Background: According to Showaround local Martin, living in a foreign country is one of the guaranteed ways to step outside of one’s comfort zone, this is where all the meaningful and beautiful moments take place. Stepping out of it led Martin to explore beyond Iceland, and experience what it’s like to live in France and Spain. His curiosity for different cultures is also reflected in his latest passion - creative event production. Martin has recently started a theatre company and is in the process of producing a professional play, which launches this April.
Showaround: Why did you decide to become a Showaround Local?
Martin: It’s no secret that travelling has always been a big part of my life. It all started off with Couchsurfing years ago. During this time I discovered what it was like to meet and stay with someone local. Spending time with a resident who is willing to introduce you to their culture from an insider’s perspective is priceless, to say the least. It’s the only way to travel!
Showaround: Name three super local things to do in the city?
Martin: 1. The number one thing to do while you’re in Iceland is enjoy swimming pools. I promise, it’s nothing like you’ve ever experienced; the Icelandic pools are very distinctive and for the locals, it’s a popular place to meet for social gatherings or just to relax.
2. You should try shopping in Bónus; not only is it the cheapest supermarket in Iceland, but you can also meet all types of interesting people there, who showcase how diverse the Icelandic society is.
3. No matter what season it is, hop in a car and head to get some ice cream. Ha, I know, you didn’t expect this one. Just buy loads of ice cream, park the car where you’ve got the postcard-perfect view (it’s nearly effortless in Reykjavík). You can admire the Northern Lights, the mountain Esja or the sunset, and have a heart-to-heart conversation with your friend.
Showaround: Favourite restaurant?
Martin: Iceland has a relatively large Thai population, which results in a great selection of eateries to choose from. My personal favourites are Krua Thai and Núðluhúsið (Ruan Thai) - you can never go wrong with these two.
Showaround: Best place for a drink?
Martin: Kaldi is my go-to bar. It's the place to be, especially if you like beer, which surprisingly I don't, but it's still a great and quirky place to hang out. Also, the bar is so small that you can’t help but bump into people you don’t know and talk to them.
Showaround: What about the nightlife?
Martin: I’d start my night at Boston, there’s always tasteful music there, and the crowd tends to be very colourful too. Afterwards, if you still have some energy left, you can dance your way to eternity at Húrra.
Showaround: How would you describe the local people of Reykjavik?
Martin: The Reykjavikians are a combination of friendly, culturally aware, and hard-working people who have a good sense of humor, but we can also be cynical at times. Don’t get me wrong though, the Icelandic hospitality is known for being warm and genuine, it comes straight from the heart.
Showaround: Thank you Martin for your answers!