Reykjavik, Iceland – Luggage Factory

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Reykjavik, Iceland

  Reykjavik may not be the biggest city in the world, but it has a unique flair unlike anywhere else. The Scandinavian influence, coupled with the island lifestyle, and the chilly temperatures yield exceptional people and peaceful environment. Amidst the architecture, fantastic seafood, and magnificent natural beauty travelers will find warmth among the Icelandic people. Plan your trip today! 5 Must-See Attractions: Solfar Sculpture- One of the best lookout points in Reykjavik, the Solfar Sculpture of a Viking ship captures Icelandic heritage blending modern art and cultural roots. Volcano House- If you’re interested in volcanoes and the volcanic history of Iceland, then Volcano House might be a nice stop for you. Two documentaries featuring two different eruptions along with an interactive display of minerals and lava rocks are available to visitors to the volcano house. Northern Lights- One of the natural wonders of the world, the Aurora Borealis is best seen in the darker, quieter areas of Reykjavik, to cut down on light pollution. Grotta Lighthouse- On its own peninsula in Reykjavik, Grotta Lighthouse might be the most scenic spot in the city. The lighthouse overlooks the bay, and if you visit during the right season, typically October through March, it’s one of the best spots in the world to view the Northern Lights. Hallgrimskirkja- An immense Expressionist Lutheran church that towers over the surrounding city, Hallgrimskirkja provides one of the best overlooks of Reykjavik over 73 meters up in the air. 5 Great Sites for Kids: Reykjavik (The Settlement Exhibition)- A blend of Viking ruins and interactive display of settler artifacts. The Settlement Exhibition is a great opportunity to experience a slice of Iceland’s history. Lake Tjornin- Lake Tjornin is a small pond in central Reykjavik that’s frequented by birds, swans, and other wildlife. It’s an excellent spot to take the kids for a day to relax. Whales of Iceland- A unique exhibition of whales filled with life size models of the different species, information, and sounds about each. Lagafellslaug- A place for aquatic fun for the whole family, Lagafellslaug features huge waterslides, hot tubs, and even a sauna. Nautholsvik Beach- Kids will love the warm geothermal pool that almost borders the Atlantic. It’s a fun hot spring and beach experience that gets the family out of the city for a day. 5 Free Attractions:   Laugavegur-The “It” street in Reykjavik, Laugavegur features all sorts of tchotchke shops, restaurants, and fun spots to stay for your trip. It’s a great place to take a stroll and people watch. The Pearl- The Pearl is a great lookout point for individuals to survey the surrounding city and distant mountains for free! Laugardalur Park- A beautiful spot to take in the natural beauty of Reykjavik. There are geothermal pools and a well-kept garden area. Mount Esja- There are beautiful mountains all around Reykjavik and Iceland, so take the opportunity to go conquer one, like Esja, by hiking to the top and surveying the land. Holavallagarour- While a cemetery might not be on top of your wish list, Holavallagarour’s appeal is the peaceful atmosphere and the beautiful tree-plotted landscape, atypical in Iceland. 5 Great Restaurants: Forrettabarinn- An elegant restaurant featuring a blend of Scandinavian and European cuisine with authentic Icelandic flair. The arctic char and the apple crumb dessert is to die for! Kaffivagninn- There’s great seafood all around Reykjavik, but the best fish and chips are found courtesy of Kaffivagninn. The harbor atmosphere adds to the ambience and increases your appetite! Reykjavik Chips- Have you ever gone to a place specifically for the chips? Maybe not, but you’ll be wishing there were more places geared towards expertly made chips and dipping sauces after you visit Reykjavik chips! Islenka Hamborgarafabrikkan- Even when you’re visiting an exciting country with foreign cuisine, sometimes all you want is a good burger. If you need a burger in Reykjavik, then try a funky combo at Islenka Hamborgarafabrikkan. Don’s Donuts- The Reykjavik equivalent of a food truck, Don’s Donuts serves locals and travelers the best mini donuts, carefully topped with cookie crumbs, sprinkles, cinnamon, and all manner of other sweet things. 