Reykjavik Life and Visitor Travel Tips

(Reykjavik, Capital Area, Iceland)

Picture showing mountainous backdropA pleasant and increasingly popular city to visit, the tourism industry in Reykjavik is still developing and continues to affect the local life, mostly in a positive way. A fairly compact city with very few tourist traps, Reykjavik is often given the name of Iceland's 'Little Metropolis' and boasts a highly developed infrastructure, with ferry connections serving much of the North Atlantic from the busy port.

This city is a great place to holiday and a large percentage of the resident Icelanders speak very good English, which is often extremely useful. Reykjavik is a particularly 'green' city and extremely conscious of its contributions to the environment, and boasts some truly beautiful natural scenery, comprising various islands, peninsulas and secluded bays.

Further view of the nearby mountains

Useful Contact Details

Situated within the very heart of the city, the Reykjavik Tourist Office is full of information about Iceland, including plenty of brochures about the city's main attractions. This is also a good place to book up your accommodation, theatre tickets, bus trips and also purchase both maps and postcards of the area.

Upplysingamiostöo Feroamála (Reykjavik Tourist Office)
Address: Adalstraeti 2, Reykjavik, IS-101, Iceland, IS
Tel: +354 05 90 1550
Fax: +354 05 90 1501
Open hours: April to October, daily - 08:30 to 19:00; November to March, Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 18:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 14:00

Language and Dialect

The language of Icelandic is spoken all over Reykjavik and is actually closely related to both English and Norwegian, with many locals being fluent in English. Written Icelandic contains many accents and unusual characters, although simple phrases are not difficult to pick up and will make your holiday in Reykjavik all the more memorable. Simple Icelandic phrases include:

  • Yes / No - Já / Nei
  • Hello / Goodbye - Halló / Bless
  • How much does it cost? - Hvad kostar thetta?
  • I do not understand - Ég skil ekki
  • Please - Viltu gjöra svo vel
  • Thank you very much - Takk fyrir
  • Where is ...? - Hvar er ...?
  • Where is the bathroom? - Hvar er salernio?
  • What is your name? - Hvao heitir pú?
  • My name is... - Eg heiti...
  • Nice to meet you - Gaman ao kynnast pér

Dos and Don'ts / Tourist Traps

  • Families - the city is by no means child friendly and restaurants rarely cater for children separately on menus. However, many of the main attractions in Reykjavik are actually completely free for children of ten and under, and there is almost always more than enough space for them to run around, without becoming a nuisance to others, or getting lost
  • Pickpockets - whilst crime levels in Iceland are extremely low, it is always sensible to keep an extra eye on your valuables when in busy crowds, such as when queuing at attractions or travelling on busy public transport
  • Public Toilets - most public toilets within Reykjavik city centre will cost money to use. However, there is a good, clean toilet next to the Hallgrimskirkja Church, if you need to go
  • Sightseeing - one of the best ways to see the many sights around central Reykjavik is to join one of the popular walking tours
  • Souvenir Shopping - for the best value gifts, head to the main shopping centres, such as the Kringlan Mall or the Smáralind Mall, or alternatively the weekend Kolaportid flea market is an interesting place to purchase cheap Icelandic handicrafts