Whether you’ve booked a last minute escape to Iceland, or you’re planning a trip, with only a short time to explore, you don’t want to be left cramming in all of Iceland’s exciting activities. On the up side, a long weekend still gives you plenty of time to experience what this winter wonderland has to offer.
So, to help you get started we’ve listed everything you need to know to make the most of your short break in The Land of Fire and Ice. From the best place to stay, to how much money you’ll need, and what to do while you’re there – we have your trip completely covered.
Where to stay
You’ll find a wide-range of accommodation in and around Reykjavik, but for those planning excursions during their time in Iceland, we recommend staying in the city. Not only do most of the tours pick you up from here, but if you’re staying close to the centre, you won’t have to rely on transport either.
This is also beneficial if you’re travelling in the winter, as you can experience things like snow storms, making your walk into the city a little more challenging. Snuggi Hotel, Fosshotel Reykjavik and The CenterHotel Arnarhvollall come with central locations, plus most hotels include your breakfast.
With Iceland’s notorious high food and drinks prices, booking a hotel on a Bed and Breakfast or Half Board basis is a good idea if you want to save those extra pennies for Iceland’s exciting excursions.
How much money to take
How much money you need is often down to preference as everyone has different spending habits. For those wanting to eat out and enjoy Iceland to the fullest, you’ll need to budget for it.
With food costing anywhere between £40 – £80 a day, we suggest that you book all your excursions in advance to help you manage your spends. If not, you can always pay so much by card. As for service in restaurants, VAT is included in the price you pay and tipping isn’t required. However, a small gratuity always goes down well.
But for those wanting to do Iceland on a tight budget, this is also possible. Head to the supermarket for a sandwich, seek out the famous hot dog stand and bring your own water bottle – there are loads of ways to save some extra cash.
What to do
With only a few days to cram everything in, you don’t want to miss out on Iceland’s most iconic sights. So with that in mind, we’ve narrowed down the country’s top marvels. If you’re staying close to Reykjavik centre we suggest getting to know your surroundings, whether you choose to explore it yourself or opt for a walking tour.
There are a few things in the city worth your time, so if you want to see Reykjavik’s top attractions, head for the harbour. Here you’ll find Harpa Concert Hall and Sun Voyager, two of the city’s most appreciated sights. Then, there’s the towering Hallgrimskirkja Church, one of the most recognised landmarks here and a must-see during any trip.
But whatever you do, you can’t visit Iceland without doing a Golden Circle Tour. Taking you to three of the country’s major sights – watch in awe as Strokkur Geyser erupts, shooting water 98 feet in the air, get up close to the stunning Gullfoss waterfall and explore Thingvellir National Park’s rich beauty.
Spend a morning or afternoon at the Blue Lagoon – after all, there’s no better way to relax during your time in Iceland. As one of the country’s most famous attractions, you’d be crazy not to take a dip. Float in the geothermal water and take in the crisp clean air with one of the most unique spa experiences there is.
Iceland’s south coast
If you get chance, take a trip to Iceland’s south coast. Here you’ll find two of the country’s most famous waterfalls – Seljalandfoss and Skogafoss – as well as a glacier and Reynisfjara, a beautiful black sand beach.
Northern Lights tour
When you’re done making the most of what Reykjavik has to offer at night, the Northern Lights await. Although you only have a couple of nights, most tours offer more than one opportunity to see them if the weather isn’t great.
However, with the Northern Lights visible eight months of the year from the beginning of September to the end of April, you’ve got a pretty good chance. The best light shows can usually be found in the most remote corners of the landscape, making the experience all the more exclusive.
Know before you go
Before you head off on your Icelandic adventure there are a few things you should know.
- Make sure you use some kind of navigation, remember you only have a few days so getting lost isn’t an option if you want to fit everything in.
- The water is drinkable so if you want to save some money, bring a water bottle for daytime activities.
- We suggest booking the Blue Lagoon in advance, as one of the country’s most popular attractions, it can get busy.
- It is important that you wash with soap before taking a dip in the country’s thermals springs. This is a hygiene rule and is part of Iceland’s culture, so embrace it.
- Don’t forget your camera – Iceland’s breathtaking landscape is full of photo opportunities.
- Pack accordingly, especially if you’re travelling in winter. Iceland is known for its cold climate so make sure you come prepared. For more information on this take a look at our Iceland packing guide.
Now get ready for a long weekend soaking up everything Iceland has to offer, check out our amazing deals for the mini break of a lifetime.