Yes. Just look at this guy, or this one.
Yes. Though truth be told, most women everywhere are really beautiful, but in Iceland, there are no exceptions.
In all honesty – yes. They’re quite expensive. But they’re also very luxurious as well. There’s none of that yellow taxi thing going on here! You can expect to be driven around in brand new Mercedes’, BMW’s, Audi’s, which is obviously great. The taxis are easily identifiable by the internationally recognized yellow sign on the cars roof. Do keep in mind though, that this is the only thing that distinguishes them from any other super cool high end car. They’re not yellow. Not at all.
Where did you even get that idea from? No we‘re not.
Sure, but on such a vast topic, referring to quality articles is usually going to be a better idea wouldn’t you agree?
Reykjavik is fun, cute and vibrant. Great music scene, great party scene. Top-class conference and music hall. Lot of great sights, and plenty of things to do on a budget, or for 10 Euros or less. If you want the day completely planned out for you, we can take care of that as well.
We could, but we’d prefer to refer you to this awesome article, which manages to touch upon the major points in the history of Iceland since the beginning of times. A very informative and entertaining read.
That’s going to depend on where you’re from isn’t it? Iceland uses 220 volt electricity, the plugs having two round prongs. Basically – UK and USA, you guys are going to need adapters. One thing to note is that your appliance accepts 220v, that’s usually the case, but just…make sure yeah?
Keep in mind as well, that your hotel is in many cases going to be able to supply you with said adapters.
Yes. Yes we do. As well, we tend to embark on raids to Europe, pillaging and plundering peasants in England. On a serious note: We wish we lived in snowhouses, that‘d probably be awesome. But alas, we don‘t.
Back in the day, all of us spoke Danish, or some sort of an equivalent language, usually called “Scandinavian”. That was just a random mixture of Icelandic, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, jumbled together and, surprisingly, always understandable by everyone from the Nordic countries. Except the Finnish of course, they have the most absurd language…
In later years, we don’t really speak as much Scandinavian, unless we’re drunk, then we speak everything fluently. However, there’s a rising proficiency in super cool languages such as German, Spanish, French and more. Some people are learning Chinese as well, that’s pretty cool.
Now, if, by “you guys”, you meant us here at whatson.is, then we can proudly inform that we speak Icelandic, English, Spanish, Scandinavian fluently, with a dash of German and a google-translate-proficiency of every other language conceivable.
Yes. And most of us know some pretty difficult words as well!
Thanks! Appreciate it!
(Note that this is not a real question, but more of an example of the sorts of questions we’re looking for, hoping for, anticipating and dreaming of.)
Size really doesn‘t matter, so we‘re not too worried about that…But, we‘re talking 103,000 high-quality km²‘s (40,000 sq mi). Iceland is actually the worlds 18th largest island, which isn‘t really that impressive.
Your standard issue mobile phone is most likely going to work just fine in Iceland. Nowadays phones just…take care of all that complicated stuff themselves. If you really want to get down and dirty, the country code is +354 and the phone numbers have 7 digits.
The main thing to know is that due to the fact that Iceland is an island, you can not, under any circumstances, drive to Iceland. That is completely impossible. However, you can bring your car with you if you take the ferry. The biggest method of arriving by far, however is by plane. Iceland is only around 3 hours away from continental Europe, and some 5-6 hours away from the east coast of USA, making flight a quite comfortable option. Please go ahead and read more on planning your trip to Iceland!
The FlyBus is super comfortable, with free wi-fi onboard and an awesome on-board magazine. Taxi is another option. If you’re really tough you could walk, but it’s like 50km.
We’re terribly sorry about hearing your country-specific problem. Please consult this page here for contact information for all the embassies in Iceland. For the definitive list of consulates in Iceland, this link here should help you out.
Of course – if you‘re only dealing with a minor problem that we might perhaps help you with, let us know!
It‘s not really. Well, some of it is, sure, but the regular food is honestly just that, regular food.
You have to keep in mind that back in the day, Iceland was dirt poor and isolated in the middle of the ocean. So we really didn‘t have much choice when it came to culinary development and enhancements. Summer was about hoarding as much food as possible, just in order to survive winter. However, having plenty of food in August is not going to help at all if it‘s all destroyed and disgusting in April is it?
