This is how we spent 72 well-used hours in Reykjavík:
FOOD: Fiskmarkaðurinn The Fish Market offers its diners the freshest fish you will ever eat unless you catch it yourself. It would be my death row meal simply because their policy is there shouldn’t be more than four hours between the fish swimming in the sea to me eating it. The sashimi is to die for! Fiskmarkaðurinn Fish Market, Aðalstræti 12, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland (open for lunch and dinner)
VIEW: Climb up all the stairs of the Hallgrimskirkja, the enormous grey stone church in the middle of the city, for a fantastic view. I recommend a sunny day for the best photos. It also gives you perspective of how small this capital is and how much snow and icy water surrounds it. Hallgrimskirkja, Hallgrímstorg 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
SEE: Take a walk to Harpa, where the The Icelandic Opera is located, to appreciate the coloured glass building. Five minutes walk along the river you’ll find the Sólfar, a stainless steel ship sculpture. Since it’s located right on the river, many tourists believe this is supposed to be a Viking ship, but the artist intended it to be a “skeleton boat” that transports souls after one dies. Harpa, Ingólfsstræti 2a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
OUTDOORS: Pay for a tour to the Golden Circle to see the nature around Gullfoss and the spouting hot springs of Geysir and Strokkur. Try and get a trip that includes the Skalholt church too. Bring warm clothes if you go in winter as most of the tour is outdoors in -20 degrees. Go back out in the evening for a Northern Light chase. I say chase because that’s exactly what is it. There is no guarantee to see them and I have many friends who came back disappointed as they spent six hours freezing outside in the middle of the night and saw nothing but the running noses of the other tourists. You can also be extremely lucky, like we were, and see them twice in 24 hours… During our tour the fist night we saw them after only 20 minutes wait (which went very quickly with a hipflask of whisky to keep us warm!). The second night we saw them from Sólfar in Reykjavík city center as the Northern Lights were particularly strong that night. So strong that even people in Scotland saw them!
Rules of engagement: Go in winter, Jan-March is a great time and not as expensive as before Christmas. British Airways does direct flights from Heathrow. Bring warm clothes and buy whisky in the tax-free shop at the airport as alcohol is very expensive in Iceland. Change to the local currency when you get there. Keep one gold fish coin for good luck.