Honeymooners of the adventurous variety and seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience should consider Reykjavik. Iceland is seeing ever increasing numbers of tourists due to its greater affordability following the Global Financial Crisis, stunning natural beauty, and very reasonable airfares from numerous North American and European cities. Given that the growing popularity of the country is outpacing the growth in tourist infrastructure (hotel rooms and rental cars), it is advised to book these essentials as far in advance as possible.
Reykjavik offers travelers of all budgets options to enjoy the city. Most attractions are free or available at a very low cost (under $10 per person). Cultural institutions tend to showcase Icelandic poets, musicians, and artists first. While you won’t find a large collection of Old Masters in an art museum, you will on the other hand partake in uniquely Icelandic experiences that would be difficult to find anywhere else on the planet. Fresh North Atlantic seafood dominates local cuisine, though most global options are available in a city which outperforms in its cosmopolitan offerings relative to its size.
For those with an expeditionary inclination on their honeymoon, Reykjavik makes the perfect base to explore the country’s fjords, small villages, geysers, and other natural wonders.
When to Go
Unsurprisingly for a country named Iceland, elect for a summer visit to enjoy mild weather and clear skies. Winters are, unsurprisingly, quite cold with freezing temperatures and North Atlantic gales. Spring and autumn are “in between” with average highs in the high 30s to low 40s. As you might expect, high season and its higher prices will be during the summer.
Top Sights and Activities
- Austurvöllur: This park between the National Cathedral and the Parliament building is a great spot for relaxing on your honeymoon in between sightseeing.
- Alþingi: The historic home of Iceland’s Parliament, it now serves as a debating chamber when Parliament is in session.
- Imagine Peace Tower: On Viðey island, this tower was built by Yoko Ono to commemorate John Lennon and his desire for world peace.
- Reykjavík City Museum: This museum focuses on the history of Reykjavik and history of traditional Icelandic life – museum staff are in traditional Icelandic costumes and demonstrate various aspects of pre-modern Icelandic life.
- National Gallery of Iceland: This is Iceland’s largest art museum and houses the most diverse collection of Icelandic art as well as some foreign pieces.
- Nordic House: The Nordic House functions as a cultural center where one can attend poetry recitations, concerts, and special art exhibitions.
- Culture Night: On the third Saturday of August, Reykjavik goes all out with a morning marathon, cultural performances/activities, concerts, and a fireworks display.
- Hallgrimskirkja: This large, modern church is notable for its architecture, and you can take an elevator up for a bird’s eye view of the city.
- The Northern Lights: A wonder of the Arctic latitudes – an evening cruise is perfect to view nature’s light show on your honeymoon.
- Golden Circle: A 190 mile loop around southern Iceland offering various tourist activities and sights that can be done in a day or over many.
- Thingvellir: An Icelandic natural park and UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its natural beauty and the founding of the Icelandic Parliament in 930 AD.
- Silfra Lake: Located in Thingvellir, the lake offers scuba divers crystal clear water and the chance to swim between two tectonic plates.
- Perlan: “The Pearl” is built on top of a hill and features a rotating restaurant with fantastic views of Reykjavik.