Northernmost Capitol in the World

Reykjavik is a cute little city with a great vibe, but one or two days for tourism is enough. There are several things one should see, and plenty of great restaurants and bars one should try. 

In Reykjavik most people stay either at boutique hotels or apartments. Our first night in Iceland we stayed at Caze Reykjavik Apartment and our last night at the Room with the View hotel . The  Caze apartment is really great-it had a a pull out couch, bedroom, full kitchen, and even washer and a dryer.  This really comes in handy if you plan to go to the Blue Lagoon, as you will come back with wet swimsuits. It has plenty of parking space around, and is close to the main tourist area but not centrally located.   The Room with the View hotel is in the actual center of tourist activity, so the location is a little better, but parking is really tricky even though hotel has free parking in the back (to get to it you have to drive in the wrong direction few times). This boutique hotel is like a small apartment too, but without washer and dryer.   Breakfast was not included in any of our hotels, and food is expensive, so if you can, bring some instant oatmeal or breakfast bars. 


There are several things worth seeing in Reykjavik. First one would be the Hallgrimskirkja Church and the monument of Viking Leifur Eiriksson who was the first European to reach the shores of North America, thereby discovering the new world. Admission to the church is free, while to the tower the charge is app. $8 for adults/$1 for kids. There are often concerts in the church in the evening, some are free while some charge admission from $20-$80. 


Second thing worth visiting is the Icelandic Phallological Museum. This (Penis) Museum is so weird that it is definitely worth the visit. Where else can you see penises of various animals (whales and horses) in fermelin, and phallus art work dedicated to the Icelandic Olympian Handball team?  The only suggestion I would have is for the Museum to include a section about the importance of phallus symbology for history of the world history/architecture, as it is currently just a selection of weird items, without a specific purposes (but obviously with a common theme).

And last but not the least is the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center- although the building is beautiful, it probably makes more sense to go there if you are going to a concert, not just to browse aimlessly around like we did.  

One thing worth buying in Iceland is the lava jewellery. Although Icelandic lava is not suitable for jewellery, and items sold are made from lava from other places, the design is beautiful. It is great thing to have and an excellent present. We found that the most beautiful selection and the best prices are the street stalls at the corner of Laugavegur and Laekjargata Streets, but these street vendors seem to be there only in the summer. 

Necklace- $19, bracelet- $19, earrings- $8.

Necklace- $19, bracelet- $19, earrings- $8.

Food wise, all the guide books advise you that since the price difference between an average and a really good restaurant is insignificant (everything is so expensive anyway), you might as well treat yourself.  So we tried "The Steakhouse" , a nice restaurant in the port, with excellent lamb fillets, salmon and beef steaks. We also ordered a mixed starter plate with the selection of their favourites, and surprisingly had the opportunity to taste mink whale.  Even without any ethical concerns related to whaling, I would not order this again- it has a very strong and unusual taste. Our daughter loved it. Go figure.