On our second day in Iceland, we spent time in Reykjavik before going to the Blue Lagoon. Here are our highlights on what to see in Reykjavik.
What to see in Reykjavik: Hallgrímskirkja
The iconic Hallgrímskirkja is a must see in Reykjavik! This Lutheran church is located in the centre of town, and offers amazing views of the city and harbour. When you enter the church, you can buy a ticket for 1000 Krona to go up the elevator. Do not miss out on this! While the lines are long, it’s well worth the view, and it moves quickly.
After you reach the top floor of the Hallgrímskirkja, take a couple flights of stairs up to the observation deck. It’s not completely open, but the windows are metal cages and it can be extremely windy. On the day we went, there were high winds, so make sure to hold on to your hat and camera gear. The view is very nice, and gives you perspective on how small downtown Reykjavik is.
What to see in Reykjavik: Harpa Concert Hall
The Harpa Concert Hall is a gorgeous building by Reykjavik’s waterfront. While we didn’t have a chance to catch a music performance on this trip, it’s definitely on my list for next time! The stunning Harpa was designed by Danish architecture firm, Henning Larsen Architects, and has stunning coloured glass that was inspired by Iceland’s basalt rocks.
It’s free to go inside and you can easily take photos of the interior and the beautiful glass. I’m wearing a striped bell-sleeve sweater from Forever 21 (still available in plus size here), skinny jeans from J Brand, Blundstone boots and a Gucci Marmont small shoulder bag.
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This outfit was very warm as a base layer, but still cute for exploring the city. This acrylic sweater was very warm and I adore the spring hues and fun bell sleeves. My Gucci Marmont bag goes with everything, and I love how it picked up colours in my sweater. For the evening, all I’d need to do is put on a more formal pair of booties, and I’d be ready for drinks in town or a dinner.
What to see in Reykjavik: Laugavegur Street
This is the main shopping street in Reykjavik. There are plenty of souvenir stores, but also higher end Icelandic designers and outdoor gear shops. I loved the Sandholt Cafe which I visited on my first day in Iceland, and I can’t resist a trip into the Danish dollar store, Tiger. There are also numerous charity shops that sell second-hand icelandic wool sweaters, which are worth a visit.
Nearby, we also grabbed Icelandic hotdogs which are a must-eat! We sampled a few all around town over the next couple days, but I loved the adorable neon sign at this kiosk. It made for the perfect Instagram! As a celiac, Nicole brought me some gluten-free bread from London, so I would carry a couple pieces in my purse and be able to indulge no problem, I just had to skip the special mustard sauce. It’s a great snack to fill you up, especially with the prices of food in Iceland! I unfortunately didn’t have the time to explore more foodie destinations in town, but my friend Diana who flew with me to Iceland shared the best Reykjavik food tour!
What to see in Reykjavik: Blue Lagoon
Albeit a 40-minute drive from Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is definitely something you need to see when you stay in Reykjavik. Located in Grindavik, close to the Keflavik Airport, the Blue Lagoon is a huge tourist draw. While I personally preferred my experience at Segret Lagoon in Fludir, the Blue Lagoon is still a beautiful place to relax. While the weather wasn’t completely cooperative, the Blue Lagoon has stunning turquoise waters, and I found the minerals to be incredibly soothing.
In addition to the bath, there is a steam room and sauna, swim-up bars (they were likely closed the day we went due to the storm), and a cafe indoors. The next time I go, I want to get a reservation at the Lava Restaurant, which is known for its food.
At Blue Lagoon I wore a pink one piece bathing suit from Target. I think it’s definitely more comfortable to wear a one piece suit to the Lagoon, but beware, the rich mineral water degrades the fabric of your suit, so I’d advise to (like me) purchase an inexpensive bathing suit.
After a full day at the spa, we head back in to Reykjavik for a glass of wine at our cozy AirBnB. Even though we were staying in the heart of the city, I loved having a cozy night in, relaxing with Netflix. Our second day in Iceland was a bit less jam packed than the first, but it was a great way to relax and take in the local sights.