I’ve now been home less than a week after my trip to Iceland and I am already missing it. I long to be back roaming the colourful streets of Reykjavik and curling up with a mug of hot chocolate as the snow falls. I loved Iceland and as I did with The Netherlands, I want to give my first impressions of Iceland..
I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland – it was a lifelong dream of mine and high up on my bucket list. Arriving at Keflavik, I did shed a tear. Travelling to Iceland seemed like such an unobtainable goal with money and mental health so to end the decade in Reykjavik was mind blowing.
I knew quite a bit about Iceland before going but here are my first impressions of Iceland.
My First Impressions Of Iceland – Impression Number 1: It’s Beautiful
The first glimpse I got of Iceland left me speechless. The snow capped mountains and the black sand beaches… It was otherworldly.
I spent a lot of time with my camera in my hand, snapping photos of everything whether it was the colourful streets in Reykjavik or the gushing waterfalls in the middle of nowhere. I couldn’t believe the beauty laid out before me – all created by nature. I’d learned a lot about Iceland in high school geography lessons so knew it would be nice but there’s a big difference between seeing photos and actually experiencing it yourself.
Iceland is a haven for anyone with a camera so make sure you take lots of photos if you go because you will likely regret it if you don’t!
My First Impressions Of Iceland – Impression Number 2: It’s Expensive
Me and Rosie stood in the supermarket converting prices to find the best deal and we were shocked to see a few slices of cheese priced at around £8. We both knew it was going to be expensive but I don’t think it hit home just how expensive it actually was.
For the first few days, we actually didn’t spend that much but as we started to buy gifts to take home, the winces came a little more often. I almost cried when the Blue Lagoon charged me £18 for a waterproof phone case and would have charged me £7ish for a smoothie had our drinks not been complementary.
The expense didn’t come as much of a surprise but when you are used to a £5 trip to the chippy rather than paying £18, it can be a bit of a shock.
My First Impressions Of Iceland – Impression Number 3: There’s Not Really A Language Barrier
I don’t speak Icelandic so was bricking it at the thought of not understanding anything. I was pleasantly surprised to walk into Keflavík airport and immediately understand everything I needed to.
All the Icelanders we encountered spoke amazing English and were happy to teach a few phrases in Icelandic, should we ask. Perhaps this is because we stuck to the tourist parts of the country but it’s still reassuring to know that you won’t be completely out of your depth on holiday.
I did try my hand at pronouncing some Icelandic words such as street names but they have letters we don’t so it’s instantly 100x harder.
My First Impressions Of Iceland – Impression Number 4: It’s Very Safe
Some people do say Reykjavík is one of the safest capital cities in the world and having wandered around, on my own at nearly midnight, I would wholly agree with this.
I am very cautious on my own at night but from the moment I stepped foot in Iceland, I felt safe and welcome despite the fact my camera made me look like a total tourist. Nobody batted an eyelid at me walking around on my own down to the seafront at midnight in, search of the Northern Lights. Nobody bothered me the whole time I was there – I can’t walk through Worcester without being catcalled or approached at least once a week!
For me to be able to walk home (OK, walk is pushing it… stumbling is maybe more accurate) from a bar, completely drunk and unable to walk straight and still feel incredibly safe is mind-boggling. I sit here writing this and can’t believe I did it and had absolutely no anxiety.
My First Impressions Of Iceland – Impression Number 5: It’s Very Quiet
It’s almost midnight and I’m stood in the capital city of Iceland, completely stunned at how quiet it is. In London, there’d be cars and people milling around (it was a Friday night after all) but in Reykjavík, it’s almost silent.
The whole time, me and Rosie commented on how quiet Reykjavík was for a capital city and a tourist hotspot. It’s such a peaceful and calm city – a total paradise if it’s a quiet long weekend you crave.
Overall, my first impressions of Iceland were overwhelmingly positive. The country was beautiful, the people were friendly and it was the most amazing place I’ve ever been to. Perhaps I was running a risk of disappointment by building myself up so much but Iceland didn’t disappoint and I long to go again.
If you’re looking for an experience like no other, Iceland is a good shout. The experience makes up for how expensive it can be and I do not regret spending as much as I did. I think it’s best to find an AirBnB (use this referral link to get up to £39 off your next trip – DISCLAIMER: I do get some gain from it) so you can cook some meals for yourself and save some money.
I will be posting more about my adventure to Iceland but if there’s anything specific you want to know, just let me know!