Travel

19 Weirdly Intriguing Tidbits You Should Know About Iceland

Get ready to get naked before going in the Blue Lagoon.

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Iceland has been named one of the top travel destinations of 2017, but there are a few important things you'll wanna know before hopping over there.

1. It'll smell like rotten eggs when you shower — but it's actually a good thing.

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Geothermal energy is used cities like Reykjavík, so the natural spring water traveling underground to your shower head is what's delivering the sulfuric smell. It's totally safe and it'll still get you squeaky clean.

2. It's completely safe to drink the cold tap water — and it WON'T smell.

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The cold water doesn't carry the sulfuric properties, so feel free to fill up your water bottle in the sink. It's crisp and delicious.

3. You're gonna have to get naked before entering the infamous Blue Lagoon.

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Before you can take a dip into the bright blue geothermal spa, you have to use the facilities to take a shower first. It's a rule. There are open showers without doors, but also concealed showers if you prefer privacy.

4. Your hair will feel SUPER stiff and damaged if you decide to get it wet in the lagoon — but there are ways of preventing this.

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Don't worry — you won't have to shave your head. For one, you could tie your hair up to prevent it from getting wet. But if you're worried about accidentally soaking it, use the conditioner they provide for you in the showers as a mask and keep it on your hair as long as you're in the lagoon. Your hair will thank you for it.

6. There also aren't any McDonald's locations.

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You'd think this fast food chain took over the world, but alas. No golden arches. However, there *are* 23 Subway sandwich locations. But really, you're way better off sticking to local cuisine.

7. Iceland is also famous for its hot dogs — which are made from lamb.

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A great place to get them in Reykjavík is Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (translation: "best dogs in town"), which are paired with pylsusinnep (brown mustard) and fried onions. But you can also get them at almost any gas station. They're also cheap — about $3.

8. You can pay for nearly everything by credit card, so don't worry about exchanging your money for krónas.

9. With that said, 1,500 krónas does NOT translate to 1,500 dollars. It's roughly $14.

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A good way to remember this is to move the decimal to the right and you'll have a rough estimate of what you're purchasing in dollars.

11. You can drive around the whole country in about a week.

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Many people drive the Ring Road road trip around Iceland, which circles the country in roughly 827 miles. It's a great way to see beautiful scenery and many parts of the country. And, if you're curious, driver's side is on the left.

12. Iceland is English-friendly, and many locals are happy to help you out with any Icelandic pronunciation you're having trouble with.

13. Eating whale meat is more of a touristy thing now rather than a traditional experience.

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While whale hunting is part of Iceland's identity, a poll by the IFAW and Capacent Gallup reported only 3.2% of Iceland's population actually eats whale meat. As of 2014, 18% of tourists reported eating whale meat as a part of wanting to try a traditional dish.

14. If you plan on getting close to waterfalls — especially on a tour — it's a good idea to bring a pair of waterproof pants or a change of clothes.

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Accidentally getting wet means sitting in freezing wet clothes the whole day, and nobody wants that.

15. You have the best chance of seeing the northern lights if you travel outside a major city to an area with very little light pollution.

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In some instances you CAN catch a peek at them in a major city, like Reykjavík, but if you want a clearer showing, seek the darkness!

16. You can also use the Aurora app as well as this website to learn about viewing conditions in your area.

On the website, the white represents clear skies while the green represents clouds (it feels like it should be the opposite) so you can see if you have a shot at glimpsing nature's magical light show.

17. Yes, the food can be expensive, but be prepared for the drinks to be even pricier.

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You can find great deals on food that fill you up (Noodle Station is excellent) but the drinks can REALLY add up — remember what I said about moving the decimal over one!

18. Justin Bieber's "I'll Show You" music video was shot in Iceland, and you can actually visit all the beautiful locations.

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Locations include Seljalandsfoss falls, Skógafoss falls, Jökulsárlón lake, and Reynisfjara (Black Sand Beach) — all near the village of Vík.

19. Iceland is the most peaceful country in the WORLD, and that's pretty rad.

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Throughout the time we were in Reykjavík, we didn't hear one police siren. So it doesn't come as a surprise that Iceland was reported to be the No. 1 most peaceful country on earth.