What do you like to do in Reykjavík?

What do you like to do in Reykjavík?
by

steinthor-shSteinþór Helgi Arnsteinsson
Event Manager

I love to wake up early and walk to work, especially when there is no one around and not even cars on the streets. Everything is so peaceful and innocent, two of the main reasons I love Reykjavík. I sometimes stop to get coffee at Kaffislippurinn at Hotel Marina, which is next to the harbour/Grandi, and is probably my favorite spot in town. I also work there and live close by, which is quite convenient. For lunch my favorite place is Coocoo’s Nest. The atmosphere is simple and laid back and the soups and sandwiches there are always delicious. After work I love the bars that have good cocktail happy hours like Apótekið. For partying it really depends on the night and crowd. For techno I go to Paloma, for hip-hop and good vibes Prikið is obligatory and for everything else, Húrra and Kaffibarinn do the trick.

 

liljasif2011-1

Lilja Sif Þorsteinsdóttir
Clinical Psychologist

My favorite time of year to stroll around Reykjavík is fall, when the city dornes its beautiful gown of red, brown and yellow.
For a sunny and clear Sunday morning, venture out early and head to Öskjuhlíð.  The little woods surrounding the hill make for a magical walk, especially on a sunny and clear morning. With the smell of frost in the air, the crisp sound of leaves at your feet and all the beautiful fall colors surrounding you, you can pretend you’re in your own little world. You can expect some company in the form of the occasional bunny hopping across your path. End your walk at Nauthóll, a little café by the seaside and enjoy the ocean view. Afterwards, head to Perlan for a perfect panorama view of the Reykjavík area. If you prefer an evening walk, I recommend the statue garden of the Einar Jónsson museum. It’s situated near Hallgrímskirkja, the big landmark church of Reykjavík, so it’s hard to miss. The statues are beautiful and lit up during the evenings, creating a wonderfully romantic atmosphere. As it isn’t especially well known, so you might be lucky enough to have the garden to yourself. The magic is sure to enrapture anyone.

 

hjalti-shHjalti Stefán Kristjánsson
Jack of all trades

Despite its reputation as a wild nightlife mecca, Reykjavík is a great place to visit with kids. There are plenty of entertainment options and things to do in the city and the surrounding municipalities.
Let’s start with the playgrounds! More or less all Icelandic children go to daycare every day. That gives us plenty of playgrounds which are open after working hours. If you want to get wet there are around 20 swimming pools in the capital area, most of which have a shallow pool for kids and/or a slide or two. These are great options for weekend mornings when the rest of the city is waking up. For lunch, it is safe to recommend The Laundromat Cafe. They, like most restaurants, have a nice children’s menu and their basement is an open area, stuffed with toys and books for kids. Kex Hostel usually has some activities for the family on Sunday mornings, and is one of the cooler places around.
The Laugardalur area is also a great place to take the family. There you will find a swimming pool, a cafe, botanical garden (which looks amazing in the morning after a good night of snowfall), a petting zoo and a skating rink. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can go to Grótta, a lighthouse at the tip of the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, where the kids can play on the shore. But if you want to trek out to the lighthouse, make sure you know which way the tide is turning, because high tide covers the walkway and you might get stuck for a few hours. Enjoy your time in Reykjavik with the kids!

Zoe Howe13268076_10156943891690287_3634656514766055604_o-1
Writer and Journalist

Eating waffles and pancakes has always been very important to me, so I have always found it reassuring that one can get a waffle (with jam or cream) at practically all hours of the day or night in Reykjavík. In England we have dirty burger stalls and highly suspicious-looking hot-dogs, but in Reykjavík there are waffle vans. This seems very civilized to me.
I like tights and stockings and there’s a mad shop on Laugavegur which is like a glittering shrine to hosiery. I can’t remember its name. I might have never learned its name, in fact, since I was always just dazzled by the tights.
Whenever I come to Reykjavík, music plays a big part in my trip. It’s hard to choose a favorite venue but the chocolate-box charm of Iðnó is always enticing, as is the beautiful and atmospheric Frikirkjan. Gigs always seem more magical there. I remember seeing Sinead O’Connor at Frikirkjan some years back and the powerful combination of music and place was quite overwhelming. I’m not ashamed to say I wept. That’s really saying something because, as those who know me will attest, I’m generally a hard bastard, feared by all.
Bíó Paradís is probably THE nicest independent cinema I’ve ever been inside. It’s gorgeous. And you can play chess there. I like to go to Bíó Paradís and drink coffee on a cold day and, you know, watch films.

 

harpa-shHarpa Rós Guðmundsdóttir
Store Manager

Reykjavík is a unique city in a many ways, but one of its greatest qualities is the surrounding landscape and nature. One only needs to drive 15-20 minutes to get to one of the multiple outdoor options!  I often go for a walk somewhere just outside the city. The recreational forested area, Heiðmörk, has so many wonderful pathways and if you fancy a short hike, the small mountain of Úlfarsfell is a great option. When you get up there, you see a beautiful view of the city, the ocean and the surrounding mountains.

Reykjavík offers an interesting mix of a small city atmosphere and a metropolitan vibe.  Reykjavík’s art and design scenes have blossomed with many local design brands popping up in the past several years, making the main street of Laugavegur (and the small side streets nearby) a fascinating place to explore. When strolling through the city center, I always find something new that sparks my interest. I recommend just going for a nice walk with no certain plans…just let your feet and eyes control where you want to go; you just might find something you love!

 

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