Reykjavik has gone from a relatively unknown destination for backpackers to one of the most popular places to visit for those in search of adventure. If you’re not sure why, how do lava fields of black rock, geothermal springs, lively nightlife, friendly locals and the northern lights sound?
Iceland may have a reputation for being on the expensive side, but there are plenty of hostels in Reykjavik to suit a backpacker’s budget. Many hostels offer plenty of added extras, including trips to see the northern lights, on-site bars and self-catering kitchens which help make it a backpacker friendly trip. There are youth hostels for those mainly interested in socialising and exploring the nightlife, or boutique Reykjavik hostels that offer a bit more peace and quiet, craft beers and a chance to relax at the end of a long day. There is even a hostel in Reykjavik with space pods!.
Reykjavik city centre is extremely small compared to other cities in Europe, which means you won’t have to decide on the best neighbourhood to stay.
Some of the most well-known attractions include Hallgrimskirkja Church, which towers over the city from its hill top vantage point, the Solfar Sun Voyager, a steel sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason which resembles a Viking ship and offers stunning views of Mount Esja, especially at sunset. If you prefer to steer clear of the tourist attractions, there is plenty of street art on display, which you can admire while exploring the various cafes, bars and restaurants the city has to offer. Nature lovers will need to venture outside the city centre in order to find the glaciers, waterfalls, whales and thermal baths that make Iceland so popular. Here are a few of the best things to do in Iceland.
You’ll be able to reach all of the best bars, cafes, restaurants and attractions on foot. There’s also the option of renting a bicycle, assuming you visit Iceland during the summer months. If you visit during the winter, then you might prefer to rely on the public transport in Reykjavik. If you want to visit other parts of the island, then make friends with a few other travellers in your hostel and rent a car. Doing it on your own can be expensive, but if you split the cost with a few others, it opens up all kinds of places that you can only reach by car.