On the second day of our Iceland trip (read the first here) we explored Reykjavik. You don’t really need a whole day for it as it’s quite a small town, but we wanted a more relaxed day to recover from the journey there and our first day of seeing the Golden Circle. We also wanted to be well rested for a ton of driving the next day on our trip to Jokulsarlon.
Brauð & Co. bakery
First we went to the Brauð & Co. bakery for a breakfast pastry as we had heard such great things about them. They did not disappoint! We both had some amazing buns and since the sun was shining and the wind hadn’t picked up yet we sat on the bench outside and ate them. Reykjavik has such a peaceful feeling to it that it was lovely to just watch the world go by.
£8 for 2 cinnamon buns and a coffee
We then went up to Hallgrímskirkja church to see those beautiful views of the city. Unfortunately it was super busy so we decided to come back a bit later. It was so much quieter a little later in the morning and definitely worth doing so we could take all the photos! I love how Reykjavik is so colourful.
Harpa Concert Hall
We then took an incredibly windy walk down to the Harpa Concert Hall, the building is really beautiful so it’s definitely worth visiting and sheltering from the extreme cold and wind (I was struggling not to get blown away, not even exaggerating!). It’s very quiet, huge and beautiful. We went upstairs and found a corner with some seats and sat watching the view of the sea. They also have a gift shop with some very cute, design-y souvenirs in.
Hop On, Hop Off Tour
I often like getting these tours when I’m in cities as my arthritis means I often can’t walk around for too long. So we hopped onto one outside the hall. However I wouldn’t really recommend this one. It was great to get out of the cold, it was expensive, the bus was super old, we couldn’t really see out of it properly and Reykjavik is so small that there wasn’t all that much to see by bus! I’d definitely skip this and try and walk around, drive round or just get a local bus instead! So we decided to get off by our Airbnb and have some lunch ready for our next stop.
Perlan Ice Cave
Since Jack and I are not intrepid explorers, I was very keen to go to Perlan’s man-made ice cave. We drove up as they had loads of free parking but you can also get a free shuttle bus from the Harpa Concert Hall. We booked onto the next tour and got tickets up to the observation deck while we were waiting. Since it’s further away you don’t see all those coloured roofs, but it’s still a really lovely view of Reykjavik with the mountains behind and you can walk all the way around the outside. The ice cave is really interesting (and freezing cold!) as they tell you all about the different types of ice and how they made it. Since we weren’t going into any natural ones I really enjoyed it!
£28 each for the observation deck and ice cave
After this we went back into town and wandered round the shops. Stocked up on some food from Bonus (the only budget supermarket) and ended up buying some souvenirs from some gift shops. They sell beautiful goods made from wool everywhere and we ended up buying a beautiful blush pink throw for €80. Since we’d actually spend less money than we thought (because of eating in the AirBnb the whole time) we decided to treat ourselves and bring home a memento. You can also claim back the tax, so when we got to the airport we got some money refunded to us which is always nice!
You don’t need to get any cash out for the whole trip. Absolutely everywhere we encountered accepts cards, so it’s definitely worth getting a Monzo or Revolut card if you haven’t already!