From Iceland — Reader Letters: Where Are The Locals?

Reader Letters: Where Are The Locals?

Published April 10, 2017

Reader Letters: Where Are The Locals?

Dear Grapevine,

I’m from London and recently came to Iceland for the first time. Me and my boyfriend stayed in an Airbnb (I know, I know) on Grettisgata. I never met the host – there was a key safe on the door – although they seemed nice in their texts. I had a lovely time walking around the streets, and tasting puffin (but not whale!), and went on the Golden Circle, which was spectacular (and more expensive than I expected, thanks a lot Brexit!). But I have to say, I’d hoped to meet more Icelandic people. Most of the people we saw were holiday-makers like us. By the end of the holiday, I found myself thinking, are Icelanders themselves the Hidden Folk?
So I wondered if you could tell me – where are all the locals hiding??

Smite on!

Dear Jade,

Iceland has a population of 340,000 people spread over the entire island and receives over 2 million tourists a year (and counting), who spend a lot of time in the downtown Reykjavík area. How likely is it you’ll be surrounded by tourists? Do the math.

The main reason you haven’t met any locals is, I hate to break it to you, because they’re avoiding you. Because, as a group, you are annoying and everywhere. Does a local want to spend their weekend queuing behind a bunch of selfie-obsessed tourists at the Golden Circle? Or buying souvenirs at a puffin shop? No. In the same way you don’t spend your weekend on the London Eye.

So in short, the locals are hiding anywhere you are not.

—The Reykjavík Grapevine

Send us a line at For more “Readers Letters” read here.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!