In weekends (all year around) and every single day in summer you should book / reserve a table at the better Restaurants with some notice (few days if you can). You are likely though to be able to “cry your way” into most Restaurants if you are traveling in “groups of 2 people” :)… BUT OF COURSE you have us consulting you where to go and what to have and then we can book the table for you – We do not charge for this service – It does mean that you are likely to have a little extra something as you are a friend of MyReykjavik! – For us it is valuable too as we get the credit of recommending the place… and remember : WE ONLY RECOMMEND TO YOU WHAT WE WOULD RECOMMEND TO OUR FRIENDS and OUR OPINION CAN NEVER BE BOUGHT!
Yes, it is very very likely. In the summer time the probability of seeing whales when going out from Reykjavik is more than 9 out of 10. You should kind of get a reward if you don´t see a whale (you actually do – as most whale watching companies offer you to go for free until you see a whale…).
Puffins are here from sometime early June until mid August. They can be seen when sailing from Reykjavik (puffin spotting and whale watching), on the south shore, in Flatey in Breiðafjörður bay and in the Westman islands.
In case of emergency you call 112 (that´s our 911). For medical help you call 1770. Most pharmacies are open from 8 am to 4 pm. There is a pharmacy right next to Hilton : Lyfja, Lágmúla (Lágmúli is the street name) that is open every day from 8 am to 1 am.
First you should go directly to Thorvaldsens Bazar and if you find your sweater there BUY IT. Every single income is for children in need and we support this kind of greatness. If you do not find your sweater at Thorvaldsens Bazar you can go to the Wool Market (located on Ingolfstorg – about 10 meters from Thorvaldsens Bazar). Every thing is handmade in both places. If you do travel in Iceland you are very likely to find a local shop / market in some village where you can find the sweaters for less money (also handmade of course).
The bus system in Reykjavik is a little complex (by the way we do not have any trains or subway system) but you can figure out your way here. Usually what you do though is to find a bus stop and just ask the driver of the next bus for directions (or the local people for help). Note: You need to pay with cash in the bus and they do not give you change back so you better have the accurate fair (which is ISKR 350 per person / per ticket or about $ 3).
Taxis are easy to get in the center of Reykjavik and from any hotel / restaurant. If you are two or more and not going distances then Taxi is an easy and comfortable choice (specially in the evenings as the buses do not go after midnight). You can call Taxi at : 561 0000 and / or 588 5522.
Yes you can. It is nice to run on the seafront in Reykjavik. There are nice running paths and the view is to die for… Just remember that the weather can turn against you without any notice 😉 – Be prepared…
There are several work out places in Reykjavik. Hilton and Grand Hotel have a gym. The Blue Lagoon Spa in Reykjavik is a really nice Spa – You can also work out when you book your treatment / massage there ; (it is located in about 5 min walk from Hilton, which is about 25 min walk from the center).
Well, there are few things to keep in mind when driving in Iceland; a. We drive on the right side (very very important :)) b. You have to drive totally according to circumstances (when on gravel road, icy road, in fog / blizzard, etc = slow down) c. When you do stop the car for taking pictures / getting out the car be very aware of where you stop the car (too many times we have people stopping on a narrow road admiring the view regardless and putting themselves and others in danger…) d. Be AWARE that we have our sheep running wild EVERYWHERE in the summers NOTE : If you see a sheep on one side of the road and the lamb on the other side you ARE in DANGER = slow down as it is very likely that the lamb will run to the mother!
Very much so. We just recently have had to deal with something called “organized crimes”. We have about 1 murder per year (and that usually is an act of jealousy / crime of passion)
Very safe (IF you don´t fit the category that wants to go “bathing” in Geyser or swimming in Glacial Rivers, etc… ;)). Very often we have people that are not dressed / equipped / trained according to circumstances. We do not have warning signs and restricted areas in Iceland and it is therefore important to use common sense and logic when you go “off the beaten track” by yourself. Taking a stroll on your own on glaciers, in the highlands, is very irresponsible and can put your life in danger. You must understand that the nature in Iceland does give and the nature takes back. The weather in Iceland can change from a beautiful sunny day, into the craziest storm and hail in less than a minute! – Therefore please do stay safe and be aware and respect that this is the land of the Ice and Fire.
