The 24 Hour Layover in Iceland : Top 5

With the 24 hour layover in Reykjavik Iceland becoming more and more common, we’ve composed this list of our Top 5 things to do in Iceland during a 24 hour layover.  In descending order they are:

#5 – The Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager near the Sæbraut road in Reykjavik is a unique art sculpture on the shores of the Greenland Sea and is one of the more popular stops in a city that has more art than you might expect.

The Sun Voyager – Photo by Brian Wallace

#4 – Hallgrímskirkja Church

Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik is a great place in the city to get your bearings.  The church is seen easily from almost anywhere in Reykjavik and it is centrally located, sitting atop a large hill with a commanding view of the rest of the city.

The view of Reykjavik from Hallgrímskirkja Church                                                                             Photo by Sharon Ang –
Hallgrímskirkja – Photo by Brian Wallace

#3 – Icelandic Street Food

Lunch at Icelandic Street Food was the best and cheapest meal we had in our 24 hours in Iceland.  My Dad and I had all you can eat soups and deserts for about $38 USD with a couple of drinks tacked on as well.  The atmosphere was a little quirky (which fits well with Reykjavik) and the people there were very friendly.

Icelandic Street Food in Reykjavik- Photo by Brian Wallace
The bill, not bad for Iceland – Photo by Brian Wallace

#2 – Driving the Backroads

Driving the backroads near Hafnarfjörður was a great highlight if for nothing else than it was totally unplanned.  We had an awkward amount of time in Reykjavik before our flight left for home from Keflavik so I took a quick look at the map and saw that we could take the back way to Keflavik from the town of Hafnarfjörður to kill some time.  Soon after turning off of the main highway, we saw in the distance what looked like drying racks that had some unknown “stuff” hanging from it.  The “stuff” turned out to be drying fish heads and the smell was nearly unbearable but it was the best worst smell ever. We were richly rewarded for venturing off the main road without a plan.  There was also beautiful scenery along the way to the airport but forever burned into my memory, as well as my nostrils, will be the fish head drying racks of Hafnarfjörður.


Admittedly, I was glad these weren’t shark fins

#1 – The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon in Grindavik is everything you’ve imagined it to be.  So much has been written about it before so I will not try to spin new superlatives to describe it.  I spent the better part of 10 days in Europe with my Dad and can honestly say that the three hours or so we spent at the Blue Lagoon was the best part of the trip, especially for my Dad.  You can see by the photo below that my normally very reserved father was relaxed and truly enjoying himself and had found his happy place.  This Blue Lagoon is expensive but is so worth it, especially if you’re only in Iceland for a 24 hour layover.


So if you’re flying to Europe through Reykjavik, consider a one day layover (or more), you will probably end up calling it the best stopover you’ve ever had.