We are now on day three of this Iceland Travel Diary series. If you haven’t already read all about the first two days of our trip, click here to be redirected to day one, and here for day two. We didn’t have anything specifically planned in advance for the Friday, so as Ashleigh and Dan headed off on another trip, Adam and I decided to really explore the city we were staying in. Before arriving in Iceland, I’d heard Reykjavík was quite a quiet area, which I definitely agree with. But, there’s still so much to do when you look properly. We opted for a 24 hour ‘Reykjavík City Pass’, which allows you into different museums, jump on all local buses, access to all the thermal baths in the area, and other sights all under one set price. Here’s what we got up to with our passes…
Visiting the Local Museums
We started our day exploring Reykjavík by visiting 3 museums within the centre; the Settlement Exhibition, National Gallery, and the National Museum of Iceland. They were all within walking distance of one another, and entry to all three were included with our city passes.
The Settlement Exhibition, is one that was created by the city museum. It is based on the archaeological excavation of the ruin of one of the first houses in Iceland and findings from other excavations in the city center. What I loved about this exhibition was how interactive it was, using digitised technology to show you the settlement development.
Then we moved onto the National Museum of Iceland. This museum illustrates Iceland’s story and past, from the historical Viking age to it’s contemporary present. The museum is huge, with so much to see and learn about this interesting country. The final museum we vistited was the National Gallery, which contains a collection of Icelandic art. There is a wealth of contemporary pieces, all of which were so unique and creative. I hadn’t been to a gallery before this one, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Wildlife Park and Zoo
Then after a brief wander around the remaining areas of the centre we hadn’t yet seen, and a stop to take a couple of photos by the lake, we jumped on the bus to the Wildlife Park and Zoo. It was around a 10-minute bus drive away, and the bus stopped on the main road the zoo was located on. Entry to the zoo was free with our Reykjavík City Passes. This was a little local zoo, but there was still so much to see. There’s nothing more exicitng than cute animals, right? Of course, I headed for the goats first! Other animals also at the park were sea lions, rabbits, birds, piglets, horses and alpacas.
After a couple of hours at the zoo, we then jumped back on the bus back to central Reykjavík, and then a connecting bus to the Perlan. With our 24 hour passes, we managed to get discounted tickets for The Perlan. The Perlan is a world-class museum, but is also known for its incredible architecture, and amazing panoramic views of Reykjavík. The museum has various exhibitions and a 360 viewpoint along with other exciting attractions. I want to write a full post on The Perlan because it is a next level museum and I have so many photos to share.
We then headed back to the hotel to freshen up (quick leg shave basically) before donning our swimsuits and heading to the thermal baths which were round the corner from our hotel. One weird thing, especially being your typical Brits, is in Iceland you shower naked before putting on your swimsuit. AND, the showers are public and everyone walks around with no clothes on. It’s amazing that body consciousness didn’t seem a thing at all and everyone was comfortable within themselves, but us British are a little prude lets be honest. Anyhow, I didn’t have much choice but to embrace it. However, the thermal baths were lovely and we just sat in the hot tub for a few hours talking about life. We then headed for pizza at 10:15, and we had a lamb, mushroom, and bechamel sauce pizza to share. Wow, it was insane. Before a slow stroll back to the hotel to shower and sleep.
In total, I think we got 6 or 7 buses in total, visited so many places and really made use of our passes. They’re such a cost-effective way to make the most of the city. I really enjoyed having a chilled day to just explore the city we were staying in. On the front of it, there doesn’t look like a lot to do in Reykjavík, but we managed to see so much in such a short period of time.
Have you read my previous post? – Product Empties: July