Well, You Asked: How To Fit In When Visiting Iceland — The Reykjavik Grapevine

Well, You Asked: How To Fit In When Visiting Iceland

Published June 29, 2018

Well, You Asked: How To Fit In When Visiting Iceland
Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Dear Grapevine,

When it comes to the different values and traditions of the various cities of Iceland, what needs to be known beforehand to not find yourself the odd person out in the whole town, for better or for worse?

— Kaiser Knuckle

Dear Kaiser,

This is a fascinating question that is difficult to answer in depth in the space provided. What we can tell you is that there’s a big difference between Reykjavík and anywhere in the countryside.

In Reykjavík, you will likely blend right in, though we would advise booking with a hotel or guesthouse rather than Airbnb, which many capital residents have come to loathe.

In the countryside, the most paramount value is respecting the natural environment. So, don’t do offroad driving, don’t walk on moss, don’t poop outdoors (yes, that is unfortunately a thing), respect signs that tell you not to walk or drive into a particular area, and if you do go camping or driving, please check weather and road conditions first, lest we need to deploy a rescue squad to save you from yourself.

All that said, don’t be bothered if you’re in some country town or village and people literally stop and stare at you. You’re not doing anything wrong. They’re just like that out there.

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