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?
Lágafellslaug Lækjarhlíð 1a, 270 Mosfellsbær With big crowds at the city-centre pools, our panel chose the tucked-away Lágafellslaug as their current favourite swimming spot.Mosfellsbær’s modern swimming palace still has, as our panel noted, “that new pool smell.” It has everything you could want for a perfect swimming experience: spacious hotpots, multiple slides and amusements to keep the kids happy, a small but perfectly formed sauna, and a steam room with a view over the mountain of Úlfarsfell. It’s a twenty-minute drive from downtown, but it’s worth it—and if you’re driving the Golden Circle or heading on a northbound road trip, it’s right in your path.
Vesturbæjarlaug Hofsvallagata 107 If you’re on foot and staying in the downtown three, our panel decided that the bright and modern Vesturbærlaug is the go-to. As well as a mega-hot-pot with a large jacuzzi, the panel noted that it’s also the best pool to play “indie bingo,” spotting Icelandic hipsters, artists and musicians. It’s also right across the street from Kaffihús Vesturbær, so you can stop there for lunch or coffee afterwards.
Kópavogslaug Borgarholtsbraut 17, 200 Kópavogur Another much-loved pool in the suburban Greater Reykjavík area is the Kópavogur pool, Kópavogslaug. Our panel particularly enjoyed relaxing in the steam bath and the spacious hot pots. In the summer, you can use the outdoor dressing rooms, and for the winter there are indoor outdoor pots and slides. And for the kids, “there’s an octopus that spits on you,” the panel noted. Cool.