8 things i learned from the 3.5 days i spent in reykjavik

  1. Weather in January is BONE-CHILLING. I’m used to New York City winters, but probably have never really experienced anything colder than that. So think NYC winters x 10 + snow, all the time.
  2. Everything is expensive. If you’re planning on going out to dinner, expect to pay at least 40 USD for an entree. You can also do what we did – since we rented an Airbnb, we cooked most of our meals. We really just wanted to taste the Icelandic cuisine, so we’d have a small snack beforehand, and then order some things to share at the restaurant.
  3. Go in a large group. Again, everything is $$$. It’s much cheaper to rent an Airbnb and split everything, rather than a couple renting a hotel, which can easily run from $300/night for a really basic room. Our group of 5 got a pretty nice Airbnb (a tad outside the city centre) for about $350/night.Airbnb 1

    Airbnb 3
    Shower in a bathroom with HEATED floors
  4. You need to rent a car (again, another cost you can split if you have a large group). There is no Uber/Lyft there. Cabs are expensive. We found out the hard way because we thought Uber would be available. Instead, we were semi-stranded at the airport since there is no public transportation from there, and a cab would have cost 150 USD. At that point, we decided to just rent a car on the spot, which was 475 USD for the entire 3.5 days we would spend there. So you could definitely get a better deal if you rent it beforehand.
  5. There are only 5 hours of daylight in January. Summer has the most daylight with 24 hours of sun. You read that correctly: 24 hours.When were were there in January, the sun didn’t really rise until 11 am, and started setting at around 3. By 5, it was nightfall. This definitely threw off my body clock.

    Golden Circle 1
    This is what 9 AM in Iceland looks like
  6. The water smells like sulfur. The hot water that is. So if you like taking hot showers like I do (and even if you don’t, you will while you’re in Iceland), be prepared for the smell of rotten eggs. The cold tap water is okay. There’s no smell, and you can drink it.
  7. Credit cards are accepted everywhere. We wanted to exchange some money at the airport but the fee was insane, so we didn’t end up doing it. We tried to put off exchanging money for as long as we could, and it worked out. We never had to do it. They accept credit cards everywhere.
  8. Go to the Blue Lagoon on the way to or from the airport. You’ll most likely be staying in Downtown, or somewhere around there, and the Lagoon between those two points.Blue Lagoon 113

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