So the ingenious Icelanders of yore had to figure out ways to preserve the food and did so by inventing methods of varying foulness, ranging from not foul at all (drying, smoking, salting) to quite foul and even very foul (fermenting stuff in sour whey, leaving stuff in barrels for weeks and calling it “processing”, when in fact things are just going bad).
As a result, some of the traditional Icelandic food has an acquired taste. A lot of it is quite delicious though. For more information, please refer to this article.
No you didn‘t get mugged. You don‘t get mugged in Iceland. You can literally leave your wallet on the ground and either some one will deliver it to you, the nearest police station, or it‘ll still be there the next morning.
Stop playing with fire for one… Then call 112. Then call the hotel lobby and check out. Lastly – pretend like the room wasn’t on fire when you checked out and you have no idea how on earth that happened. This is assuming you don’t have the ability to just turn the frigging fire out.
Hmm… You should almost certainly start by calling 1-1-2. That’s the emergency phone number in Iceland, one you should generally use in all sorts of life threatening perils. After that you should judge the nature of the injury. Honestly though – Imagine you just severely injured yourself in your own home country. Apart from possibly changing the phone number you’d call – what would be your action plan? Go ahead and execute that plan – it’s likely that all the steps will align perfectly with Icelandic reality. But again. 112! That’s the number to remember.
Well yes you can. There are 5 post offices scattered through Reykjavik. As well you can use the post boxes. Both the office and the boxes will be more or less read. The Icelandic word for post is póstur, so you really shouldn’t have any problems finding the correct thing. If that fails, you might want to consider joining the rest of us here in the modern day, using e-mail.
Sure! We have some different types of grocery stores, ranging from “ample opening time, high service level, great selection of all sorts of cool stuff at a small price premium” to the “open during the day, buy-in-bulk, not so much service, good selection of products though at a very low price” types of stores.
Bónus, Krónan and Kostur are the ones you’ll want to look out for if you’re on a tight budget or doing big purchases, whereas Nettó, 10-11 and some Hagkaup stores are open the full 24 hours, which is extremely convenient.
Hagkaup and Nóatún will generally carry the most products of the highest quality. Allegedly “Icelanders enjoy Hagkaup the most” ( this is the most overused phrase in Icelandic advertisement history by the way.)
Jetlag sucks. Iceland is in the best time zone in our opinion. Just GMT +0 or UTC+0. We don’t use daylight saving hours because well…We don’t measure daylight changes in hours, we measure it in months. Summer is bright, winter is dark. That makes for a problematic system. The East of Iceland has advocated taking up summertime, but that mostly has to do with the fact that majority of towns in East Iceland (most of whom are great and well worth the visit by the way) are in deep mountainous fjords so they tend not to see the sun for a couple of months during winter.
Well, well! It just so happens that we know a guy. Some quality cars there. If you want to go with one of the big rentals, they’re all here as well. Except Enterprise – those guys don’t like Iceland apparently. We don’t mind – we have plenty of cool Icelandic rentals. We do recommend the aforementioned link though – these guys will treat you right! Oh but do take care when driving in Iceland. Weather changes fast. Like…You could be driving in sunny niceness, only to be ambushed by hailstorms and sh*t. Don’t get caught off guard!
Look up when the sky is clear and it’s dark. It wouldn’t hurt to be out of town as well.
Your best bet though is to book a Northern lights tour to be accompanied by professionals.
Yeah, tax refunds are great. This article will hopefully help a bit. Shopping tax-free is easy in Iceland. The VAT is 25,5% and the minimum spend is only 4000ISK (33USD, 20GBP, EUR24). So make sure you don’t miss out!
Definitely. Most certainly. Yes. Absolutely. If you have any more affirmative responses you’d like us to add, drop us a line.
Unless you’re a complete asshole – driving should be quite safe. We drive on the right side and the speed limit is 90km/h. One major point to keep in mind though, is that the weather changes ridiculously fast and the driving conditions can get seriously disgusting, slippery, snowy and whatever. Drive according to situation always!
This article provides some valuable information as well as this website right here.
