Meet Helga Dís, the multimedia boss at “Your Friend in Reykjavik.” She utilizes her journalistic skills and extensive knowledge of Reykjavik’s cultural and historical landscape to drive the blog and social media. Born in Copenhagen and raised in Reykjavik’s oldest neighbourhoods, Helga broadened her horizons in Britain before returning to Iceland to showcase her city’s rich history to the world.

Helga’s expertise isn’t just in creating compelling content; she’s also passionate about folklore and people’s history, bringing these elements into the blogs and social media posts. Whether you’re interested in deep cultural insights or the historical underpinnings of Iceland’s capital, Helga has you covered.

Let’s Ask Your Friend in Reykjavik a Few Questions!

If you chose just one thing from Iceland, what would you choose?

The long summer nights. Nothing says summer like bright nights.

The Midnight Sun is a phenomenon that officially takes place above the Arctic Circle, where the sun remains visible even at midnight. This event is linked to the Earth’s tilt and how it orbits the sun, among other intriguing scientific factors.

Though Iceland isn’t directly on the Arctic Circle, it’s close enough to enjoy similar effects. During the peak of summer, the sun only dips briefly below the horizon before rising again, ensuring that it never truly gets dark.

The prime time to witness the Midnight Sun in Iceland is around the summer solstice, which falls on June 20th each year. However, the enchanting light of the near-endless days can be appreciated throughout much of the summer. Read more about Icelandic summers here, and here.

Would you change anything about Iceland if you could? 

I would prefer slightly higher temperatures (which would, in return, mean less snow).

What is your favourite place in Iceland?

Downtown Reykjavik.

We have done quite a few blogs about downtown Reykjavik, from its history to the best restaurants. Check it out here.

What is your favourite Icelandic food?

Flatbread with smoked lamb.

gæðabakstur / ömmubakstur flatkökur

Icelandic flatbread, known locally as flatkaka (or flatkökur in the plural), is a traditional and straightforward food staple. Originally, this round bread was made without any leavening agents, using just rye flour (and occasionally barley) mixed with water. Today’s recipes have evolved to include a mix of rye and whole wheat flour, or sometimes just whole wheat. Modern variations may also add oatmeal and baking powder to the mix, and some recipes even include a bit of sugar in the dough.

You will find this bread in all grocery stores in Iceland, and if you want to try and make your own, we have a recipe blog just for you!

But what is your favourite Icelandic drink?

Non-alcoholic: Malt og appelsín or Jólaöl. Alcoholic: Kisi from Malbygg and Hlemmur from RVK Brewing.

Malt og appelsín is the most common non-alcoholic drink found on the Icelandic Christmas and Easter dinner tables. Malt, traditionally a slightly alcoholic ale brewed from malt, is now alcohol-free. Appelsín, on the other hand, is an Icelandic orange soda. The practice of mixing malt with other sodas began in the early 1940s as a way to make the expensive malt beverage stretch further. Appelsín was introduced by Egils Ölgerð in 1955, and it quickly became popular to mix it with malt. This combination gained widespread acceptance by 1960.

If you join Your Friend in Reykjavik’s Reykjavik Beer and Booze tour, you might get lucky and taste some of the excellent Malbygg and RVK Brewing beers!

What is the best thing about Reykjavik?

How small it is, calm, beautiful and safe.

How about Iceland?

The unique nature.

What is your favourite Icelandic music?

Nýdönsk. Formed in 1987, the band has been performing continuously and remains one of the more popular groups since its inception. Its name, “new Danish,” is a nod to the “new Danish magazines” that were popular in Iceland several decades ago (they’re still popular in Denmark).

Daníel Ágúst, one of two singers in the band and the one who sings the song above, is one of the founders of the electronic group GusGus.

What is your favourite Icelandic clothing brand?

Aftur. I’m not much of a brand person, but I like they reuse old clothes to make new ones.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Tres Locos, Flatey Pizza and O-Sushi Train.

Tres Locos is on our list of the best restaurants in Reykjavik, but if you’re looking for a good pizza or sushi, Flatey and O-Sushi Train are the places to go.

What Icelandic food is most often eaten at home?

Lightly salted cod steaks.

Salted fish has been a stable on Icelandic tables for centuries. Read more about the history of the salted fish here, and if you want to try out a couple of recipes, check out our recipe blog.

What is your favourite candy?

Draumur… or is it Olsen Olsen? Maybe it’s bingokúlur. Oh my. I cannot choose. Liquorice and chocolate are life.

As you might know, Icelanders have a special relationship with chocolate-covered liquorice. You can read all about it here!

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