending on what you order.
For dessert, stroll to Brauð & Co. (Braud) and grab some more pastries on your way to Hallsgrimskirkja. Lines to go up to the clocktower will start forming around noon. If you’re early enough, you will forgo the waiting experience. Keep in mind that this is still an active church so check with your hotel concierge before heading here. From inside the clocktower, you will get a 360 degrees view of Reykjavik and the obligatory shot of colorful roofs like the shot shown here. You’ve just earned the Rey Colored Roofs badge. Yes, I just made that up right now.
The next destination is a flexible choice as it is rather a walk to get there. But if you’re up for it AND the weather is nice, head north towards Perlan, a glass-dome with all encompassing views. You’ll be able to see just how magnificent Hallsgrimskirkja is from this vantage point. There is no Uber in Iceland and a taxi ride will cost you at least $7 so it’s up to you if you want to go here or not.
Either way, your next stop is Ráðhús Reykjavíkur (Reykjavik City Hall). You’re not going here for the politics, which is rather relaxed in Iceland. Rather, you’re here for the lake and the swarm of swans that frequent it. You may also walk right into city hall without any hassle. There’s a giant topographic map of Iceland that you can view to understand where you are in relation to the rest of the country.
From here, head over to Alpingi (Parliament House). There’s a park in front of it and you can sit and relax here for a bit. The main point of coming here is to realize how accessible government really is in Iceland. I’d be surprised if you spot any police or guards around here. It’s probably possible to walk right into the Parliament House – don’t do it. I’m only telling you this because of how integrated and “mundane” government houses seem to be here.
You’ll probably be bored of Parliament House pretty quickly, so stroll along Túngata road to Dómkirkja Krists konungs (Cathedral of Christ the King). This stretch houses all the embassies. And again, there’s no police or guard anywhere! Who’s protecting these noble beings? They don’t need protection. It’s really safe in Iceland (more on that later). I like going on this tiny street because it’s so calming. The Cathedral holds regular service but you’re more than welcome to come inside. I particularly like going here on a gloomy day because it looks like the perfect setting for an epic battle or high council meeting whereby dragons and knights take to the sky toward war. I watch too many movies…
You have several choices from the church. You can go to Whales of Iceland to check out how massive these sea creatures really are, Þúfa (Thufa) for climb up a hill and a different perspective of Reykjavik, the Marine Museum, Saga Museum, or Aurora Reykjavik. They’re all located in the same place with a lot of shops and restaurants. I think the Whales of Iceland museum is pretty cool but you might like the Aurora better; it’s really up to you.
When you’ve had your share of museums, head toward Harpa Hall on the yellow brick road. Seriously, the Sculpture & Shore Walk is painted and is pretty fun to follow. You can stop by Volcano House if you’d like but I’m not particularly a fan of it. I would recommend, however, stopping by Listasafn Reykjavíkur (Reykjavik Art Museum) if that fancies you. Otherwise, keep going toward Harpa Hall and straight into Kolaportið, the local “flea market” in Reykjavik. It’s a quaint little warehouse and you can find some good deals on clothes here but it’s for the experience of living as an Icelanders that’s more important here.
Cross the road and visit Harpa Hall once again. Spend some time here if you haven’t had a chance already then head back over to the Sun Voyager. I don’t know why I keep coming back to this little sculpture…
Congratulations, you’ve completed the Reykjavik City Circle (I just made that up right now – let’s make it a thing!).
You’ll be tired by the time you get back to your hotel so rest up. For dinner, I mightily recommend Ostabudin for its take on whale steak. It’s DELICIOUS! Yes, it’s whale. And if you’re a whale lover and hate me right now then I understand. The whale steak is expensive and is served only as an appetizer (3 small slices). Their other dishes are also fabulous so this restaurant is a hit regardless.
After dinner, go on your northern lights tour or spend it at a bar or join in on the Winter Light festivities.
View of Reykjavik from Hallsgrimskirkja
DAY 4: Explore the South Coast
The South Coast is another quintessential Icelandic experience and most tour companies offer this as a standard tour. There are a few variations to the trip including an opportunity to walk on glacier, go snowmobiling down the glacier, and etc. Walking on glacier will be miserable if the weather isn’t cooperating so I would recommend opting out of this unless the weather forecast is decent or you’re okay with uncomfortable conditions.
Again, I would recommend GeoIceland (http://geoiceland.com/geoiceland-south-coast.html) as the tour company to go with.
This tour takes you down Highway 1. Along the way, you’ll stop at the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, coastal village of Vik, glacier Solheimajökull, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and the Dyrholaey Puffin colony if the season permits. If the conditions are right, you might even be able to go into an ice cave at Solheimajökull.
The drive to these attractions is an attraction itself so stay away, keep your camera at the ready, and take a lot of pictures. If you’re driving yourself, you can stop along the way to memorialize incredible sceneries of lone farm houses among the vast landscapes. This is especially epic if you can time it right and get the sunrise.
This tour will take all day. It helps if you have some pastries from Braud to munch on while you stare like a child full of wonderment at the beautiful landscape.
Depending on the tour company and when you leave the hotel, you might get back around 6 PM. Ask the driver to drop you off at a public swimming pool like Sundhöll Reykjavíkur and melt your body at the thermal bath. For dinner, I would recommend a big meal at Meze. They serve a delicious rack of lamb. Paired with the red house wine, you’ll be singing a happy tune in no time. I wouldn’t recommend this place if you’re looking for seafood.
Spend the rest of the night walking around town, shopping, or partaking in the Winter Light festivities. If you still haven’t seen the northern lights at this point, get back on the bus and keep trying!
