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From coffee shops and boutiques to Guns N’ Roses concerts – reasons to visit Reykjavik

I’m a Brooklyn girl so I’m no stranger to curated neighborhoods. Mine has been recreating itself for years, but on a recent trip to Reykjavíc, I never imagined I’d feel so at home just outside the Arctic Circle.

Iceland is a Nordic island country known for its hot springs, glacial rivers and northern lights as much as it is for its remote location. 

Yet as isolated as this part of Europe may be, I discovered it had an uncanny familiarity.  From the cozy coffee shops and bars to vegan spots, food trucks and thrift stores, I felt as if I was in the next Williamsburg.

So much to offer: Iceland is a Nordic island country known for its hot springs, glacial rivers and northern lights as much as it is for its remote location

Straight out of Brooklyn, New York: From Reykjavíc's cozy coffee shops and bars to vegan spots, food trucks and thrift stores, Daily Mail's US Style Director, Pandora Amoratis, felt as if she was in the next Williamsburg

Straight out of Brooklyn, New York: From Reykjavíc’s cozy coffee shops and bars to vegan spots, food trucks and thrift stores, Daily Mail’s US Style Director, Pandora Amoratis, felt as if she was in the next Williamsburg

Why wait?: For a  alternative to sit-down restaurants. Daily Mail's US Style Director

Hip dining: For a quick and modern alternative to a sit-down restaurant, Pandora opted to grab a bite at a popular mobile food truck. She’s wearing an R13 Cowboy Dress fromShopbop

Attention to detail: Wall murals and other personal creative touches decorated restaurants and shops throughout the city. Pandora added her own flair in a custom jacket by The Mighty Company

Attention to detail: Wall murals and other personal creative touches decorated restaurants and shops throughout the city. Pandora added her own flair in a custom jacket by The Mighty Company

MAKING A SCENE

I stayed at the newly opened Reykjavíc Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, the first property in Iceland for the company. 

The location was once a department store, and everywhere you look, there are nods to its heritage, and its founder, Consul Thomsen.

Before the mall, there were iconic department stores, and the Hilton has breathed new life into this historic icon.

The spacious lobby has an artfully weathered hipster-chic vibe designed for lounging and lingering. 

Hot spot: I stayed at the newly opened Reykjavíc Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, the first property in Iceland for the company

Hot spot: I stayed at the newly opened Reykjavíc Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, the first property in Iceland for the company

The location was once a department store, and everywhere you look, there are nods to its heritage, and its founder, Consul Thomsen

The location was once a department store, and everywhere you look, there are nods to its heritage, and its founder, Consul Thomsen

Touches of style: The location was once a department store, and everywhere you look, there are nods to its heritage, and its founder, Consul Thomsen

Feels like home: Before the mall, there were iconic department stores, and the Hilton has breathed new life into this historic icon. The spacious lobby has an artfully weathered hipster-chic vibe designed for lounging and lingering

Feels like home: Before the mall, there were iconic department stores, and the Hilton has breathed new life into this historic icon. The spacious lobby has an artfully weathered hipster-chic vibe designed for lounging and lingering

From the eclectic-meets-industrial styling and curios of vintage haberdashery and millinery to black and white photographs, original tile floors, low-slung couches and a palette of jewel tones and rustic textures, it is a fashionable and inviting space.

Check in, then hit the hotel bar for craft cocktails. My favorite was a concoction called the Barcelona (Hendrick’s gin, cucumber puree, lime, simple syrup and elderflower garnished with a pretty pink flower.) 

Gott Reykjavíc is the hotel restaurant serving a menu of light fusion food, seafood and veg options.

Check in, then hit the hotel bar for craft cocktails

My favorite was a concoction called the Barcelona (Hendrick¿s gin, cucumber puree, lime, simple syrup and elderflower garnished with a pretty pink flower.)

Happiest hour: Check in, then hit the hotel bar for craft cocktails. My favorite was a concoction called the Barcelona (Hendrick’s gin, cucumber puree, lime, simple syrup and elderflower garnished with a pretty pink flower)

SWEET CHILD OF MINE

Iceland has turned out some stellar musical talents. Who hasn’t heard of Bjork, or Sigur Ros? 

Still, I behaved like a groupie when I heard Guns N’ Roses had stayed at the Konsulat Hotel just days before my arrival, during their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour.

They were in Reykjavíc to play the largest concert ever held in Iceland. Bigger even than the Secret Solstice event, which takes place in April when there are 96 consecutive hours of daylight on the island.

