From Iceland — The Hardcore Kid's Guide To Reykjavík Sightseeing

The Hardcore Kid’s Guide To Reykjavík Sightseeing

Published October 11, 2012

The Hardcore Kid’s Guide To Reykjavík Sightseeing

By Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson

Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson often plays in bands, most notably Bisund, Stjörnukisi, I Adapt, Gavin Portland, Celestine and Hellvar. These days, though, he does less of that and spends more of his waking hours on his music/culture blog Halifax Collect. From time to time, he also contributes to the sexy Reykjavík Grapevine so we thought we’d get him to divulge his favourite sightseeing activities—where he might take his Canadian friends, for instance, when they visit.  

Greetings children of Sodom and Gomorrah. I’ve grown to be quite the homebody so when it comes to bars, places to eat and such, I’m one of the worst people to ask. However, your Airwaves experiences should be spiked with something different to add to the dynamics of your travel-stories upon returning home from your adventures. So, here’s what I’d do.

Walk around the harbour front. Start at Harpa (Austurbakki 2) and make your way to Slippurinn (the old harbour) and beyond. Stop at the row of old fish warehouses, now painted turquoise. Relax and look out at the beautiful ships in their naked dry-land glory. Go down to the pier and take a closer look at the boats and ships afloat. Board them even if you shouldn’t. Nobody cares. It comes with the territory and it is fun. This also makes for more interesting photos than more of the same drunk-at-a-bar or standing-in-front-of-a-geyser shots.

For a more scenic experience, head out to Hvalfjörður and hike up the trail that takes you to the Glymur waterfall. It’s a quick trip that places you in the heart of nature. Beautiful. By the same token, go to Reykjanesviti. It’s very close to the city and looks epic, with crashing waves, harrowing and arresting cliffs, lava formation and the works. It’s easy to reach by car or bus. It has plenty of badass photo opportunities for those who like to pose in front of stuff. Want the whole bloody Atlantic as your computer background? Look no further.

If you like action more than nature, go to a local hockey game at Skautasvellið in Laugardalur (Fossaleyni 1). It’s not the best hockey in the world, but these young-guns make up for it with enthusiasm in spite of a lack of general interest in the game, a miniscule federation power and all-around neglect on most fronts. It’s charming and awesome. Before the game, take a stroll around Laugardalur, walk through the Botanical Garden and enjoy a cup of tea at Café Flora. Nice. Calm.

And if you really have the time to get out of Reykjavík, take the drive to Stykkishólmur. If that town and its surroundings disappoint you, we cannot be friends.

Check out more cool stuff from Birkir on his blog at or follow him on Twitter @halifaxcollect.

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