When you travel, you will inevitably discover places that you fall in love with and by the same token, you will also find places that you don’t ever feel the urge to return to.
For me, Iceland is one of those places that I will always want to go back to.
When I started planning the four month long adventure that I currently find myself on, I had anticipated that I would spend the entirety of those four months exploring numerous countries in Africa.
However, when one of my best gal pals Chelsea (who you may remember from the Myanmar blogs) suggested going on a girls road trip through Iceland, there was no way I was going to turn her down.
Yes, it meant going completely out of my way and spending a significant extra chunk of change by adding in extra long haul flights, but Iceland is one of those places that is just simply worth the extra time, money and effort.
This would be my fourth time travelling to Iceland, but there was still so much that I hadn’t seen, and this trip would be the perfect opportunity to cross more things off of my Iceland bucket list. It would also allow me to return to some of my favourite places in this magical country, and I absolutely could not wait.
I arrived into Reykjavik a few days before Chelsea and her friend Mel, which gave me plenty of time to do a little ‘Elle’s Greatest Hits of Reykjavik’ tour of the charming Icelandic capital.
So let me take you on a little virtual trip around my favourite places in Reykjavik!
The absolute first thing I did was get a coffee from the institution that is Reykjavik Roasters. They have gotten a lot more popular since I last visited (the line out of the door was rather new) but the coffee was just as good as I remembered, and they also served me the best damn chocolate croissant that I’ve had outside France. It is my favourite way to start a rainy Reykjavik day.
Then, just down the road from Reykjavik Roasters is the fabulously unique Hallgrímskirkja church. I had initially planned on ascending to the top of the tower, but I had done it twice before and my brain kept reminding me I was on a tight-ish budget whilst in Iceland, so I ended up deciding that my moolah would be better spent on some delicious Icelandic food, so that is what I did next!
Saegreifinn (also referred to as the ‘Sea Baron’) serves what is, in my humble opinion, the best and most affordable lobster soup in Reykjavik. The lobster soup and bread special costs around $15 AUD which may sound expensive, but believe me, is truly a bargain by Icelandic standards! As an added bonus, it is really fricking tasty, and a perfect way to warm up on a chilly day.
After my mostly liquid lunch I needed to go back to my hostel to change my socks (blister prevention) and on the way, I remembered that my hostel was pretty much directly adjacent to the beginning of skólavörðastígur, which is also sometimes referred to as ‘the rainbow road’.
This colourful road leads right up to Hallgrímskirkja and is pretty bloody good looking!
I spent a little while taking pictures before actually continuing onwards on my quest for better socks, but of course I got distracted at the last second. This smiley guy was hanging out just next door to my hostel and as I quickly discovered, very much enjoyed being played with!
After changing into my deliciously thick and comfortable merino socks, I headed off to the concert hall of Reykjavik, the seriously gorgeous Harpa. This building is definitely one of Iceland’s most easily recognisable pieces of architecture, and as an added bonus, it is completely free to go and walk around inside the building. Iceland is notoriously exxy, so anything that won’t cost a pretty penny is definitely worth doing!
By the time I had finished exploring Harpa, I had worked up a truly enormous appetite. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is the most well known hotdog stand in the country and for good reason! A hotdog costs around $5 AUD (bargain!) and for $5 you get something absolutely freaking delicious. I return to this stand every time I come back to Iceland, and I crave these hotdogs when I leave – which is a testament to just how much I love them.
My Iceland travel buddy gal pals arrived that evening, and we met up the following day to see a little bit more of Iceland. The Iceland Phallological Museum is one of the sillier and more kitschy things to do in Reykjavik, which is exactly why I love it.
If you’ve ever wanted to see hundreds of animals penises then you cannot miss this museum. Alternatively, if you are more like me and just enjoy a damn good giggle, then I would still definitely recommend you go!
This sperm whale penis is almost as long as I am tall, which makes me very aware that I would never, ever, ever want to be reincarnated as a female sperm whale! I know that men think size is all that matters, but believe me, this is evidence that there is such a thing as WAY TOO BIG!
Also, yeah, I’ll pass on coming back as a female narwhale too…
The last time I had visited this museum had been five years earlier, and I was extremely glad to discover that I hadn’t matured too much, and that I could still very much have a giggle!
All in all, my time hanging around Reykjavik had been the perfect way to start a new adventure in Iceland. Be sure to stay tuned for a whole bunch more Icelandic posts!
Getting to Reykjavik: The capital of Iceland is well connected to Europe and North America through Keflavik airport
Loft Hostel: Still my favourite hostel in Reykjavik, dorm beds start at around $70 AUD per night, click here to learn more
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: Iceland is not a cheap place to eat in restaurants! Either brings some extra dollarydoos or plan to cook most of your meals