Over Thanksgiving, I was talking to my very well-traveled uncle about his favorite places. Sean and I have always had a travel bug, and have made adventuring a priority in our relationship. Our first trip ever was to New Orleans, followed by London and Barcelona (I surprised him for Christmas one year!). We’ve also been to Panama, Mexico, The Bahamas, Nantucket, Cape Town, Mauritius… the list goes on… but you’ll notice they are all warm weather destinations. Before this year, Sean had never been skiing and for me, aside from ski trips growing up, winter was just a necessary evil of life in the northeast.
We declared 2017 would be our year of embracing the inevitable cold and after the conversation with my uncle, I became obsessed with going to Iceland. Our travel options have been limited because of Zika (I’m paranoid) and we were just on our honeymoon, so a different type of trip was a welcome change. We booked it as our Christmas gift to each other and picked a weekend in February so we could use Sean’s Delta points for our flights (this was HUGE because we didn’t quite realize how expensive it would be once we were there).
Whenever we are planning anything, I become completely obsessive and research everything there is to know about the place. I’m kind of insane and probably have some sort of OCD element to my personality, but it definitely comes in handy for travel (and real estate, and shopping…)
Our first stop straight from the airport (at 7:30am) was the Blue Lagoon. People generally go on their way in or out of the country because it’s right near the airport and Reykjavik is about a 45 minute drive. I won’t spend too much time on it because we didn’t have great luck with the weather (sleet/freezing/65 mph wind). On a nicer day, it would be amazing and so much fun. There is a bar in the water! But that’s one thing to note about Iceland – the weather changes on a dime and you really can’t plan for it. We bought the package that included a robe and slippers (thank goodness) because it was very very cold.
From there we went to Reykjavik (we just made it into town – they were closing the road due to wind) and checked in to our amazing Airbnb. It was super central and we were able to walk everywhere. The food is incredible but definitely on the pricey side (and this is coming from someone who lives in Manhattan!). If you like seafood, eat it everywhere – it is so fresh and so delicious.
These are my favorite places we visited during our two days in Reykjavik (and side note: the language barrier seems daunting but everyone speaks English in addition to Icelandic):
- Reykjavik Roatsters (the tuna toast was one of my favorite things we ate)
- C is for Cookie (get the hot chocolate. Just get it.)
- Sandhold (eat any/all of the pastries)
- Kaffivagninn (sort of off the beaten path down by the harbor – amazing fish & chips)
- Food Cellar/Matarkjallarinn (amazing vibe and great food)
- Fish Market/Fiskmarkadurinn (my favorite meal of the whole trip!! There is also Grill Market for the meat lovers)
Must do tourist activities:
- Go to the top of the Hallgrimskirkja (people refer to it as Hallgrims for short) church for the most amazing view of Reykjavik! You can buy a ticket in the gift shop.
- Pop into the shops on Laugavegur – super cute main shopping street.
Check out my next post for more info about our tour of the southern coast!
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