Iceland, Travel 101

Reykjavik In A Day


So you want to visit Iceland? GOOD! Arguably the most beautiful country in the world, Iceland has no shortage of things to do and see. And the capital city of Reykjavik is no different. You can spend a day or a week here, and still find things around every corner. So what are my top recommendations for Reykjavik if you only have a day?

Shopping for breakfast at a local Bonus.

Hallgrimskirkja Church
This unique church is incredible inside and out. For the best views of Reykjavik (you know, all of those rooftop shots you’ve seen online, all shot here) go up to the bell tower. Make sure to walk around inside of the church as well, for some incredible Icelandic architecture.

Hallgrimskirkja Church
The Hallgrimskirkja Organ.
Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrimskirkja.
Leif Erikson Statue
The Leif Erikson statue in front of the church.

The Sun Voyager
This sculpture is located right on the bay with an incredible view of the harbor and mountains in the background. It is an ode to the sun with a very interesting story! Finalized in 1990 and built out of stainless steel, it is a must see when in the city.

The Sun Voyager

Harpa Concert Hall
When I think unique and modern, I think Harpa. This concert hall is one of a kind! I guarantee a walk through this will amaze you at how modern and unique Iceland is as a country and the vision behind this building is incredible. Sitting on the harbor, you are also in the view of the Icelandic naval ships and that’s pretty cool.

View from inside of the Harpa Concert Hall.
The Harpa Concert Hall Stairs.

Laugavegur Shopping Street and Skolavordustigur
Wool everything and an adorable Christmas shop. Plus food vendors everywhere (for that authentic Icelandic hot dog). Need I say more?


Reykjavik Old Harbor
This area was one of my favorites. Located on the harbor (surprise surprise), it has the cutest buildings. This is also where you can launch on your excursions (whale watching for example). Take a walk around here and you’ll fall in love like I did.

Reykjavik Harbor

Imagine Peace Tower
Built by Yoko Ono as a memorial to John Lennon, this “tower” sends a ray of light into the sky to symbolize wisdom, healing and joy. It basically stands for peace and everything Yoko and John believed in and fought for. Pretty cool sight and story.

Reykjavik Cathedral
This church is worth the visit for the architecture and is located right next to the Icelandic Parliament. Worth a visit!

Reykjavik Harbor Views

There are several highly rated museums in Reykjavik as well, and though I didn’t visit them, I did pass them several times and I would say they are worth a visit. As I said, there is no shortage of things to do in this wonderfully unique city. I loved my day here! It is the perfect base for an Icelandic adventure.

So, let me know, have you ever visited Reykjavik? And if so, what is your favorite thing to do in the city? And if not, would you ever visit? As always, remember to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to know when the next post is up! XOXO 

20 Comments on “Reykjavik In A Day

  1. Hi Laura! Thanks for this beautiful blog post – honestly – I didn`t know that Reykjavik has so many cool things to over. Thanks for sharing this :*

  2. I have indeed visited Reykjavik, and I have to say I didn’t love it as some people did, although Iceland itself is amazing. However, I found Reykjavik amazingly approachable, no pretensions, and utterly manageable. I’d recommend the small but comprehensive museum there, as it quite well tells the story of the country. Finally, the food was surprisingly good in the city.

    1. Iceland is amazing! And Reykjavik is definitely not for everyone, as you are not the first to tell me they didn’t care much for the city. Glad you loved Iceland though!

  3. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Iceland! Sadly I was only there for a day and only did the Blue Lagoon and relaxed, can’t wait to go back and explore nature!!

    1. Ironically, the Blue Lagoon is the one thing I missed that I regret not doing! I can’t wait to go back and spend an afternoon there!

  4. Iceland definitely seems like a popular place to travel at the moment. It does look and sound absolutely amazing, I just need to toughen up to the cold or visit in the summer months!

    1. I went in early December, and although it was cold, I did not find in unbearable. Plus you have better chances of catching the Northern Lights during the Winter!

  5. That looks like plenty to pack into your day there! To be honest, I’d not even considered shopping as it’s understandably not an inexpensive country, but the idea of bringing back something woolly sounds rather appealing.

    1. I did mostly window shopping in the city (because of the cost of the items), but there were some cute inexpensive items that I did stumble across!

  6. Over the past couple of years my teaching schedule has gotten so busy that I’ve had to rely on taking advantage of long layovers to satiate my desire to see new places, and I’m constantly searching for layovers through Iceland! Hopefully I find one soon and can put some of your advise into action!

  7. Great article! I spent several weeks in Reykjavik; this is an excellent round-up of what to do in just 24 hours. Oh, but just the thought of spending so little time in such a lovely city saddens me! The Hallgrimskirkja has absolutely stunning architecture inside and out- and, as you pointed out, the view up top is breathtaking! 🙂

  8. Reykjavík is one of my favorite cities on earth, even though cost of living is so expensive. Looks like you hit all the high points 🙂 great post!!

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