To Rock or Not?! Fun Things To Do in Cleveland This Weekend!

To rock or not to rock. That is the question when you’re visit Cleveland, of course. Named after General Moses Cleaveland in 1796, the city rose from humble beginnings thanks to a flourishing steel and manufacturing industry that benefited from Cleveland’s proximity to major waterways. While the steel and manufacturing industries are still in existence in Cleveland, the area has undergone an impressive renaissance that even LeBron James deemed worthy enough to return to. If you’re hoping to travel the world with a 9 to 5, start by crossing some easy ones — like Cleveland — off your list.

Fun Things To Do in Cleveland Ohio

There is truly something here for everyone in this vibrant city. Music lovers will rejoice over The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where scholars and fans alike can access more than 200 archival collections, including the personal papers of performers, radio DJ’s, photographers, poster artists and collectors. Foodies will love the city, too! In recent years, well-known chefs like Michael Symon and Jonathon Sawyer have put Cleveland on the national food map, while the craft beer scene has taken off thanks to breweries like Great Lakes and the Brew Kettle.
For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, there are endless opportunities for hiking, boating, and animal watching. Cleveland sits on the Cuyahoga River, which feeds into Lake Erie, the perfect place for water activities like paddleboarding and kayaking in the warmer months. Take a stroll along the historical Towpath Trail and see why over 2.5 million Americans explore it each year!
Want even more ideas? Take a look at the infographic below, featuring 16 of the top things to do in Cleveland, compiled by Hard Rock Rocksino:

Fun Things to do in Cleveland

Cleveland may get overlooked when placed among major metropolitans cities like New York and Chicago, but this thriving city is full of culture and midwestern charm. Whether you choose to explore its renowned museums, shop in the United States’ first indoor shopping center, or immerse yourself in its rich history, the one thing you won’t be able to overlook is the immense pride Clevelanders have for their prospering city.

This post has been brought to you in partnership with Cleveland’s Hard Rock Rocksino.

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Hi There! Thanks for reading our To Rock or Not?! Fun Things To Do in Cleveland this Weekend! I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.


Incredible Things to Do in Tokyo Japan + Travel Guide (as written by a local!)

Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, is a tourist mecca and was ranked as the 6th most visited city in the world in 2017. Boasting an array of amazing things to see, do and experience in its center and surrounding area, it can be hard to know where to start. But never fear. We’ve got travel tips, hints and recommendations from a local to help you make the most of this exciting city. So sit back, scroll down and find out all about the best things to do in Tokyo Japan along with suggestions for where -and what- to eat in Tokyo, where the best Instagram spots are, awesome day trip ideas and handy travel info to help you get around from the moment you touch down at the airport.

Amazing things to do in Tokyo Japan

A guest post by Lena from The Social Travel Experiment

“I have been living in Tokyo for almost 3 years now and had the pleasure of visiting it many times before that. All activities I describe I have experienced myself and thoroughly enjoyed.
If you wanted to do all of these activities I assume you will need more than one or two days in Tokyo, so if you are on a tight schedule just pick the ones that interest you most, and leave the others for your next visit (I guarantee you will want to come back!)”

Incredible Things to do in Tokyo Japan

I have picked out 10 things to do in Tokyo Japan. Some are more famous and touristy than others but I can really recommend all of them. But I would like to give you a warning at this point if you don’t like crowds try to do the more busy activities in the mornings and never on weekends.

Take a Picture of the Scramble Crossing in Shibuya

Tokyo Tourist Attractions - shibuya crossingOne of the top sights is the Shibuya Crossing (also known as the Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble Crossing!) It gets really busy on weekends and at night, but if you are the one crossing the street you can’t quite grasp the sheer number of people crossing in every direction while the pedestrian traffic lights are green (and also after they have turned red).
The best place to really enjoy this spectacle is from the second floor Starbucks above Tsutaya. Here you can view the Scramble Crossing through the floor to ceiling windows while sipping your favorite coffee drink.


People-watch in Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park Tokyo JapanOne of the biggest parks in Tokyo, Yoyogi Park is busy with people enjoying their free time, especially on weekends. Here you will see people walking their pets like dogs but also cats and ferrets and birds, and watch people doing group activities like sports or theater and dance practice.
If it is not too cold bring a blanket and just sit down and watch people pass. This is a great way to spend an hour or two between your more hectic sightseeing activities. You can also bring some snacks and drinks from a convenience store to have a little picnic. Just please remember to take all the garbage with you when you leave.


Pray at Meiji Jingu

Meiji Jingū Honden, Shibuya-ku, Japan. Meiji Shrine.Even if you are not religious it can never hurt to make a wish to one of the many spirits worshiped in Japans religion Shinto. The Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine) is the biggest Shinto shrine in Tokyo and visited by many people every day. The walk from the gigantic gate to the shrine itself leads through a forest adjoining Yoyogi Park. When you arrive at the shrine make sure to wash your hands and proceed to make your wish. First, you need to make a small monetary contribution. It is said to be best to throw a 5 or 50-yen coin (the ones with the hole in the middle of the coin).


Visit the busy shopping street Ame Yokocho

Tokyo Sightseeing - Ame YokochoIn Japan, everything is clean, beautiful and modern. As a contrast, you should visit Ame Yokocho in Ueno. This busy shopping district has one shop after another with fake products and open stalls with fresh fruit and fish (that’s also the reason why it smells quite strongly of fish and reminds me a lot of busy streets and markets in south-east Asia). At one of the many cramped restaurants and food stalls, you can get different kinds of foods that you can wash down with a cool beer. And if you are here at night you’ll watch the building light up in neon lights!


Feel small at Tokyo Station

Places to Visit in Tokyo - Tokyo Train StationI love walking around the Tokyo Station area at night. The station itself is a beautiful historic brick building that has survived World War II. It contrasts perfectly with all the business skyscrapers surrounding the station. The high rise buildings are especially impressive at night and you feel quite small and insignificant when you look up at the sky (in a good way of course). Another huge train station in Tokyo is Shinjuku station and Tokyo metro and is worth a look when you are traveling on the network.

Feel Like Royalty at the Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace Tokyo JapanThe Tokyo Imperial Palace is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains buildings including the main palace (宮殿, Kyūden), the private residences of the Imperial Family, an archive, museums and administrative offices. In its heyday this was the largest fortress in the world, though little remains of it today apart from the moat and stone walls. Most of the 3.4-sq-km complex is off-limits, as this is the emperor’s home, but you can join one of the free tours organised by the Imperial Household Agency to see a small part of the inner compound.



See the city from above

Tokyo TowerThere are multiple options to see the city from the top. The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest building in Tokyo and riding to the top to get to the observation decks is quite expensive. A cheaper alternative is a visit to the Tokyo Tower, that I like much better than the Skytree, but maybe that’s just my taste.
If you don’t want to spend any money for a nice view from the top, you could also visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. From the 52nd floor, you will be quite high up and get an amazing view (although not as nice as the one from Tokyo Tower).