According to some sources: HELL YEAH. But it‘s not going to bother you if that‘s not your thing. Reykjavik is great for partying, but without overdoing it. The partying generally commences quite late, ensuring that it doesn‘t clash with everyone else that don‘t want to participate. It‘s really a great system, to be honest.
Well. It must be recognized that Iceland is one of the most rural countries in the world, but nonetheless the country has plenty to offer besides just nature. We do have a lot of nature, some top-class nature actually, but that‘s not all. We have…houses too , the Harpa, is pretty impressive. Then there‘s Iceland Airwaves, which is awesome.
No, we don’t operate the tours we offer ourselves. However, we’ve spent considerable amount of time finding the best operators in Iceland in order to ensure a quality experience. The tours, trips and activities you’ll find on our site are specifically selected by us with the goal of providing an array of tours that we personally think are exciting, enjoyable and interesting.
Oh and don’t worry, our prices are the same as the original tour operators offer themselves! At some times, we might even be offering better prices when we’re running special promotions!
Yeah – we love public transport as well. Alas – we don’t have trains in Iceland. At all. We do however have a pretty cool public bus system. You’ll know the Reykjavik public bus by its friendly distinctive yellow colour – coupled with its, in comparison, huge size. The bus schedule starts promptly at 06:30 and runs a little past midnight (usually. Exceptions do apply – www.bus.is might help you figure out those exceptions.) The buses arrive at most stations at roughly 15-30 minute intervals so you really shouldn’t have to wait too long. Riding the bus can be a thoroughly pleasant experience, allowing for a unique local flavour – a connection with the local man, not easily experienced elsewhere. The fare is 350ISK and the drivers don’t carry change. On top of that – local bus drivers are the only entities in all of Iceland not to accept credit or debit cards. So make sure you have the exact fare on hand! Unless you’re under 6 years old – in that case you’ll ride for free.
Oh no indeed! Send us an email and we’ll do our very very best to sort it out. Do note though that we work with several local tour operators, so if your tour is in like…5 minutes – we can’t guarantee a satisfactory solution – but we’ll do our best. The general rule is the earlier we know about the cancellation, the better.
The igloo joke is not funny. At all. We are serious folk, living in serious looking houses, with roofs and doors and electricity and stuff.
Yes we have internet. Actually, we have like, the highest internet penetration in the world. Practically everyone in Iceland has access to internet.
Ah yes…The jungle that is Icelandic proverbs has found you! Congratulations. Having a hawk in corner – or as it goes in Icelandic – a “Hauk í horni” means to have an ally of sorts. It might be a surprising ally, one often discounted, or it might be an ally a bit further away from the whole scene. It’s generally good to have a hawk in a corner.
I’m pretty sure this question has been answered before…If you can’t be bothered with browsing through our questions though (understandably) check out our Tours and Activities, and get moving!
Yes. Very safe. We’re very trustworthy and honest people. If you’re not the trusting type, go ahead and send us a line. We’re here to help, so almost no matter what your concerns are – just send us an email!
Oh yeah, definitely. The Icelandic swimming pool is a great cultural phenomenon. You can check out this article: What to Expect in an Icelandic Swimming Pool. Iceland has plenty of hot water, literally pouring from the earth. It‘s also quite cold at times, so we like to soak in hot tubs, while discussing matters of grave importance.
Not to be missed!
Ah, yes. As you’ve just found out, selling alcoholic beverages in grocery stores is highly illegal in Iceland. In fact – you can only buy such beverages, beers, wines, stronger spirits and the like in specific government run stores, graciously called “The Liquor Store” or Vínbúð. They are most likely the only stores you’ll find in Iceland that are never open on Sundays. Additionally they usually close at 6pm, though selected stores will be open till 8pm, except on Saturdays.
At this government run liquor store you’ll find a great selection of spirits, wines and beers, as well as incredibly knowledgeable staff. Like – seriously knowledgeable, you should test ‘em to see it for yourself. But make sure you’re over 20 years old. That’s the minimum drinking age in Iceland.
