**Updated : December 2023**
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Before you Visit...
Iceland is a unique place, with a unique Nordic style culture. Known best for their geothermal hot springs, volcanos, black sand beaches and puffins - there's a few things you might want to take note of when planning a trip to Iceland (short layover or longer).
Looking for a place to stay? We loved the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica!
Our 24 Hour Itinerary :
Day 1 :
Day 2 :
In order to make the most of your layover, we recommend renting a car at the airport, just remember to take pictures of your rental car and any damage before you leave the parking lot!
7 Things Not to Miss in Reykjavik
1. Sky Lagoon
Let's just say, there's a reason the Sky Lagoon made our list and the Blue Lagoon didn't. As two people who have visited both lagoons, we highly encourage you to visit the Sky Lagoon if only to participate in their incredible Seven-Step Ritual. Located right in town, tickets often sell out, so make sure to purchase your tickets here in advance! (We arrived when they opened at 10 am and they were already sold out for the day.)
Unlike the Blue Lagoon, our experience at the Sky Lagoon never felt crowded, and instead we felt completely renewed during our experience. With incredible views overlooking the water, we even saw a seal while we were soaking in the warm thermal waters! With a Lagoon Bar where you can get an Icelandic Beer while you enjoy the Lagoon, and a gift shop and a Sky Cafe for after your experience - the highlight is the Seven-Step Ritual - an experience where you're taken through a series of steps including the lagoon, a glacier pool, sauna, mist, cleansing scrub, steam and shower. All we're going to say is that you'll leave feeling absolutely incredible.
2. The Best Hot Dogs in the World
It's no joke - Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is known around the world for having the most delicious hot dogs, and some people travel all the way to Iceland just to try them! Located in a small hut in the center of town near the Reykjavik Marina, you'll simply have to look for the line of people coming from a small red building. Proudly displaying a photo of Bill Clinton grabbing his own hotdog, we recommend trying "one with everything" - raw onions, crispy onions, ketchup, mustard and the special remoulade sauce. To top it off, this will be one of the cheapest food items you'll find in town!
3. Hallgrimskirkja Church
An iconic stop on anyone's Iceland trip, the Hallgrimskirkja Church is the tallest church in all of Iceland, and was built in 1945. With free entry for all guests, what most people don't know is you can actually make your way to the top of the tower for 1000 ISK (just over $7) per person, and we promise it'll be one of the best views of all of Reykjavik!
4. FlyOver Iceland
Even though our first FlyOver experience wasn't in Iceland (we can't help living so close to the Mall of America) - we can promise this Icelandic version of the fun attraction is just as impressive as the FlyOver America in Minnesota. The experience begins with a Viking and troll storytelling experience that shares the cultures and natural surroundings of the Icelandic people. The exciting part comes next, where you're strapped into an incredibly flying ride that soars you over and through the beautiful glaciers, waterfalls, fjords and natural landscapes of Iceland. With 4D elements, this is a great immersive way to experience the aerial views of Iceland! Similar to the Sky Lagoon, tickets tend to sell out way in advance - so make sure to purchase your Flyover tickets here ahead of time!
5. Rainbow Street Art
In addition to many other colorful murals throughout Reykjavik, this might be the most well known. Just a few blocks down from the Hallgrimskirkja Church is the famous Rainbow Street Art - essentially a block of road that's been painted into a rainbow to celebrate Gay Pride with a perfectly centered Hallgrimskirkja Church in the backdrop. As you explore the area, keep an eye out for some of the many other graffiti and street art exhibits!
6. Waterfall Chasing
A stop in Iceland truly wouldn't be complete without a waterfall. With many famous waterfalls outside of Reykjavik like Seljalandsfoss, Godafoss, Skogafoss just to name a few, there's actually a hidden waterfall located right in Reykjavik! Kermóafoss is a smaller, yet still impressive, local waterfall in Elliðaárdalur Park. Open 24/7, it'll require a short hike but is a great way to get your waterfall fix in! **Note : The waterfall pictured above is not the Kermóafoss waterfall.**
7. Northern Lights
A bucket list experience for anyone, seeing the Northern Lights is truly incredible. (Trust us, we've seen them countless times now and they never get old.) Iceland is one of the best places in the entire world to view the Aurora Borealis, however if you've never experienced them yourself then you might not know what to look for. After reading up on our best tips, you have the option to either head out on your own or to join a tour. If you're not confident in your northern lights spotting skills, we recommend joining a tour - however it's worth noting that you'll be with many, many other tours and people and that the tours often get cancelled.
Watch our Adventures in Iceland here!
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