Buy electronics in Akihabara

AkihabaraTo enjoy the modern Tokyo, it is probably best to visit Akihabara, the crazy part of town where all the geeks, freaks and otakus meet to talk about manga, anime, and electronics. If you are looking for a used camera this is the place to go. Obviously, new electronics can also be found everywhere around this area. You just have to visit one of the multiple high-rise buildings around the station.


Visit the tsukiji fish market

tsukiji fish marketThe Tsukji Market is an assault on the senses and a real ‘Tokyo’ experience. With an array of seafood on sale daily, there is also a spot to view the popular tuna auction. The Tsukiji market is the perfect place to try some sea-fresh fish or sushi!


Buy souvenirs in Nakamise Dori in Asakusa

Nakamise Dori Tokyo JapanIf you are looking for a perfect place to get all your souvenirs and gifts for friends and family then Nakamise Dori in Asakusa, the street leading to Sensoji Temple is exactly the place to visit.
The shops on either side of the pedestrian street feature everything from small key chains and fans over snacks and sweets to samurai swords.
While shopping you can also buy different foods and snacks to eat right then and there. Like everywhere popular in Tokyo it can get really crowded with tourists especially on the weekends so try to visit on weekdays where it will still be very crowded but not as much.


What to eat in Tokyo Japan

Now let’s talk about a couple of my favorite foods. I picked up two food experiences and two desserts that you shouldn’t miss when visiting.

Different options to enjoy Sushi

Eat Sushi in Tokyo JapanWanting to eat sushi is one of the many reasons for wanting to visit Japan. And of course, visiting nice old restaurants where you are personally greeted by the sushi master and sit at the counter opposite him while ordering and enjoying one piece of sushi after another is a great experience, but also really expensive.
The alternative is more hip, modern and fast. Visiting one of the modern running sushi chains where you order your sushi from a tablet and your order promptly arrives on small plastic plates delivered by a train.


Have a dinner cruise at Tokyo Bay

Where to go in Tokyo - a dinner cruise on Tokyo BayIf you have a budget that isn’t super tight I recommend you book a nice dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay. There are also some on the rivers in Tokyo like but Tokyo Bay is especially impressive to see from the water. You will have a delicious dinner and free refill on drinks and can later enjoy the night lights from the deck of the ship. You will be able to see Odaiba and its impressive buildings and also the lights illuminating the famous Rainbow Bridge. An incredible and unforgettable experience.

RELATED – Looking for another iconic Japanese night-time experience?  Book your table at one of the many Tokyo Robot Restaurant Cabaret Shows. 1 hour of flashing lights, taiko drums, and techno music where glitzy ladies dance with robots, dinosaurs, ninjas and even a giant panda!


Eat a Matcha Parfait at Nana’s Green Tea

I love eating ice cream and parfaits in Japan. I also love matcha green tea. The best place to get the combination of both in a nice modern Japanese environment is at Nana’s Green Tea. You can choose from different versions of tea parfaits and they are all delicious, but a little bit expensive at around 1000 Yen (10$).
You can also enjoy a light lunch with their freshly prepared donburi.

RELATED: Love food and want to try all things Japanese? Take a Guided Food tour and bar hop as you discover succulent grilled meat skewers, sweet cakes and refreshing sake at some secret – but incredible – restaurants than not even some locals know about!


Eat a Crepe in Harajuku

A post shared by yuca☺︎ (@yuca112) on

Takeshita Dori is a fashion street for young people and everything here is Instagramable. Make sure to eat a crepe at one of the many crepe shops along the street. If you have some time on your hands you can also get in line to get some colorful cotton candy to pose with for a picture that might just go viral.
And if you are looking for more iconic traditional Japanese dining experiences make sure you visit an owl café, cat cafes or maid cafes, attend a traditional Tea Ceremony or buy something from Tokyo’s infamous vending machines!


Extra Tokyo Adventures


  • Japan = Sumo Wrestling. Pre-Book your seat to watch the sumo wrestlers at one of the most iconic Japanese cultural experiences at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
  • You can’t go to Japan and not visit Mount Fuji! Take the bullet train and cruise across Lake Ashi before climbing the Mt Komagatake Ropeway for spectacular views of the UNESCO Heritage Site of Mt Fuji. If an 11 hour day trip from Tokyo you don’t want to miss.
  • Take a 3 day trip from Tokyo and visit Mt Fuji, Kyoto & Nara. An extension of the above tour you’ll travel onto Kyoto where you’ll see  the Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, and Kyoto Imperial Palace before traveling onto Nara to visit the Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and the Deer Park.
  • If you love theme parks, don’t miss a day a Tokyo Disneyland (or Tokyos Disneysea)- this ticket also comes with 1 nights accommodation inside a Disney hotel!


Where to Stay in Tokyo

There are a range of accommodations in Tokyo, with enough Tokyo hotels to keep every style of traveler happy. From the luxurious Keio Plaza Hotel (where you’ll likely have more space in you hotel room than at home(!) and is really close to the Shinjuku Gyoen Japanese Garden) to one of the many innovative capsule hotels. The Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel Tokyo is one of the top rated and which may be the smallest space you have ever slept in!


Essential Visitor Info for Tokyo

How to get around Tokyo

How to Get to Tokyo

  • Japan has great transport links and Tokyo can be reached by planes, bullet trains, express trains, buses, cars and ferries.
  • shared taxi from Narita International Airport will cost around $65USD
  • There are 4 train line options available from the airport to the train station and range between $13-35USD and are covered by the Japan Rail Pass which can be purchased for 7 day and 14 day periods and are perfect if you plan to explore more of Japan on your visit to Tokyo.
  • There is a 4000 yen round trip Airport -> Tokyo City -> Airport that is also available if you are traveling within a 2 week period. Ask at the JR Ticket office  (in the basement of Narita Airport) about NEX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket to take advantage of the discount return fare.
  • If arriving into Haneda Airport, the journey into Tokyo can be as short as 25 minutes via an affordable train, monorail or bus trip with prices between $4-10.

How to get around Tokyo Japan

The best way to get around Tokyo is by public transport. You can either use Metro or JR or bus. There are separate day passes for each or you can get a Suica or Pasmo card, charge it and pay as you go.
If you are planning to travel within Japan it might make sense to get a JR Rail Pass for unlimited use of all JR trains (with the exception of the fastest Shinkansen trains).

WiFi in Japan

  • Whilst wifi is available in almost every hotel in Tokyo, there are not as many hot spots available whilst you’re out exploring. If you absolutely need to have access to the internet whilst traveling around, you can rent a Mobile WiFi Hot Spot which can be picked up and returned to Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport.