5 Great Nightlife Spots: Bravo- A laidback bar with a funky atmosphere and plenty of beer options, Bravo is the place to go to take a load off and end the night right. Kex Hostel- A hostel and bar fashioned out of an old biscuit factory, the Kex Hostel holds one of the highest reputations in Reykjavik. Locals and travelers frequent the bar for the brews and the atmosphere. Micro Bar- If you’re a beer fan and you like testing out new and different drafts, then Micro Bar might be your place. They have a ton of Icelandic beers on tap for patrons to try, along with other classics from Europe and even Greenland. Kaffibarinn- A fun day-time pub that turns into a nightly dance club. It may not be big, but they pack plenty of fun into that small space. The Dubliner- Plenty of television, plenty of beer options, and plenty of bar snacks characterizes The Dubliner. It’s a great place to catch a match or a game. 5 Romantic Getaways: Imagine Peace Tower- Located on Videy Island, the Yoko Ono sculpture emanates tranquility and warmth. It’s the perfect evening stopping point for a date night. Horseback Riding Tour- Take an exciting ride over the varied terrain and sloping landscape that is Reykjavik in Iceland. Reykjavik Residence Hotel- Perfectly located and expertly staffed, the Reykjavik Residence Hotel offers intimate rooms and a beautiful atmosphere. Sjavargrillid- Fanciful seafood served in a warm, yet elegant atmosphere. That’s the romantic appeal of a date night to Sjavargrillid. Make sure to try the lobster or ocean perch! Botanical Gardens- The botanical gardens of Laugardalur Park provide peace, tranquility, and romance perfect for an afternoon stroll. 5 Must-Try Foods: Skyr- A dairy product akin to yogurt, but without as sharp of a taste. It’s widely available throughout Iceland and Reykjavik. Icelandic Hot Dog- Often made with a little bit of lamb, these hot dogs are topped with a number of different funky sauces for travelers to try. Chocolate Covered Black Licorice- Exactly as it sounds, you can purchase bars of black licorice decadently coated in chocolate. Sheep’s Head- If you’re adventurous and don’t scare easily, then try a dish of boiled sheep’s head. It’s much better than it sounds. Seafood- The seafood around Reykjavik, particularly the fish items are all terrific. Fresh fish is available throughout the city, and many restaurants serve up delicious fish and chips. Climate: While it may not be quite as icy as the name leads on, Iceland is a relatively cold country year round by U.S. standards. The temperatures remain in the low thirties (Fahrenheit) from November through April. The warmer months typically consist of temperatures in the upper forties to low fifties from May through October. The temperature doesn’t range a lo, staying fairly cold throughout the year. Reykjavik experiences an average amount of rainfall throughout the year. The highest volumes come from September through March, when the monthly rainfall average is over 3 inches. The average dips slightly from April through July. Transportation: Most of the public transportation around Reykjavik occurs through bus lines. Bus terminals are located near most major points of interest in the city. Outside of the bus lines, most travelers travel via car or walking if the distance is short enough. Safety Precautions: Reykjavik is one of the safest cities in the world; it has a sterling reputation of nice people and a relaxed lifestyle. Still, it’s smart to plan out your trip, and not wander through the city aimlessly, but there aren’t really any areas to avoid or things to be aware of. Souvenirs: Taking home a collection of Icelandic candies will please those back at home, or a homemade trinket from one of the many shops on Laugavegur. Trip Highlights: The view and architecture of Hallgrimskirkja usually stays with travelers to Reykjavik. The Imagine Peace Tower, Solfar Sculpture, and Northern Lights with the backdrop of the mountains are equally lasting images for frequent travelers. Documentation: U.S. residents will need a passport to travel to and from Reykjavik. No other documentation or vaccination is required outside of personal identification and trip itineraries. Air Travel Information: Keflavik International Airport (KEF) acts as the primary airport for international flights to Iceland. Most major airlines provide service to the Keflavik International Airport including: Delta, British Airways, Norwegian, Icelandair, SAS, Lufthansa, and many more. Rental car services, taxis, and buses are available to transport individuals to and from the airport.

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