On our first day in Iceland, my brother Ralph and I explored the city of Reykjavík. We arrived at the Keflavík International Airport at around 6:20 a.m. From the airport, we went straight to our hotel, Hotel Reykjavík Natura, to drop off our suitcases. We left the hotel at around 9 a.m. to take a bus to Hlemmur Square. It was about a five-minute bus ride and our bus pass was given to us for free by the hotel.
Breakfast at Kex Hostel
From there, my brother and I went on a quest to find food for breakfast. I suggested we go to Kex Hostel as I have read, prior to coming to Iceland, that they serve breakfast buffet. We paid 1,700 Icelandic Króna (ISK) or CAD$20.77 (as of March 15, 2017) for the breakfast buffet which included bread, cheese, eggs, porridge, jams and jellies, fruits and nuts, and salami.
Kolaportið, a flea market, is one of the things I really wanted to check out in Reykjavík so after breakfast, we headed straight to Tryggvagötu 19 , Old Harbour, Grófin. At the market, there was a wide variety of Icelandic products including their super warm and comfy sweaters made with wool and traditional Icelandic food such as Hákarl (shark), Hangikjöt (smoked lamb), and Icelandic fish. My brother and I bought some Icelandic candies and goodies to bring home for our parents. I can’t tell you what they were because I couldn’t read the packaging as it was all in Icelandic but we bought it from a stall selling candies. If you want to check out Kolaportið during your visit to Iceland, make sure to be there on a weekend as the flea market is only open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lunch at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Just outside the flea market, we found the Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (also known as “best hotdogs in town”), a famous hot dog stand in Iceland. My brother and I decided to give it a try. I do not know how much it was because my brother paid for it. At that time, I didn’t know what it was made of but with research I found out that the Icelandic hotdog is made of Icelandic lamb, pork, and beef. The hotdog was served on a bun topped with crispy fried onions (yum!) and raw white onions as well as ketchup, sweet brown mustard, and remoulade.
Harpa Concert Hall
After stuffing our tummies with yummy food once again, we walked and explored the city. We went and saw the Harpa Concert Hall, which I think is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen in my life. It was as pretty inside as it was in the outside.
We also saw a lot of neat graffiti in the streets of Reykjavík.
After more walking, we ended up at the Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran church. Standing at 73 metres, it is Reykjavík’s tallest building. I would say the interior of the church is more beautiful than the exterior. We paid 900ISK or CAD$11 (as of March 15, 2017) to be able to go up the building. From the top of the building, we saw the most instagrammable view of Reykjavík, the colourful roofs of houses.
Dinner at Roadhouse
After the church, we went back to the hotel to nap. After a short rest, we went to have dinner at the Roadhouse where I ordered their donut burger and brownie milkshake. My order cost me 3,730 ISK or CAD$45.58 (as of March 15, 2017) which I think was expensive.
And that, folks, is how we spent our first day in Iceland.
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Also check out: Budget Breakdown for my Four-Day Trip to Iceland.