Oh there’s one thing to keep in mind! If you’re a beer enthusiast, connoisseur or simply appreciate a good beer, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a growing tradition of Icelandic micro-breweries, who have been creating some seriously nice beers. You should definitely make a go at trying out as many as you can. Consult The Reykjavik Beer Experience for guidance and inspiration!
Yeah…don’t ask. Apparently it made perfect sense back in the day. Mostly because, back in the day, we didn’t have all this Reykjavik sprawled all over the place. Back then, the airport was like…conveniently close, but nothing more than that. Then came social progression, technical advancement, national ambition and all sorts of ruckus and before we knew it – BAM – we have an airport in everyone’s backyard.
It does make sense in many ways though. Let’s face it – if Boston can successfully pull off an international airport right downtown – then we should be able to do it as well. Additionally, the airport is the hub for all domestic flights in Iceland, which means, extreme proximity to the Reykjavik, the capital is a big advantage.
This whole matter is wildly controversial, as some people want the airport gone to allow more people to enjoy wonderful downtown Reykjavik, while some other people, allegedly out-of-town-folk more or less, want it put so they can fly directly into wonderful downtown Reykjavik. We don’t judge either way. Lastly – the airport is close to the main hospital, which can be pretty crucial for patients coming in by flight.
Sure. There are some areas in Reykjavik better than others for shopping. The city centre as a whole is obviously great, with a great selection of high-quality shops and stores. The Laugavegur is the main shopping street. There you’ll find everything you need for shopping, eating, drinking and culturally emerging yourself in the depths of Reykjavik. It’s a particularly nice street to walk on the 23rd of December. Leading up from Laugavegur towards Hallgrímskirkja church, you’ll find Skólavörðustígur – another cool street, populated mostly by neat galleries, workshops and other cool artistic venues.
Reykjavik and the Capital Area also have a couple of malls. We have to be honest and acknowledge that they’re not the USA-style megamalls with 500 shops, a sauna and a rollercoaster. But they’re our own and they’re pretty nice. Kringlan and Smáralind are the most prominent ones – offering all the cool stuff one would expect to find in a modern day mall.
Do check out this page here for in inspiration on where to shop! This article might help out as well.
Well…Everyone loves a tip for a job well done. Tipping hasn’t been in the Icelandic culture to be honest, but with the growing influx of tourists, we’re slowly adopting that practice. Restaurant servants, tour guides and other such parties working in close contact with tourists would of course be thrilled were they to be tipped. But that should only really happen if you, the customer, are really happy with the service provided. You don’t have to feel bad about not tipping though – just do as you feel like. When taking a taxi – tips are generally not expected.
Nah, not really. Unless you provoke or irritate them, in that case you should run.
Yeah. We have that as well. You’ll have access to 3G, 4G, LTE, Wi-Fi and a multitude of other cool standards and abbreviations. Majority of café’s, restaurants, hotels and other frequented places are going to offer free Wi-Fi.
Post-financial crisis they’re reasonable. Iceland used to be an expensive country with a way too strong currency. That’s not the fact anymore. Iceland was very cheap for a couple of months right after the crash, now it’s just…normal. Cheaper than Norway, more expensive than Brazil. Coupled with tax-free shopping you can definitely make a great buy in Iceland
Skyr, Hangikjöt, Harðfiskur, Kleinur, Laufabrauð. We have plenty. Modern Icelandic cuisine is awesome. Icelandic fish is by default superb, and the lamb is great as well. Visiting modern-day Iceland is not going to leave you disappointed when it comes to food. As stated earlier – refer to this article or this article, touching on the high-end stuff. Oh and of course our recommendation section only covers great stuff. Promise.
Then we’d call upon said muscular friends. If that wouldn’t work we’d point out that we’re a tiny island way north in the middle of the ocean. If THAT wouldn’t work, we’d send forth our arsenal of international beauty queens and world’s strongest men.
Common…That’s like asking “Who of your kids is your favourite”. It’s unfair. We think all our tours are amazing! Though we kinda have to admit that a Northern Lights tour in Icelandic winter is one of the most amazing experiences available.
