Tourism in Iceland has surged in popularity over the last few years amongst all types of travelers. Lately, it seems like everyone and their grandmas are visiting Iceland! We’re not just saying that because Dan’s grandma visited in September. Although that is a true story. Actually, visiting Iceland has been on our bucket list for years, ever since we stumbled upon photographs of their dramatic landscapes.
In June, we spent 1 1/2 weeks in Iceland, starting with their capital city, Reykjavik. From there, we circumnavigated the country via the Ring Road and wrote all about our experiences, which you can read here. The scenery in Iceland was beyond beautiful that we had at least a thousand photos to sort through once we got home. We definitely recommend nature lovers and photographers to make their own visit!
Flight to Iceland
We began our adventures with a 5 hour direct flight from Boston with Icelandair. They handed out Icelandic bottled water in the shape of glaciers, which we thought was a really clever design. In addition, Icelandair supplied their passengers with cozy blankets and pillows for a comfortable flight. As the plane landed at 11:30 PM, we were welcomed by the midnight sun.
Renting a Car
After going through customs, we picked up our compact 2WD car, the Toyota Aygo, from Blue Car Rentals. The Blue Car Rentals office was a short distance from the airport, so we were able to conveniently roll our luggage over. They had excellent customer service and spoke perfect english, so we recommend them!
Things to See in Reykjavik, Iceland
The next morning, we went sightseeing in Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik. Hallgrímskirkja church is both Reykjavik’s tallest and most unique building. The architecture was inspired by basalt columns that form when thick lava flow cools. You can actually see the basalt columns in-person at Black Sand Beach on the South Coast of Iceland!
Once we were at the church, we paid a small fee to take the elevator up to the very top for a panoramic view of their city.
The ordinary red-roofed buildings in Iceland reminded me of monopoly pieces!
Sólfar (Sun Voyager Sculpture)
By the coast sits a stainless steel sculpture from 1990 called Sólfar, which translates to The Sun Voyager. It resembles a viking ship, however it’s intentions were to be an ode to the sun.
Harpa Concert Hall
Harpa concert hall was impressive and more modern than its Reykjavik counterparts. The geometric glass design stood out from the simple, colorful houses of Reykjavik. We loved the natural sunlight that filled the building. With plenty of seating, we were able to rest after a long walk through the city.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (Hot dog stand)
After a full day of sightseeing and souvenir shopping, we stopped by Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur in downtown Reykjavik to try one of Iceland’s famous hot dogs. Dan ordered the chili dog (shown on the left) which we immediately regretted! You can hardly see the sausage beneath the mountain of toppings! He had trouble eating, even after we pulled out a fork and knife. Also, he’s lactose-intolerant, so you can sense his misery after seeing that it came with cheese. Although, I will admit that my simple dog, shown on the right, was good and lived up to its name.
Street Art in Reykjavik
As we walked around the city, we noticed a ton of street art and graffiti. I love the colors and style of this one!
Reykjavik’s Neighborhood Cats
Once we arrived at our airbnb in Reykjavik, the friendliest neighborhood cat actually jumped into our rental car! I couldn’t resist giving the big kitty a hug! I’m seriously in love with the cats in Reykjavik. (We met more kitties while walking around the neighborhood). They all seem to be larger, fluffier, and friendlier than the ones at home. Later, we found an Instagram account dedicated to Reykjavik cats! Shoutout to @reykjavikcats!
Would you visit Reykjavik, Iceland?
Our real adventures in Iceland began once we left Reykjavik. Aren’t you the least bit curious to see what we did? Read more to see all the places we explored in Iceland!
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