From late night hot dogs to a high-tech spa, what to see and do in Iceland’s capital.

Reykjavik has a reputation as a bit of a party town, and it is, but whether you’re going there for fun in the midnight sun or culture and adventure, there are lots of cool experiences. Here are my not to miss things to do in Iceland’s capital.

#1 Reykjavik Spa

Icelanders love their spas and a big part of the Icelandic experience is soaking in a hot pot. While many tourists head to the Blue Lagoon, I recommend finding a local spa in Reykjavik for a more authentic experience, like Laugar Spa. If you arrive early in the morning, you’ll find folks taking a dip before their trip to the office. This high tech Reykjavik spa includes a gym, café, salon and relaxation rooms. Don’t get too relaxed, as there’s more to do in Reykjavik.

Spas in Iceland
Spas in Iceland

#2 Embrace the Nightlife

A lot of people come to Reykjavik just to party. In the summer, it can be light for almost 24 hours and in the winter, darkness, leaving lots of time to hit the myriad of clubs, pubs and restaurants. I visited during the summer, when it can be light all night, making for a surreal going out experience. Wherever you end up, if you get hungry late night, look for the Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand. Tons of Icelanders recommended it to me and it was darn good. The chain has been in continuous operation since 1937 and as you can see from my video, was visited by Bill Clinton, among other celebrities like actor Charlies Sheen and reality star Kim Kardashian. (And I filmed there for Equitrekking ; )

#3 Explore the Landmarks

Reykjavik is a small, walkable city and from almost anywhere, you can see the city’s main church, Hallgrímskirkja, which is worth a stop if not to view its modern architecture than to go up in the observation tower for a view of the entire city. Check out the colorful old harbor and for a another great vista of Reykjavik, hit The Pearl. It also houses the Saga Museum for history buffs, and an observation deck for panaromic views of Reykjavik.

Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik

But don’t just take my checklist with you, make sure to ask the locals you meet on your travels, because there’s always something interesting to experience if you’re open trying something new on your journey. It will make your travels that much more memorable.

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