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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Cafes, Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

For open-air shopping, stroll along Laugavegur. This shopping-centric street is filled with boutiques selling souvenirs, clothing and specialty foods like local cheeses and meats. Additionally, you'll find an array of restaurants that serve everything from Icelandic to Italian to sushi.

Recent travelers described the street as lively and were impressed with the variety of shops and eateries, though some cautioned that prices here are generally higher than what you'd find in American stores. If you do decide to shop here, remember that most stores close by 6 p.m. on weekdays (and even earlier on weekends).

Laugavegur stretches between Snorrabraut and Kringlumýrarbraut in downtown Reykjavik. It is free to visit 24 hours a day; limited street parking is available for a fee, but it is easiest to reach this shopping thoroughfare by walking or taking the bus.

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#1 Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

The aurora borealis (or northern lights) can be an almost eerie sight: Picture emerald green swirls coloring the otherwise darkened sky. But scientists have a boring explanation for this phenomenal natural light show – "collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the Earth's atmosphere," according to the Northern Lights Centre. Still, it's a pretty breathtaking sight, and if you're visiting Reykjavik in winter, you might want to stake out some time for northern lights gazing.

Although you can see the lights from Reykjavik, you'll increase your chances of viewing them outside of the city. Previous travelers recommend taking a tour with local companies like BusTravel Iceland or Reykjavik Excursions. (But keep in mind that the aurora borealis requires a perfect cocktail of climate conditions in order to show – so you're not guaranteed to see the elusive display of lights even if you book a tour.) If you'd rather hunt for this natural phenomenon on your own, time your visit between September and mid-April.

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