Be the first to find out about competitions and get your eyeballs on all the latest inspiration from our ladies all over the UK in our Friday email >>SIGN UP HERE<< 

  ›   Short breaks › Travel Inspiration

POV – my honest teenager experience of a short family break in Reykjavik

I’m Rosie, I’m 16 and I live in Surrey with my parents Rachel and Dave, and two older siblings - Laura and Ryan. Here’s what I thought about our family's short break to Reykjavik in Iceland in November 2022.

February 3, 2023


Reykjavik for families

Seeing the Northern Lights has long been a dream of mine. So when my dad told us all we were off to Iceland to celebrate my mum’s 50th birthday - 'we' being mum, dad, and my older sister Laura (24), and older brother Ryan (21) - I was a little excited. As excited as a 16-year-old gets anyway.

Sadly we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights.

3 days in Reykjavik as a family of 5

On the first day we arrived, we explored the town of Reykjavik. Wandered around the flea market and popped into the famous Christmas shop. The graffiti and the electric scooters were my favourite things about this city. It’s all pretty cool.

I got to have a go on the electric scooters - whizzing around Reykjavik with my brother on the scooters was a lot of fun. I loved flying around, looking at the sites and little colourful houses - they are pretty fast and it’s a bit scary, to begin with but I soon got used to it.

I also really enjoyed looking at all the interesting buildings around the city. There are some pretty cool sights to see.

We headed out to see the Northern Lights on the night we arrived in Iceland. We went on a two-hour coach ride to try to find the Northern Lights. We didn’t get to see them. I was pretty disappointed. There were lots of stars but we get stars in England so it was a waste of a night in my opinion.

I was well up for trying again on night two of our trip, but the rest of my family didn’t want to, so, we didn’t get to see the one thing I really wanted to see. Big mistake, because apparently, we’d have seen them if we’d had headed out on another coach ride - so - if you don’t get to see them on the first go, try again on another night.

On the second day of our trip, we headed out to see all the famous tourist attractions - the National Park, a geothermal field, the Geysir, a huge waterfall which is absolutely work seeing - this waterfall is really pretty, and the Geysir was cool too - it explodes every 5 minutes - so that’s pretty cool too.

I’m not usually into looking at the scenery, I’ve got better things to do with my life, but the scenery is really breathtaking in Iceland. I was pretty impressed. Even though it’s dark and grey for a lot of the day, the scenery against the grey skies is really quite bonkers. It definitely looks like some weird and wonderful film set outside of the city.

One evening we ate at a pizzeria called Rejavik Pizzeria in Reykavik - amazing pizza! Delicious. So make sure you visit.

On day three of our trip we went to the Blue Lagoon. I’ve seen loads of photos of the Blue Lagoon and it always looks ace in the photos, but it’s even more beautiful in reality and it’s a brilliant experience for people of all ages. It was like being at a spa retreat.

My mum booked the premium package so we all got dressing gowns, face masks and a free drink.

The pool was like a hot bath - it’s proper lovely when you get in. There’s a swim-up bar so dad got a beer and I got a slushie.

There were different types of facemasks on offer. I was wearing make-up and didn’t want to ruin it so I put the facemask on my chest. We spent ages in the Blue Lagoon. All of us loved it. It’s such a unique experience and a great place to take videos for TikTok.
That evening I went out and got some sushi - it was really expensive. Luckily my dad was paying but he wasn’t impressed with the little bit of sushi I got for the equivalent of $17. We also had dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe one evening - the plant-based burger was to die for.

We didn’t go to any authentic Icelandic restaurant because three out of the five of us are vegetarian and on the menus are puffin, whale and horse meat - none of which appealed to any of us. We met a family who admitted to trying all three and they said the horse was delicious. No thank you.

The whole Iceland experience was really cool - I definitely recommend Reykjavik as a short break holiday for families with teenagers although my mum would have preferred to have gone somewhere warm - she didn’t like the gloominess of Iceland - It’s a pretty bleak vibe. It rained a lot - apparently, this is normal.

We enjoyed our visit but I couldn’t live in Iceland - the weather is really bleak and it would really impact badly on my mood.

It’s a shame we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights, and I would have liked to have seen the black beach. Still. We had fun and it’s worth the visit as a teenager - just for two or three days.

gallery image
gallery image
gallery image
gallery image
gallery image
gallery image

Where we stayed

We stayed at Canopy by Hilton. The location is perfect - literally around the corner from bars, restaurants, sights and shops - it couldn't have been any more convenient. Beds were really comfy, breakfast was yummy - lots of pastries, fresh fruit, cereal, eggs, juices and fab coffee. We had retro record players in our rooms and were able to borrow vinyl from a huge collection for some in-room music. I didn’t even know what vinyl was so this trip - so I definitely learnt something new!

gallery image


Read more of my blogs and articles

February 3, 2023