When to Visit Tokyo (Climate + High/Low Seasons)

Cherry Blossom in Japan

  • You can visit Tokyo at any time of year because the weather is temperate. The best times to visit Tokyo are the fall (October/November) and spring (March/April/May). Summer (June/July/August) in Tokyo is hot and humid.
  • In spring (late March to mid April), you have the blossoming of the various flowers, notably Japanese apricot (ume) and the infamous cherry blossoms season (sakura). The weather is usually temperate at this time and the humidity is relatively low.
  • One time to avoid in spring would be Golden Week (usually around the first week of May although it moves slightly from year to year). Huge numbers of Japanese people travel domestically at this time and you can expect large crowds and high prices for accommodation and transport.
  • Summer and winter are less attractive with muggy, humid weather dominating the summer months, and cold temperatures combined with snow in the winter.


So there you have it – hopefully we’ve given you enough travel inspiration to inspire your Tokyo travels – and given you a great list of Things To Do in Tokyo Japan to make sure you get the most from your visit. Don’t forget to let me know you’re own highlights once you’re back!

Oh, and if you enjoyed this Tokyo City Guides please share on Facebook, tweet or pin (I made a few designs!) – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for full size images!

Ultimate Travel Guide to Tokyo Japan overlayed over busy narrow Japanese street with cafes   Things to do in Tokyo Japan lettering overlayed on an image of a geisha in front of a traditional lantern shopThings to do in Tokyo Japan long image in black and white of Japanese street with neon signs and text overlay   Things to do in Tokyo Japan - long pin image of busy, narrow Japanese street with text overlay


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Hi There! Thanks for reading my travel guide to The Best Things To Do in Tokyo Japan (as written by a local!). I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.

Lena loves seeing the world through the eyes of locals. She loves learning in-depth about culture, history, and traditions and of course food of the places she visits. Find out more on her website The Social Travel Experiment or follow her on
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Incredible Places to Visit & Things to Do in Iceland (inc Off The Beaten Path Alternatives!)

Iceland has resided firmly at the top of many traveler’s to do list since it burst onto the scene as Lonely Planet’s Top Country to Visit in 2012.  And 4 years on, it is still a dream destination for most people! Boasting amazing landscapes, geothermal pools, black sand beaches and glacier lagoons (to just name a few!), it is the country that has something for everyone. With so much on offer, it’s hard to know where to start, so I thought I’d put together a list of the best places to visit and top things to do in Iceland – and include some off the beaten path alternatives to the main tourist sites to help you get the most from your trip! What is there to do in Iceland?

Iceland Bucket List & Iceland Blog full of off the beaten path alternatives in Iceland.

RELATED: Wondering what to pack? Take a look at our Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist to make sure you have everything you need!


The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is one of the best places to visit in Iceland

You can’t go to Iceland and not go to the Blue Lagoon. Now affectionately thought of as one of the wonders of the world, it’s the most famous swimming pool in Iceland and it was formed in 1976 during an operation at the nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to their skin, and today it is Iceland’s number 1 tourist attraction and one of the top Iceland things to see.

Off the beaten Path Alternative: Myvatin Nature Baths

iceland blue lagoon alternative

Myvatin Nature Baths are an Iceland Blue Lagoon alternative and are located in the Northern region of the island. It offers a quieter and less crowded natural hot springs swimming pools experience than you would typically get at the Blue Lagoon. With the water temperature hovering around 36-40oC throughout the year, and it’s extended opening hours, it’s the perfect place to take a dip and watch the sunset across the awesome landscape of the national park in which it is located. Be sure not to miss the incredible lake Myvatn whist you’re in the park too.


Northern Lights

things to do in Iceland - view the northern lights

I have wanted to see the Aurora Borealis – or Northern Lights – for all of my adult life. I can’t imagine a trip to Iceland would be complete without watching this amazing natural light show. I’d always book a Northern Lights Tour for something like this – as they will know all the best spots and help maximize my chances and it is certainly on of the top things to do in Iceland.

RELATED: Looking for the Best Tours in Iceland? We’ve rounded them up to help you find the perfect sightseeing tours for you.


off the beaten path alternative: The Buubble Hotel

bubbel hotel iceland

OK, the Bubble Hotel Iceland it’s not a true alternative – the closest thing to an alternative for the Northern Lights is the Southern Lights down in Tasmania (but they’re a bit far to go for the purpose of this post!). But who wouldn’t want to stay in a glass bubble and watch the lights dance above you throughout the night?! #bucketlist The Iceland Bubble Hotel is a cool place to stay in Iceland.

Golden Circle Tour

The Golden Circle Route is one of the most popular routes in Iceland – and the best thing is that it can be done on a day trip. Starting from Reykjavik, it takes a 300km loop taking in the Great Geysir, Gulfoss & Thingvellir National Park. Below are just a few highlights of this amazing roadtrip! And if you want to make it a driving holiday, consider driving the ring road.


cool things to do in Iceland

On of Reykjavik’s top attractions, this 73m church is one of the most unusual and impressive buildings on the island, and could be visited before or after your Golden Circle tour.


iceland top things to do iceland off the beaten path

Also located in Reykjavík, Harpa is a concert hall and conference centre which features a distinctive colored glass facade inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. I’ve heard that is beautiful inside too so try and take a peek if you have time!


highlights iceland bucket list iceland top things to do iceland off the beaten path

One of the greatest natural wonders & top destinations for tourists in Iceland – and part of the famous “Golden Circle Tour” – the Stokkur Geiser erupts every 10 minutes or so with its white tower of churning water rising to up to 30 meters. A truly magnificent sight!



iceland off the beaten path iceland

Gullfoss Waterfall – or Golden Waterfall – is an iconic waterfall of Iceland offering a spectacular view of the forces and beauty of untouched nature. Gullfoss is part of the Golden Circle tour, located in South Iceland on the Hvítá (White) river which is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. The water plummets down 32 meters in two stages into a rugged canyon which walls reach up to 70 meters in height. On a sunny day shimmering rainbow can be seen over the falls. Access is via easy hiking trails which run alongside the water.

off the beaten path alternative: Bruarfoss

off the beaten track iceland

Bruarfoss – meaning Bridge over Waterfall – or sometime just the Blue Waterfall is one of Iceland’s hidden gems. Formed by the river Brúará as it flows down over 2-3 meter and ends in a U shape slot, it’s bright blue colour is something you need to see with your own eyes!


Whale Watching

guided tours iceland

Iceland is the perfect location for whale watching. The cold waters off the coast of Iceland play host to a diverse marine life. During the summer months in particular, the shores become a feeding ground for multiple species of large marine mammals, giving visitors a chance to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

RELATED: Whale watching is only available during certain months of the year – take a look at the our Month By Month Round Up of the Best Time To Visit Iceland to check if Whale season falls during your trip.

Snorkeling/Diving @ Silfra

things to see in iceland - the shifting plates of silfra

Another thing at the top of my Iceland Bucket List is diving (or snorkeling) between the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates at Sifra in the Þingvellir National Park.  Absolutely the coldest place I would ever consider diving – it would absolutely be the experience of a lifetime! and one of the top things to see in Iceland!


