Throw Back Thursday: The Best of Reykjavik

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is the ideal city for a young traveller to explore. Considered by some as the homeland of the hipster, Iceland's capital city is booming with everything young vagabonds love. Coffee shops, vintage clothing boutiques, quirky art, record stores, live music and vibrant hostels fill the eclectic city. 

It's been a year already since I was enjoying nights out sipping coffee infused beer at  local hostels and meeting new travellers en route to various impending adventures, but it feels like yesterday.

I remember spending the late hours of my last night in Reykjavik at the foot of my hostel bunk bed, peaking out the window at the passersby below.  I watched them all carefully, imagining them reaching their prospective homes until eventually the streets were empty. The noise from live music and loud chatter across the street subsided. I was left alone, just me and the city, and I felt sad. I was leaving in the morning and I knew that meant this was the end of a chapter of my story. I was saying goodbye to the city, a new friend, who I had come to know and to grow fond of.  I’d spent the last week watching people here as they met friends in cafes, drawing near windowsills, reading books, and listening to artists perform their new songs. It reminded me of how Hemingway had described Paris in its prime. A movable feast.

“If you’re lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you forever.”

Sometimes a city moves through life with you, free from the rules of time and space, transformed by the meaning of all that you experienced there. For now this city is to me what Paris was to Hemingway, a place I am sure to return to and a memory I will keep with me. When I do return next I'll be sure to revisit some of these favourite spots. Be sure you do too. 

Café Babalú,skolavoroustigur 22, Reykjavik

"It reminded me of how Hemingway had described Paris in its prime. A movable feast"
Sipping whipped lattes on our favourite couch at  Café Babalú.

Sipping whipped lattes on our favourite couch at  Café Babalú.

Mural outside Café Babalú catches the laid back village perk aroma of this quaint coffee house. 

Mural outside Café Babalú catches the laid back village perk aroma of this quaint coffee house. 

 

The Laundromat Cafe Austurstræti 9, Reykjavík. 

The perfect spot to sip on beer and snack your way through doing the laundry. The upper level of this cafe is full of Iceland's famous mystery novels, so grab a book and get comfy after taking your grundgy clothes downstairs and throwing them in the wash for a much needed scrub. A tidy tucked away room on the bottom floor can fill all your laundry needs, so pack light and make it a point to stop here for a relaxing morning of chores.

The Blue Lagoon,  Grindavík, southwestern Iceland.

The Blue Lagoon is the perfect 40 degrees on a misty May afternoon. Bath your way to bliss, wading through this mystic blue lagoon heated by a  nearby geothermal plant. Indulge yourself with fresh juice from the floating bar. 

The Blue Lagoon is the perfect 40 degrees on a misty May afternoon. Bath your way to bliss, wading through this mystic blue lagoon heated by a  nearby geothermal plant. Indulge yourself with fresh juice from the floating bar. 

 

Take a break from bathing and be sure to check out the traditional Icelandic saunas. 

 
 
 

Kex Hostel, Skúlagata 28, Reykjavík.

Kex Hostel might be off the beaten path as far as this city centre is concerned, but it is the best spot in the city to meet up with the new friends you've made, order some fried eggplant, and sip on beers while hearing whichever indie band is in that night. 

Kex Hostel might be off the beaten path as far as this city centre is concerned, but it is the best spot in the city to meet up with the new friends you've made, order some fried eggplant, and sip on beers while hearing whichever indie band is in that night. 

Hallgrímskirkja, Skólavörðustígur, Reykjavík.

 

Loft Hostel, Bankastræti 7a, Reykjavík.

Loft hostel is for the loungers. Hang out with new friends cooking oatmeal in the early mornings, meet over a carafe of coffee on the rooftop terrace or team up in a foosball battle before drinks.  

Loft hostel is for the loungers. Hang out with new friends cooking oatmeal in the early mornings, meet over a carafe of coffee on the rooftop terrace or team up in a foosball battle before drinks.  

Top off your trip to this magic city by glancing down at the colourful vistas of Reykjavik from the top of this church which resembles the basalt lava flows from Iceland's western landscape. (See first image, take from atop this church.)

Top off your trip to this magic city by glancing down at the colourful vistas of Reykjavik from the top of this church which resembles the basalt lava flows from Iceland's western landscape. (See first image, take from atop this church.)

While the city is well worth your time, the country though small has much to offer. Mystic landscapes are not lacking. Watch the video below to see more of what this magical place has to offer. 

You can read more about our adventures in Iceland by searching 'Iceland' on the PLACES page.