Reykjavik is hotter then ever! Although fantastic to visit anytime, summer is the most ideal as you can take advantage of the extended daylight…Yes it’s true! The sun doesn’t set in the height of summer due to the countries northerly location.

Here’s a helpful list to help you make the most of a short jaunt to the tiny city that (in the summer at least) just doesn’t sleep.

If you arrive early and need a hit of caffeine, head down to the waterfront to Cafe Haiti.
This cozy place serves the best coffee on this island.

Mmmmm (located at Laugavegur 42) is a great place to grab a relaxing and healthy lunch. The menu board is full of daily fresh specials which range from soups, wraps and delicious hot homemade dishes. The decor is simple with a noticeable Scandinavian influence. The ample supply of magazines and newspapers make you feel welcome. And if you’re not careful, you may find yourself spending an entire afternoon in this charming place.

Tapas may not be the first thing that comes to mind when exploring the world’s most Northern capital, but once you step foot in Tapas Barinn you’ll know that you’ve made the right choice. Offering not only a menu with delicious Mediterranean flair, this is the ideal place to sample some more exotic Icelandic specialties such as smoked puffin with bluberry brennivín sauce. Remember that tapa sizes are ideal for those who may not be culinary adventurous. Tip: Tapas Barinn is open late (1am on weekends) so it makes a perfect place for those who would like to eat right before hitting the cities famous night scene.

Feeling peckish and need a snack? Do as the locals do and hit the famous Bæjarins beztu pylsu (located at Pósthússtræti 101 ) which translates to “the best hot dog in town” Apparently famous past customers such as Bill Clinton and Lars Ulrich of Metallica think so! Tip: make sure to get the works….The crispy fried onions are what make the dog!


Hotel Borg stands out as the real winner amongst boutique hotels in the city. This art deco hotel (built in the late 1920’s) does a fantastic job of mixing old character with modern comfort. The location overlooking Austurvöllur Square is a wonderful place to begin your exploration. Don’t forget to try their outstanding restaurant, Restaurant Silfur where lunch is a real treat. The lobster soup with fried Icelandic langoustine and mussels is a must!

 A design savvy shoppers dream, Kisan’s Iceland outpost (they have another location in NYC) stocks a large array of items selected from all over the world. From clever children’s toys to über stylish clothing, you’re sure to find a souvenir that even the biggest design snob will adore.

Jewelery junkies will go nuts at Orr (located at Laugavegi 37). Designed and handmade by Kjartan and Astþór Orr, this duo’s designs are so unique the window display of rings alone will have you wondering why you only have ten fingers!

Located between the airport and Reykjavik, The Blue Lagoon really is a must! There’s no other place on earth that feels so much like another planet. The blue thermal pools located amongst the lava fields, are so warm and relaxing you could spend hours floating and unwinding. If you find yourself in need of a little extra TLC, book yourself a massage or one of the spa’s many treatments. TIP: Don’t forget to take advantage of the free silica mud mask located around the edges of the large lagoon. This same product sells in the gift shop for $100 USD!

Daniel MacKinnon