Reynifjara Beach

things to see in Iceland off the beaten track

The world-famous Reynisfjara shore, near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland’s South Coast, is widely regarded as the most impressive black-sand beach in Iceland.

off the beaten path alternative: Raudisandur Beach

fun things to do in iceland off the beaten track

Bored of black sand beaches? Check out Raudisandur – a rare beach that is pale red, almost pink and sometimes white in color (dependent on the light) and is home to countless seals and bird life including the famous Icelandic puffins!

RELATED – Travel in Iceland comes with a few quirks (have you heard about the midnight sun and sneaker waves?!) Take a peek at our Top 30 Iceland Travel Tips from Iceland travel experts before you go!



highlights iceland bucket list iceland top things to do iceland off the beaten path

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park and is a popular tourist destination. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the Iceland glaciers. It is now 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away from the ocean’s edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi) and is easily one of the best places to visit in Iceland.

off the beaten path alternative: Fjallsarlon

highlights iceland top things to do iceland off the beaten path

Only about 20 minutes away from Jokulsarlon you’ll find another glacier lagoon, Fjallsarlon – it’s much quieter but no less beautiful, and a perfect day trip from Reykjavik


Skaftafell Ice Cave

Things to do in Iceland off the beaten track iceland

Skaftafell ice cave Vatnajökull National Park is located on the frozen lagoon of the Svínafellsjökull glacier. The centuries old ice coming down the slopes of Öræfajökull via Svínafellsjökull glacier has metamorphosed into highly pressurized glacier ice that contains almost no air bubbles. The lack of air means that it absorbs almost all visible light, apart from the blue fraction which is then visible to the naked eye and is absolutely stunning! It is one of the key places to go in Iceland + you can go ice climbing here!


things to see in Iceland: the Solfar Sculpture

No trip to Iceland is complete with taking a photo of the iconic Solfar Sculpture. The gleaming steel sculpture sits on Reykjavik’s splendid waterfront that resembles a Viking long-ship is known as the ‘Solfara’ or ‘Sun Voyager.’ The striking landmark was created by Jon Gunnar Arnason and honors Viking travels. It’s also one of the top things to see in Iceland.

off the beaten path alternative: Vatnsnes Peninsula

Ultimate Iceland - Hidden gems to visit in Iceland

Not a man-made sculpture, the basalt stack known as Hviterskur sits on Iceland’s Northern coast – and should be on everyone’s Iceland To Do List! The Peninsular is one of the hidden gems Iceland and is a magical place where the wild horses out-number the local population, and where one of the largest seal colonies parade along black sand beaches. It’s one of the Least Instagrammed Places on Earth – and I’m sure it won’t stay that way for long! Definitely just one of the incredible attractions in Iceland!

RELATED: If these incredible things to do in Iceland have tickled your tastebuds for more, check out these 30 more amazing things to see in Iceland.


How to Plan Your Trip

Read this if you are curious about what to wear in Iceland

Get Great Flight Deals

Iceland is easiest reached from North America, Canada or Europe, where there are multiple flights to Iceland daily. Flights from the Middle Eat, Asia or Australia will need a stopover somewhere in Europe.
Compare Flights Now and make your dream trip to Iceland a reality.

Hire a Car

Car Rentals can be expensive – use HolidayAutos to get the best deal from 20+ providers!

RELATED: If you’re planning a road trip, take a peek at our Road Trip Packing List to make sure you have everything you need to keep you – and the car – happy, healthy and on the road!


Where to Stay in Reykjavik

Apotek Hotel Reykjavik (Luxury $200+ per night)

Conveniently located in the centre of the city, this 4-star hotel makes for an ideal base in Reykjavik. Only a short stroll from Radhus Reykjavikur, it provides modern rooms equipped with a telephone, a mini bar and a desk.
Apotek Hotel Reykjavik by Keahotels has 45 well-appointed rooms that are equipped with a range of essential amenities to ensure guests have a comfortable stay. The bathrooms feature a shower and come with a hair dryer.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Reykjavik Lights Hotel (Mid-Range $100-200 per night)

The hotel is situated in Reykjavik and is close to local attractions. It also offers meeting rooms, a coffee bar and a 24-hour reception.
Reykjavik Lights Hotel offers unique rooms equipped with cable/satellite channels and a hair dryer, plus all the essentials to ensure an enjoyable stay.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Thor Guesthouse / Rental Guesthouse (Budget <$100 per night)

Centrally located, Thor/Rental Guesthouse offers easy access to Reykjavik's main tourist and retail hot spots. Just a short stroll from The Sun Voyager, it provides comfortable rooms equipped with a desk.
Thor/Rental Guesthouse Reykjavik's neighbourhood is known for its nightlife and guests will be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining and bar options. The guest house also serves breakfast each day.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

If you have specific requirements, click through to the Iceland Accommodation section and narrow down your results with your own preferences to find some coolest places to stay in Iceland. inc Hostels in Iceland.

Where to Stay in Akureyri

Hotel Nordurland (3* $100-$150 per night)

Hotel Nordurland by Keahotels provides a comfortable setting when in Akureyri. It is conveniently positioned for those wishing to visit local attractions and is located in the heart of Akureyri’s entertainment district with restaurants, cafés and nightlife on the doorstep.
Ideally situated, the hotel is just a 10-minute car ride from Akureyri Airport.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Hotel Akureyri (2* $130-$150 per night)

Hotel Akureyri is a modern setting while in Akureyri and is close to everything the area has to offer. It offers a laundry service and limited hours room service, and is an easy stroll from the Akureyri Art Museum and Akureyri Junior College.
The area surrounding Hotel Akureyri is well-known for its vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of places to go for a drink or dance. Akureyri Airport is under a 10-minute drive from the hotel.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

IcelandAir Hotel Akureyri (3* $100-$120 per night)

Set in Akureyri, the hotel is a short walk from the Akureyri Art Museum and provides a swimming pool. It is ideally positioned for those wanting to visit the area's popular attractions.
The modern rooms at Icelandair Akureyri have wireless internet access and all the necessities for a comfortable stay and offers easy access to the airport
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews


I hope you are no longer wondering what are the best places to visit in Iceland and our Ultimate Iceland Bucket List has given you some ideas of the top things to do in Iceland along with some off the beaten path alternatives to help you explore Iceland and make your trip the best one ever! And don’t forget to grab these everyday travel essentials before you go






Thank you to Guide to Iceland & Iceland Tourism for the use of the amazing photographs in this post.

And if you like this article, don’t forget Pin & Share! (Psst. click the P in the side bar to see all of the awesome pins available for this post. Full disclosure – I got a little carried away!)

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First Time Cruise Tips – What To Know Before You Go!

There is so much to think about when deciding to go on a cruise. Where will you go? How long should your cruise be? What type of cruise should you take? What time of year should you cruise? Which cruise line is best for you? It can all be a little overwhelming for the uninitiated. But never fear, we’ve put together these 15 handy First Time Cruise Tips to help you make the tough decisions and plan the perfect cruise to suit your needs.

