Reykjavik: The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary & A Quick City Guide
If you are ever headed from Europe to the US, or visa versus, Icelandair has an awesome stopover deal which offers travelers the chance to add a stopover in Iceland for no additional charge! What!? Unreal right – that is like getting two trips for the price of one.
Hi everyone! I am Kaelene from Unlocking Kiki and I am currently living the expat life in Iceland. Now that you have the inside knowledge about the awesome deal Icelandair offers I am sure you are already booking your flight and dreaming of your stopover in Iceland! And to help with the planning of your Iceland trip I have the perfect three day itinerary for you that will guarantee you an awesome Icelandic adventure.
Morning | Arrive at Keflavík International airport. Purchase a Flybus ticket ($15-20 USD) to take you into Reykjavik. Sit back and take in the moss covered lava fields on the 45 minute trip into Reykjavik.
Mid Morning | Arrive in Reykjavik and drop off luggage at your accommodation. Walk down Laugavegur, the main street in downtown Reykjavik, and window shop as you make your way to the Laundromat Cafe for a late breakfast early lunch.
Afternoon | Head off for the Golden Circle tour at 12:30 and spend 6 hours exploring some of the most visited, and beautiful, attractions in Iceland. Be sure to go inside the cafe at the rest stop you will take halfway through the tour and sample the tasty Icelandic doughnut, kleinur, for an afternoon snack.
Note: Purchase tickets in advance with Reykjavik Excursions. The tour cost is 8,500 ISK ($65USD). Book the tour here.
Evening | Treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the wonderful restaurants in downtown Reykjavik. Check out one of these restaurants for a memorable meal and a taste of Iceland:
Morning | Start your day with a cup of coffee at the charming Stofan cafe. Once you have your caffeine fix catch this free walking tour. Tour start times vary from 10:30am-12:00 so check here to see the schedule for the day.
Afternoon | Grab a famous Icelandic hot dog at the stand near the harbor and enjoy your meal while you wander around the charming harbor area and explore the little shops. If you are interested in seeing some whales while in Iceland catch this tour at 1:00pm down at the harbor. Wanting to explore more of Reykjavik instead? Rent bikes at this location and have fun exploring.
Additional Tours | Looking for a more action packed Icelandic adventure for day 2? I recommend checking out the following tours:
1 | Glacier Hiking – This one time, in Iceland, I hiked across a glacier… who doesn’t want to start a story like that! Blue Ice Glacier Tour
2 | Horseback Riding – Explore the Icelandic nature with the adorable Icelandic horse as your sidekick. Íshestar Riding Tours
3 | Snorkeling – “Snorkelling Silfra is liquid meditation Iceland-Style”- Dive.is
4 | South Shore Adventure – Perfect for nature lovers, spend a day in one of Iceland’s most scenic regions. Reykjavik Excursions
Evening | Before dinner head over to one of the local city pools for a true Icelandic experience. Just be prepared to strip in the locker room and shower before entering the relaxing hot water. Once you have turned into a prune head out for a drink and use this app to help you find the closest happy hour!
Morning | Enjoy one last meal in Reykjavik at Prikið before saying goodbye to the city. Catch the bus again with Reykjavik Excursions and head to the Blue Lagoon for a pit stop before the heading to the airport.
Note: You can purchase a bus ticket with Reykjavik Excursions that allows you to be dropped off at the Blue Lagoon and picked back up to be taken to the airport from there. For more information check out here.
Afternoon | After spending a relaxing morning pampering yourself catch the bus straight from the Blue Lagoon to the airport again with Reykjavik Excursions. Plan your trip back to Iceland while you make the short drive to the airport for your flight back home.
Know Before You Go
Currency: The local currency is the Icelandic Krona. Most shops and restaurants accept debit/credit cards.
Language: Icelandic. The majority of the population can speak English and many signs will have Icelandic and English on them.
Getting Around: The easiest way to get around Reykjavik is by bus. Download the app and be able to purchase tickets on your phone as well plan your trip based off your current location and destination. Bus tickets can only be purchase on the bus with exact change. Tickets are 350 ISK ($2.75) per ticket.
Tipping: No need to worry about tipping in Iceland as it is not customary to tip. If you receive excellent service though a little tip would be much appreciated.
Climate: May to September are the best times to visit Iceland with almost 24 hours of daylight and mild temperatures averaging 5-15 degree Celsius. The winter can bring cold stormy weather which may cause travel around the country to be difficult and unsafe. Plan accordingly based on what activities you are interested in doing while in Iceland.
What to Pack: Rule number one, pack according to the season in Iceland, not where you live. For the summer you don’t need to pack your winter coat but make sure to bring warmer clothing as the weather is quite mild and not too warm. The winter can be freezing cold and dry, lots of warm thick clothing should be packed. For a list of items that you should pack no matter what time of year you are visiting Iceland check out here.
Learn the Language: Want to practice some helpful words before heading to Iceland. Here are a few helpful phrases to practice. For more Icelandic phrases head over here.
Halló (Hah-low): Hello
Bless (often said twice, Bless Bless): Goodbye
Takk (Tahk): Thank you
Ég tala ekki íslensku (Yeh ta-la eh-ki ees-len-sku): I don’t speak Icelandic
Talarðu ensku? (Ta-lar-dhu en-sku?): Do you speak English?
Þú ert falleg: You are beautiful! – (just in case:)
Air: Make the most of your trip from Europe to the US, or visa versus, and checkout Icelandair awesome stopover deal which offers travelers the chance to add a short trips to Iceland before they continue on with their travels.
Where to Stay: Iceland can be a very expensive place to visit, keep your accommodation costs down and stay at one of these three hostels that are right in or near the downtown area:
Renting a Car: Have more time in Iceland and interested in renting a car to explore the country? Check out here for great deals or here for your own house on wheels, perfect for road tripping around the country.
City Pass: Planning on visiting several museums, using the bus and visiting the local swimming pools? The Welcome to Reykjavik City Card will be perfect for you and will help you save money! Here are more details on the city card.
Where to Shop: Looking to score some Icelandic goodies such as your very own Icelandic lopapeysa? If you are in Reykjavik over the weekend head down near the harbor and check out the local flea market, Kolaportid, for some handmade products at a much cheaper price.
For more information on visiting Iceland such as insider tips from a local, free things to do in Reykjavik, and 5 hikes you must take, head over to my Iceland page and start planning you Icelandic adventure!