Here is some more about our recent Iceland adventure. Previously I wrote about the Geysers and Waterfalls, Reykjavik is a nice contrast to all the hiking and nature. We had originally planned to only spend one day in Reykjavik but as we soon found there was plenty to see and visit that we adjusted our plans to add an extra half a day there. Here are some of our favorite spots to check out and things to do.
This area is very touristy. There are plenty of souvenir shops but also some great galleries, second hand, and handcrafted stores as well. The street running parallel is very beautiful and leads up to the Hallgrímskirkja Church. There are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, and bars in this area. Lemon juice bar was a favorite find of ours, amazing juices, a great healthy pick me up while we were strolling around. The day we were there Emilie fell asleep in her stroller so Dillon and I decided to grab a quick lunch, we couldn’t resist checking out the Big Lebowski themed bar. It was touristy and silly and a lot of fun. We rarely do touristy things when we travel so every now and then its fun to indulge.
This is a must see on your trip. Its stunning from the outside as it sits on a hill its hard to miss. You can climb up to the steeple get a birds eye view of Reykjavik or just take in the architecture the chapel. Emilie was not liking the wind so we decided climbing might not be for us. Next time we fully intend to climb.
The Perlan Museum
This museum must be on your list. It was awesome, you can actually go into a man made glacier. The guide was great and extremely knowledgeable. If you cant make it out to an actual glacier while you are there this is a great option b. Keep in mind even though this is man made and in a museum it is still very cold, make sure you bring your warm clothes, hats, and mittens. After you go through the glacier there is a small but great exhibit on glaciers and Iceland’s geography with a special emphasis on the impact of climate change. Another thing you can do is to go up to the top of the museum and walk around the dome, there you can get an amazing view of the entire city.
First off this is not a zoo like you would think of as in exotic animals. Aside from a few lizards and frogs every animal in the zoo is local to Iceland. Its more of a sanctuary than zoo, that was the only reason we decided to go. It was perfect for Emilie and we even had fun as well. The chickens, geese, and turkeys roam around freely. There are plenty of ducks, seals, sheep, goats, horses, reindeer and Emilie’s favorite the BUNNIES! It is a great size for little ones. It is primarily all outdoors so raincoats were a must for us. The zoo also has a little park area, a train ride for the kids, and in the summer there are small amusement park rides.
This is a great place to stroll along, stop and read, or just enjoy the sun when it makes an appearance. Of course for a toddler this place was heaven, so many ducks. It was one of the highlights for us simply because Emilie had such a blast watching the ducks, sometimes simple things are the most memorable. Bonus the tourist information office is located right next to here!
One of the most amazing parts about Reykjavik was the enormous amount of public art, it was everywhere, statues, murals, and even some graffiti. It was incredible to walk around a corner and suddenly be greeted by something amazing.
Parks and Playgrounds
The other amazing thing was the plethora of parks and playgrounds and they were all well kept and clean. Sometimes its nice to just walk around and take in the environment or play at the playground to really get the feel of a place.
We drove to Reykjavic and parked in the city. There are different parking zones with different prices, basically the closer to the city center the more expensive. Parkgin meters only accept Icelandic coins but parking ticket dispenserd accept both coins and credit cards and they are all over. For little ones an umbrella stroller will work just fine, we brought it for when emilie go tired and didnt need anything bigger than that. Like everywhere in Iceland the weather is unpredictable so we stashed extra clothes in the car and layered up.