As most people who have taken an Icelandair flights from the United States will know, you get into Reykjavik at a miserable hour of the morning. Flights will often get in at around 6am Icelandic time. This is way too early for me, but if I can do it then so can you! Our flight from Minneapolis left at 6pm, lasted six hours, and then we got in at 6am. So, here is my recommended itinerary for surviving early morning arrivals. It worked wonderfully for us, so I’m here to share it with you!
6AM: Arrival. Get your sleepy self out to the baggage claim! Before you go, make sure book the Flybus for the morning of your arrival! The bus ride into the city is just under and hour, and we were dropped off at a bus station just outside of the city. There, we rented lockers for our baggage and walked into the city. Kaelyn guided us with a map into the city center (20 minute walk): thanks Kaelyn!
8AM: By this the time you make your way to the center of town, it should be near or after 8AM. But either way, start your walk over to the Laundromat cafe. This eclectic cafe is the perfect place to start off your morning! It is the funkiest theme of washing machines and laundromats and maps. The food is also incredibly fresh and delicious. If you’re a little adventurous, open the drawers at tables, you will not be disappointed. This place is also kid friendly, so don’t be afraid to bring your little ones there.
10:30AM: Do a free walking tour of the city! Book your tour here. It is the perfect way to wake up and get acclimated with the city. The best part is that you pay what you think the tour was worth. We had an amazing experience with a wonderful guide who was very entertaining, funny, and informational.
12:30-1PM: Around this time, or thereabout, you will finish your tour and will probably be getting hungry again. For the meat eaters out there, this is a great time to test out the famous hot dogs! For others, there are many more quick and delicious options all throughout the city.
1:30-2PM: Another short city walk! Now is the time to hit the sites that you saw, but didn’t get enough time to explore. This is also a perfect time to take all of the gorgeous monuments, streets, and nature. (We took a long time doing that.) Next stop is to the giant church! Trust me, pay that fee and go to the top. It is incredible and has some of the best views in town. You will get some great shots here, so take your time, take it in, and take pictures to your heart’s content!
3-4PM: Walk back to the bus station and taxi back to your hostel. As tempting as it is, resist the urge to take a nap. This will help you better acclimate to the time difference for the rest of your trip. Instead, use this time to unpack, read, write, listen to music, and relax. Once you’ve reached an appropriate dinner time, make your way to the harbor for dinner! Either go grocery shopping, or stop at one of the trendy restaurants in this area teeming with locals.
By this time, it will probably be close enough to a nice early bedtime to get rested for your next day in Iceland!
What other suggestions do you have for spending the day in Reykjavik?