Seeing The Northern Lights In Iceland

Traveler: Barbaros Altuğ – Author

What was the purpose of your travel? I love Scandinavian countries and Iceland was the only one I never visited before. It was one of my childhood dreams to go there.

What is your most unforgettable Escape? So far Iceland.


With how many people did you travel? Either solo or with only one friend or with my partner. I cannot spend time trying to find a program me that suits more than 2 persons:) I like to do whatever I want whenever I want…

Where did you stay?  Kvosin Downtown Hotel. It is a mansion right next to the parliament building and converted into a very chic, small hotel. The rooms are big (we even had a huge terrace) with seating areas. It was one of the best hotels I stayed in whole Europe.

iceland villa

What did you most like about the trip? The people! They are like angels or fairies; smiling all the time, peaceful, laid back and humble. You don’t see that often in Europe anymore.

rainbow iceland

Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip? Seeing the Northern lights after waiting for an hour in a freezing night. When we decided that we will not be seeing them the tour guide screamed as “there they are coming” and we run to see the green and some red lights flowing and dancing in the pitch dark sky- it was like a hallucination.

Your most surprising find during the trip? The busy nights; Reykjavik is a rather small city of 250.000 inhabitants and all the restaurants, bars and the streets were busy and full even during the weekdays.

Favorite restaurant or food you have tried during your trip? Lobster, lobster, lobster! From soup to plain grilled ones with some Arctic salt sprinkles- it is the best food from street vendors to posh restaurants. And the best restaurant is right in the city center, Fish Market (Fiskmarkaðurinn). Try the whole menu if possible 🙂

What is the must tries of the city? Be ready for the cold, but if not they sell hats, gloves etc to keep you from cold everywhere (even in the small markets open late). Apart from that there no specific rules; it is a peaceful city with laid back people.

Any hidden gems you could whisper to us? You must go to 12 Tonar music shop to find your own new favorite musician from Iceland. Sip from your coffee (the owner offers one to everyone) and listen to the local musicians from local brands through 90s Discman’s. For hours if you wish…

Would you go back? Definitely! And for a longer time; I want spend more time in the bars, see more seashores and hike more snow-covered hills…

Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? These can be anything from traditional finds to airport finds to hotel creams! The shop at the hotel Kvosin Downtown is full local produces. I suggest you buy Arctic Salt which is pure, flunky and come in a different varieties…

Any tips that might be useful to know before going there? Be ready for the long nights; you will spend time in bars listening to good music and search for the Northern lights late at night as well.


Next stop you would like to visit? I am planning to go to Berlin or Rio de Janeiro for a month in mid-December. Either snow or sun 🙂