First Time Cruise Tips

Why Type of Cruise Is Right For You?

Ocean Cruise

Ocean CruiseThere never used to be a need to differentiate between types of cruise, but as the industry has expanded, so have the cruise options available. An Ocean Cruise is the original cruise holiday usually featuring a large ship, thousands of passengers and a combination of sailing the open waters and stopping in several ports for the day. It’s a floating holiday resort boasting multiple restaurants, dining venues, bars and a range of on-board attractions and entertainment including the expected swimming pools, gyms, cinemas, live shows to an ice bar, hand carved carousel or even a 4D cinema.


River Cruise

River CruiseIn a move away from sailing the high seas, river cruising focuses on the waterways of the world – from Europe to China and beyond.
With ships restricted to a certain size and the rivers being naturally smaller than sailing on the high seas, itineraries are port-intensive with short cruise days and no sea-days. This allows passengers to visit multiple cities in a short amount of time – with the benefit of only having to unpack once!
European River Cruises are by far the most popular of the river cruise network with the continent boasting the Danube, Rhine, Elbe, Rhone, Saone and Seine (to name a few), but the Amazon River in Peru and Brazil, the Nile River in Egypt, the Yangtze River in China and the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia are also popular river cruise destinations. Facilities on board are toned down from what are on the ocean liners, often comprising a restaurant, bar and lounge, fitness center and sauna with most river cruiselines holding around 100 people.


Luxury Cruise

Luxury CruiseIts everything luxury. But on a cruise ship. Think 5 star food and wine, amazing rooms and suites, a focus on incredible personalized service and the ultimate in pampering. Luxury cruises are often all inclusive too – and with the unlimited premium wine and spirits on-board there won’t be any question about where your money went! The luxury cruise liners are often smaller than a lot of the mega-ships that sail the oceans, which means that passengers benefit from being able to reach smaller ports and smaller destinations which are more bespoke and that are often less overrun with tourists. The ships themselves are also fitted out to the highest specifications and with fewer people on board allows passengers to really get to know each other – or cruise in almost complete privacy should you so wish.


Adventure Cruise

Adventure CruiseThe new kid on the cruise block, adventure cruises have begun to take off in a big way. Whereas traditional cruising is centered about life on board and the features of the ship, an adventure cruise focuses on the destination. Boats are smaller, allowing them to dock in more places and with most offering flexible itineraries, the ability to drop anchor or change course as and when a great opportunity arises promotes a sense of adventure throughout the journey. Favorite adventure cruise destinations include the Antarctic, Galapagos and Costa Rica. Also, on an adventure cruise passenger numbers are limited to (usually) under 100 guests and as such there are real opportunities to make connections with fellow passengers and crew alike.


Re-positioning Cruise

First Time Cruise TipsA re-positioning cruise is when a ship is relocated from one place to another. For example, a ship that cruises the Caribbean in summer, may ‘re-position’ itself to Europe for winter. These cruises may not be the best for firsttime cruisers, with longer journeys and a more relaxed attitude on board which tend to attract an older clientele.
These cruises also differ from a traditional ocean cruise in that they are a one-way journey, and they are the perfect option for those who want to cover vast distances and visit ports that are not on any traditional cruise itinerary. Where one week you can be exploring Rome and then next be hopping around the Caribbean, it’s a very different cruise experience.


First Time Cruise Tips for Planning Your Time On Board

Which Cabin is right for you?

Balcony RoomWhilst you may shy away from an interior cabin in the thought that you’re not getting the full ‘cruise’ experience, the reality is that for a first time cruiser, you are going to spend very little time at all in your ship cabins (also known as a stateroom). There is so much to see and do on board that your room will be under utilized. For a first timer, take the cheaper interior cabin and enjoy the excitement of exploring every inch of the first cruise ship you have stepped on. Some interior rooms even have a virtual porthole with real time updates of the ocean outside! And after your first cruise, balcony rooms are more than worth the upgrade.

*Top Tip – if you have a choice of room, pick on on the highest level possible. This will mean you are closer to the ships main attractions, and being higher up on the ship will also help if you suffer with sea-sickness. (And if you do suffer with sea-sickness, be sure to pack sea sickness preventative bands or tablets to make sure it doesn’t ruin your first cruise experience)*


Money On-Board

The majority of cruises now operate on a cashless system. This means that your room key is a form of currency and everything not included in your package is charged back to that – and can either be pre-paid prior to departure, or settled up before you disembark at the end of your cruise. Things that may cost extra include alcoholic drinks, specialty coffees, meals in alternative restaurants, spa treatments, access to the internet (and if you are sailing in international waters away we highly recommend switching data roaming off on your phone to avoid bill shock!), shop purchases, shore excursions, some fitness classes, limited-access sun decks, baby-sitting services, arcade games, and some adventure activities and entertainment experiences.


Research Your Ports & Shore Excursions

Cruise Ship PortThe ships itinerary will be very detailed with regards to shore days, ports of call and the times for disembarkation and re-embrkation at the end of the day. This gives you great knowledge for when it comes to planning shore excursions, which depending on how tight time is, can be booked directly through the ship, or with external operators. But be aware if booking externally, that the time to get back on the ship is non-negotiable and it may not be wise to miss getting back on board for the sake of saving a few dollars.


Read the Online FAQs for YOUR Cruise Ship

Regardless of what cruiseline you decide to book with, each will have a frequently asked questions section on the cruise line website which will have lots of tips and tricks to help you get the most from your stay. They’ll include information on dress code, dining times and options, shore excursions, special events on board, tipping policy & expectations and any limits on duty free that you are allowed to take on board. These FAQ pages will be invaluable in finding information specific to your ship.


Cruise Lingo to Help You Settle In (and sound like you know what you are doing!)

Wake on a cruise ship

The trail in the water is known as the ships “wake”

Stateroom – your cabin – or if you have upgraded, your suite
Berth – the name of the in-built bed or bunk in your stateroom
Bow – the front of the ship
Stern – the back of the ship
Port – left side of the ship when facing the Bow (front)
Starboard – right side of the ship when facing the Bow
Muster Station – every passenger is assigned a ‘muster station’ close to their stateroom and this is where you gather (with your life jacket) in the event of an emergency. You will be called to the muster station at the start of the cruise so that the staff can go through the emergency procedures with you. Make sure you attend and pay attention!
Bridge – navigational control of the ship which is usually off-limits to passengers
Galley – the ship’s kitchen
Lido Deck – where to pool is (don’t forget your bathing suit if your ship has a pool!)
Deck Plan – the map of the cruise ship (and will be integral to finding your way around and identifying your cabin location!)
Port of Call – a designated stop – or port cities – on your itinerary
Gangway – the ramp you will use to embark/disembark the ship
Dock vs Tender – next to each Port Of Call on the itinerary it will state dock or tender. Dock is when the ship will dock next to land and you will walk straight off into port; a tender is when the ship will anchor in the a bay close to port and you will be transferred across to land on a smaller vessel.
Sea Day – When the ship does not dock or visit a port of call and remains on the water all day
Port Expenses – each port of call will levy a charge based on local taxes and fees which are charged to the shop and in turn passed on to customers. These fees are not usually included in the cruise price.
Shorex – abbreviation of ‘shore excursions’ – these can be booked though the ship or independently.
Roll – in rough seas you may feel a little side to side motion which is known as the ‘roll’
Cruise Director – “the face of the cruise” and who is in charge of hosting/emceeing events
Purser – the man or woman that overseas all financial transactions on board


General First Time Cruise Tips

Pace Yourself

Activities, Parties, Food and Drink, the options available will be in abundance on your first cruise and you’ll want to see/do/try everything. Which is absolutely understandable, but be mindful as you go and don’t be the person on board security feel the need to “reign in!”

