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Varying your dinner habits a good idea in Iceland

Tourists far outnumber seats in Reykjavik restaurants which mean long, long cues for a nice dinner this summer. PIC ChrisGoldNY

Tourists far outnumber seats in Reykjavik restaurants which mean long, long cues for a nice dinner this summer. PIC ChrisGoldNY

You may or may not be one of the hundreds of thousands of tourists lining up for a summer trip to Iceland. Latest official projections indicate the summer of 2016 will break all visitor records in this country. That will mean quite a bit of problems you might not realize yet.

This is rather easy to confirm actually. It suffices to take a look at available accommodation in this country in the summer months. Even months in advance it could be quite tricky to find anything available at all. This in spite of every second apartment owner in the capital renting out flats, rooms and sofas like there is no tomorrow.

Then again, you could wait twenty years

But laying your head here is not the large problem. Eating is.

You see, this place is small. More to the point, Reykjavik city is small and yet two thirds of locals live there and it is much the only stop for 95% of foreign tourists. Being a small city it does not offer too many options for dining out. We´d guess there are little more than one hundred restaurants in Reykjavik city including fast food joints. Now, divide that number with the 500 to 700 thousand visiting in summertime, all wanting and needing food at roughly the same time.

You could do the math and we could too. But there is no need. The results basically screams out. Expect heavy cues and long wait times for a dinner over here at all the nicer restaurants. Unless…

You vary your eating habits. Do dinner no later than 17:30 or 18:00 at the latest as most spots fill up quickly right after the tour buses return from the day trips at around 17 each and every day. You could also go the Spanish way and wait until late evening but that´s not really a good idea either. Most restaurants here close between 23 and midnight at the latest. Thus, you could enjoy your three course dinner a bit less if you have to hurry.

Then again, you could wait five years or so before we catch up to massive tourists influx. By then you should be able to have dinner when you want without waiting eternity for a table.

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