Live From Iceland!

Tuesday, July 5 update: Laugavegur

Laugavegur is one of the main shopping streets in Reykjavik. The word Laugavegur means “wash road”, and you’ll see this root “Laugar” in many other names. The same word, Laugavegur, is also the name of a popular hiking trail. And Saturday in Icelandic is Laugardagur– wash day.

Laugavegur overview

(This is actually a picture from Sunday, when the streets were much less crowded!) You’ll find lots of restaurants, fancy and not-so-fancy souvenir shops, boutique clothing and food stores, and more. Some of the blocks are closed to car traffic; note the bicycle shaped gate at the back of the picture above that blocks traffic. But some of the streets do have cars, so be careful.

Streets that do allow cars also have parking. There are 4 zones of parking in Reykjavik, called P1, P2, P3, and (you guessed it) P4. P1 are the premium spots, and cost 250 krona per hour, or $2. This was raised from 230 krona in February. Not surprisingly, all of the parking on Laugavegur, at least in the main shopping area, is the most expensive category, P1. See the map here.

But, there seems to be an inefficiency if you park in parking garages. All parking garages cost 80 krona for the first hour, and 50 krona each additional hour. So 4 hours in a parking garage is still cheaper than just 1 hour in a P1 zone. And, there is a parking garage right at the edge of Laugavegur! Park at the garage at 94 Laugavegur, called Stjörnuport. You’ll only have to drive on Laugavegur for a block, and you won’t have to worry about getting a parking ticket if you stay past your estimated time. My guess is they will raise the rates in the parking garages at some point, so enjoy it while you can.

As you walk along Laugavegur, you’ll have some options just a few minutes off of the road. At around Laugavegur 45, to the north (toward the water) you will be able to see the Sun Voyager sculpture.

sun voyager sculpture

It will be about a 5 minute walk. Or, head the other way about 5 minutes and you will get to Hallgrímskirkja, Hallgrim’s church.

We skipped the church (for now) and opted to head instead for Bókin, Bobby Fischer’s favorite bookstore in Reykjavik. In fact, the young girl who was working there, who I assume is the daughter of the owner, has played chess against Bobby Fischer. This place looks like what a good used bookstore should look like:

bokin bookstore

They have a section of all English books up front, and paperbacks cost 300 krona, or just over $2 each. There are also some English books scattered throughout the rest of the store.


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Tuesday, July 5 update: Laugavegur was last modified: July 6th, 2016 by Eric