Over the years of visiting Iceland, the capital city of Reykjavik has really grown on me. And while it’s definitely not a “big city” in terms of Paris or London, it feels huge compared to the other towns and cities around the country. It’s in Reykjavik where you’ll find the shopping and restaurants while you travel through Iceland, as well as a plethora of hotels and activities to partake in. Over the years we usually stop through Reykjavik for at least 1 night of our time in Iceland and we’ve come up with a list of Reykjavik favorites for the city. Next time you visit Iceland, don’t miss some of these quirky and fun spots to enjoy!
- Cafe Paris – This has become one of our favorite spots for breakfast or lunch while in Reykjavik. It’s got a great location and always has quality food, plus a fun French environment.
- Braou and Co. – We visited this bakery for the first time on our last trip and it became an instant favorite. We went for their cinnamon rolls (which are supposed to be amazing) and when we realized that they didn’t have a batch ready yet, we opted instead for their cinnamon croissants which were incredible!
- Reykjavík Roasters – This is THE Instagram spot in Reykjavik and everybody who’s anybody has visited this chic hipster coffee spot.
- Laundromat Cafe – This is another favorite for any meal of the day and offers a variety of items on their menu and a great location.
- Eldsmiðjan – On our last trip to Reykjavik we were craving some good pizza so we headed out in search of a great option – much to our luck we found this spot near Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral and it was delicious!
- Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral – This is a famous building on the Reykjavik skyline and well worth checking out when in the area.
- Shopping – Downtown Reykjavik is filled with quirky little shops and you’ll find everything and anything you need.
- Grótta Island Lighthouse – This cool spot at the tip of Reykjavik is great during the day to see some of the area around the city and great at night to try and spot the Northern Lights.
- The Pond – In the downtown area of Reykjavik you’ll find what is generally called “the pond,” a body of water that freezes over in the Winter and is lovely in the Summer. Wander by and take it all in!
- Kringlan Mall – If you need to do a bit of commercial shopping on your trip or need to stop in at H&M or Topshop, head to Kringlan Mall on the outskirts of downtown for whatever you may need.
- Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel – This has become our “go-to” hotel when in Reykjavik for its location and general aesthetic. We’ve tried out a few of the higher end hotels there and this has always ended up being our favorite.
- Icelandair Hotel Natura – For a one night stopover, this hotel is a great option, especially on a lower budget.
Tips for Reykjavik
- Use spare change for parking meters – Wherever you park downtown you’ll need to pay for parking at the meters!
- Watch out for pedestrians – There are people everywhere these days in Reykjavik so when driving be sure to yield to pedestrians.
- Explore the city but don’t spend all your time here – The beauty of Iceland really is out in the countryside so while Reykjavik is lovely, to really get a sense of Iceland, be sure to explore out of the city as well.
Headed to Iceland?
Check out our Iceland Travel Guide in the Land of Marvels Shop for only $5!