What's the number 1 thing not to miss in Iceland?


My friend is doing a trip this summer and has a stopover for 2 days and has a full day to spare she wants to know how best to spend her time to get the maximum experience but for just one day.
Do you have any suggestions?


Hi Mel,

I think she should try the Golden Circle, it is simply the most popular attraction! Also, she can combine the golden circle with endless other things, like for example horseback riding, snorkeling, snowmobiling or a visit to a hot pool like the Blue Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon or the Fontana baths. :slight_smile:


She’s coming in summer, there won’t be any darkness. If she wants an adventure then I’d say she should rent a car for the day and hit the road. She could drive the Golden Circle but end it by hiking up to Reykjadalur to bathe in a hot river during the midnight sun.
The Golden Circle is pretty popular, so it may be pretty overcrowded with tourists. Here’s an article about how to avoid most of the crowd: How to drive the Golden Circle

However, in my honest opinion I feel like the Golden Circle is just a tad too overcrowded (especially if you go on a tour) and the beauty of Iceland is that you can find complete solitude in the nature. So if she’s like me and wants to explore places for herself, I’d recommend driving to Snæfellsnes peninsula and visit Arnarstapi, Búðir, Djúpalónssandur, have seafood soup at Café Rif, stop at Kirkjufell and visit Stykkishólmur before coming back to Reykjavík.

Also, either go to the Blue Lagoon (again, very touristy and overpriced but conveniently located for such a short stop) or simply go to a local swimming pool in Reykjavík on her half day. Splash out for a fancy meal in one of Reykjavík’s restaurants (my current favourite is Kol, right by the big church Hallgrímskirkja) and go for an evening stroll checking out the street art and the local pubs (nightlife is good on weekends).


For such a short thing, the Golden Circle and Reykjanes, - and then eat in Reykjavík! Eat all the things! There’s so much good food in Reykjavík!


Awesome, thank you Nanna for such a detailed answer! and thanks for the tips about crowded areas. My friend will definitely want to go off the beaten path (though not off road of course!)

She is exactly the type to go for an adventure and stay out late (maybe even all night) especially if there is sun the whole day and night (It sounds amazing!).
I’ll be sure to let her know about Reykjadalur as well. She will love being able to bathe in a hot spring … and she will have to check out the swimming pool culture in Iceland if she has time!

The Golden Circle link is really helpful I’m going to forward it to her right now!

I’m a little jealous of her trip haha … Oh well there’s always next time for me :slight_smile:

Thanks again!