My last day in Reykjavik!
This day ended up being really unplanned for me. I was originally supposed to do the Hallgrímskirkja area this day, but I ended up so close to it on Friday that I ended up doing my Sunday plan then.
I should have booked a Golden Circle tour for Sunday since my flight wasn’t until 9 pm, but I hadn’t realized my proximity to everything at the time. I also ended up hurting my knee somehow from walking the previous day and began feeling a little sick so I was partially relieved that I didn’t have a big excursion going on.
I’d highly suggest going on a Golden Circle tour if you have the time though! I want to go back to do one.
Anyways after thankfully waking up after sunrise, I stored my bag in my hostel’s luggage room and got brunch at Sandholt, a really great bakery and cafe on Laugavegur. I took my time for I had plenty of time and watched all the other customers. It seemed like there were a lot of photographers. Although I’m not surprised as Iceland is incredibly photogenic.
After brunch I wanted to go to the top of Hallgrímskirkja for the city view, but when I got there it was temporarily closed for a service. That’s when I tried to go to the Einar Jonsson Museum, but when I learned you had to pay for it I remembered my expensive appetizer the night before and decided it wasn’t worth it. I decided to walk around the neighborhood for awhile and explore more of the city’s art.
I realized that through my wanderings I ended up pretty close to Kolaportid again. The night before my sister told me I could try shark there and so I thought it was worth a go.
Except when I was in the fish and other food area of the market, I couldn’t find any samples of shark! So I found a seat and looked up where in Reykjavik you could try shark. Cafe Loki kept popping up, which was directly across the street from Hallgrímskirkja.
I nearly went to City Hall at this point, but I got a little lost and my maps app wasn’t locating it. Disappointed by walking so far and not having anything come of it, I made my way back to Hallgrímskirkja.
The tower was open again, but there was a massive line and I was still hesitant to spend money. I didn’t want to spend 900 króna, which is about $8, and so I decided to skip it. If you do want a good city view though do it or go to Perlan for another great view. Perlan is just further outside the city centre.
Cafe Loki is incredibly close to Hallgrímskirkja though and you can stop there to try some traditional Icelandic food. I chickened out and decided not to try the fermented shark.
Instead I decided to take some pictures by the water because it was such a beautifully clear day. You could see the mountains across the water and it was an incredible view. I spent a really long time playing with my new camera and taking many photos.
It was getting closer to my airport pickup time, but I wanted to get a snack before I left and so I checked out one of Iceland’s grocery stores. I bought some sort of Icelandic chocolate candy bar, but I wanted something more filling than just that. My craving then brought me to Reykjavik Chips.
I was hesitant to try french fries (chips) with sauce again after I didn’t care for them in Amsterdam, but my hunger won out. I got the garlic sauce and I was pleasantly surprised by how addictingly great they tasted. Somehow it reminded me of artichokes that I’d had in California? It was probably just the garlic, but it somehow created such a vivid connection to a place I haven’t been to in years.
I only got a small because I didn’t want the risk of getting a larger size, but as soon as I took the first bite I wished I’d gotten a large. I devoured these in minutes and they were the perfect leaving snack. My mouth is watering just writing about and remembering this.
My time was now over in Reykjavik and I was on my way back to the airport, using flybus again.
I bought myself in the airport a little souvenir because I’d loved Iceland so much and wanted something more to remember it by.
In the middle of my flight our pilot told us that if you had a window seat on the left side of the plane behind the wing and if you looked out your window you could see the Northern Lights a little. I had a window seat but it was on the right side! He said it was more just a green haze so it wasn’t the full effect of them, but I missed my last chance! I couldn’t help my disappointment.
I’m so glad I did this trip though and I think Reykjavik will always be one of those places that stands out in my memories as special.
Things I’m Glad I Did:
- Stayed on Laugavegur Street
- Blue Lagoon
- Reykjavik Chips
- Harpa Concert Hall
- Sun Voyager
- Walked around and explored
Things I Wish I’d Done:
- Golden Circle Tour – I would’ve loved to see more of Iceland outside of Reykjavik, but I’m also a little glad I didn’t because my knee was hurting and I was beginning to feel sick.
- Seen the Northern Lights! – This was one of the things that I was looking forward to the most and hoping so hard that it would happen, but you can’t predict everything! I would’ve had to stay for a few extra days to give myself more chances.
- Had a car – It would’ve been so nice to be able to drive around Iceland’s countryside in my own car. You can go to other hot springs and not have to rely on a tour to see the Northern Lights either!
- Had a larger budget – If I had a larger budget I would’ve stayed for longer, been able to eat better, and bought more souvenirs. The majority of their souvenirs feel to be of good quality too and then when you really like the place you want to spend the money, but here my budget could not take me as far.
- Had more time – There’s still so much more I’ve realized I want to do in Iceland so when I eventually return I’m going to stay for at least a week.
I loved Iceland. It was cool, relaxed, and with a hipster/artsy vibe going on. Everybody I met was incredibly nice and passionate about the country. It’s small and isolated so I don’t think I could ever live there, but it is a place I would love to go back to. Right now my dream is to be able to road trip around the island. There are so many more adventurous activities to do like glacier walking or going into ice caves that I know I would’ve needed more time to. I also need to see the Northern Lights still!
Reykjavik, as a city, is so unique to me because it feels so young with all of the building art, their coffee culture, the music stores, photography stores, and art galleries. I wanted to sit down and read an old book in every single cafe I passed. I felt as if it should be packed much more than it was by visitors though and I’m glad I had the chance for this trip.
I would highly suggest visiting Iceland to anybody and everybody. It’s one of the safest cities in Europe so you will feel more comfortable, you can relax in the hot springs, or you can go out hiking and adventuring in the countryside. There’s so much to do and while I thought a weekend was good for Reykjavik, you need at least a week to do everything.
I already can’t wait to return!
What’s a place you visited that you want to go back to? What’s on your bucket list to see and/or do? Any suggestions for places you loved that you want to share?