Clean, green and captivating, the colourful port of Reykjavik is one of Europe's most enchanting cities.
The world's northernmost national capital offers stunning views, a thriving arts scene and a warm welcome that belies its subarctic climate. A beautiful skyline, dramatic coast and rich cultural heritage come together in a city that also makes an ideal gateway to Iceland's glaciers, geysers and lava fields.
Arriving at Reykjavik–Keflavik Airport
Direct flights depart London City Airport for Keflavik International Airport, which lies about 30 miles (50km) west of capital Reykjavik on the northern tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Short runways at the more central Reykjavik Airport mean it is only used by domestic carriers.
Built as a military airfield, Keflavik International Airport has three runways, two of which are currently in use. The passenger terminal – named after Norse explorer Leif Erikson – has been extended several times since opening in 1987, and received awards for its bright décor and range of facilities, which include an impressive range of shops and free unlimited Wi-Fi.
There is currently no rail link between the airport and Reykjavik, so all onward transfers are by road. Bus options include the Airport Express and FlyBus services, which depart between 30 and 45 minutes after each scheduled flight arrival. Drop-offs can be arranged for all major hotels in the capital, but you'll need to book in advance.
Several taxi companies operate from the airport, and you can pick up a hire car – book in advance with London City Airport.
Food and drink
Fish: the national dish
Iceland is synonymous with the fishing industry thanks to the island's isolated north Atlantic location and testing farming climate. Generations relied on the sea for sustenance, and although today's inhabitants enjoy a more balanced diet, fish remains an integral feature of domestic cuisine. If you're feeling adventurous, look beyond the cod steak and mackerel – give the traditional hákarl or fermented shark a try.
Drink a shot of 'black death'
Take a deep breath before downing a shot of Iceland's signature alcoholic drink, the distinctively pungent brennivín. The 40% ABV drink, an unsweetened schnapps, may be similar in nature to vodka but its 'Black Death' nickname is somewhat ominous. Still, Brennivín is only available in Iceland, so it's worth giving a go while you're here.
Load up an icelandic hot dog
Hot dogs are done differently in Iceland, and they're all the better for it. The country is famous for its pylsa – a lamb sausage on steamed bread covered with ketchup, sweet pylsusinnep mustard, both raw and fried onions and a tangy remoulade sauce. The Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog chain is a national institution; if you're a meat-eater, join the queue and tuck in.