Activities on Board

Activities on board a cruise shipWhen it comes to onboard activities – particularly on ocean cruise ships – the possibilities are endless. Be sure to acquaint yourself with the ships features and attractions prior to departure and have at least a rough plan of things you want to see, do or experience when you are  on board.

Check if You Can BYO Booze

Cruise lines have a variety of policies regarding how much – if any – alcohol you can bring onboard with you. Some do allow you to bring a bottle or two of wine or Champagne, but it is highly recommend you check your allowances before boarding to avoid having anything being confiscated. You can check the various cruise line allowances here.

Timing Is Everything

Dependent on your chosen destination and cruise location, numbers of children, families or spring breakers will dramatically increase at certain times of the year. When planning your first cruise, be sure to keep holiday and vacation dates in mind.

Aim to be the First On Or Last Off The Ship to Avoid Lengthy Queues

People queing behing a rope on a cobbled street‘Quick disembarkation’ is a myth because everyone has the same idea. When arriving into a port, be sure to sit down and enjoy a leisurely breakfast and allow the queues to get off the ship to die down before attempting to disembark yourself.
Likewise, on arrival day, there are hundreds of people checking in and usually the earlier you re the longer you will have to wait in line – because everyone has the same idea. Leave it as late as you are comfortable with to check in and save yourself the ‘line time’.

Pack a Carry On for the first few hours

When you check onto the ship you will be among hundreds of other people who are doing the same and with that amount of luggage, it stands to reason it may be a few hours before your bag arrives at your stateroom. Make sure you have packed a carry on bag with your bathing suit, change of clothes, ID, travel documents, camera, medications, sunscreen etc.

Check the Ships Power Output

Each ship runs on different power outputs – be sure to check which your ship runs off, and pack an adapter if necessary as these will be super expensive to buy on board.

Skip A Port Day

Port Days are often the quietest days on the ship, which means there are a lot less people around and you are free to enjoy the ships activities without the crowds.

So there you have it – hopefully these first time cruise tips have helped you plan an amazing first time cruise – and if you have any of your own tips, please share them in the comments below.

Oh, and if you enjoyed this first time cruise travel guide, please, tweet pin or share on Facebook – I’d really appreciate it! (click the P in the left hand share bar to see the hidden pin!)

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Hi There! Thanks for reading my ultimate guide to First Time Cruise Tips – What You Need To Know Before You Go. I just wanted to let you know that this travel guide contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here. And thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld Travel Blog.

The Best Things To Do When You Only Have One Day in Zurich

Zurich is the financial capital of Switzerland and one of the best places to visit if you want a touch of Swiss city life. There are restaurants that compete with the best in the world, museums galore, as well as a huge lake with views of the distant alps.
In this post I want to share with you some of the things you absolutely have to see in Zurich, along with some lesser known tips that only a local will know to help make the most of your one day in Zurich – and you never know, it may even convince you to stay for longer!

One Day in Zurich

Great Things to do & ways to spend one day in Zurich

A Guest Post by Roger from Expert World Travel

The Old Town

Zurich Old TownAt the heart of Zurich is an old town that has not changed much in centuries. And the beauty of it is that it spans the stunningly blue Limmat river that runs right through the heart of Zurich. You can lose yourself for hours in the winding streets of this historic centre, finding shops and cafes that most people miss, or just soak up the atmosphere of a time long passed.
Some of the highlights of the old town include: wandering down Niederdorfstrasse (the heart of the old town), St Peter’s Church featuring the largest clock face in Europe and the view from Lindenhof (a quiet park in the center of town).


Grossmunster Church

Grossmunster Church ZurichWhile getting yourself lost in the old town, you absolutely have to check out the iconic “salt and pepper shakers” landmark of Zurich: the Grossmunster church. You will certainly see it from along the river, as it stands out like a saw thumb (or salt shaker).
Not only are there some impressive features in the church worth checking out (the stain glass windows and bronze doors) it’s towers are also one of the best places to get a view of the city. And, it only costs you 2 bucks! As well as a lot of sweat and tears, because there are quite a lot of stairs. But it’s definitely worth it.


The Lake of Zurich

Zurich Lake SwitzerlandNo trip to Zurich is complete without spending some time on the shores of this iconic lake. The place where clandestine meetings with the likes of James Bond have taken place in many a spy movie.
But more than that, Lake Zurich belongs very much to the people of Zurich, so there are parks and places to just sit back and enjoy the view or go for a view-ridden walk. If you want to take in the crowds and often some local music, the left-hand promenade is the way to go. But for a more peaceful and green-filled walk along the lake, head right where you will eventually come to a park where many a local group will be having an impromptu BBQ in summer. It’s a must do during one day in Zurich.


Cruise Over To Rapperswil

Boat Ride on Zurich LakeIf you want to take it a step further, and enjoy the lake to its fullest, take a boat ride to the picturesque and romantic town of Rapperswil. This is one of the most beautiful towns in the region, and you will get a fantastic view of the mountains as you head down the lake. Once you are there, you can also soak up the history in the old town or castle on the hill.
Check out the Zurich Ferry website for more information.


Go For A Natural Swim

Swimming in ZurichWith so many mountains around, Switzerland obviously has an abundance of water. And the good news is that it is all extremely clean and drinkable. You will often find the restaurants serving and charging for local water (water is never free in Europe) because it is that good.
That also means that you can swim almost anywhere in Switzerland without having to worry about the quality of the water. Zurich takes full advantage of this in the summer with swimming baths all along the lake of Zurich, luring you to spend the day, or a lazy hot evening. Some even host bands and have bars during or after swimming hours. (Check out Seebad Enge, Barfuss Bar or Rimini for some great bar/swimming spots).


Take A Hike On The Uetliberg

Uetilberg ZurichZurich locals are very proud of their town mountain and for good reason. Right on the edge of the city is this fantastic mountain – Uetliberg, covered in preserved forest, full of hiking trails, and topped with a viewpoint and restaurant. And to add cherry on top, there is a view worth dying for. You can see right along the lake all the way to the distant chain of Alps, as well as a great overview of the city itself.
You can get here either by walking up from the tram or train stops “Triemli”, or you can take a train most of the way to the top, then walk the last 15 minutes or so. In winter, this path also becomes a local hangout for sledding.


