I spent 6 days in Reykjavik at the beginning of March and I’m still afraid to check my bank balance. Eating seems to be the most expensive thing about visiting Iceland, but even in the most touristy parts, the food wasn’t bad and I never felt “ripped off”. It just adds up really fast. Be careful when you first arrive at the airport – it didn’t happen to me but I heard many a traveller lamenting about accidentally spending $16 on a smoothie because they didn’t check the conversion rate. Bonus supermarket is the cheapest, and their premade sandwiches aren’t actually terrible. The tap water is incredibly drinkable so remember to bring a bottle (bonus points for saving the environment and shit). Here’s some stuff I did that didn’t cost a trillion dollars…
Visit the Icelandic Punk Museum
It used to be a public toilet (WC), it’s now a punk museum. Information is presented across the toilet stalls. The last one is also still a functioning toilet, if you’re feeling brave.
Find them on Facebook. Entry 1000 ISK.
Try Hákarl at the Flea Markets
You can try Icelandic pickled, fermented shark for free at the Kolaportid Flea Market (diagonally opposite the famous hotdog stand). The flea market is open 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday. Find the shark at the back in the food section. It’s a “free sample on a toothpick” deal, but that was more than enough for me.
Admire the Street Art
It’s not graffiti – the local government pays to have murals painted to deter potential graffiti artists. You could easily spend days trying to photograph all the beautiful pieces in this city. These two were my favourites but there’s easily a hundred more.
See the Northern Lights
We went out to Grotta Lighthouse to try to see the Northern Lights. It’s a short drive or a long walk from the heart of Reykjavik. The view during the day is astonishing and we caught a really nice sunset. I used the app ‘Aurora’, which certainly gave the illusion of helping. While I didn’t see them at Grotta, I heard stories of others who did during the time I was there.
Go inside Harpa Concert Hall
It’s beautiful. Fish scales? Or are they basalt plinths? Or is it the Northern Lights? Regardless, it’s free, it’s warm and there’s WiFi.
Did you manage to do Reykjavik on a budget? Let me know if I left anything out.