Reykjavík is a relatively small city, but even so, sometimes you need a bit of local advice to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a good people-watching spot, somewhere to see some contemporary art, or the best place to catch an Icelandic movie. Don’t worry, friends—we’ve got you covered via our Best of Reykjavík 2016 series. Here are some of our favourite spots in Reykjavík, for all kinds of super-fun days and nights out. Enjoy! And if you try our list, you can let us know what you thought of the selections via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Day Trip From Reykjavík
This used to be part of the ring road, but is now off the beaten track because of the Hvalfjarðargöng tunnel. There’s a great hike to Glymur, the tallest waterfall in Iceland. There’s also a cafe at the Kjós campground. There are some old roadside gas stations, which are all but abandoned and weird and exciting to visit. There’s an old whaling station, and a sign marking where Winston Churchill came to see submarines. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can learn also about a wizard who turned into a whale at the Borganes settlement centre. The nearby area of Reykhólt is home to one of the most famous authors of the Icelandic saga, who had one of very first hot tubs. And finally, the town of Akranes has a great beach, some good hikes, and a beautiful lighthouse.
Runner Up: Reykjanes
Although it is the location of the famous Blue Lagoon, the Reykjanes peninsula is often overlooked as people head for the more well known south coast or the Golden Circle. But it’s a treasure trove of nature: visit the Krýsuvík geothermal park, the eerie lake of Kleifarvatn, and the scenic coastal spot of Reykjanesviti, and be back in time for dinner, since it’s all not that far away.
Runner Up: Snæfellsnes
Last year’s winner, Snæfellsnes, makes for an amazing road trip. On the way, you can see lava fields, huge green and yellow hills, lighthouses, black beaches, and the Snæfellsjökull glacier. But be prepared for a long lot of driving—it’s approximately an eight hour round trip.
2012: Mosfellsbær and Esja
Read more of our Best of 2016 lists here.