When visiting Iceland with a limited time only, here are some must sees and must do activities that should never be missed.
- Golden Circle Tour. This is a whole day activity that takes you around Iceland’s famous natural landscapes. I booked mine with Reykjavik Excursions for 10,400 Isk (4,500 Pesos). Yep, the package might sound pricey, but I did not have much choice, as there are no public transportation in Iceland that goes to the specified destinations. It would have been cheaper also if I tapped with fellow travellers and just share on a rented car, but I did not find any on my scheduled date. So, there. Nonetheless, the guided tour by Reykjavik Excursions was quite relaxed and we were not really rushed to complete things; which is good. Tip: Wear something waterproof jacket and pants when going around Iceland, as the weather can be quite unpredictable with recurring rain and strong wind, especially on the mountainous areas, to which is what this tour is all about.
2)Blue Lagoon Tour. Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The spa is located in a lava rock field in southwestern Iceland, thus the naturally black ground. The somewhat milky coloured of the water is a natural thing that is a result of the Silica-mineral rich ground of the lagoon. Warm water dun at around 39 degrees Celcius. It was raining heavily when I went there, and was super cold if you are not in the water. Nonetheless, the experience was great! 10,700 Isk (4,600 Pesos)
3)Northern Light Tour. Now here’s the tricky part, kasi the Nothern Lights are a natural phenomenon that is very much dependent on weather conditions. Experiencing this can never be assured. I myself waited for 4 nights, and wasn’t lucky enough to witness it. The whole Iceland was cloudy and rainy when I went there. 6,400 Isk (2,800 Pesos) for a light chase tour. Fully refundable if weather was awful during your stay.
4)Citywalk Reykjavik. This is a free tour that you can sign up with on the internet (Citywalk.Is). It is a 2 hours walking tour around the city that fully depends on donations. Any amount will be accepted after the tour. This one is a good activity especially for backpackers. Definitely a good venue to meet fellow travellers.
Hallgrímskirkja Church is another iconic must see in Reykjavik. This contemporary-themed catholic church may be odd looking outside, but inside has very clean and crisp art and accents. It is the only church I’ve visited so far that has somewhat a minimalist feel on its interior spaces. Visiting this could easily be fitted after the Citywalk tour. Entrance is free.
5)Harpa Concert Hall and the surrounding port is another must visit icon of Reykjavik. Visitors can marvel on the amazing contemporary interiors of this post-modern glass box building. Imagine when the Northern lights are up and this glass building reflects all the activities of the sky. Surreal siguro un. No entrance fees on this as well. The surrounding port is also worth a walk and probably have dine-ins there.
Food. Given naman na food in Iceland is expensive. Almost everything is imported, if not grown in a greenhouse. Though pricey, the portions naman are relatively big. Just to give you guys an idea, the cheapest that you can find along the street are hotdog sandwiches, for 450 Isk ( 180 Php/3-4 Usd), but it’s big na, like almost a foot long. Sample in the photo is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, the famous Hotdog stand na masarap ung sauce and may crunchy fried onion bits sa bottom ng bun.
Iceland people are fond of vegetarian menus din. As I’ve observed, almost always may vegetarian option sa menus. Vegetarian sandwiches are great on breakfast for 450 Isk ( 180 Php/3-4 Usd) . Basic black coffee is also around 450 Isk ( 180 Php/3-4 Usd)
Average-priced dine ins are at around 900 to 1,800 Isk (400 to 800 pesos). Bottomline, mahal ang dine-in sa Iceland because of labor and taxes. Here are a few snapshots.
They also have whale dishes, but I never dreamed of eating such. Haha. sorry.
Kung gusto makamura, grocery! And particularly sa Bonus Supermarket near the port or the BSI Bus terminal. Ito yung baon ko when I went to the Golden Circle Tour. hehe
Accommodation. There’s not much choices on hostels in Reykjavik. The best na nahanap ko is Oddsson Hotel/Hostel, which is it at 10-15 minutes walk from the Port, and a little more from the city center. Waterfront ang Oddsson, so maganda ang view, and sobrang lamig talaga. May “Vida Express”Grocery at the front, and a little further, there’s “Bonus Supermarket”where the locals go. The hostel has a big kitchen and a balcony, with a heated jacuzzi pa. One night is around 1,500.00 Pesos, towel use excluded.
Airport Transfer. There is no train facility in Iceland, so the next best and secure option is by bus. Though minimal ang difference with others, the cheapest option is with Grayline Airport Express, and get the roundtrip (Airport-Reykjavik-Airport) package of around 4,000.00 Isk (Php 1,760.00, pwedeng sa website nila, or at the airport na by cash or credit card). For some reason, di ko naisip kunin ang round trip kaya napamahal ako.
Iceland was part of the 10 days Backpacking trip in Scandinavia. For the overall budgeting part, refer to this article : https://iamjosemanuel.com/2016/11/05/backpacking-scandinavia-10-days-in-swedennorway-and-iceland-magkano-ba/