If you didn’t know, I am a wanderlust soul.
Travel is what excites me and fills me with purpose and joy. I have such a strong desire to see the world, to experience it, and to learn about it.
Though I have been to 20 countries, I have never truly travelled solo. Until last week, when I embarked on my first real solo adventure to Iceland. Though I was based in Reykjavik I took trips to different parts of the island. But more about that later…
I flew to Iceland on Wow Airlines. If you don’t know about Wow, look into it! My round trip, non stop flight from Detroit to Reykjavik was only $400!
WOW *eyebrow wiggle.*
The flight was overall fine, and only six hours. I’ve traveled on some bad budget airlines, but I would fly on this one again. It was very bare bones, you had to purchase any refreshments but since the flight was at 1 a.m. frankly all I wanted was to do was sleep.
Time FLEW by *eyebrow wiggle* and I got in to Reykjavik in mid morning. The airport is busy, but once through customs there is a clear path to the buses & taxis. I did not purchase my bus ticket prior and had no difficulty purchasing one at the counter. It only cost about 15 USD and was quite easy to use. They dropped us off at a bus station, where we switched buses according to the area we were going. After the exchange I was dropped off at City Hall where I headed to the meeting point for the City Walk Free Walking Tour.
This I absolutely recommend. You need to book in advance, but please note you can only book about a week in advance of your trip. Here is the link to their website/booking.
Our guide’s name was Sara, a true Icelander and local history teacher. She showed us around the city for about two hours. This was a great way to start the trip. This helps you acclimate to the city, so you have some idea of where you are and where you are going. Sara talked to us about politics, history, and gave us great tips for food, where to buy groceries, museums, etc.
We started at the main square Austurvöllur, in front of the House of Parliament (Alþingi) and ended at the Harpa Music Hall.
The weather is very changeable, so be prepared for rain, cold, wind, and sun all in one day! Layers, layers, layers, a light weight waterproof/windproof jacket and a good hat doesn’t hurt. One moment the sun came out, and the next it poured. It didn’t stop Sara or anyone from having a good time. She did find places for us to warm up/dry off for a bit, which of course was appreciated.
At the end of the tour, she e-mailed us all a link with information about Iceland and Reykjavik. Now, in Iceland tipping is not required. HOWEVER, in this instance, this tour is donation based so you can feel free to give as much as you like. There is even a portal on their website for you to pay with credit card if you do not have cash. I tipped Sara, and headed out into the city.
My first stop was the Icelandic grocery store Bonus. I stayed in an Airbnb for the week, and was intent on saving money by making my own food. I highly recommend this! Iceland’s prices are manageable, but what really is expensive is eating out. I saved a lot of money by buying groceries and preparing most of my food at my Airbnb. I bought all the basics like:
- Peanut Butter
- Frozen Meal
Speaking of Airbnb’s, if you are going to be based in Reykjavik like I was, I recommend you rent a little apartment. There are lots of places you can find here, and look how cute the view is from mine!
After a long day of travel, I made myself some food and plopped into bed. My tour the next morning left at 7:00 a.m. for the south side of the island, and it was a day I would never forget.