I’ve wanted to visit Iceland for a long time. It’s one of those places where since it’s known for being cold, it’s never at the top of the list. When we had the opportunity to take an extended layover in Reykjavik on our way to Paris, I knew I couldn’t pass that up.
Initially, we were to have 9 hours between landing in Reykjavik and when our flight to Paris would leave. After arriving into Reykjavik about 30 min late, waiting for a bus, then riding on a bus for an hour, we lost quite a bit of time. When all was said and done, we only had about 4 hours before we’d have to get back on another bus and head back to the airport.
I was not going to let that get me down. We were in Reykjavik! First stop: coffee. Initially I had picked out a restaurant for us to get breakfast at that had high reviews on yelp. I even knew it would be a 15 min walk from where our bus dropped us off. We were both just so exhausted from not sleeping well on the plane and then sitting on a bus for another 2 hours that we walked around the corner and walked into the first café that we spotted. Best. Decision. Ever.
I don’t know if I ever imagined what a typical Reykjavik café would look like, but this was definitely it. Like something out of an IKEA catalog, it was a small and brightly lit coffee shop with a fancy display case full of fresh pastries.
After our breakfast, we walked around the bay and took in some of the sights. The water was incredibly blue. It was such a beautiful view, I could have sat there all day just staring out into the sea.
Eventually we walked along the bay and made our way over to Sólfarið (the Sun Voyager), a well-known sculpture. It’s one of those things where you’ve seen pictures of so you think you know what it’ll be like but seeing it in person is much more exciting. I love the shadow that the sculpture casts on the ground.
After seeing the sculpture, we decided to head back towards the city streets. Being in a different country, everything was the same but slightly different.
One thing that did surprise me was just how much graffiti there was in Reykjavik.
Neither of us knew a word of Icelandic so I was a bit worried how the locals would treat us, or if we’d have any problems getting around/ordering food. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. And everyone we interacted with spoke English very well.
I really liked the style of the buildings in Reykjavik, a bit European-esque, but also charming like a village out of a fairy tale.
As we walked down a street, this red mailbox really stood out to me. I never really thought of how mailboxes must look in other countries. Naturally, I photographed it.
All in all, I’m glad we were able to get out of the airport and explore Reykjavik. I can’t wait to go back when we can stay for more than 4 hours!
As always, thanks for reading. Be sure to keep an eye out for a post on the rest of our trip (Paris)!