NOTE : WHEN YOU VISIT NICELAND IN THE WINTER TIME YOUR STANDARD EQUIPMENT MUST BE CRAMPONS AS YOU WILL BE STANDING ON ICE A LOT OF THE TIME!!! – MOST ACCIDENTS HAPPEN BECAUSE PEOPLE FALL ON THE ICE AT GEYSIR AND THE WATERFALL SIGHTS (SUCH AS GULLFOSS, SELJALANDSFOSS, SKÓGARFOSS ETC…).
The Aurora Borealis is visible from all of Iceland IN THE WINTER TIME only. In the summer we have daylight 24 / 7 for about 6 weeks and you can not see the Aurora in daylight – you need darkness for them to shine and dance. Coming here in the winter does not guarantee anything though, the conditions must be right for the Aurora to put on a show – It is kind of like chasing the rainbow… Hard to know but magical WHEN you get it!
The most active volcano in “recent years” is Hekla. Hekla is thought to have had at least 20 eruptions since the settlement of Iceland (just before and around the year 900 AD). Hekla erupted 4 times in the 20th century. Last time Hekla erupted was the year 2000. We have now had 3 eruptions in a period of 2 years (Fimmvörðuháls, Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsvötn)! – The activity is therefore clearly increasing (which again is exciting ;))
Not directly, meaning that we do not lose people in a lava stream (unless someone might think that swimming in such a stream is a good idea – we don´t count such Einsteins). However, Eyjafjallajökull volcano did show the world a little glimpse of the powers of our volcanoes. Air traffic can suffer from ash clouds, which can result in supplies not going to places etc… We had a major eruption in 1783 (Laki eruption) which caused crops to fail all over Europe. The coming 2 years after the eruption are referred to as the “dark years of Europe” and the result was hunger, starvation and eventually the French Revolution. So, yes, volcanic eruptions do / can have an enormous impact on our lives but we do not have to fear them directly. By the way, Icelanders get excited when a volcano erupts, so you should consider it a once in a lifetime experience if you are fortunate enough to witness such a nature wonder!
Because it has sulfur in it! You will stop smelling the sulfur after several days in Niceland. Our hot water comes from the bubbling ground (you will find all about this when / if you do your Golden Circle Tour and pass Hellisheiðarvirkjun – a geothermal plant just outside Reykjavik) as we are fortunate enough to be born on a volcanic island. This water can do you nothing but good.
Some do (actually many do during the winter at least) and when they do, they usually have happy hours during week days and from 17 – 19. Happyhour.is is a website that aggregates happy hours in Reykjavík (it’s only available in Icelandic, but you can see the names and hours pretty easily).
Most Restaurants do close the kitchen around 22.00. The Restaurants are open until around 01.00. Bars close at different hours. You can stay out drinking and dancing until around 05 in the morning in some of the bars downtown. After midnight the party goes really really wild… Us Vikings drink A LOT on Friday and Saturday nights so you will witness wasted people falling over and doing silly things if stay longer than midnight.
It is located in the center of Reykjavik. It is in between the “old harbor” (where all the whale watching boats and the whale hunting boats are… yepps you heard it right!) and Harpa (the Opera House). You will find it as there will be some people queuing there outside this little shed (regardless of what type of weather you have). DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF HAVING YOUR BÆJARINS BEZTU HOT DOG IN ONE OF THEIR OTHER STANDS (there are some in the shopping malls – they do not have the magic that THE ONE does). The street name is Tryggvagata – Ask the locals and use your nose to figure out the exact location!
