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Best Restaurants in Iceland

Reykjavik is known as a haven for food lovers. They have local seafood, meat and game, which is why tourists love coming here when they want the very best New Nordic cuisine. Today, this article is going to cover our personal favorite restaurants found in Iceland.

best restaurants iceland

Snaps Bistro

Snaps Bistro is located in the discreet area of Skolavorduholt, which is home to various coffeehouses and the Hallgrimskirkja church, which is known for the breathtaking view that the observation tower provides. When at Snaps Bistro you can enjoy a variety of French Brasserie style dishes that are made with local foods, ranging from French onion soup made with Icelandic Isbui cheese and moules marinières with mussels from the Breidafjordur. According to CNN Travel, this is one of the coolest bars found in Reykjavik.

Location – Snaps Bistro, Þórsgata 1, 101 Reykjavik, +354 511 6677

restaurant reykjavík

Fiskfelagið

If you did not try some of Iceland’s world-class seafood while in the area you would find that your trip is not complete. Fiskfelagið is one of the cozy basement restaurants that serve the best seafood dishes in all of Iceland and they have the best fish dishes from around the world. The building that the restaurant is located in, the Historic Zimsen building, has been around since 1884. When guests come here to eat, they find that the booths are very comfortable, some of the best dishes are the Icelandic salted cod and burnt langoustines, and the Malaysian inspired blackened monkfish with the lobster spring roll.

Location – Fiskfelagið, Vesturgata 2A, 101 Reykjavik, +354 552 5300

Fiskfelagið

DILL Restaurant

You can find the DILL Restaurant secluded in Vatnsmyri, Reykjavik. They are known for utilizing local food and seasonal ingredients in their dishes.

The DILL Restaurant can be found in the Nordic House, which was designed by Alvar Aalto. When guests come here to dine, they experience classic Nordic ingredients that have a present-day twist during lunch. Many guests fine that the meatballs and plokkfiskur hit the spot during lunch. If coming for dinner you will have three course options to choose from available and wine comes on the menu. All of the innovative recipes can make it hard to know what to eat yet the locals recommend the baked rutabaga with cheese foam.

Location – DILL Restaurant, Nordic House, Sturlugata 5, 101 Reykjavik, +354 552 1522 

DILL Restaurant Iceland

Grillmarkaðurinn

Grillmarkaðurinn, also known as The Grill Market, is where visitors go when they want a creative meal that is made with local Icelandic products. This restaurant can be found where the old New Cinema was located and you will notice it because of its artistic and deluxe design, which is composed of Icelandic elements such as water and rock. The lounge area provides customers with a variety of brews and wines, and the décor is modern yet comfortable. The environment is sure to make you relaxed. When here, you have the option of meat, fish and game grill dishes. Many guests love trying the minke whale steak or the reindeer mini burgers.

Location – Grillmarkaðurinn, Laekjargata 2A, 101 Reykjavik, +354 571 7777 

Grillmarkaðurinn Reykjavík Iceland

Perlan 

Perlan is one of the most recognizable buildings thanks to its glass dome shape. There are trees established on the surrounding hillsides and this helps make a unique woodland setting that all tourists love. The restaurant is found on the revolving floor and provides 360-degree views that will astound you. You have access to seasonal four-course menus and buffet style food. Many locals recommend the reindeer meatballs and the wild goose breast and Skyr cake.

best restaurants iceland

Travel Guide Iceland Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)

Swimming Pools in Iceland

Swimming and bathing in hot water pools is a way of life in Iceland. Locals go to the pool to either relax, exercise or even socialise (sometimes all three!). Bathing in hot pools goes back to the settlement period, and one of the oldest and most famous pools is Snorralaug in Reykholt, named after Snorri Sturluson, a famous medieval poet and author. The first hot pool or “hot pot” that was built according to ancient tradition, was opened in 1923 in Seljavallalaug.

Seljavallalaug

GEOTHERMAL ENERGY IN ICELAND

A combination of its unique geographical position on the Mid Atlantic ridge and an abundance of glacial rivers and waterfalls gives Iceland access to an abundance of clean energy. Over the years Iceland has become highly adept at utilising this energy, and today about 85% of the its energy requirements is met by renewable resources.

The energy generated from hydro power is mainly used for electricity production, whereas the geothermal energy is used to provide hot water for a variety of uses: Heating homes, schools and, yes, you guessed it Swimming Pools.

Today there are around 170 swimming pools in Iceland, the vast majority of which are outdoor. At the very least they come with a pool divided into lanes for swimming and one warmer hot pot for relaxing. A few of our favourite pools in the Greater Reykjavik area are listed below.

Swimming Pool Iceland

Laugardalslaug

This pool is the largest and most popular in Reykjavik. Located in Laugardalur valley, a  recreation area just outside the city centre.

Its facilities include a 50 metre long swimming pool, a giant waterslide (plus a smaller one for the younger children!), numerous hot pots, a steam bath, mini golf course and a gym.

Swimming Pools in Iceland

Árbæjarlaug

Slightly further out from the centre is Árbæjarlaug. This pool is particularly good for children and features a water slide, water fountains, hot pots, jacuzzi and a sauna.

Árbæjarlaug

Álftanes Pool

This is a very modern pool in the town of Alftanes, just outside Reykjavik. It comes with all the features one expects from an Icelandic pool but with one exception – a wave machine

Álftanes Pool

IMPORTANT RULES AT SWIMMING POOLS IN ICELAND

There are a few things the foreign visitor should be aware of when visiting a pool in Iceland.

  1. Take your shoes off before entering the changing room. There should be a shelf where you can place your shoes. Alternatively you can put them in a plastic bag and secure them in your locker.
  2. Shower without a swimsuit before entering a pool. This is for hygiene purposes. The showers are usually provided with soap.
  3. Don´t use your camera or camera phone in the changing room. You could find yourself in trouble with the police if you do.

Swimming Pools in Iceland

Visiting an Icelandic pool is a fantastic experience. It relaxes tired muscles, aching limbs and can greatly reduce stress and make you feel much more calm and relaxed. The contrast of the cool air and the hot water adds to the experience. At around 600 ISK a visit, it´s a cheap way to while away a couple of hours in Iceland.

Travel Guide Iceland Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)