The past two days were spent on/off tour buses, so we were pretty excited to have a day in Reykjavik to explore on our own four feet.
We continued our venture through the city center in search of the Reykjavik flea market. We learned that there was even more of the city center that we had not seen! The houses and buildings on the East side of town were especially colorful, the aluminum siding in vibrant hues of royal blue, hunter green, red and canary yellow.
Fun fact: Did you know Iceland’s #1 export is no longer fish? It’s been trumped by aluminum!
Reykjavik Flea Market
We had found the flea market listed in one of the top 10 things to do while in Iceland lists we read. We were expecting a more touristy type flea market packed with Iceland Souvies, local food packaged for travel and some touches of Reykjavik culture. The Reykjavik flea market isn’t that, it’s very much a flea market. Lot’s of second hand clothing, cheap plastic knick knacks and toys, and resale CDs & DVDs. There was a nice stand featuring used vinyls (they love their records here) and a stand that had for sale postcards from the past – precious ones featuring the notes of senders to their loved ones. Katy bought a few of these for her collection. It wasa tad overwhelming as the place was packed and not all that organized, so we rushed out to make our way to our next stop, Kaldi Bar.
The highest rated bar in Iceland, this taproom features some of Iceland’s finest microbrews on draught. The Kaldi brewery is located in Northern Iceland, and since we wouldn’t be making our way up north, we figured we should sample it here.
The bar is adorable and handsome at the same time. The stools bring in the industrial, modern design that is so common in Chicago right now – and booths lined in blue and green plaid were perfectly paired and reminded me of all my lumberjack bearded friends back home. Oh, the beer – yes, there was beer. Just like all the other Icelandic beers we’ve had – it was real good! They’re doing beer right.
From anywhere you stand in Reykjavik, you see the point of Hallgrimskirkja poking the sky. It’s another site that is regularly photographed and prevalent among Iceland Pinterest boards. The church is must larger in person that it appears in pictures – absolutely enormous actually. Inside is an equally enormous organ, and a normal-sized organist playing hymns.
With an 800 Krona lift ticket, we secured our ride to the top to check out the views of the city from above. Outstanding viewpoint! From here you could see all of the brightly colored homes and businesses below. It reminded me of the Weeds theme song… “Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky.”
The sun was setting over Rekjavik just as we were sitting for dinner at Perlan (English: The Pearl). The restaurant rotates a full 360 degrees every 2 hours, so from it’s tables on the 8th floor you see the Reykjavik skyline, nearby local airport and the mountains across the bay.
This was another “fancy” dinner we planned, so we were prepared to spend krona on the three course meal. Coming from Chicago, we have some amazing food in our camp. We were unsure what to expect when it came to dining out in Iceland, but I give a solid 5 stars – everything has been outstanding. If you are traveling to Reykjavik, my recommendation would be do go for the fine dining and/or upscale restaurants. Our meals at quick stop restaurants were around the same price point but no where near the quality.
We loved it… like a lot. Can you tell?