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The downside of downtown Reykjavik Iceland

The road less taken. Laugavegur shopping street to the left and Skolavordustigur street on the right. Both street now cater more to foreigners than locals

Walk down the main shopping street of Reykjavik city Iceland and the average local has little business there anymore. Loads of different restaurants, bars galore and amazing numbers of so-called design stores have mushroomed along with even more amazing number of guesthouses and hotels. All aiming for your foreign wallet and not the empty local one.

By and large that is okay by us but it makes your trip much the worse for wear. Even if prices in local stores are competitive and sometimes even good compared to other foreign cities team Total Iceland does not believe visitors from afar are coming for the shopping. And neither do we believe you coming especially for foods you can very likely taste in your own backyard back home.

Sure, you can party your ass off here long into the pitch bright night over summer and pitch black night in winter but is that impossible where you live? No, you are not really coming to hang around the bars are you…

Then what is left. If most stores sell the same shit they think foreigners like and you meet more foreigners on your walks around town than you meet locals where are you going to find the essence of the city? Indeed, you won´t. Reykjavik is a victim of a tourist gold rush where everyone sees dollar signs wherever a tourist comes within radius. The downtown is an empty shell.

Should you not believe us then take a look at the map we´ve made of downtown Reykjavik as it is in July 2012. It shows restaurants, bars, hotels, guesthouses and the random museum located in downtown Reykjavik. All these places, more or less, depend on and seek tourist business. And the list is not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination.

Feel free to contact team Total Iceland should you have questions or comments about anything under the midnight sun.

* Do view the map in larger view. It has 3 pages.

View Tourist Reykjavik in a larger map

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