Tips & Tricks on enjoying Iceland



I designed this short infographic with some basic information and key tips & tricks to keep in mind while visiting Iceland. It's short so read below for further (and more detailed) information on what to bring, what to wear, what to eat.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section! If you've been to Iceland and have a tip to share, please do! I'll be posting some photos and day trip recommendations later on the blog as well.


1. WEATHER

...can be very unpredictable. Dress accordingly.
  • Wear layers. T-shirt, shirt, warm jumper, windstopper jacket. The weather changes so quickly you might wear everything at once or just a T-shirt in one day (in summer that is). 
  • Wear appropriate hiking or running shoes – depends on your destination.
  • No need for an umbrella. It it's pouring, hide in a cafe. If it's drizzling, put on your hood. In either case, it's probably going to be too windy for your umbrella to survive.
  • Take your warm winter hat. You'll be grateful when you're hiking and it's windy.

2. SAVING MONEY

Iceland is famous for being expensive, so how to save as much as possible?

  • Buy your groceries in »Bonus.« The cheapest supermarket with a great selection.
  • Download an app called »Appy hour« to see which cafes and bars have a happy hour when you want to grab a beer. 
  • Bring a sleeping bag - most of guesthouses will give you a considerable discount if you do.
  • The most convinient way to pay is with your payment cards. Everyone does it in Iceland even for the smallest amounts in shops, bars etc. The only change you'll actually need is for the city bus (350 kr). 
  •  

3. FOOD

  • Icelanders are famous for their love of hotdogs. I didn't like hotdogs at all before visiting Iceland. I ate them every other day while in Reykjavik. ;)
  • You have to taste the local seafood specialties. Whale meat on the other hand isn't really a tradition there, more like a tourist attraction - try to avoid it. 
  • The best hamburger joint in town is Hamborgarabollan - visit them in the Old Harbour and try their "offter of the century." :-)

4. EVENTS

You cannot get bored in Iceland (well, at least not in Reykjavik for that matter).
  • Follow the »Reykjavik Grapevine« on Facebook and find a free copy in the bars and shops. You'll find a calendar with the latest events in there. Their website is also a must-visit, full of tips on which places to visit (and the hippest bars at the moment), as well as great pieces on Icelandic society and culture.
  • I spent some of the most amazing evenings in Reykjavik in the Kex Hostel, Hresso, Kaffibarinn and Hurra. Great atmosphere, great (live) music. 
  • Do some research before you visit - Iceland has some amazing festivals througout the year.
     

5. GETTING AROUND

...is quite simple.
  • For using the city bus in Reykjavik, use "Straeto" (also available as a mobile app). It's also useful for looking up other (even cross-country) bus lines. 
  • The easiest way to get from the airport is to use the Flybus. The transfers are available after (and before) every flight so there's no need for looking up timetables and booking ahead. For a small fee it even delivers you right to your hotel (or picks you up at the hotel).
  • Tours with tourist agencies can be incredibly expensive. The best solution is to rent a car - it gives you the freedom to visit what you want and when you want it. Just stick to the instructions on which roads to avoid. ;-)
  • Never, ever go off the marked path. You mind end up in a hotspring (and this is not a joke).

6. MORE RESOURCES

For more advice and tips on eating out, day trips etc, visit these:

As cool as Iceland: My friend Urška's blog about her time in Reykjavik. 
Reykjavik Grapevine 

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Travel Diaries: Iceland


In the beginning of July I returned from Iceland, where I spent two magical weeks attending a summer school on small states, organized by the Centre for Small States Studies at the University of Iceland. The summer school was a fantastic experience, I met some amazing people there and made a lot of great new friendships. I had the honour to listen to some of the best professors in the discipline of International Relations and small state studies and it was overwhelming to say the least.

But there's even more to it - the country, where the summer school took place. Iceland got under my skin, it is such an amazing and magical country that I feel the need to pay a homage to it on my blog.

The thing that I liked most about Iceland is the feeling that accompanied me throughout my whole journey - I felt like I am visiting another planet, as if I was in a bubble, far away from the everyday earthly problems. As we were landing at the Keflavik airport, exactly at midnight, the sun shone through the window directly into my eyes. Looking down at the rough, sunlit landscape, I immediately felt as if I have left the planet Earth. The magnificence of Iceland does that to a person. Its dynamic and still changing landscape enchants you, the warmth of Reykjavik and the hospitality of the locals make the city your home away from home. And it only takes a short drive to see it all at once - the hot springs, the volcanoes, the glaciers, the beaches. It's amazing, how much magic there is in one small area. One starts to understand why almost half of Icelanders allow the possibility of existence of elves or the so called huldufólk

The landscape, the folklore, the people - it all fits perfectly into the recipe for a magical land. Once in Iceland, I guarantee you'll never want to leave. 

In the next few posts, I will cover some of our day trips and favourite places that we visited. I promise an overdose of photos and odes to Iceland. Stay tuned, you won't be disappointed!

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Weekly Snippets | 5



Although I (successfully) "boycotted" joining Instagram for quite a while, I gave it a go some time back (I wrote about it on the blog) and got completely absorbed. My vision of Instagram is not only creating a visual diary, but also searching for art and inspiration everywhere, similarly as I try to do with my camera on this blog. And with things being pretty hectic lately, this is a quick way to document little inspiring things.

P. S. The lovely, colourful socks on the sixth photo were a gift of a a young and incredibly creative team called Zulu Zion. Their socks are designed to bring a combination of vivid colors and unexpected patterns - stepping away from the traditional stripes and polka dots, away from the classic navy blue and the 'always safe' black. Their patterns are really original so head to their website (click here) and follow them on their path to success!

They also launched a campaign on Kickstarter - make sure to support them and get yourself a pair of these cheerful socks!

P. S. #2: The winners of the print giveaway are the 13th and 4th comment - congrats Katarina and BlueEyedNightOwl! Stay tuned, there'll be more soon! 

As for the weekely snippets, the past week I... 

Listened to the new Black Keys song on repeat.

Was stunned by these illustrated quote designs.

Dreamt of visiting Oxford while reading this piece in the New York Times

Watched North & South all over again - definitely one of the best BBC's mini series.

Found out 5 useful ways to use lemons instead of beauty products. 

 
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