I made the most of my seven hour layover in Reykjavík, Iceland, squeezing in three of my favorite activities into a relatively compact schedule.
My first thought was just to head to the Blue Lagoon. It’s only 20 minutes from the airport and would allow me to accomplish one of my objectives: relaxing in a sauna and steam room. But even two days in advance, reservations were not available around my flight arrival time. While I likely could have still returned to the Blue Lagoon by choosing an earlier arrival time and showing up late, I figured that 1.) it would be packed with people and thus 2.) my $135 ($85 for admission, $40 for round-trip bus) would be better spent elsewhere.
After arriving from Copenhagen on SAS, I had about seven hours before my connection to San Francisco took off. I headed directly for the Icelandair Saga Lounge where I placed my rollerboard in a locker, turned around, and headed out.
I booked a round-trip ticket into Reykjavík on FlyBus and timed it perfectly; the bus left moments have I stepped on.
During the 45-minute trip to Reykjavík, I used the wi-fi onboard to finalize the day’s blog posts. We arrived at the central bus station just across the street from Reykjavík Airport (RKV). I hopped out and started walking.
My first stop was at Hallgrimskirkja, the expressionist Lutheran cathedral that sits atop the city. I love organs and was able to enjoy a short organ concert before heading out into town.
I asked for coffee recommendations on Twitter and the consensus seemed to be Reykjavík Roasters. I will dedicate a separate post to this wonderful coffee shop, but it was amazing and hit the spot. As I sipped my cappuccino and munched on my cinnamon scone, I knew I had already made the right choice to come into town.
But my fun was over yet. After coffee, I walked over to the Hilton hotel. Why pay Blue Lagoon prices when there are so many other decent day spas in Reykjavík? The Hilton has a lovely spa and sells day passes for ISK 5,490 ($44). That’s a lot for a hotel spa, but it was far more tranquil than the Blue Lagoon would have been.
Refreshed, I headed back into town to try another coffee shop, this one called Te & Kaffi. It was tasty, but not as good as Reykjavík Roasters.
Coffee finished, I walked back to the bus station, boarded the coach back to KEF, and about an hour later was sitting in the Icelandair Saga lounge once again.
You can pack so much into a layover if you choose. I was very happy I chose to go into Reykjavík rather than just visit the Blue Lagoon. Organ music, great coffee, and a spa? Yes please.
What did you do during your Reykjavik layover?