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How to Spend 5 Days in Iceland [Updated 2022]

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The beginning of December, I spent 5 days in Iceland. The trip was to celebrate my friend Donica’s birthday, who has always wanted to go to Iceland. So, we gathered some troops and booked a little vacation to the land of fire and ice.

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5 Days in Iceland

Day 0 – Arriving in Reykjavik

Our flight left from Denver on Nov. 30 and we arrived in Reykjavik early on Dec. 1. After going through customs and grabbing our luggage from baggage claim, we took about an hour bus ride into the city. We then switched from a coach to a minibus that took us near our Airbnb. Note: Fly bus, one of the main shuttle services, doesn’t drop off to Airbnb’s. My suggestion is to contact your host and ask where the nearest hotel is, and get dropped off there. This also comes in handy when it comes to choosing a pick-up location for your excursions.

After a much needed nap, we got ready and made our way to a cafe before strolling the main street in Reykjavik, Laugvenguer. Next, we walked down to the harbor and grabbed some drinks at Lobster & Stuff. Saegriffin across is across the walkway, and it’s s where we ate dinner. A few of us decided to go out after dinner to check out the famous Reykjavik nightlife. We started at a pub called the Public House, and then made our way to a few small bars down Laugvenguer.

Day 1 – Southern Shore Tour

Getting only a few hours of sleep, we made a pit stop to our new favorite cafe Sandholt before our tour. We were originally supposed to do the golden circle tour our first day but due to a date mix up (I somehow booked a 2017 tour), we ended up on the south shore tour. It was a nice start to our trip as we got to see a glacier, the black sand beach and some waterfalls.

When we got back into Reykjavik, we had dinner at Noodle Station (a Pho type restaurant) and hit up some more bars.

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Reykjavik - Sandholt

Day 2 – Golden Circle Tour

Our second full day in Iceland, was certainly not as great as the first. We did the golden circle this day; however, Mother Nature wasn’t kind to us this day. It was cold and raining the entire tour and there was a lot of fog which prevented us from seeing one of the sights. I’d love to visit Iceland in the summer to get a better look at the ones the weather kind of ruined. After our tour, we made ourselves dinner at home and went out.

Day 3 – The Blue Lagoon

Our third night was definitely eventful. We met up with some people we met the previous night and ended up staying out till 5:30 am and not sleeping. Luckily, the only thing on our agenda for that day was going to the blue lagoon. We hopped on the bus groggy and ready to pass out, which we did until we got to the lagoon. I’ll say that we couldn’t have planned it out any better. Being in the warm water and doing facials was the perfect way to recover from the night before.

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Days 4 & 5 – Shopping & Sightseeing

The next two days were spent souvenir shopping and trying not to go bankrupt eating in Reykjavik. There are a bunch of souvenir shops up and down Laugvenguer. They all carry similar products but some of them have unique items you don’t find in the others. We also visited Hallgrimskikja, the iconic church and HARPA, a cultural and social center.

Iceland is beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there even with the less than ideal weather. 5 days in Iceland seemed like the perfect amount of time for a first visit. We were able to do nearly all the things we set out to do minus a northern lights boat tour that got cancelled every night due to the bad weather. But other than that, Iceland was a rather great trip.

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