Monday, 5 March 2018

A Tourist in My Own City - Reykjavík

Travelling can be extremely giving but most people should know the feeling of being tired of the same environment you see every day. Coming from down town Reykjavík, the only city in Iceland, I've probably seen the majority of the city I grew up in. That old corner shop in the old west village, the small brunch place down town and a hidden tree swing in a small wooded area. Despite loving my city it can be quite tiresome staying at the same place you've lived for 18 years. Therefore I decided to look within myself and look at my environment with new eyes, the eyes of the tourist! By doing this I noticed a lot of things I had never noticed before. The beautiful architecture in some of the older buildings, doves flying around and the small public parks around every corner. This past week I took my camera with me to school every day and since it's right in the city centre I went out exploring in all my breaks and thought of a list of things that I think are must-do's when visiting Reykjavik.

  • Hallgrímskirkja (a church on a hill in the city centre) - Even though it's always fun looking at churches, I recommend going to the top, you can see the whole city from there! 
  • Bæjarins beztu pylsur ("The town's best hot dogs") - One with everything or "Ein með öllu" as us locals call it, although I do prefer one without fresh onions. The typical Icelandic hot dog with everything on has ketchup, mustard, remoulade, fried onions and fresh onions. Whatever your preference is this is old traditional food that is a no-pass with all visitors - unless you're vegan sadly. The hot dog stand turned 80 years old last year!
  • Alþingisgarðurinn - An underestimated tiny garden behind the House of Parliament so you really kill two birds with one stone, the garden and the beautiful old house!
  • Hlemmur mathöll  - Used to be a shabby bus station longer than I can remember but now it's this chic food hall with everything you can dream of eating. From the best cinnamon buns to ice cream and a rhubarb bar. 
  • Pétursbúð - Walk into the past. On of a few corner shops left to be seen in Reykjavík. They used to be everywhere along with sweet shops but sadly they've gone quite rare.
  • Tjörnin (the city pond) - Birds og feathers everywhere, doesn't get much better than that. In the winter when the pond is frozen my school plays football out in the ice in gym class, good fun. 
  • Grandi/Höfnin (the old harbour) - The old harbour has it all. Whether you want to eat a fancy meal, have a gorgeous cupcake or the best ice cream, have a locally brewed beer, go to a museum or just enjoy the pretty view there's everything there you could possibly want! 
  • "Eigum við að fá okkur ís?" ("should we get some ice cream?") - Us icelanders have ice cream at every occasion and in every weather. You can often find tourists looking at you with horrid when you're eating ice cream in -3°C or pouring rain. The Icelandic "Þeytingur" or "Bragðarefur" as we call it is when you have a big tub of ice cream mixed with three ingredients of your choice ranging from fruits to sweets and even condiments like peanut butter! This is a must do if you come to Iceland as it is little doubt something every Icelander has done!

Thanks for reading and if you ever go to Iceland I hope these tips will come in handy!
Also if you have any questions regarding Iceland or just whatever feel free to leave a comment! xx

Stella xx

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