For a late snack, go to Kafe Bar on Laugavegur for delicious and hot soup in a bread bowl. It’s easy to miss. The entrance is on the side and up a flight of stairs. I’ve been here several times and I love sitting by the windows with a glass of wine gawking at people like a weird person. Try it. It’s fun.
Black Sand Beach
DAY 5: Take it easy and explore the North
This itinerary staggers “hard” days with “easier” days. This is an “easy” day. There’s a bunch of different things you can do and it really depends on your mood. You can go whale watching or visit a puffin colony. You can explore Reykjavik some more or rent a car and explore the north by visiting Snaefellsjoekull National Park. It’s a long drive. Or you can spend the day sleeping in, relaxing, and enjoying your time at the public pools.
For evening activity, I would recommend going outside the city to a different public pool such as the Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths. It’s smaller than the Blue Lagoon but the atmosphere is fantastic. The facility has steps that connect you to the lake that you can venture in if you’re brave. There are thermal spots in it so you could stay warm. The main point of coming out here is the chance to see the northern lights while you soak. The food is relatively good and the service is great (way better than Blue Lagoon). On your way back, you can stop at various places to hunt for the northern lights as well. If you’re booking through Icelandair, DO NOT book the Warm Baths and Cool Lights tour offered by Reykjavik Excursions. You’ll be stuffed in a bus full of people and their attempt at finding the lights is pitiful. Drive there yourself.
For lunch, try out Noodle Station – you’ll get a big bowl of noodles for a reasonable price. And if you’re getting tired of lamb soup, then this might be a good respite from that. Or you can head down to the pier and get some Icelandic hotdog and donut. For dinner, Messinn or Apotek will have your food desires satisfied.
Northern Lights at Fontana Geothermal Baths
DAY 6: Extreme ice adventure
You have to go ice-caving if you’re in Iceland. Most tour companies offer an inside walk of Langjokull glacier; the only problem is that they won’t pick you up from your hotel. Typically, the tour starts at the site with a monster truck ride up the side of the mountain. Sounds pretty epic, right? Unfortunately, if you don’t have a car, you won’t be able to do this.
There are a few tours that will take you to the glacier AND offer all the fun stuff thereafter, such as Extreme Iceland. Here was the tour I booked for our group: https://www.extremeiceland.is/en/destinations/highlands/glacier-wonderland-northern-lights. The itinerary is epic: waterfalls, geothermal sightseeing, monster truck ride, inside the ice tunnel tour, and northern lights hunt into the night. The ice tunnel is where those epic blue ice shining like a diamond pictures come from. I really like this itinerary due to the variety of activities it offers and the fact that they pick you up from Reykjavik. It is, however, fairly pricey. For 4 people, this tour will run you $1000 USD. Worth it? I don’t know… ours was canceled the day before due to nasty storm weather. Why weather? Why?! I can only imagine that it is epicness so that’s why I’m recommending this to you. We are definitely going to try doing this again next time we’re in Iceland.
If you decide not to adventure deep into the ice tunnel, you may find other light activities to do around Reykjavik or go on a short tour up north. This might be ideal because you’re not going to want to miss dinner at Sjavargrillid. This was our best meal of the trip and worth the higher price tag. Get the goose breast and legs or the pasta. Pair your main course with Icelandic alcoholic coffee and you’ll be set. The staff here is very attentive, helpful, and kind.
After dinner, spend time exploring Reykjavik one last time before your flight out of Iceland the next day.
DAY 7: Booze and fly home
If you’re looking to bring something home, I suggest Icelandic vodka. That stuff is delicious and supposedly made with water filtered from volcanic rocks. Enjoy your flight home.
How safe is Iceland?
Even when the city sleeps, you can comfortably walk around Reykjavik without much fear. The country is incredibly safe and is among the top 5 safest countries to visit every year. For a more in-depth statistical analysis of Iceland’s safety record, visit my previous post (http://upupandabear.com/2015/11/20/how-safe-is-iceland-a-statistical-analysis/).
Of course, even in the safest of countries, common sense should not be thrown out the windows: remain vigilant and don’t go looking for trouble.
What to bring
Even if the weather forecast is beaming with sunshine, pack as though it’s going to be rainy and cold. In the winter, pack skiing clothes and layers. Reykjavik might be warm but the moment you enter a glacier, you’re going to regret not having the proper gear.
I hate when my feet get wet so if you must focus on bringing ONE thing, I highly suggest waterproof hiking shoes and waterproof pants. Also, bring plenty of socks. Remember to always pack your sense of adventure and wonder with you as well. Weather in Iceland is unpredictable so you’ll need that adventuring spirit when hiking in the mountains with rain pelting you in the face.
To rent or not to rent a car
I say no. You say yes. Do whatever you want. Just note that tourists get stranded all the time especially in the winter.
Bring a lot of money. You can get away with a small budget by staying in hostels or condo and making your own food, but if you’re like me, you’ll hate cooking when there’s so much to do. Note that the itinerary I’ve put together for you is a medium to high cost one. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you may substitute the restaurants with less expensive options.
I bring you… Hallsgrimskirkja!
I’m getting buzzed from writing this long post so let’s keep the final words brief: have fun!
If you have other tips or suggestions for fellow readers, please let me know or leave a comment below. For a pdf version of this post to print or bring with you to Iceland, sign up below for my newsletter and the file will be sent to you. Travel on, my friends.
Join us on Facebook!
Subscribe to get this guide as a PDF, and receive travel stories and updates direct to your inbox.