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Reykjavik free stuff and guideFacts, Figures & Free stuff!

Getting out and about…

On foot…

Reykjavik is a marvellously compact city, so it’s easy to get out and about and navigate the area on foot. If your band of weekend warriors happen to find themselves straying off in less than straight lines, keep a look out for the bizarre its-supposed-to-look-like-lava-but-kind-of-looks-like-a-rocket-to-us Hallgrímskirkja church, which makes for a pretty nifty spot to regroup should you be in the company of more than a few ‘directionally challenged’ stag-goers.

By bus…

If walking sounds too much like walking, then the clean and efficient Strætó bus system provides regular reliable transport around the city and surrounding burbs. A single ride will set you back 350kr but the drivers don’t/won’t/can’t (?) give change, so make sure you’ve got the right cash on you, chaps. They’re also strangely fond of mixing it up when it comes to bus numbers and routes, but there’s a handy site with live info to plan your journey here.

Reykjavik Welcome Card…

If you’re planning on maxing out the public transport system and taking in a few cultural stops along the way, head to the capital’s tourist information centre and grab yourself a ‘welcome card’. Not only will it give you unlimited travel on the buses, free entry to a whole heap of exhibitions and discount at a range of stores, you’ll also benefit from a 10% discount on entry to stand back and behold more than 200 specimens at the city’s Phallological Museum. Now we can’t say fairer than that.

Events and Festivals…

Jan –THORRABLOT;the city’s annual shout out to its Viking heritage and roots. Hearty food. Yards of ale. Loud music. Raucous parties. Ridiculous costumes (what we at StagWeb like to call…a Reykjavik stag do). Also the time when stomachs battle it out over the culinary delights of the Thorri Midwinter feast;

  • Brennivin – Typically bottled at 80%. Iceland’s national drink isn’t for the faint of heart. Or light of weight. Or delicate of palette. Generally served as a shot to disguise the taste of, well, everything else on the table…
  • Hákarl – we’ve tried in vain to dress this one up but we can’t. It’s shark. It’s rotten. It’s been sitting in a hole in the ground for months. Hint of cheese. Whiff of ammonia. ‘Nuff said?
  • Svið – boiled sheep’s head. Merrily sold in the local drive-thru. Fries with that?
  • Súrsaðir hrútspungar – pickled ram’s testicles. Not only do the poor buggers lose their heads, but their meat and two veg are dipped in acid and served up on a platter alongside for all to see. Looks a bit like páté. And is so universally popular in the region that stocks have, believe it or not, almost run out at times.

Feb –BOLLUDAGUR (Bun Day);Cakes, buns, baps…. a true stag-friendly feast across the city’s top eateries.

March 1st – BEER DAY!!!! Well there’s beer and…. THERE’S BEER!

Jun –SJOMANNADAGAR;or Festival of the Sea. Or Seaman Day (no… really) A mighty celebration of the region’s rich maritime history. Get the boys down to the harbour for a day of live music, entertainment and testosterone-fuelled fun across the bay. June also brings with it the SUMMER SOLSTICE, and as far as we can see: longest day + 24 hour party people = more BEER! With the midnight sun comes another excuse to keep the grog flowing ‘till dawn. Or if you’re a bunch of finely honed powerhouses just itching to get your kicks with some full-on long distance running, June also happens to be when the SUZUKI MIDNIGHT RUN lands in town.

Aug – MENNINGARNÓTT (Culture Night);carnivals, street fairs, concerts, feasting and fireworks. Good food, great times and fantastically up for it locals coming together for the biggest event of the year.

Sept – JAZZ and FILM FESTIVALS; collection of top dollar concerts and international screenings across the city.

Oct – ICELAND AIRWAVES ; another day, another party. And this one’s HUGE. Shake your thing among the bold and the beautiful to the likes of Keane, Fatboy Slim, Kraftwerk and Kaiser Chiefs.

Heard it on the grapevine…

It’s well worth having a gander at the capital’s (handily) English local rag to see what’s happening across town. Pick up a copy, or take a look at the online edition for fully comprehensive and up-to-date listings of events, exhibits, music, concerts, deals about town….

A few handy phrases…

Halló – Hello
Bjórvinsamlegast – Beer please
Tveirbjórvinsamlegast – Two beers please
Annar umferðvinsamlegast – Another round please
Þessi heiðursmaðurgreiðir – This gentleman will pay
Pinkschnappsfyrir hann – Pink schnapps for him

And not so helpful ones…

Höfuðsauðfé eraðfaravinsamlegast - Sheep’s head to go please
Fiskur minnbragðastfyndið– my fish tastes funny...
Tómatsósavinsamlegast - Ketchup please
MEIRAtómatsósuvinsamlegast - MORE ketchup please
Hann mun hafahákarl - He’ll have the shark

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