Travelling is such an exhilarating, exciting thing to do – but there’s a lot of intimidation surrounding it due to the expense that it can bring. Because of this, I wanted to do more ‘thrifty travel’ posts on my blog, highlighting ways that you can explore incredible cities for little to no money – but still finish your holiday with experiences that are worth writing home about!
Reykjavik is a city of magic. The entire country of Iceland is, to be exact. It’s a place of mystery and beauty – of incredible contrasts and gorgeous views to marvel at. It’s also somewhere that’s incredibly expensive, which means that a regular excursion through the beautiful city can set you back a bit when you want to get a flavour of the place as a whole.
That’s why I decided to make this itinerary – here are 7 things that you can do while you’re in Reykjavik that cost little to no money, meaning that you’ll get the best experiences in the city, but you also won’t feel the guilty pull of a debit card trembling in fear (ha!).
#1 Take a Free Walking Tour of Reykjavik
What better way to learn about Reykjavik’s history than by walking the streets AND being told about what you’re seeing by people who’s job it is to know everything about the place? Also, it’s free! So not only will you be learning a lot and seeing a lot, but you’ll be saving a lot too!
The tour is incredibly informative, the tour-runners are really friendly and it’s a great way to meet other like-minded travellers embarking on the same tour as you! The website for the tour is linked here, so you can check availability and book yourself in if you’re interested!
#2 Eat One of the Best Hot Dogs in Europe at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Rumoured to be the best hot dogs in the whole of Europe, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is never short on customers and I can almost guarantee you that there will be a line, regardless of what time or day you drop by for one! Everyone says to make sure you order the hot dog with “everything on it” (which includes both raw and fried onions, as well as three sauces). It was incredible, I promise you!
Also, apparently Bill Clinton dropped by real casually one time, ordered one and absolutely loved it. So yeah.
#3 Drop by Hallgrimskirkja Church (And Ride All the Way to the Top!)
Reykjavik’s church (and home to the iconic Reykjavik photo of the street, Leifsgata), Hallsgrimskirkja is absolutely gorgeous and a must see! It’s free to enter, but you can also get an elevator to the top (for aforementioned Leifsgata photo) for £6 and it’s completely worth it. You’ll get views across the entire city, from the streets to the harbour – it’s breathtaking.
#4 Visit the National Museum of Iceland
Iceland’s such an interesting country, so why not pop by the National Museum and learn about how it became what it is today? Tickets into the Museum are about £8 but Scott and I popped by on a Sunday and there was a 2 for 1 offer on! I don’t know if this is a weekly thing or a Sunday thing but knowing that they do offers like that makes all the difference when you’re budgeting on holiday!
#5 Take a Trip to Perlan
Another landmark of Reykjavik, The Pearl (or Perlan) is free to enter and is full of exhibitions, three shops, a cafe and a restaurant! When visiting The Pearl, make sure you go to the viewing deck too for another brilliant view of Reykjavik from above (though this one is completely free!)
#6 Bargain with the Best of Them at Kolaportið
So, you’re walking down Laugavegur, desperately looking for the perfect gift to bring home – but the prices of everything brings legitimate tears to your eyes (Iceland is pretty expensive). Well, fear not, just take a trip to Kolaportið instead!
An indoor market hall, Kolaportið offers stall after stall selling Icelandic goods – from knick knacks to wool sweaters, you’ll find everything you could need to bring home there! A pro tip is to make sure you haggle with the sellers there, too. You’ll be sure to grab a great deal that way!
#7 Get Lost at the Harbour
One of the best things about travelling is being surrounded by things you never usually would be. So forget your map, and your itinerary, and schedule an hour or two where you can just aimlessly wander with those you love and discover the city for yourself. Whether you’re exploring the back streets of Reykjavik, or the beautiful harbour (home to famous seafood restaurants and the art-deco inspired Harpa concert hall) you’ll have an amazing time taking the adventure into your own hands and making memories through walking where your gut tells you.
After all, the best stories always start with “hey, remember that time we got lost and ____”.
Have you ever visited Reykjavik? Or are you planning to? I’ve done a series of blog posts about Iceland which you can read here. I’d love to hear where you’ve gone or where you have planned to visit while you’re there! Make sure to comment below or tweet/Instagram me @mileinmyglasses! Thank-you so much for reading.
I hope you’ve had a wonderful day,