We call it “The Bus Terminal”. It’s a pretty neat place, very central, very downtown. It’s the home of Reykjavik Excursions and the FlyBus that takes you to and from Keflavik Airport. The terminal is basically between the airport (you really won’t miss the airport…it’s downtown (want to know what’s up with that? Well, we’ve answered that question already!)) and central downtown, but on the other side of the pond. At the bus terminal you’ll find one of the coolest restaurants in Reykjavik. Hugely authentic and Icelandic, they offer singed sheep heads en masse as well as other national delicacies. Lastly – the Bus Terminal will store your luggage if you need – especially handy if you’re doing a couple of day’s tour from Reykjavik.
There is too much to do in Iceland for us to cover in a simple FAQ. Basically, everything mentioned in the above FAQ would also count as “things to do”. Go for The Reykjavik museum walk, and stop for a hot dog afterwards. Check out the Reykjavik Coffee Experience and indulge yourself at the best coffee houses of the city. Lastly of course, we’d highly suggest that you check out our ever changing, ever exciting Tours and Activities. But as always – if you’re still looking for even more things to do, just drop us a line!
Where to begin. There are tons of cool stuff to see in Reykjavik, it mostly depends on what interests you. Firstly – check out our recommendation section, then browse through some of the great tours and activities we offer. After that you should check out this article on 10 great sights in Reykjavik. After that you can look at some of the city‘s museums, building and monuments and any of the countless Things to Do in Reykjavik!
Uhm. Only like, almost every cool thing in the universe. Iceland is packed with amazing sights, be it waterfalls, glaciers or awesome tectonic plate rifts. Iceland covers it all, from the gruesome to the cute, from the immense and powerful to the fluffy and cuddly. You should definitely check out the Scenic part of our Tours and Activities, where we’ve listed some great tours that’ll offer you amazing views. If you’re in Reykjavik and intend to stay there, the Top 10 Sights in Reykjavik is an article you’ll definitely want to check out and eventually, if you’re really looking for something exquisite and special, try dropping us a message, firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you want to see – we can most likely help you out!
Okay. We had a major bank crisis. That left everything in a mess. We’re good people though, that work hard at what we do so we’re bouncing back.
That’s good for visitors though, because our currency plummeted, making everything much cheaper than it was. Prior to the bank crisis Iceland was almost unbearably expensive (basically like Norway is nowadays), so for you, the visitor, the crash wasn’t such a bad thing.
There are some pretty annoying currency restrictions, though they mainly affect Icelanders.
We use the Icelandic Krona, this is a good website to see the exchange rate. We’d encourage you to use the Krona as much as you can, because even though a lot of places are going to accept other currencies, the rate isn’t going to be great.
Credit and Debit card use is incredibly wide-spread in Iceland, just carrying a card around will suffice perfectly for the majority of your needs.
Well that just totally depends. Arrive in June and you‘ll have sun the whole day. Yeah, the whole 24 hours Arrive in December and if you blink, you might miss that day‘s portion of sun.
Honestly though – from like…Beginning of May to end of August, you‘ll have plenty of daylight. December to February you can expect to be pretty dark, some 5-7 hours of daylight. But it‘s all right though, because we decorate everything extravagantly with Christmas lights and stuff, making everything really festive and cheerful. No need to worry about the lack of daylight in wintertime Iceland.
You will experience somewhere between 20-200 different types of weather while staying in Iceland, including, but not limited to, rain, sun, hail, storms, blizzards, drizzles, flurries, showers, sleets and much, much more. But don’t worry though, odds are, each of those weather situations will only last for about 3 minutes before changing. Proof!
We publish a monthly magazine. It’s distributed in, and around, Reykjavik. Hence the name – What’s On in Reykjavik. The magazine covers what’s on in city – so the name is quite logical. As well as having been published for the last 30 years…
Our website is of course directly connected to our magazine. However – being a website, we’re not limited to just the surrounding area of Reykjavik. Our future vision is to service the whole of Iceland, and the website is the first step in that direction. So…What’s On in Iceland is the whole thing, which publishes What’s On in Reykjavik! Makes sense? We think so!
