Reykjavik Nightlife: Famous for its natural beauty and long summer nights, the Icelandic capital also offers fantastic nightlife. It's a small town, but Reykjavik has been named for having one of the craziest nightlife scenes in the world, imbued with the magical energy of its vibrant people.
When you think of Iceland, the cold and the white of the snow immediately come to mind. An enchanting country, full of wonderful landscapes, such as deserts, volcanoes and spectacular glaciers. Its capital Reykjavik is a cosmopolitan city that exudes a strong energy. Corrugated iron houses alternate with modern glass buildings, while traditional Icelandic culture blends with international ones. Reykjavik is Iceland's commercial and cultural center, with theaters, art galleries, bars and restaurants.
Despite its remote location and harsh climate, long, dark Arctic winters, Reykjavík is a vibrant, young and hip city full of nightclubs and places to spend your evening in Iceland. The idea that Reykjavík has great nightlife might come as a surprise . It is an incredibly small city, but it offers its visitors a variety of nightlife options worthy of a big city.
According to many, the Icelandic city can be counted among the entertainment capitals of Northern Europe . Wild and overwhelming, Reykjavik's nightlife is very trendy, full of young people and multicultural . Many who come to the city are surprised by the wide range of entertainment venues, bars and restaurants on offer, all of which offer a unique insight into the capital's culture. Reykjavik is home to a large variety of clubs, bars, traditional venues, local flavors and an atmosphere to suit all tastes. The nightlife ends late in the morning and young people go crazy for the luxurious clubs and places where you can listen to live music and unbridled fun.
In the historic center you will find a large number of bars that usually fill up after midnight. It is in fact around midnight that the streets of Reykjavik begin to come alive and the party atmosphere becomes sparkling. Icelanders are quite traditional when it comes to partying. They usually meet at someone's home for a pre-party to have a few drinks. The reason is that alcohol prices in bars are very high. So don't expect to meet many Icelanders celebrating as early as 9pm. They are getting drunk at somebody's house. To save a lot, buy alcohol from the liquor store or just duty free before you arrive.
Compared to other peoples of Northern Europe, Icelanders are not excessive alcohol consumers and do not like to overdo it during working days. The situation changes during certain holidays and the weekend, when they tend and make up for lost time. We remind you that the nightclubs in Reykjavik do not serve alcohol to under 20s , while some bars raise the minimum age to 22. It is also forbidden to drink alcohol on the street.
Reykjavik's nightlife is mostly concentrated around the main street, Laugavegur , and the city's various pubs and nightclubs are located a few meters from each other, thus transforming the center of the Icelandic capital into one big party. You can literally jump from bar to bar with no problems and you don't even pay to enter!
The main street of the historic center is by far the most popular area during the evening and on weekends and, thanks to the many bars and nightclubs present, the street is filled with young people until the morning.
There are also numerous bars and restaurants located on the nearby street, Hverfisgata , although this area is considerably quieter. Laugavegur also leads to Bankastræti, which then leads to Austurstræti, constituting a large area dedicated to nightlife, a couple of kilometers long.
Reykjavik's many bars undergo something of a metamorphosis from day to night. The cafes and bars in the area serve coffee and beer during the day, but at night they turn into discos with a dance floor where you can dance to all kinds of music and drink some good cocktails. On weekdays, bars close at 1.00 and the nightlife is much more relaxed, while on weekends the clubs stay open until 8am, while Thursday nights see clubs usually host live music events.
Live music and festivals in Reykjavik
Iceland has a great musical tradition and live music plays an important role in Reykjavik's nightlife . The musical groups are many and every evening you can find some live concerts in one of the many nightclubs in the capital, especially on weekends.
There are also many festivals taking place in Reykjavík, all of which are very popular with locals and tourists visiting the city. Among Reykjavik's biggest music festivals , we mention the Sónar Reykjavík which takes place in February each year at the Concert Hall, Secret Solstice Festival which takes place in June, in Reykjavik's spacious recreation area, Laugardalur. Finally, there is the Iceland Airwaves , a four-day musical event in early November, featuring Icelandic and international music.
Clubs and discos in Reykjavik
(Bergstaðastræti 1, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 15.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 15.00 to 4.30.
Active since the 1990s, Kaffibarinn is a must for anyone looking to experience classic Reykjavik nightlife . From a quiet place to have a beer, in the evening this bar transforms into one of Reykjavik's most popular nightclubs , with parties lasting hours and frequented by an alternative crowd. The club has a sophisticated yet relaxed vibe, with techno and soul music and a small dance floor.
