Travel · November 18, 2017

48 Hours in Reykjavik

I’ll be honest when I say that I didn’t really know what to expect before visiting Iceland. Sure you could guess that the ‘clue was in the name’ when it came to the weather (and judging by the amount of time I spent browsing BBC weather that can only ever be useful)- but in terms of Reykjavik and the bigger great outdoors- I really didn’t have much of an idea…

The only thing I did know is that people who had been before seemed to really love it. Which I’ve learnt can only ever be a good thing. And let me tell you now that it did not disappoint. In fact, Iceland exceeded my expectations ten times over, and each day it surprised me in a different way- be it from the food, the breathtaking landscapes or even the people. There’s a reason why this place stays so high on bucket lists and travel guides, and I’ve been so excited about sharing our adventures with Small Luxury Hotels over the last week here. So let’s start at the beginning shall we?

After catching a bleary eyed 6am flight from Gatwick last week, fuelling up on porridge and sugary tea- we boarded our Norwegian flight to a chilly, but crisp, Reykjavik. With the flight being just under three hours north of London, it really feels like no time at all- and with the promise of wifi and cinnamon buns (!!!) on board (in case you can’t catch forty winks)- it couldn’t really be easier (or more delicious) to get to either.

After arriving at Keflavik Airport and being picked up by our charming drivers (both of which came from our hotel), we set off. Our first stop was an evening at Tower Suites (105, Katrínartún 2, Reykjavik, Iceland), a suites only hotel situated atop one of the countries tallest buildings- meaning the most unbelievable panoramic city and mountain views for days. With the hotel only having 8 rooms- it felt like a complete treat to be staying the night here- with everything from Apple televisions (and UK channels) to a fresh breakfast delivered every morning (naturally I opted for avo on toast) and 24 hour room service too- to say we were looked after is a total understatement.

Our second night was spent amongst the hubbub in the gorgeous Sand Hotel (Laugavegur 36, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland). Sitting amongst one of the cities main streets, the hotel feels like it’s totally in amongst the action and acts like the most perfect base- just without the noise. Converted from a collection of historic townhouses- the hotel boasts streamlined yet cosy contemporary design- as well as a local sharing-style restaurant, and the iconic Sandholt bakery right next door- making for the perfect space to explore the city before we moved on to the south.

To Eat:

This spot was somewhere all of the locals we spoke to recommended to us, and somewhere to go for the most delicious health-fuelled dishes. With everything from vegan lasagne’s (with pasta people!) to gluten free cakes and homemade salads, there’s truly something for everyone in this little spot- and it’s the perfect place to people watch whilst warming up.

Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik Roasters:
Although I’m not a coffee drinker, so many people suggested this spot- and it’s the perfect hideout for a hot drink and delicious cake. I’ve also heard their cinnamon scones are worth sampling too, so take note cinnamon lovers!

Brautarholt 2, Brautarholt, Reykjavik, Iceland

Brauð & Co.:
If you can’t see this place coming, you can be sure that you’ll smell it. With it’s bright facade and twinkling fairy lights, the outside is almost as special as what’s inside (almost, not quite)- and the sweet smell will pull you in quicker than the promise of warm cinnamon buns (ahem, almost). With fresh bread, rolls and buns throughout the day- you’ll be hard pushed to find somewhere that does baked goods as this spot.

16,, Frakkastígur, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

If you’re after somewhere a little more special for dinner in the city, I can highly recommend the gorgeous Kopar, nestled next to the old harbour and overlooking the boats and starry sky. With a mixture of traditional dishes and some more contemporary modern offerings- the menu spans everything from fresh fish to zuccinni spaghetti and the most delicious Daim cheesecake- making it a perfect taste of Iceland, no matter what your taste.

Geirsgata 3, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

Laundromat is by definition what I’d call the ultimate ‘all rounder’ cafe. Whether you’re in need of a delicious breakfast, elevenses, a great coffee, lunch or dinner (or even a book to read)- this spot has it all. It’s the ultimate combination of cool, comfortable and cosy- whilst oozing the most incredible decor too- a big thumbs up from Liv!

Austurstræti 9, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

If you’ve got the space…
Bæjarins Beztu: Rumour has it these guys are the creme de la creme of hotdogs
Kaffi Vinyl: Am I ever one to say no to a cafe and record shop? Absolutely not, and this ticks both boxes

To Shop:


If you’re after amazing cruelty free and vegan products (all in a gloriously pink shop)- then Nola is the right stop. Stocing some Icelandic beauty favourites (on top of some new discoveries) and my favourite’s Herbivore- it’s the perfect hidden gem stocking some serious beauty treasures.

Höfðatorgi, Katrínartún, 2105 Reykjavík, Iceland

Hyalin Shop:
Although I know you wouldn’t necessarily go to Iceland for delicious French delicassies, Hyalin happen to stock everything from chocolates, to cheese to candles- which in my opinion, can only ever be a good thing. With a stunning interior, and even more gorgeous goods and groceries- it’s worth noting down when visiting some of the independent shops here.