Not only can you do so but YOU SHOULD drink the water from the tap! – Our tap water is the water that we do bottle and export. It is rated and considered to be the purest water that you can have. We do not add anything to our water. Our water supply source is just outside Reykjavik in the middle of a lava field. The ground water runs through the lava and the lava functions as a filter and THEN we gather it and drink it. Sometimes you have to let the cold water run for a minute or so in order to have it ice-cold (do not worry about the water running for some time – we are not short on supply here and after all, it is a circulation, just like life is…).
Legal or not – everyone does it.
You will always be able to get online within a minute reach when in Reykjavik. There are hot spots in the center where you can connect your phone or laptop for free. Hotels and cafes offer wireless internet. There are also few internet cafes down-town. When you are out of town you will get mobile signal in the most rural places.
Iceland holds the world record in mobile usage in the world (per capita)! Iceland actually does as well hold the world record (per capita) in several fields, such as ; Winner of the “strongest man in the world”, winner of the “miss world” competition, number of Nobel Price winners (we have one! – with a population of 320.000 – now do your math ;)). Phone coverage is in the most unlikely, remote places you find yourself in. You can rent cell phones in Iceland and buy prepaid cards. Most European mobile phones work in Iceland but North America does use a different standard so people from there do often have trouble using their mobile phones in Iceland (ie the option of renting a phone comes in handy…).
Tipping is not required in Niceland as service and VAT is included in prices. HOWEVER, if you are pleased with the service you get FEEL FREE to give some tips. Icelanders do not get offended if you tip them – they welcome tips in general and take it as a complement.
Congratulations! – You just entered heaven. The earth is boiling underneath us in Iceland and therefore we do have the greatest swimming pools and hot tubs ever. The hot springs are also all around the country, some are on the map, others are secret / hidden. We have a passion for bathing in the hot springs (you can not get any closer to mother nature than that) and we are happy to share our favorites with you. If you consider renting a car through us then we help you plan your adventure and we can direct you to some hidden hot springs where you can bathe BUT you have to keep it as a secret – if not the hidden people will take care of things for us!
Sounds a lot colder than it is. Feels also a little colder than it is (often cold wind / breeze). Is a lot “cooler” than you think. You have the weather in Reykjavik today on your left. The temperature is in Celsius. In general we do not have snow in Reykjavik (apart from the crazy winters of 2010 and 2011) but you should be prepared for some snow from October – April. However, there is another world (and another climate) up in the north of Iceland. If we have snow in Reykjavik then roads might be blocked from snow in the north
Mila.is maintains a VERY cool website where you can actually see different places of Iceland LIVE in webcams… Check it!
The most expensive item is listed first (top to bottom based on price)
- Wool sweater : ISKR 24.000,- / $ 195
- 3 Course dinner in a Restaurant : ISKR 9.000,- / $ 70
- Vodka bottle : ISKR 8.000,- / $ 65
- 12″ Pizza : ISKR 2.500,- / $ 20
- Hamburger (with french fries and cola) : ISKR 2.500 / $ 20
- Beer in a bar / Restaurant : ISKR 1.100 / $ 8
- Hot dog (with cola) : ISKR 750 / $ 6
- Gasoline (1 Liter / 0.25 Gallon) : ISKR 250 / $ 2
- Cola drink : ISKR 200 / $ 1,6
- Chocolate Bar : ISKR 200 / $ 1,6
- Milk : ISKR 150 / $ 1,2
The prices can never be 100% right due to currency fluctuation. Please use the Currency Calculator on the left side to update the Icelandic prices to your preferred currency. The idea is to give you a feel for the prices in Iceland
NOTE : Buy the maximum-allowed in the Duty Free of Wine, Spirits, Beers and cigarettes (only IF you smoke – no need starting smoking to save money ;)) as the price there is MUCH lower than in the shops in Iceland!
WOW you just scrolled down ALL THE FAQ!!! We hope this was helpful and if there are still some questions PLEASE do not hesitate to ask us! We hope we can present to you NICELAND the way the country presents itself to us!