Everyone who comes to Iceland is pretty keen make the most of their time here, and whether that means a week of carefree holiday meandering or a laser-guided approach to finding the best stuff, a couple of insider tips are always useful. In this fast-changing city, new places spring up from week to week, begging the questions: which pool has the best hot pot for your first morning here? Where’s the best Icelandic art at? And what’s the best road trip to see some of this amazing nature we’ve heard so much about?
Winner: Kaffihús Vesturbæjar Melhagi 20 This neighbourhood café is situated in Vesturbær, a neighbouring district of Reykjavík, located over the Tjörnin pond. “It a place to see and be seen,” said the panel. “You’ll see politicians, poets and pop stars—it’s like a Who’s Who of Reykjavík.” But be careful if you feel like you faintly recognise someone who’s sitting having a vegan burger and drinking fancy tea: “You might realise after you’ve said hello that you only know them from TV.”
Austurvöllur Austurvöllur The scene of the now-famous Panama Papers protests, Austurvöllur is the Reykjavík parliament square. Whether you decide to perch on a bench, sit outside at one of the many café-bars lining the square, or have a picnic, you’ll see pretty much all of Icelandic society passing by.
Kringlan Kringlan 4–12 A shopping mall might be the last place you want to visit in Reykjavík, but it made the list with good reason. “Real Icelanders go to Kringlan,” said the panel. “It’s more representative of life in this country than a 101 bar. These are the people who don’t go downtown.”
2014: Second Floor Window Seats, Eymundsson on Austurstræti
2013: Booths at Hressó
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2017 magazine, posted worldwide, at gpv.is/buybestof.