Stofnað 2017, Hverfisgata 35, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Spúútnik/ Gyllti Kötturinn Vintage:As well as celebrating great indie boutiques, Reykjavik also has a bit of a vintage scene going on. With Spúútnik and Gyllti Kötturinn both being worth noting for great vintage finds (all the Nordic knits)- you’ll definitely discover a few more if you stroll along Laugavegur (which you definitely will)- so keep your eyes peeled!

Laugavegur 28, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland / Austurstræti 8-10, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Also save luggage space for…
Hrim/My Concept Store:
Both gorgeous lifestyle concept stores stocking everything from gifts to home ware and stationary.

P.S When we were in Iceland, we also had a little tour with I Heart Reykjavik– who has tonnes more amazing tips on her site!



  • Reply
    Neeltje| Thoughts in Style
    November 18, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I want to go here so bad! Love the photos. X

  • Reply
    Maja Harder
    November 18, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Love this guide and I can’t wait to go myself. Eapecilly nice to know where to eat as I had no idea !?

  • Reply
    November 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I absolutely adore Iceland. It’s a country I just want to keep going back to and exploring more of. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much as well.


  • Reply
    November 18, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Oh my, those cinnamon buns are making me hungry! I’ve heard lots about Iceland as well, a good friend of mine drove through the country in a camper this past summer. She absolutely fell in love with it as well.

    xx Julia

  • Reply
    November 18, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland. It seems like such a fairy tale place!!


  • Reply
    November 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Ok – I am sold! I want to go toe Iceland now! Such lovely pics 🙂

    ? Lilli
    check out my fashionblog:

  • Reply
    Camilla Ackley
    November 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Liv his post is absolutely gorgeous – defo bookmarked for the day when I finally get to go to Iceland!


  • Reply
    Courtney Hardy
    November 18, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    It looks so pretty there! I love all these pictures.

  • Reply
    Chloe Ford
    November 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland! Those hotels look like heaven and your photos are beautiful 🙂


  • Reply
    November 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I have been waiting for this post ever since you went and it is just as awesome as I thought it would be! All of the hotels & eateries look AH-mazing – got to get all those cinnamon buns. As with most people, I long to go & visit Iceland (their little coloured houses are the cutest!!) and your post has just made me even more excited about one day making the trip.

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • Reply
    April | April Everyday
    November 18, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    I loved Iceland so much when we visited a few years ago and we’re dying to go back and see more of the country! That hotel looks amazing and the decor is just perfect too! And all those restaurants/cafes look so tasty!
    xo April | April Everyday

  • Reply
    November 18, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Iceland is a country I do want to visit one day, and I would of course stop by the capital!
    The city looks lovely, and all your positive comments make me want to go even more. I wasn’t sure about Icelandic food, having heard of weird things like mutton head (don’t Google it! haha) but cinnamon buns are totally my thing and I could probably get away with eating only that during my stay. Thanks for sharing Olivia!

    Julia x
    Last Post: My Autumn Makeup Look |

  • Reply
    November 18, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I’ve wanted to go to Iceland for so long, it looks like a lovely place and it’s so close to London! Your photos look so good, and your food recommendations sound superb! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Reply
    Angie Silver
    November 19, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Oh I loved Reyjavik!! This trip looked wonderful.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Lovely post and lovely pictures! Next month, I’m going to Norway and I would love a blogpost on what to wear in colder climates while still being (a bit haha) fashionable. Like incorporating trends but still being warm. Could you maybe do a post about that 🙂 ?

    • Reply
      Olivia Purvis
      November 21, 2017 at 12:18 am

      Thank you so much Debby! I’m planning it, but also did a video on this at the weekend too (here: in case you missed it! Have a gorgeous time x

  • Reply
    November 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Love this!! I’m planning a solo trip & suddenly see this post!!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Iceland looks amazing!

    Hannah | Wild At Heart

  • Reply
    November 19, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Iceland is definitely in the top 5 of my list of places to visit, seems like such a beautiful country! Loved watching all your ig stories from the trip 🙂

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I have wanted to go to Iceland for SO LONG and this made me want to even more! It looks incredible, and yes please to all the cinnamon xxx

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

  • Reply
    Blog voyage
    November 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I love this city. Iceland is probably a kind of paradise for nature lovers…

  • Reply
    Immy May
    November 20, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Oooh my word Liv – Iceland looked AMAZING. I would absolutely love to visit one day. Really enjoyed following along over on your Insta-stories also, need myself a cinnamon bun now! <3 <3 <3 Immy x

  • Reply
    November 29, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Iceland is at the top of my bucket list! I hope I have the chance to go one day!


  • Reply
    December 4, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Vegan lasagne, yaaaaaas please! I’ve never thought about visiting Iceland before but it really does look beautiful.

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Cruelty-Free/Vegan Beauty • Lifestyle • Photography

  • Reply
    Kerry Mellor
    January 2, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    I want to visit Reykjavik so badly! Cannot wait to go there 🙂 I will definitely use the tips from your post.

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