Iceland pt. 1 – two dinners in Reykjavik
Hey guys, I finally got around to sorting through all my Iceland pictures! And you get the first part of them today.
A little bit of background – at the end of last year, a friend found super cheap tickets to Iceland with WOW air, an Icelandic low-cost airline. We got the tickets for around DKK 750 per person, which is cheaper than some flights to Germany I’ve booked in the past!
We left on Saturday and landed at 2pm local time. By the time we’d made our way into the city and found our apartment, we only had about three hours left until dinner, so we walked to downtown Reykjavik and just wandered around a bit, stopping for a coffee and heading for the famous Hallgrímskirkja, which looked very mysterious with its tower cloaked in fog.
Hallgrímkirkja is the highest church in Iceland and was named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson. Its design is similar to that of Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen. It was already closed, so we couldn’t go inside, but it is really impressive, situated on a little hill overlooking the city.
We made our way towards the restaurant down by the harbor, wandering through small streets and admiring artwork, jewelry, and other local products in storefronts. Reykjavik is a super cute little city, and I wish I’d had more time for some shopping!
Since it was really cold, we decided to duck into a bar for a pre-dinner drink. Most places we passed were already quire crowded, but we found a rooftop bar, the name of which I can’t recall, unfortunately.
We had dinner at one of the restaurants by the old harbor. There’s a row of turquoise-colored houses that line the harbor front and house different local restaurants. What they all have in common is their focus on fresh fish and seafood that is hauled in daily from the open sea.
Our choice fell on Restaurant Kopar, a small, cozy restaurant on two floors with a view over the harbor. We’d had a really late lunch at the apartment, so we didn’t feel like we could manage their 9 course tasting menu and went with starters and mains instead.
Their dishes are modern and creatively combine elements from different cuisines. We started out with some scallops and an amazing seared tuna, before tucking into crab and lobster risotto, salted cod, and confit duck spring rolls.
Kopar is a really good address for dinner in Reykjavik. Including drinks, we paid around DKK 500 per person. Check out their website for more info.
We spent the entire Sunday on a day tour of the famous Golden Circle, which I’ll save for a separate post, so we were quite tired – and knew we had an early, early day ahead of us, since our 6:30am flight back home meant we had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 3:30am!
So we decided to grab a quick bite at Tommi’s Burger Joint – it’s one of my favorite burgers in Copenhagen, so of course I was eager to try the original in Reykjavik!
It’s tucked away in the tiny back room of a bar – you actually have to walk through the bar to get there – and it’s even smaller than the Copenhagen store. The burgers are just as great, though!
Although this was an all-in-all amazing trip, I have to say that a day and a half is definitely not enough. I’d love to come back and spend at least two days in Reykjavik and a couple of days renting a car and driving around the beautiful countryside.
Another thing I wasn’t entirely aware of is just how popular Iceland is as a travel destination right now! We tried to book the Blue Lagoon, but it was already fully booked, so if you’re planning a trip to Reykjavik, make sure you book in advance; same goes for restaurant reservations. When we got to the airport early Monday morning, we certainly weren’t expecting it to be as crowded as it was – there were over 20 flights departing between 6am and 8am alone! So be prepared for quite a few people around.
Have you been to Reykjavik, or are you planning to go? I’d love to hear your experiences and recommendations!