Roughly 320.000. That’s thousand, not millions. Yes – we have about the same amount of people as Santa Ana or Riverside California. Or one tenth of Berlin (Germany) or Madrid (Spain) if that scale makes more sense. Less than Bilbao (Spain), Cardiff (UK) and Nice (France). More than Utrecht (Netherlands), Bari (Italy) and the renowned town of Wirral (UK). Stop making fun of us. We’re blond, tall and strong. Who cares we’re just a handful. We’re statistically good at everything
Opening hours in Iceland are generally quite liberal. Everything is more or less open on Sundays, contrary to many places in Europe. You’ll find a selection of grocery stores open 24/7 and most shops open till evening. Especially in the summer.
They key here is this: You should visit Iceland twice. Once in the summer time and once in the winter time. They’re two completely different experiences.
Just make sure you know what to expect. Winter time Iceland might mean you get stuck in some random small village for a week because every road is blocked. During that week however you might encounter the most amazing spectacle of your life in some amazing northern lights. During the summer you might experience a week of heavy sideways rain and wind, leading to you enjoying some of the great events, Reykjavik has to offer indoors. Or weather could just be great all the time, regardless of when you visit.
This article might hopefully shed some light on when to arrive, but seriously…visit twice!
It’s around. Look for the internationally recognized cross. The word you’re looking for is “Apótek” – the main brands being Lyfja and Lyf og Heilsa. Quite simple.
Iceland is a rather small island somewhere way up there in the North-Atlantic. It‘s a part of Europe and is generally regarded as a great place to stop for a couple of days when travelling from Europe to any of the Americas.
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, or Óli, as the locals call him. He’s Iceland’s fifth president, having served since 1996. He’s a cool guy who occasionally stirs things up and is generally unpredictable; which at least is amusing for the general public. Perhaps not so much for the guys making the laws though. His wife is Dorrit. She’s super cool as well. She won the hearts of every Icelander ever to be born when we won silver prize at the Olympics in team handball (yeah, team handball is huge in Iceland. No, we don’t know why.) by stating that “Iceland is not a small country, it’s the biggestest country in the world”. That was super cute.
This is not coming from us, but according to some people, it‘s because, back in the days, the Vikings went over to England and stole all the beautiful women from them, which resulted in Iceland being a disproportionally beautiful nation, as opposed to the English…
This is not something we honestly believe though – the official story is Lýsi, high quality fish and a biased, yet favourable, general opinion on beauty standards.
Meh…It’s a mixture of reasons really. Firstly – we were born here, so we’re just used to it and don’t know anything else. Secondly – we have some seriously warm clothes up here, so we’re not that cold all the time. Thirdly – Iceland is packed with steaming water pouring from the ground here and there, so our houses are warm all the time.
Now on top of that – Iceland is BEAUTIFUL! It’s like…jaws-to-the-ground stunning at times. We have Aurora borealis, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, volcanoes and a multitude of other super cool awesome amazing stuff. That alone makes living here a dream.
Oh we also have a bunch of fish – we like fish, so it makes sense to live here for that.
No. We’re peace loving to infinity. On top of that we have some pretty muscular friends.
112 – For every emergency you can imagine. Including if you get beat up (that’ll only happen if you’re a complete asshole by the way, we’re not a violent people. The Viking blood has been diluted over the years and with it the rage has receded)
5885522 – Every Icelander knows this number. It’s for one of the taxi stations. We won’t judge if it’s a better taxi station than the next one – but it has a catchy phone number.
58-12345 – Domino’s. What’s better than a juicy Domino’s pizza after a hard day of exploring Reykjavik?
118 – This is the phonebook and allegedly they answer all sorts of questions you might have. You’ll pay heftily for this service though…
That’s depends on how long you’re staying. Reykjavik is going to be a safe, solid option. Or just any of the awesome tours we offer. Taking the FlyBus from Reykjavik Excursions is going to offer you a pleasant travel to a hotel of your choice in Reykjavik
No, this is just an elaborate scheme we put in action whenever there’s a foreigner around. In reality our language is Spanish, because we used to do a lot of business with the Spanish some hundreds of years ago. We sold them salted fish in bulk, in exchange for red wine. That was a great deal…
Okay, in reality. Yeah…Icelandic is a real language, spoken by some 300.000 Icelanders. It’s related to the other Scandinavian languages, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, though it doesn’t really sound similar.