Head To The Fifa Museum

Switzerland is home to many large sporting organisations. As a result, in Lausanne you will find the Olympic museum, and in Zurich the FIFA World Football museum. Inside there is a quite significant collection of unique football memorabilia along with lots of interactive media exhibits and best of all, a giant pinball machine where you can test your balls skills. So, if you are interested in the crazy world of football, this is definitely worth a spot on your itinerary.


Soak Up A Little Einstein History

Einstein Museum ZurichIf you are at all a fan of science of the crazy hairdo of Einstein, then Zurich is the place for you. He spent much of his later life living and teaching here. The ETH, one of Switzerland’s premiere technical universities was where he studied and later taught for many years. It is also one of the best spots for a great sunset in Zurich, along with a cheap beer from the Uni bar. So, once you are finished your tour of the ETH you can relax here with the students and take in the stunning and free view!
You can get up to the ETH a variety of ways, but the best, especially if you have a public transport day pass, is to take the Polybahn– a short cog railway that whisks you to the top at a 45 degree angle. You will find the entrance next to Starbucks at Central tram stop.


Indulge In Some Swiss Chocolate

Swiss Choclate in ZurichYou are in the home of chocolate, right? And Zurich is not the time to ignore this fact. Right in the heart of Zurich there are quite a few opportunities to indulge the chocoholic in you.
You can head to any of the many Sprüngli or Läderach chocolate shops around the centre of Zurich (there are a bunch in the main station or along Bahnhofstrasse). Both are top notch chocolatiers worth their weight in – well, chocolate. If you prefer your chocolate in liquid form you can pop into one of the best homemade hot chocolate producers in town (Schober’s) while you are taking your tour around the old town.

For the more hardcore, or those just wanting a massive amount of chocolate to take home, you can pop over to the Lindt chocolate factory in the suburbs of Zurich where they have a discount chocolate shop for you to empty your wallet in. The best way to get there is by train to Kilchberg from the main station, then it’s a short walk to the factory.


Enjoy A Swiss Cheese Fondue, The Zurich Way

Swiss Cheese Fondue the Zurich WayThere are a tonne of fondue places in Zurich, one of which you should definitely plan an evening in while you are in here. If you have not had cheese fondue before, the meal is quite simple, but extremely filling. You get a boiling pot of awesome swiss cheese, often with a little alcohol in for flavour, along with a basket of bread pieces. Your job is to simply empty the cheese pot using a long fork with small pieces of bread on the end. Just don’t lose your bread in the pot!

The best way to really enjoy this experience in my opinion is to take one of Zurich’s iconic trams and enjoy a fondue at the same time. The Zurich Fondue Tram experience is one you won’t repeat almost anywhere else!


Head Out For A Night On The Town

Night Life Street Parade ZurichThe Swiss are not known to be party animals, but surprisingly there are still a lot of high-end clubs to head to if you want a night on the town. They all open quite late, but they stay open late too. So, don’t think you will be home by midnight. Just remember, they are quite expensive, as are the drinks, so if you want to save a little money, head to a local bar first.

Another great party to enjoy, if you are here in August, is the yearly Street Parade in Zurich which fills the city streets (and clubs at night) with millions of visitors and locals alike. The main attraction are a bunch of speaker and dancer filled semi-trucks slowly winding their way along the lakefront. But to be honest, the party is literally everywhere!


Where To Eat in Zurich

Where to eat in ZurichOne thing you will quickly notice while in Switzerland is that it is super expensive. So, in this section I will try to give you some low to mid-range options with the hope that it helps you keep your budget in check.

Zurich has gotten the burger bug lately and there are quite a few reasonably priced burger joints around town. My favourite at the moment is B Good, but there is also Jack and Jo, as well as a few smaller places like the Bite and Burgermeister on Langstrasse. They all offer very tasty burgers at reasonable (for Switzerland) prices.

If you are vegetarian or vegan (or even if you aren’t) you can pop into one of Zurich’s two iconic locations of the Hiltl serve yourself restaurants. They have a huge range of food so you will surely find something you will love. It is often very busy, so if you are coming during the main meal times I recommend reserving.

There are also a few great and new Asian food options I would recommend, one Chinese in Langstrasse – the Lucky Dumpling, that serves tasty dumplings, as well as a cool new place called Co chin chin which serves a variety of tasty Vietnamese food. If you are near Cocuchin you can also pop over to the new International Beer bar for some of the best IPAs around. It’s not cheap, but even one beer is worth stopping for here.


How To Get Here And Around Zurich

How to get around ZurichIf you are flying into Zurich, the airport is only about 10 mins train ride from downtown. It has to be one of the most convenient, and well-appointed airports you will ever visit.
Although it is possible to drive into and around Zurich, I would not recommend it for most people. You are far better of coming to and from the city via train. Whether from a city in Europe, or the airport itself, the train system is easy, punctual and lands you right in the city centre. The only thing to keep in mind is that it is expensive, so if you are heading further afield after Zurich, you might want to consider a train pass to ease the burden on your wallet.

Zurich itself is a very easy place to get around for those who like to walk. In most cases, you can get around the city centre almost without a tram ticket, It is however, not a bad idea to get a day pass for the city area (Zone 110) so that you can jump on a tram (or the polybahn) if you choose to.


The Best Time To Visit Zurich

The Best Time to Visit ZurichZurich is at it’s best during summer, which in Switzerland means July and August. Temperatures range on average from 15-25 Celsius, although we often get into the 30s too. This is also the busiest time here, so be sure to book both accommodation, and restaurants in almost all cases.

Winter can also be a great time to come, as there is often snow on the ground and in the mountains, which gives the place a far different feel. Just before Christmas there are markets and lights around town, which is quite a unique experience. And in the early part of the year (January/February), you might also find some stable, sunny, but cold weather. Be prepared for temperatures at least around zero (freezing) and often below.


And there you have it –  11 Great Things to do in Zurich! I hope these travel tips and travel guide to one day in Zurich can help you plan your time in the beautiful city.

Oh, and if you liked this article and travel tips, please share on Facebook, Tweet or Pin! Share the love – I’d really appreciate it 🙂

One Day in Zurich - Things to do


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Hi There! Thanks for reading my ultimate guide to The Best Things To Do When You Only Have One Day in Zurich. I just wanted to let you know that this travel guide contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here. And thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld Travel Blog.

Roger is a mad traveler and lover of the outdoors. Originally from Australia, he is now living in Switzerland where he spends most of his time traveling, blogging, hiking, mountain biking or flying his Mavic Pro drone. You can find him online at his blog or on  Twitter.

