Reykjavik on a Budget

Wonderguide by

Nína Þorkelsdóttir

Reykjavik on a Budget

Although Reykjavik regularly turns up on lists over the most expensive cities in Europe (and the world, even), there are plenty of things you can do and see without completely breaking the bank. In this guide, I'll share some pro-tips from my years as a poor student in the capital.

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Free activities 🎯

Yes, you heard right. Some activities in Reykjavik are actually free.

Image - Free Walking Tour Reykjavik
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Free Walking Tour Reykjavik
Nína:This acclaimed tour is essentially 2-hour guided tour around Reykjavik on foot. They do expect donations, but it's up to you how much you choose to donate.
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Image - Öskjuhlíð
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Öskjuhlíð
Nína:Öskjuhlíð is a hill in central Reykjavik. Perlan, the weird building pictured, sits on top of it. There are some relics from the war scattered over Öskjuhlíð (kids love it), there are some rabbits running around and you can end the trip by having some ice cream in Perlan. Perfect 👌🏼
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Image - Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach
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Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach
Nína:Reykjavik has its own geothermal beach! Lounge in a hot tub or swim in the sea - the best thing about it: it's totally free!
Image - Harpa
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Harpa
Nína:The lovely Harpa concert hall is well worthy of a visit, even if you don't have concert tickets.
Image - Grótta
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Grótta
Nína:Grotta is an island in the westernmost tip of Reykjavik, known for a prominent lighthouse and diverse birdlife. It is possible to walk to the island during low tide.
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Image - Esjan
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Esjan
Nína:Hiking Mt. Esja is an ideal summer activity. And free, of course.
Image - How to Spot the Northern Lights + Some Photography Tips
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How to See the Northern Lights in Iceland
Nína:Another great free activity. You can click on this article to find more about the do-s and don't-s of northern lights hunting in Iceland.
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Outdoor Art 🗿

Here are some of my favourite sculptures and public art in Reykjavik:

Image - braud og co.
Story
Street Art in Reykjavik: A Colourful World
Nína:You'll see a lot of street art in Reykjavik. Click on this article to read more.
Image - Sun Voyager
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Sun Voyager
Nína:The sun voyager is probably the most iconic outdoor sculpture in Reykjavik. Don't forget to bring your camera.
Image - Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat
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Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat
Nína:Hands down the best sculpture in Reykjavik
Image - Þúfa
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Þúfa
Nína:A nice piece of art in the form of a man-made hill. Offers splendid views over Harpa and the Harbour.

Cheap eats 🌭

Hot dogs and other delicacies 🤤

Image - Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
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Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Nína:You have to try the iconic Icelandic hot dog while in Reykjavik (that is, if you eat meat). This is THE place to get your fix.
Image - SHALIMAR PAKISTANI CUISINE
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SHALIMAR PAKISTANI CUISINE
Nína:"Curry in a hurry" is without a doubt the best lunch offer in Reykjavik, at least in terms of value for money.
Image - Sandholt
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Sandholt
Nína:An excellent bakery on Laugavegur
Image - Noodle Station
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Noodle Station
Nína:Yummy noodles at a good price.

Wonderguide map

  1. Free Walking Tour Reykjavik
  2. Öskjuhlíð
  3. Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach
  4. Harpa
  5. Grótta
  6. Esjan
  7. Sun Voyager
  8. Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat
  9. Þúfa
  10. Reykjavík Classic Whale Watching
  11. Northern Lights Hunting Minibus Tour from Reykjavik
  12. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
  13. SHALIMAR PAKISTANI CUISINE
  14. Sandholt
  15. Noodle Station

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