A Weekend in Iceland

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A month ago, I decided that I’d make one of my dreams come true: visit Iceland. This beautiful place had been on my bucket list for a few years now, specially motivated by the Northern Lights. So, I embarked into this adventure with one of my friends. But sometimes life works in ways we didn’t plan. Super low clouds, extreme rain and wind didn’t allow me to see the Northern Lights. Nonetheless, the rest of the places that I experienced, the beauty of Iceland and the kindness of its people made me fall in love with this place.

I took a 4-hour flight to Iceland from Barcelona. I had booked shuttles and tours from here and as I arrived, I knew it was the right choice. The airport is 45 minutes away from Reykjavik and, at 2 AM in the morning, it was the smartest thing to have a bus waiting for us.

After the long flight, the long drive and getting lost in Reykjavik for 20 minutes, I found the Airbnb apartment and went to bed.

Day 1 – A quick visit to the bank and then Reykjavik, its historical buildings, Christmas trees & nice people

I forgot to exchange euros at the airport since I landed at around 2 AM. While most places accept credit cards, I needed cash so I was told to go to the bank. In Iceland, banks take absolutely no commission to exchange currency (bless them!). When I got there, a nice employee directed me to take a number and invited me to sit until I got called and take a cup of coffee or tea. Guys, banks offer complimentary coffee or tea and you don’t have to wait in a line. You actually sit in round tables. I don’t know if that happens in your country but it is far from what happens at banks in Spain or Puerto Rico. I didn’t have to wait long so when I had my money, I went to have some breakfast. Then off to the city centre.

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital, full of pretty buildings and historical landmarks. My Airbnb apartment was around 20 minutes from the city centre so there was no need to use public transportation. It’s better to walk the whole city.

Tip #1: Move around Reykjavik by foot. You get to experience it better than if you take one of those high buses that show you around the city. It’s possible to visit most landmarks by foot in one day. Really, unless you can’t walk too much for medical reasons, walk the city, mix with the locals, battle the cold, the drizzle and eat a hot dog like Icelandics do. 

Hofdi House

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Solfarid Sun Voyager


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Harpa Convention Center

Tip #2: Don’t buy bottled water. I read this on many travel blogs and it’s true. Food and drinks are super expensive in general so bring your own bottle, fill it up before leaving your apartment or hotel and drink only that.

Austurvollur – a public square

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Parliament House

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Dómkirkjan – Evangelical Lutheran Church of Island

The lake by the City Hall

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A photo posted by Krystel (@krysxc) on

In love with the houses and buildings of this city

Tip #3: How to eat in Iceland with only 20 euros a day
Eating in Iceland is expensive. And this comes from someone who exchanged euros for Icelandic krona. A sandwich can be up to 12 euros, a soup around 10. However it is possible to travel on a budget like I did. The solution? Look up places a little outside of the city centre and shop at the supermarket. I had breakfast everyday at a bakery near my Airbnb place for 600 isk (around 5 euros). It was a cup of coffee and a sandwich/croissant/bread of my preference. It was a good size enough to hold me until lunch. For lunch, hot dogs are very popular around Reykjavik and it was honestly the best option. Each hot dog was 200 isk (around 2 euros). For dinner, I had a sandwich one night -which I bought at the supermarket- and a pizza the next day from a pizza place outside of the centre.

Catholic Cathedral Church – Kristskirkja

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The one that got away

I passed by Laugardalsvollur, the stadium that hosts the national football team, you know, the most memorable team of the Euro 2016. Long story short I didn’t take pictures because I could have sworn the stadium was somewhere else. I got totally confused and missed the shots BUT I did see the stadium of such amazing team. So, Icelandic’s national team stadium: checked.

After a long day -and the Northern Lights tour getting cancelled- I went to sleep. Next day would be full of adventures: the Golden Circle Tour.


More Icelandic adventures:

Part 2| Part 3

Have you ever wanted to visit Iceland? Tell me on the comments below :)

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