Live From Iceland!

Thursday, July 7 update: Ikea, Perlan

Every good Icelandic vacation includes a trip to Ikea. Okay, not really. But if you find you need to buy something– fabric to cover your windows to block the 24 hour sun?– Ikea is the way to go.  It’s also the way to go if you want a really cheap meal for the kids.

ikea chicken

In the United States, you can get a kids meal for $2.49 (or free on weekdays in the summer.) In Iceland, kid’s meals cost 345 krona, or about $2.80. That seems like a better deal than $2.49 in the US, given the higher cost of food in Iceland.

I’ve been told that one of the chicken nuggets in the picture above was consumed before I was able to take a picture!

Here’s an adult chicken leg meal, with 3 large legs, which will only cost you 995 krona, or just over $8.

ikea chicken adult

[Updated August 2017: A new Costco that opened up right next to Ikea in May of 2017. See our forum post about Iceland’s first Costco. Your Costco membership will work there!]

Next we headed to the Perlan.  The Perlan is one of the most recognizable structures in Reykjavik. Here’s the skyline from miles away; notice Hallgrímskirkja (Hallgrim’s church) on the far left, and the Perlan up on the hill on the far right.

reykjavik skyline

You may have heard bits and pieces of what you can find inside Perlan. Hot water? A geysir? A museum? A revolving restaurant? Let’s take these one at a time:

  • The Perlan sits up on a hill, and stores hot water. The outside cylinders are the water storage tanks:

perlan outside

  • There is an artificial geysir inside. It erupts every … 5 minutes or so?

perlan geysir

It’s more impressive than that picture implies; note that it rises a couple of stories in the air.

perlan dinner closed

But access doesn’t come cheap. Entrees are all about $40 or more, and the restaurant told me that kids meals (chicken or pizza, with french fries and ice cream) costs 3380 krona, about $27.50.

So there’s no longer a museum, and the restaurant is pretty exclusive [and now closed!] So what is there? The main draw is the free observation deck, which allows for some lovely views around Reykjavik:

perlan nice view

There were some buttons you could push on the observation deck to get an audio tour, but they didn’t seem to be working.

There is also a cafeteria, which is one level below the revolving restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner. We didn’t eat here, since Ikea is much cheaper; it looked fine, but probably not worth going out of your way for. You also have a nice gift shop, as well as the aforementioned geysir.

If they geysir and the observation deck sound interesting to you, the Perlan can be a nice attraction– and totally free!

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Thursday, July 7 update: Ikea, Perlan was last modified: August 31st, 2017 by Eric