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Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

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Hong Kong, China
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Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

My girlfriend and I have recently jumped on a hotel/flight deal with Icelandair and will be traveling to Reykjavik tomorrow night.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this forum, we found a lot of great advice.

Here is our plan for the 5 days:

(Saturday) Arrive at airport early-morning. Drop off luggage with hotel and then walk around the city. Tjörnin lake, the port, the churches and the National Museum.

Stock up on food at Bonus after check-in (breakfast is covered by the hotel and we plan to eat out just for lunch).

(Sunday) Golden circle trip; cook in hotel at night.

(Monday) Other museums in Reykjavik and cafes, shops, and maybe the Northern Light tour at night.

(Tuesday) Will spend the day at Blue Lagoon.

(Wednesday) Continue walk around the city, try more small restaurants and get souvenirs, leaving for the airport late-afternoon.

I still have 2 questions for this trip:

1. The Frommer's and Lonely Planet guides both mentioned tipping is not conventional in Iceland "and may be frowned upon". Is that still true for more touristy spots such as the Blue Lagoon massage (and the excursions)? I would feel bad for not tipping when it is expected.

2. Have anyone been able to see the Northern Lights from Blue Lagoon? The travel book mentioned it and I'm just wondering. Since it seems there's no guarantee we'll see the Lights anyway, even with an experienced guide.

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to this trip!

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

Looks like a nice laid back itinerary...sounds like it will be a relaxing trip.

Are you planning on getting a massage or spa treatments at the Blue Lagoon? If so, plan on a few hours there, plus approx. an hour to and from you're hotel. An entire day is a long time to spend there without doing something else... 60-90 mins of wading around is enough for most people.

Check out Laugardalslaug (a big, outdoor, geothermal pool) in Reykjavik. If you decide you want to go for a swim outdoors in warm water, it's a lot of fun and it's only $3 USD roughly.

As for tipping at the Blue Lagoon...I don't think so. You'll pay for your massage or other services by scanning your Blue Lagoon bracelet you have to wear. If you're getting a massage in the water, all your stuff would be in your locker. That combined with the no tipping in Iceland leads me to think it's not necessary.

Just because it's a tourist spot does mean tips are expected...there are many tourists in Iceland coming from countries that don't tip either.

It is possible to see the Northern Lights from the Blue Lagoon but whether or not you'll see them is a mystery. Lately, most people have reported back saying they haven't seen them or that they were very weak.

Make sure you get a hot dog or two for lunch and try Icelandic Fish & Chips if you get a chance.

If you plan on going to a lot of museums...maybe get the Reykjavik Welcome Card. Read about on the link below but it gives you free admission to some museums and thermal pools as well as discounts to various places. I don't recommend it too often but your itinerary sounds like you could get your money's worth out of this.


Check out the flea market by the harbour on the weekend... it's not the most amazing place in the world but it's fun to walk around. There's a place where you buy hakarl in there if you want a tiny sample of the rotten shark meat. I bought some cool pint glasses in there with Icelandic beer logos on them... it's kind of a cool souvenir.

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

Hi cflavoured,

Thanks so much for your reply. Will definitely check out Laugardalslaug and the Flea Markets!

As for meals, we're planning to try these for lunch:

Icelandic Fish & Chips, Sægreifinn, and Segurmo at Boston. Will take your advice and try some hot dogs too!

After reading your suggestions and a bit more on the forum, it does seem one day at Blue Lagoon may be too long. We do plan on getting a 30-minute massage though, maybe we can stop by Blue Lagoon early morning on the last day before we head to the airport late afternoon.

I checked Flybus and it seems they don't stop at Blue Lagoon. What would be the best option for us to go from KEF straight to the hotel on arrival, and on our last day from the hotel to Blue Lagoon to KEF?

Also booked the Golden Circle tour with Iceland Horizon. Hopefully I'll get a reply from them before I fly out of New York tomorrow.

Thanks again!

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

The Flybus stops at the Blue Lagoon on the way back to the airport before your flight home. It stops there for 2 hours, which is enough time to wait in line, change, float around for 75 mins, take some pictures, change again and check out the shops. There may be enough time for a massage but I'm sure it's not that relaxing knowing you've got a bus and flight to catch.

Maybe someone else can confirm if there is enough time for a massage on this tour? Otherwise, you could always go with your original plan and have a relaxing day at the Blue Lagoon... with a 30 minute massage and 90 mins floating around... that's still only 4 hours of your day including transportation.

The tour on www.re.is is called Keflavik via the Blue Lagoon. It leaves Reykjavik at 11am and the Blue Lagoon shortly after 2pm. It also goes there on the way to Reykjavik from the airport.

Your flight probably arrives before the Blue Lagoon opens so it's probably best to go straight to the hotel. If you're anything like me, you'll check in early and take a nap after a red eye.

I'm sure you have your heart set on the Blue Lagoon spa but Laugardalslaug has a spa as well.


Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is the famous hot dog stand near the harbour. Bill Clinton and James Hetfield from Metallica are big fans of this hot dog stand if that's worth anything to you.

The flea market is called Kolaportid.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

Another option for the Blue Lagoon sidetrip is this one from Netbus (which I did). Check the schedule


You can request hotel pickup @ 9-930am, arrive at Blue Lagoon at a little past 10am, stay for a few hours (with time for a massage), then leave for KEF @ 1405pm or 1600pm

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

Thanks for telling me about Netbus, that will work very well for me.

Also confirmed my Golden Circle trip with David @ Iceland Horizon.

Will decide on the Northern Lights tour while I'm there, just saw icelandicguide's reply on low solar activity this year.

6. Re: Looking forward to my Reykjavik trip tomorrow

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