Five things to do in freezing February
February is here. It sure is brighter outside then it was a month ago but it's still cold and will continue to be. But there is no need to stay home beside the radiator and watch Netflix. Or walk back and forth on Laugarvegur and have the wind and the snow beat you down. We should all be having a cozy time and enjoy the mental and physical warmth that Reykjavík and it's surroundings have to offer in so many different forms.
1. Hot tub - cold tub - hot tub
Don't think for a minute it's a cliché to recommend a swimming pool in Iceland. These wonderful phenonema are timeless classics! So, how about starting the day in the newly reopened swimming pool Sundhöll Reykjavíkur that's right downtown? The pool first opened in 1937 and was designed by former state architect Guðjón Samúelsson. The indoor pool is still in it's original form but the open-air pool just opened in December 2017. Of course they have hot tubs and a great sauna there, but what we recommend is to switch from the hot tub and the ice bath a few times. That will jumps start your system and keep you warm and energized for days. True story.
2. Álafosskvos in Mosfellsbær
Even though this little place, that looks like a cozy little village, is a part of the Mosfellsbær city it's located apart. Originally a wool factory was built there in 1896, just by Varmá, Warm River, where they would wash the wool. Today it's quite an artsy place, but not in the hip and cool way most places in Reykjavík are. The wool store is still there where you can roll around in all kinds of warm clothes and a homie Icelandic café serves the hungry and the thirsty. You can visit the workshop of Palli the maker of exquisite knives, and also the workshop at Ásgarður where handicapped artists make wonderful wooden toys. The world famous band Sigur Rós has their recording studio in an old abandoned swimming pool. It's a good place and the bus will happily take you there.
Cozy restaurant Rok, placed opposite the church Hallgrímskirkja is a great happy hour place. mbl.is/Ásdís Ásgeirsdóttir
3. Happy hour at cozy Rok
Even though the word "rok" literally means storm or strong wind, the restaurant that bears that chilly name is a very warm and nice place. Not far from being a super modern log cabin, it sure is the perfect place to sit down after a long day out and about in the cold. Happy hour is 4-7pm every day and Rok is famous for it's amazing champagne deal at that time of the day. Situated right opposite the church Hallgrímskirkja, you can enjoy the view of handsome Leif Erikson while letting the bubbles escape to your brain and release all tension in your weathered body. Skál!
4. Best soup in town?
Are you a foodie? Do you like Asian food? How about Icelandic lamb? Wouldn't it be an ingenious move to combine these two totally different culinary traditions? Well, somebody already had the idea. Kunsang Tsering Tamang owner of the restarant Ramen Momo makes the most delicious Japanese soup with a nordic touch. "I put Icelandic lamb and a soft-boiled egg into the soup, marinated mushroom and fresh ramen-noodles that we make ourselves," Kunsang says. A native of Tibet, he learned the art of noodle making in Osaka, Japan. People bring their own containers or pots and get a 20% discount. Yes, they do have vegan options.
Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band is one of the numerous great Icelandic jazz bands. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson
5. Free jazz concert
Weird or not, Icelandic jazz musicians are really good. Somebody said they were just crazy enough to be so good at it. So why not let these crazy people warm your body and soul on a cold winter night? Jazz is on the rise in Iceland and every night there is a live jazz concert somewhere in Reykjavík. They are of course not all free, but these are: Bryggjan Brugghús on Sunday nights, Kex Hostel on Tuesdays, Dillon on Wednesdays... You will surely find one to your taste.