The Best Time To Go To Iceland – A Month by Month Breakdown

If you are wondering when is the best time to go to Iceland, you’re not alone. Visiting Iceland has been a bucket list destination for thousands of people since it’s emergence at the top of Lonely Planets Top Places to Visit list in 2012. But it’s not cheap and it’s not somewhere you go on a whim. In planning your trip, it is totally understandable that you want to visit Iceland at the right time to make sure you see and experience everything that is on your list. And that’s why we’ve put together this guide – it’s a month by month breakdown of the best time to visit Iceland depending on your interests and weather conditions.

The Best Time To Go to Iceland

Visiting Iceland in Winter (December-February)

Visiting Iceland in WinterIf visiting Iceland in Winter, expect short days, cold (but not as cold as you would think) temperatures, a blanket of snow and a high probability of seeing the northern lights. During the winter months there are limited daylight hours – and on the winter solstice (around 21 December each year) there is as little as 3 hours of daylight! This is great for those on the hunt for the northern lights, and provides a ‘golden hour’ effect for the whole time the sun is in the sky.
When it comes to travel around the country in winter, visitors may find smaller and highlands roads impassible and driving conditions quite challenging. For those who are not comfortable driving in these conditions there are plenty of organised day tours available to help you see everything as much as possible during the low season.

Things to do in Iceland in Winter:

Glacier Hiking, Snowmobiling, Visiting an Ice Cave, The Blue Lagoon, Chase the Northern Lights (book early, these tours sell out fast!) Hire a car & drive the Golden Circle – the roads are well maintained on the 300km loop throughout the year, but there are tours running if you don’t want to get behind the wheel yourself.

OUR TOP TIP: Pack Thermals!

FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN  ICELAND WINTER: Celebrate the winter world and the end of a long period of Iceland at the Winter Lights Festival.



RELATED – Take a look at our Iceland Bucket List Post for a fantastic list of things to do (and off the beaten path alternatives) in this beautiful country.

Visiting Iceland in Spring (March – May)

The Best Time To Visit Iceland - SpringAs the days get longer, the snow starts to melt revealing Iceland’s lush green landscape for the first time each year. A contender for the best time to visit Iceland, Spring is shoulder season when prices are lower and tourists are fewer. But for that privilege, expect rain, wind and the occasional sunny day alongside moderate temperatures. You’ll need a fleece and a rain jacket – and a good pair of waterproof shoes.  But with that, theres are plenty of opportunities to explore Iceland, gorgeous light for photography and opportunity to see the puffins returning to the coast between mid April and Mid August, and the lambing season in full swing. There is also an chance to see the Northern Lights until early April, and to experience the waterfalls picking up in intensity as the ice melts into the streams and waterways. Spring is a great time to drive icelands ring road – not to be confused with the Golden Circle which only takes a few hours to circumnavigate. The Ring road is a 1300km loop that takes you through some of Iceland’s most spectacular scenery and gives you a great overview of the island. Hire a camper and take a week to drive it. You’ll love it.

Things to do in Iceland in Spring:

Go on a Puffin Watching Tour and see these beautiful birds in their natural habitat. Go hiking, play golf, take a dip at Myvatn Nature Baths, Go out onto the seas to have a chance to go whale watching, Dive between the continental plates at Silfra, Go Horseback riding or Kayaking and get in on the action for the last snowmobiling and glacier walking of the season.

OUR TOP TIP: Pack layers. Thermals, jumpers, t-shirts, light jackets and be prepared to peel them on or off depending on the Iceland weather at the time you get out of the car!

FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN  ICELAND SPRING: Spring is Festival Season in Iceland with the Vaka Folk Festival, Eve Fanfest, and two of the top music festivals in Iceland happen in Spring – don’t miss Aldrei For Eg Sudur and Tectronic.


RELATED: Planning your trip to Iceland? Check out our Incredible Travel Tips (from folks that have been there!) to help make the most of your trip.


Visiting Iceland in Summer (June – August)

Visiting Iceland in SummerIceland is your (and everyone else’s!) oyster in Summer. The weather is mild (for an arctic country), heaps of attractions are open and accessible – and prices soar as tourist season gets into full swing and visitors arrive in droves. Summer is easily the most popular time of year to visit Iceland, with the long days – the longest day of the year boasts 21+ hours of daylight! (They don’t call it the midnight sun for no reason!) and range of natural beauty to discover.

Things to do in Summer in Iceland:

All of the outdoor adventures: Midnight golf (yes, it’s a thing!), Visit Jokularson, Tour the Golden Circle, Road trips on the Ring Road, Go Horseriding, Visit the Black Sand Beaches, Go Waterfall Hopping, See The Geysers, Snorkel Between the Eurasian & American Tectonic Plates, The Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Myvatn Nature Bath, Kayaking, Volcano Hiking, See the Puffins (Until August)

OUR TOP TIP: Pre-book everything. Hotels, (any of the above) Tours, Car Rentals – if you can book it do it. And pack a eye mask. Iceland isn’t famous for it’s block out blinds and the midnight sun can have a negative effect on anyone’s body clock. And get in on the Ice-cream action. (A favorite Icelandic pasttime is to go for an ice-cream drive (ísbíltúr) to the nearest town.)

FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN  ICELAND SUMMER: National Day is celebrated all around Iceland on 17 June; The Great Fish Day happens in Dalvík in August (and is a haven for seafood lovers!); There is the Bræðslan music festival in East Iceland in July and Gay Pride and Culture Night in Reykjavík fall in August.


Visiting Iceland in Autumn (September – November)

The best time to visit Iceland - AutumnIceland in the Fall is awash with colour. The National parks are bathed in red, orange and yellow interspersed with patches of green moss across the lava fields which is most vibrant just before the snow arrives. There is still enough daylight for most summer activities but temperatures are slightly cooler and there are fewer crowds with lower prices. There is also the possibility to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) from mid November onwards – however, be warned – to catch them you’ll have to be out late into the night (or very early morning!).
Fall is also classed as off-season and is a great time to visit to avoid the crowds and you’ll also benefit from cheaper prices.

Things to do in Iceland in Autumn:

Apart for the usual activities (The Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Day Trips to Vik, Diving Silfra and Horseriding etc) you can also swim in the many natural pools/hot springs and possibly witness a round up – when the farmers start to gather the sheep and horses before winter sets in.

OUR TOP TIP: Pack a scarf and gloves, whilst temperatures remain above freezing, the weather in Iceland can change on a dime and it’s a good idea to be prepared.

FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN  ICELAND AUTUMN: Reykjavik Film Festival & Iceland Airwaves – showcasing new Icelandic and International music.

So there you have it – hopefully this month by month breakdown of the best time to travel to Iceland has been super helpful for trip planning. Our vote goes to Spring or Autumn as the best season to visit Iceland, but after reading this we’ll let you make up your own minds!
What would be your ideal season? Let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and if you enjoyed this guide to Iceland, please, tweet pin or share on Facebook – I’d really appreciate it! (click the P in the left hand share bar to see the hidden pin!)

The Best Time To Visit Iceland - A Season by Season Guide   The Best Time To visit Iceland - A Season by Season Guide

Best Time To Visit Iceland


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