The Raisin at the End of the Hot Dog
A Guide to Iceland
The Blue Lagoon
One of the world's must-see sites, IMHO. This geothermal spa is located in a lava field. Relax in the steaming hot turquoise waters surrounded by the black rocks. Sip an Icelandic beer, rub some volcanic mud on your face, and watch out for hailstones.
Home to Reykjavik's concert hall and convention center, Harpa is a stunning building constructed of colorful glass. The glass is meant to resemble the volcanic basalt landscape found throughout Iceland.
This geyser is one of Iceland's most famous. It is located in a geothermal hot spot area and erupts every few minutes. It's one of many geysers located within "The Golden Triangle".
Thingvellir National Park
Fans of Game of Thrones will want to make a stop in this national park, since many scenes have been filmed here for the show. The park sits in a rift valley where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. So, you can literally stand on two continents at once.
Meat and Bread
The food in Iceland is amazing. They love their fish- dried, pickled, or salted- especially herring, salmon, and cod. They also love bread, most of which is some type of rye. You'll also find a variety of other meats, cheeses, and yogurts- like skyr.
Easily one of the most photographed spots in Reykjavik, the Sun Voyager sculpture is "an ode to the sun." While it resembles a viking ship, the artist says it's actually meant to be a dreamboat. Mt. Esja can be seen across the channel.
The Flea Market
Kolaportid is the Icelandic flea market located in the harbor area. It's just like any flea market you'd find in America, filled with booths of locals selling junk and souvenirs...but with better food.
Yep- it's exactly what it sounds like. A museum dedicated to penises and penile parts. The museum features specimens from a variety of animal species, including Homo sapiens.
An Icelandic Tradition
You can't leave Iceland without taking part in the tradition of fermented shark called "hakarl" and a liquor known as the "Black Death". Brennivin is an 80-proof liquor similar to vodka with a slight herbal flavor. The shark meat is placed in a container until it rots, and then hung out to dry for a few more weeks, so it's nice and ripe.
Church of Iceland
Hallgrimskirkja is the most famous church in Iceland and the tallest structure in Reykjavik. It's a beautiful Lutheran church, with a facade inspired by the basalt columns found throughout the country.
The Best Hot Dog in Town
Yes, Icelandic hot dogs are a thing. The most famous stand is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. Even Bill Clinton is pictured there eating one of the famous wieners. In a city where eating out is very expensive, you can grab a dog with mustard and onions and an American Coca-Cola for just a few kroner.
With cold temperatures throughout much of the year, Iceland is a less than ideal locale for growing crops. However, the country's rich geothermal energy supply has created an opportunity for hydroponic growing- like these tomatoes.
Literally translating to "Golden Waterfall", Gullfoss is a popular tourist stop within the Golden Circle Tour. In the winter it's frozen, but on a sunny summer day the water takes on a golden hue.
Don't Even Try It
Icelandic is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. It's roots are ancient, making the vocabulary hard to learn. The words are long and difficult to pronounce. Your best bet is to try and memorize the ordering of the odd letters to find your way around. Luckily, everyone in Iceland speaks English.
View from the Top
For just a few kronor you can walk to the top of Hallgrimskirkja for a beautiful view of the city and the north Atlantic.