Reykjavik is not your ordinary capital. For starters, it is the home of a mere 200,000 people which is roughtly 60 percent of the population of Iceland. But this small city has a lot to offer—with bustling food, fashion, and art scenes, Reykjavik has become one of the trendiest places to visit in this part of the world. Whether you've decided to come for a weekend getaway or are having a layover, Iceland's capital and its beautiful surroundings will keep you busy and entertained. Scroll down for the best restaurants, hotels, stores, and activities in Reykjavik.
Thorsgata 1, Reykjavik; hotelodinsve.is
This newly renovated boutique hotel is located in downtown Reykjavik and offers exceptional service. The staff really go out of their way to make you feel at home.
Posthusstraeti 11, Reykjavik; hotelborg.is
If you are looking for a more upscale experience, then Borg should be at the top of your list. One of the first luxury hotels in Reykjavik (it was built in 1930), it oozes Art Deco vibe from its every corner.
Not a fan of hotels? Guesthouse are a great (and very affordable) way to experience Icelandic hospitality. We recommend Odinn—it is right off the main street to get to one of Reykjavik's main attractions, the Hallgrimskirkja church, and offers an incredible view of the town.
Laugavegi 65, Reykjavik; magneaeinarsdottir.com
Founded by Magnea Einarsdóttir, an alumna of the famous Central Saint Martins School in London, Magnea is your go-to place for all things knitwear. She uses traditional knitwear methods as well as Icelandic wool to create her unique designs.
Laugavegur 89, Reykjavik, +354 661 6192; siggamaija.com
This label is known for its androgynous tailoring and quality fabrics—think oversized wool and leather coats, suits, and jersey staples.
Laugavegur 65, Reykjavik; kioskreykjavik.com
Owned by eight Icelandic designers (who take shifts in the store), Kiosk is a co-op of sort and probably the best place to stock up on local clothing and accessories.
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Týsgata 8, Reykjavik; Facebook.com/cookie.reykjavik
Start off your day at this cute little coffee shop with a cup of mocha and delicious breakfast. And don't leave without trying their chocolate covered cheese cake—it may as well be the best you'll ever have.
Baldursgata 14, Reykjavik; 3frakkar.com
Hungry for some Icelandic food? This cozy family-run restaurant has been open since 1989 and offers a slew of traditional dishes—grilled horse tenderloin (we promise you, it's delicious!), smoked puffin breast with mustard sauce, and whale steak with pepper sauce.
Laugavegur 24, Reykjavik; publichouse.is
Serving Japanese-inspired tapas made with Icelandic ingredients, this is not your ordinary pub and it's definitely worth a visit.
Visible from September through April, the Northern Lights are a breathtaking and absolutely spectacular natural phenomenon that must be witnessed. Multiple tour companies offer 3-hour nightly excursions that pick you up from downtown Reykjavik.
Dive between two of the biggest continental plates on the planet where the water is so clear, the visibility is over 100 meters. Most tour companies organize day-long excursions from Reykjavik and they will provide you with a wet suit and all the necessary equipment.
Available all year round, dog sledding is probably one of the most fun and exciting ways to explore Iceland's scenery. Fair warning though: spots get booked months in advance.