We visited Iceland on a long (4-night) ‘layover’ while flying between our housesit in the Netherlands and our housesit in Costa Rica. It had been a mild winter in Europe and we wanted a good, cold blast before we headed into a tropical climate – and Iceland in winter delivered!
We based ourselves in Reykjavik and explored the country by tour bus, taking in the sights of the Golden Circle, the South Coast and we even got a glimpse of the Northern Lights. It was cold – freezing, actually – but that didn’t stop us from taking thousands of photos of the incredible, frosty landscapes and visiting pubs to drink local brews.
Capital City: Reykjavik
Country Population: 375,000
Useful Words and Phrases: Hello - Hallo | Thank You – Þakka þér fyrir
Currency: Icelandic Krona (ISK) | Current Value
Get Inspired for your Trip to Iceland
Iceland is a country of mystical landscapes, unspoiled nature…and some seriously interesting food habits. Find some inspiration for your trip to Iceland with the best movies, food and drinks!
Movies Filmed in Iceland
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is one of the most inspirational travel stories recently released; the 2013 film stars Ben Stiller. When his character faces the prospect of losing his job, he embarks on an adventure that takes him to the far reaches of the earth. Many of the scenes featuring epic nature were filmed in Iceland.
Journey to the Center of the Earth is a fantasy adventure movie that is fun for the whole family and features scenes filmed in Iceland. Although this film did not inspire us to travel to Iceland specifically, it certainly stokes the desire to embark on a journey!
Travel Inspirations for Food from Iceland
The cuisine in Iceland is unique (see our Guide to Iceland Food). Some food – like shark or goat’s head – would be pretty tough to recreate in your own kitchen (but maybe not impossible!). Something that would be relatively easy to whip up would be a savory Lamb Stew, but we think making the country’s oddly iconic hot dogs would be more fun!
While you will likely have to forego the classic Pylsur hot dog, we still think you can make a similar tasting meal using a beef hot dog. Cook the hot dog with beer, then put it in a slightly toasted bun and top it with diced raw yellow onion, grilled yellow onion, ketchup, sweet mustard and remoulade (made with mayo, relish and mustard). One bite and you will be transported to Reykjavik!
Drinking in Iceland
The most popular and potent drink in Iceland is Brennivin, which is a brand of schnapps that has been nicknamed ‘Black Death.’ We didn’t partake during our visit; instead we sipped the delicious – and oh-so-expensive – Iceland craft beers. Unfortunately, Icelandic craft beer is not widely available outside of the country. However, Einstok Olgerd craft beer and Brennivin can be found in select US markets.