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    A First-Timer's Guide To Reykjavík, Iceland

    Click here for natural hot springs, northern lights, waterfalls adorned by rainbows, and more.

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    If Reykjavík, Iceland, isn't already on your travel bucket list, it should be. From the natural hot springs and waterfalls to the awesome nightlife and *gulp* fresh seafood, it's a place that SHOULD NOT BE MISSED.

    Enter a world of luxury via Canopy by Hilton Reykjavík City Centre, where comfy beds, HUGE showers, and continental breakfasts would make even a noble jealous. Who's never leaving their hotel room? You.

    KEX Hostel = a dream come true for a) frequent vintage shoppers and b) anyone on a budget. Every corner of this affordable spot is packed with unique touches, from wall art to overstuffed couches that look like they were transported from the Roaring '20s.

    Blue Lagoon is the first image that comes to mind when you think of Iceland — and for good reason. This geothermal spa contains salt- and algae-rich water, is nestled into a lava field that looks like it fell from Mars, and is basically the kind of place I want to wake up to every morning.

    Visit Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran church completed in 1986 that serves as the tallest structure in all of Iceland. It's also an observation tower, allowing you to soak in the entirety of Reykjavík (just imagine all 👏 that 👏 colorful 👏 roofing 👏) when you get to the very top.

    In general, Iceland is the kind of spot in which I STRONGLY recommend you book tours. A lot of the ~natural wonders~ aren’t located close to one another, so booking tours that guarantee you’ll see everything is pretty darn crucial.

    Browse sites like Expedia and Viator to find tours that best suit your style. OR! Opt for online services like Intrepid Travel or Groupon (the latter of which provides budget-friendly stays) that plan your entire itinerary for you, accommodations included. Groupon even includes your flight!

    Marvel at the Sólheimajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers, gasp at the Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and stroll along the black sand beaches of Vik on this Southern Iceland tour.

    Chasing waterfalls = great. Chasing northern lights = better. This three-hour tour is held from September to mid-April (you need maximum darkness to be able to see the aurora borealis) and takes you to remote spots where they’re the most visible. Warning: If the concept of space terrifies you, then the northern lights are...eerie. But worth it!

    The Golden Circle tour is a classic tour to take in Iceland: It covers the Geysir and Strokkur hot springs, the double-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, *and* a tectonic rift at Thingvellir National Park that looks like something out of The Lord of the Rings.

    Devour your most important meal of the day at Grai Kotturinn (The Grey Cat), a hidden little nook that prides itself on breakfast food staples: toast, pancakes, bagels, and more. Wash it all down with a cup of joe, and prepare to leave with a happy belly.

    Visit Iceland’s oldest restaurant/a spot straight out of a Nicholas Sparks book turned movie: Kaffivagninn. This tiny waterfront property is a great place to grab some fish and chips (or soup!) while watching the boats bob by.

    Please trust me when I say this: I have tried many a chocolate cake, and I had probably *the best* chocolate cake of my life at Café Babalú. This is the perfect little spot to fill up on crepes, caffeine, and (surprise) cake.

    Bottomless brunch = music to my ears. Get it at Public House Gastropub, an edgy spot that favors fresh ingredients, cocktails, and draft beers. (Psst: This is also a great dinner choice if you love seafood and your favorite five-letter word is S-U-S-H-I.)

    If you want to hang with the locals, go to Den Danske Kro. Prepare your ears for constant live music and covers to songs like, say, "Always" by Bon Jovi. The kicker is said song may be translated into Icelandic, resulting in the entire bar singing along. (Now who's ready for a game of "spot the tourist"?)

    If the thought of yelling along to "Come On Eileen" makes your heart skip a beat, then Miami belongs on your bucket list. Because it's an '80s-themed bar, it's pretty damn cheesy — and that's exactly what makes it so perfect.

    Exposed brick and dim lighting make Kaffibarinn the ideal spot for a cozy wine night. It's even got late-night DJs (for background #moodmusic) and a huge selection of local Icelandic brews you can't leave Reykjavík without trying.

    And with that, I bid you adieu — time to plan your trip to Reykjavík and use this post as a reference!

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