Do we all have that one friend who won’t stop talking about Reykjavík? “Ooh, I miss Reykjavík. Reykjavík changed my life. Maybe I’ll move to Reykjavík. Did you know I got stuck in Reykjavík for two months due to volcanic activity?” We get it, friend, you’re very sophisticated and Icelandic and swaddled in furs. Now give us some travel tips while you find some other centuries-old European capital to “discover.”

No hate for Reykjavík; it seems perfectly lovely! Every photo of it makes it look like Europe’s least pretentious city. Iceland actually seems worth every bit of hype. And we like the idea of telling friends we’re visiting an “island nation.” So to the very lovely people who’ve fallen in love with the place, please tell us, how do we make the most of it?

What’s underrated? What places deserve just a few more discerning visitors? And what hacks can turn an okay attraction into a great one?

How should a visitor approach the city? What attitude should they adopt? What local traditions, behaviors, and laws should they be aware of? What should they know about the city’s past and present? How can they play well with the locals?

Locals, what’s it like longterm? What do you recommend to other residents? How do you hack your commute, what’s your daily lunch spot? And where do you go when you want to get out of the city for a day or a weekend?


Lastly, how would you explain this city if you couldn’t rely on any place names? How would you put the city’s “vibe” into words?

While we’re mostly focusing on the capital, tips for anywhere in Iceland are welcome here. Note whether something is doable as a day trip or only on a longer visit, and whether it takes any extra prep.

We don’t say this often enough: Readers, thank you so very much for all the advice you give for this weekly column. We wish we could take the fan mail and appreciation we get and pass it all back to you. Just know that you are quite directly making other people’s lives a little bit better.


Leave your Reykjavík tips below, and we’ll highlight the best in the Staff tab below. (As always, feel free to add or comment on others’ tips.) Then come back Thursday for a new post featuring highlights.

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I love to travel and I love reading and writing about traveling, that is why I started 2traveling. I want everyone to see the wonderful places around the world and experience everything that is awesome about it.