Let’s all take a moment and clap it up for Iceland. In all my European travels I have yet to experience a transportation system as accommodating and easy to navigate like Iceland’s. I’ll have to admit, their insanely inexpensive flights really had me worried about how smoothly my transition was going to go, but rest assured, Iceland had me covered.
The Icelandair flight was equipped with complimentary wifi, fleece blankets, a pillow and free Icelandic water. The Keflavik airport offers multiple bus transfers straight to your hotel/hostel door step for $18-$20. We chose to ride with FlyBus on the way to Reykjavik and Gray Line on the way back to Keflavik. Both bus services supplied free wifi and USB ports to charge your devices. Accommodation wise we stayed at The Loft Hostel in downtown Reykjavik which was voted Iceland’s best hostel on HostelWorld and it definitely did not disappoint. We stayed in a 8 person dormitory, it was very clean, comfortable and inexpensive, I definitely recommend staying there.
Now we’ve all heard that Iceland is expensive, but my expensive and Icelands expensive are not seeing eye to eye. In order to get a typical Icelandic meal, you’re going to have to throw some cash down, but don’t let that discourage you from not eating their food. Iceland has a great spread of fish, lamb and soup to make anyone keep coming back.
Our first day in Iceland we went to lunch at a place called Ostabudin. Ostabudin was incredible and reasonably priced for Iceland. I definitely recommend going there for the fish of the day during lunch, it’ll cost you between $18-$20, but is definitely worth your while. It’s nicknamed “The Hidden Gem,” and truly lives up to its name. The staff is so sweet and caring just like everyone we’ve met here in Iceland.
Our second day in Reykjavik we went to a cafe bar called Svarta Kaffid, which doubles as the Panera of Iceland, supplying hot soup in bread bowls. After our flight and the extreme weather change, soup in a bread bowl was exactly what the doctor ordered. It’ll cost you around $15, but I would do it again given the opportunity.
Street art is huge in Iceland, they have beautiful murals plastered on pretty much every building and open wall space available. Some of the street art however, displays vulgar English words, which I’ll admit was very shocking to see. We actually opened our hostel window to two paintings of the word, “UGLY,” in big black letters, so as you can imagine we all immediately took out our iphones and posted a fair amount of selfies infront of the wall.
When you travel to Iceland, the most popular area to stay in is Reykjavik but I do think it’s necessary to note that if you aren’t willing to go on excursions an hour away from city center every day that you’re in town, you probably won’t see much of Iceland. As you know, I am on a budget so it just wasn’t in the cards for me to spend $1,000 on excursions while I was there. That being said, I decided to pick one excursion I couldn’t go home without doing, The Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon was everything I wanted and so much more. This was our first excursion as a group and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. We booked a 7 p.m. arrival to miss the massive morning crowd and soaked in the lagoon just as the sun was setting. It was absolutely gorgeous and so relaxing after a six hour flight. We swam around in the hot springs for two hours, applied our silica mud masks and celebrated our arrival to Europe with alcoholic beverages. This wonder of the world truly blew my mind and I can’t wait to go back one day.
Word on the street is (I 100% read this in a brochure, the words on the street were Icelandic and I definitely did not understand them) Iceland is trying to up their tourist game. It makes sense with how headache-less transportation and excursions were. They really had every kink worked out. The accommodations were always on time, which coming from studying abroad in Italy was a god send, the people were very sweet and the trips I heard about/went on were fantastic.
Iceland may have been miserably cold but they made my transition to Europe stress free. Next time I come back I’ll hopefully have that rich husband I’ve been looking for so we can go whale watching, horse riding, snowmobiling and end the day sleeping under the northern lights in a glass igloo.
Iceland, it’s been chill, literally ice cold, but now it’s time to put on my dirndl and head to Munich for Oktoberfest.
Until next time Ísland…