Skip to main content

Grilled Whale and Blue Lagoons Await in Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavik iceland
Image used with permission by copyright holder
If you’ve never been to Iceland, you’re probably intrigued by the country’s natural beauty — or Bjork. If you’ve already been there, then you’re probably dying to go back. Iceland is a little left field, and somewhere that packs in a lot of magic. The predominantly snowy climate makes the smattering of cozy taverns and indie boutiques particularly welcoming. And you’ve a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights if you visit between November and February.


Hallgrimskirkja is a stunning Lutheran church and also has one of the most striking views of Reykjavik’s rooftops. Be sure to stop by for a twilit vista.

Fontana Spa
Fontana Spa Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sure, the Blue Lagoon maybe one of Iceland’s most famous tourist destinations, but Fontana Spa is a gem you really shouldn’t miss. Enjoy a soak in its  geothermal pools and then sweat it all out in its natural steam rooms, before enjoying a spa lunch complete with bread baked while buried in the ground.


Reykjavik is full of idiosyncratic stores that will probably wrench your credit card from your wallet on a regular basis. Make those hard-earned dollars count and head to 66° North for homegrown stylish outerwear that will keep you snug – even in the ball-shriveling Icelandic chill.

For Nordic heritage-style menswear, the Farmers Market store in the Fishpacking District is a must-visit. The store is more like a showroom and you’ll want to browse for hours.


Caffeine freaks should head to Prikid. Once inside, traditional Reykjavik feels omnipresent in the dark wood-clad walls and latté-coloured booths. The coffee is pretty epic too. If ‘Cheers’ had been based in Iceland…

Head to the city’s old harbour hub and you’ll find MAR. We are die-hard fans of this unique fusion restaurant that serves up scrumptious Mediterranean food in an ode to the old harbor setting. The wood panels that line the walls are painted black to resemble the Icelandic harbor houses of yesteryear and the food is IN-SANE. We recommend the prosciutto wrapped monkfish – you won’t be disappointed.

The view of Reykjavik from Hallgrimskirkja
The view of Reykjavik from Hallgrimskirkja Image used with permission by copyright holder

Owner and chef de cuisine Ylfa Helgadóttir put together a menu at Kopar that is filled with elevated Icelandic cuisine, made from the freshest ingredients from the land and sea. Start out with something like the grilled horse before moving on to an Icelandic filet of crispy lamb.

Head down to the water in Reykjavík over to Saegreifinn for its traditional lobster soup, which is satisfying and tasty. You can also find menu items like grilled whale, but that’s a touchy subject.

The winding streets of this small city are peppered with intimate bars and public houses where locals can be found escaping the cold, night after night. Our favorites are Boston, a cozy black-hole of a bar that hosts regular gigs and Micro Bar – its vast range of beer will make you giddy.


Situated right on the water, Icelandair Marina Hotel offers Nordic design sensibility in a homey setting (Yes it looks like Ikea exploded in here, but in a good way). Plus, their bar/restaurant, Slippbarinn, is one of the most fun in town.

Icelandair Marina Hotel
Icelandair Marina Hotel Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another place to hit the hay is the amazing Reykjavik Lights Hotel. The design of this recently opened concept hotel is based on the ever-changing light of Reykjavik’s sky. As a result, each of the 105 rooms is based on a different recorded shade of light from the ancient Icelandic Rímtafla calendar. Located in central Reykjavik, this hotel is minimal, fun and a little Sci-Fi.

Dyrhólaey Lighthouse
Dyrhólaey Lighthouse Image used with permission by copyright holder

We think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that you’ve probably never spent the night in a working lighthouse. Dyrhólaey Lighthouse is a historic remote lighthouse crowning the top of Dyrhólaey peninsula-an island of volcanic origin. With naturally spectacular views, the lighthouse is situated at the southern most tip of the country. A local guide will be on hand to give you a tour and the history of the lighthouse. Also, the kitchen is fully stocked for a hearty breakfast, so cozy up in a locally made wool blanket and BYOB for a spectacular stay.

Additional reporting by Jodie Kharas and Cator Sparks.

Ann Binlot
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ann Binlot is a New York-based freelance writer who contributes to publications like The Economist, Wallpaper*, Monocle…
The best places to visit in Mexico: Add these gorgeous spots to your bucket list
Add these destinations to your itinerary

Are you planning a trip to Mexico this year? Whether you are a city lover seeking bustling metropolises, an outdoor enthusiast looking to soak up the sun on gorgeous beaches, or an adventurer on the hunt for unique experiences, Mexico has it all. From the ancient ruins of the Mayan civilization to the charming old towns and luxury resorts, this incredible country provides destinations that cater to all tastes and interests. These are just a few of the best places to visit in Mexico to get you inspired for your next vacation.

Cozumel, an undeveloped Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and relaxation seekers alike. As a popular cruise ship port, Cozumel offers a unique blend of natural beauty and vibrant local culture. Situated on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world, the island is known for its crystal-clear waters, making it a fabulous destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. 

Read more
Soon, there will be a new nonstop flight from the West Coast to Amsterdam
Get to Amsterdam without the hassle of a layover
Amsterdam, Netherlands boats and canals

Amsterdam, Netherlands Ethan Hu via Unsplash

Long-haul flights help you realize your travel dreams, taking you worldwide in hours, not days. Racing over the landscape at hundreds of miles per hour, you can kick back and relax, knowing you’ll be there soon. But making connecting flights breaks up a trip’s rhythm, forcing you to plan and navigate instead of relaxing. Nonstop is the way to go.

Read more
This airline will add 18 nonstop routes for winter adventurers
Whether you're going skiing or to an island this winter, Alaska Airlines has you covered
Mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe

Winter travel lets you explore the mountain landscape, enjoy the snow, and polish your ski and ride skills. Or, if you’ve had enough of the chill, you can head to warmer climates, soak up some rays, and recharge your system. Both let you commune with nature in beautiful places. 

To make your winter trips even better, Alaska Airlines will offer 18 new nonstop flights to sun and ski destinations around the world. Whether you want to push the limits or relax in peace, there’s a flight to suit your needs.
For winter 2025, Alaska Airlines takes you to the mountains (or the sun)

Read more