Erika from America

Photography & Lifestyle Blog

What to do (and not to do) in Reykjavik, Iceland

Barely 2 weeks after arriving to the UK to live (more on that horrific trip later), Aron and I got to go to Reykjavik in Iceland because he is a living angel. That was his Christmas gift to me and I was so excited as I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland and swim in the Blue Lagoon. Which brings me to the most important part of this post…


  • If at all possible, book everything months in advance. I’m talking tours, the Blue Lagoon, a rental car if you need one, and definitely your hotel. Blue Lagoon will be sold out. We unfortunately did not get to go.
  • Taxis are really expensive so take the shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel. It’s about £45 per person roundtrip.
  • Alcohol is literally the same price as food at most places. They want you to pay a pretty penny to get drunk. So look for deals, book a food tour, or do as one of our new friends on a tour did: pack your own booze.
  • Make sure you’re not overpaying for tours and make sure you read the reviews beforehand.
  • Unless you go at the most prime time of the year, you will most likely not see the Northern Lights. So book this at your own risk. It is non refundable if you go and don’t see them, although they will give you 2 or 3 more times to go within a 3 year period. (like we all have the dough to go to Iceland 2 or 3 more times in our lives, but I digress)

Now for the fun stuff…

They always say that Iceland is green and Greenland is full of ice. I mean, I mostly saw snow and ice so I don’t know who “they” are, but I like the cold anyway.

First thing to know: I did not bring my camera. Nor did I bring my phone. I am Calamiy Jane and left it in the taxi in Manchester. So I was left with constantly having to harass Aron for his. This did not always sit well.

Where We Stayed

We arrived to face chapping weather (again, not bothered) and took the bus to our hotel called The Alda. Click here –> Alda

This hotel was top notch in terms of design. Very Mid Century Modern and Industrial feel with a few ornate pieces thrown in. Really nice staff as well.

Photo courtesy of Alda Hotel

Where We Ate

Day 1:

Messinn (click for Menu)

Cannot even tell you how good this was. I had the Salmon with Parsnips, broccoli, and cashews with some rocket on top. Aron had the Icelandic “Plokkfiskur” which to me was almost like a fish cake. Click the video link below because it was magically delicious and came out sizzling on two cast iron skillets. OMG.

Lunch at Messinn

Le Bistro (click for Menu)

Ok so I know it wasn’t Icelandic food but it was damn good. Even Aron asked why we were eating French food in Iceland. I had escargot and I really enjoyed them. HUGE portion. Tried to get Az to try them. Wasn’t going to happen. I think this was the one decent picture we got of the two of us on the trip. Looks like I have a bionic eye after trying to get rid of my red eyes. Anyone else have this problem?

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Day 2:

On the second day we ended up doing a snowmobiling tour, which was quite fun, but there were multiple points at which I thought I would rather be in bed with the flu. We were in the car the majority of the time. Oh but it wasn’t a car. It was a giant excursion that looked like one of my little brother’s big wheels. The weather was so bad that I thought it was the end of my rope, slipping and sliding around in this thing.

The actual snowmobiling part was fun! But we weren’t able to go fast Ricky Bobby style at all. 🙁 I think I mostly just felt bad because it cost a pretty penny. SPOILER ALERT: ICELAND IS SOOOO EXPENSIVE! I wanted to buy a hoodie at one point after being soaked by the Geysir the geyser but it was like £3000.

What We Ate

The Food Cellar or Matarkjallarinn (click for Menu)

Dinner was amazing on our second night. I have never seen so much lobster on one plate in my entire life. I felt very spoiled, and also very sad that I killed 7 or 8 lobsters. :'( The dessert was also amazing. Kind of an array of sorbets served on an ice block because I guess ice cream needs to be served on ice blocks now.

I know I’ve made this post long but I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from this trip along with those tips that I wasn’t aware of beforehand. Comment below if you have any questions because I have the brain of a goldfish and I’m sure I’ve left something out.



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