If you have the opportunity to utilize the IcelandAir stopover option but you are limited on time, here are a few things you can do.
24 Hours in Reykjavik
- When you land, catch the FlyBus to the Blue Lagoon. It’s the perfect way to start off your time in Iceland. If you flew a long haul flight there, it’s great because it’s a nice way to get rejuvenated prior to exploring the city. There’s showers for before and after soaking in the Blue Lagoon, a cafeteria with fairly decent food and you can even do a spa while there or utilize the free mud to do a facial. You’ll find the mud along the edge of the Lagoon with directions on how long to keep it on your face before washing it off.
- Catch the FlyBus into the city, and get dropped off at your hotel.
- If you didn’t eat at the Blue Lagoon, take a stroll into the city center and stop by one of the cute restaurants along the main street. My personal favorite was the Laundromat Cafe. If you have laundry to do here, double win. There’s a wide assortment of foods and beverages and lots of space to hang. If you want, you can grab some food at the supermarket just a few blocks up and walk to the marina and look out over the water. Or, if you don’t feel like eating at a restaurant, walk down the main road to the square near the visitor center. There’s a small hot dog stand and grab a local classic Icelandic hot dog. This is a must do.
- After your snack, walk around the city, check out the marina. The square is a great place for people watching. You can check out some souvenir shops, or even check out some tours if you’re there longer like whale watching.
- Take a walk to Hallgrimskirkja which is a Church that sits at the top of the city. You can go to the top of the tower and look out over the city. Note that there are special hours dependent on the time of year. During October to May, it closes at 5PM but from June to September it is open until 9
- If you’re feeling the night life or need more food, head back to the city center. Reykjavik has a a great nightlife and you’ll see people start bar hopping while the sun is still out. There are bars all along the city center with daily specials.
- If you’re staying in Reykjavik just a bit longer, take the Golden Circle Tour. This will give you some local flavor and show you how they grow their food, you’ll stop at Stokkur Geyser, Gullfoss and Thingvellir National Park where the Eurasia and North American Tectonic plates separated. Note that this tour takes the vast majority of the day.
Things to note:
- FlyBus is the best way to travel to and from the airport. There is a list of hotels that they will pick up and drop off at. They utilize charter buses, but have smaller vans that will come and pick you up if you are in the neighborhoods.
- The city is very easy to navigate and there the city center is fairly small so you can spend the day wandering it.
- Food is expensive except for hot dogs. The classic Icelandic hot dog was only about $2 but other places are definitely more expensive since many foods have to be grown in green houses or imported.
- The tours that are available are very knowledgable. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and very friendly.
- FlyBus has wifi for those that don’t have data when they travel
- The Reykjavik International Airport is very clean. The bathroom stalls are each private rooms. It is also the quietest airport I have ever been to. They don’t do announcements for boarding so when you are there, you need to pay attention to time and gate information.
Let me know if you think there’s anything else one should do in Reykjavik in 24 hours!