Paradise city: Guns N' Roses took their 'Not In This Lifetime' tour to Iceland. The band stayed at Reykjavíc Konsulat Hotel

Paradise city: Guns N’ Roses took their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour to Iceland. The band stayed at Reykjavíc Konsulat Hotel

Iceland has turned out some stellar musical talents, including Bjork

Iceland has turned out some stellar musical talents including Sigur Ros

Famous faces: Iceland has turned out some stellar musical talents, like Bjork (pictured left) and Sigur Ros (right)

Reykjavíc streets are easy to get around on foot, or on a bright orange hotel bicycle provided by the Canopy Hilton

Reykjavíc streets are easy to get around on foot

Mode of transportation: Reykjavíc streets are easy to get around on foot, or on a bright orange hotel bicycle provided by the Canopy Hilton

ON THE MAP

Reykjavíc streets are easy to get around on foot, or on a bright orange hotel bicycle provided by the Canopy Hilton, where I met up with my travel group for dinner at the chic Geiri Smart Restaurant. 

Downtown is also known as The Old City, and there’s great shopping on Laugavegur Street. The Harbour, geothermic pools, volcanoes, lagoons, caves, waterfalls and museums are all within strolling distance, too.

Geiri Smart Restaurant reminded me of Bushwick, with local artwork and neon signs lining the walls and a super hip and attractive bar crowd. 

The open kitchen let us get a peek at the award-winning hipster chefs as they prepared our incredible meal. Be sure to save room for dessert. The bourbon chocolate mousse topped with popcorn ice cream, caramel and peanuts is delish!

The lobby has a communal, artsy vibe and a coffee shop with cubbies full of vinyl records for sale, and the lounge bar offers evening tastings for hotel guests.

Music and matcha: The lobby of the Canopy Hilton has a communal, artsy vibe and a coffee shop with cubbies full of vinyl records for sale, and the lounge bar offers evening tastings for hotel guests

Music and matcha: The lobby of the Canopy Hilton has a communal, artsy vibe and a coffee shop with cubbies full of vinyl records for sale, and the lounge bar offers evening tastings for hotel guests

Geiri Smart Restaurant (in the Canopy Hotel) reminded me of Bushwick, with local artwork and neon signs lining the walls and a super hip and attractive bar crowd

Geiri Smart Restaurant (in the Canopy Hotel) reminded me of Bushwick, with local artwork and neon signs lining the walls and a super hip and attractive bar crowd

Vibes: Geiri Smart Restaurant (in the Canopy Hotel) reminded me of Bushwick, with local artwork and neon signs lining the walls and a super hip and attractive bar crowd

BOOMTOWN

Reykjavíc is expanding at warp speed, and coupled with the arrival of chic lifestyle hotels like the Hilton, tourism is helping Iceland rebound after the economic crash of 2008. 

Not to mention Hollywood films like Star Wars and television series Game of Thrones using the landscape, all contributing to over 2 million visitors coming to the island in 2017.

It’s time to start planing your next vacation! 

Local artwork adorns the walls of the hip locale

While downtown is also known as The Old City, the Geiri Smart Restaurant is a casual yet cool modern spot

Eclectic design: While downtown is also known as The Old City, the Geiri Smart Restaurant is a casual yet cool modern spot

We see you: The open kitchen let us get a peek at the award-winning hipster chefs as they prepared our incredible meal

We see you: The open kitchen let us get a peek at the award-winning hipster chefs as they prepared our incredible meal

There are no fixed rules, the restaurant plays their menu by ear depending on what our farmers have to offer at any given moment

Their cocktail menus changes with the seasons

Culinary experience: There are no fixed rules, the restaurant plays it’s menu by ear depending on what local farmers have to offer at any given moment

Save room: The bourbon chocolate mousse topped with popcorn ice cream, caramel and peanuts is delish

Save room: The bourbon chocolate mousse topped with popcorn ice cream, caramel and peanuts is delish

ICELANDIA

Reykjavíc street style is a real mash up of influences reflecting the island’s Nordic heritage, youth culture and location. 

With less than 300,000 people living in Iceland and one of five under 14 years of age, there’s a definite laid-back hipster vibe. 

Plus, with all the nightclubs, bars and cafes in the town center, the lifestyle is ideal for dressing to impress and showing off perfectly imperfect thrifted looks.   

What to pack: As a frequent traveler and fashion director, I’ve got packing down to an art form. That said, when visiting Iceland, expect all kinds of weather — and be prepared. I was there in July, which is considered summertime, but with temps averaging 40-50 degrees, I packed more transitional pieces I could layer in interesting ways.

Thin, long sleeve Henleys fit perfectly under my leather jacket, while tailored tweed pants kept my legs warm and looked chic day or night.

My flat ankle booties were comfortable to walk around the city, and versatile enough to complete every ensemble, including long skirts and evening dresses. A newsboy cap was my answer to bad hair days.

I carried a handbag large enough to fit my room key, credit card and Google Pixel 2 phone. The camera takes the best photos! And remember to pack a swimsuit for end-of-day cocktails in the Konsulat Hotel’s hot tub or a dip in the Blue Lagoon!

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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