Kaffibarinn is instantly recognizable from the street, with its brown walls, corrugated iron and a large London Underground symbol towering over the entrance to this trendy bar. At the weekend, expect long lines, as the bar is, more often than not, packed to the brim. On weekdays, however, Kaffibarinn is the perfect bar for an evening of intellectual discussion and even romance. Tables are small and candlelit, and there's a small loft upstairs for even more privacy.
(Hafnarstræti 8, Reykjavík) Open Thursdays from 20.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 20.00 to 4.30.
Located along Austurstræti, Austur is one of Reykjavik's most popular nightclubs . This classy club consists of two bars, a large dance floor and plenty of table space. The refined atmosphere means you'll have to dress up to impress inside this club, which plays European hits and dance music. It is a great place to mingle with the locals and dance the night away in the Icelandic capital.
(Bankastræti 12, Reykjavík) Open Monday through Thursday from 8.00 to 1.00, Friday from 8.00 to 4.30, Saturdays from 11.00 to 4.30, Sunday from 11.00 to 1.00.
Located right on Laugavegur, this simple daytime bar transforms into one of Reykjavik's most popular nightclubs in , with a wild and party vibe. This legendary club is in fact a cornerstone of Reykjavik's nightlife , an ideal place for those who love contemporary hip-hop music of the 90s. On weekends, the small club will feel like you are at a house party, with people flocking to both floors and dancing in every available space.
(Veltusund 1, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 17.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 17.00 to 3.00.
Located on Ingólfstorg, the main square in the center, Pablo Discobar is a cocktail bar and nightclub in Reykjavik that makes you feel like you've stepped out of the stormy Icelandic weather and ended up in a South American nightclub. This place is obviously inspired by Latin and disco culture, but with a touch of Hawaii and some flare of the 70s and 80s. Tropical bird wallpaper and sparkling disco balls complete the tequila and mescal cocktail menu. Although drinks are more expensive, the colorful venue plays an infectious mix of electronic music, funk and hip-hop on the weekends and serves tasty Latin tapas at the Burro restaurant on the second floor, making it a must-see if you want to spend a day. entertaining evening.
(Austurstræti 20, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 10.00 to 24.00, Friday and Saturday from 10.00 to 3.30.
Simply known as Hresso, this casual restaurant by day, serving burgers and sandwiches to tourists, transforms into a nightclub when the sun goes down, with live DJs and bands. Come here to listen and dance to 70s and 80s music in an exquisitely revival and trendy atmosphere. Every Thursday night there is live music with local artists. The place is located in a historic building and during the day you can enjoy the typical dishes of Icelandic cuisine.
(Hverfisgata 33, Reykjavík) Open daily from 16.00 to 1.00.
This Reykjavik club is inspired by the style of Miami nightclubs in the 70s . Fluorescent lighting, pastel colored furniture, palm trees, pelicans and a ceiling lamp. Their cocktails are great and there is also a ping pong room downstairs.
Kiki Queer Bar
(Laugavegur 22, Reykjavík) Open Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday from 21.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 21.00 to 4.30.
Reykjavik's popular gay-friendly club , Kiki attracts a crowd of all ages, sexualities and tastes, and is one of Reykjavik's busiest nightclubs on weekends. Very quickly, you will be forced to succumb to the positive energy of the bar, dance to the rhythm of eighties and hip-hop music, sip cocktails upstairs, chat happily and make new friends.
(Tryggvagata 22, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 14.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 14.00 to 3.00.
Located near the harbor, Gaukurinn is a club with live music and is also one of Reykjavik's gay friendly night spots . Expect alternative live music, rock and heavy metal when there are concerts, and regular drag shows. Gaukurinn's weekdays are surprisingly quiet: in the corner of the room, you might find customers playing video games, chess or even reading. Over the weekend, however, the place quickly comes alive to become one of the busiest clubs in the Icelandic capital.
The bars and pubs of the city of Reykjavik
(Austurstræti 8, Reykjavík) Open Monday to Thursday from 11.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 11.00 to 4.30, Sunday from 11.00 to 24.00.
American Bar is noisy, a little flashy and full of energy. The American flag stands proud in the main hall of the bar, while the walls are decorated with NFL helmets and sportswear. The vibe varies from relaxed to quite energetic on the weekends. A good place to dance and have a few drinks during your night in Reykjavik.
(Laugavegur 30, Reykjavík) Open Monday through Thursday from 14.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 12.00 to 3.00, Sunday from 12.00 to 1.00.
Housed in an all-wood building, Dillon is one of the most popular bars along Reykjavík's main street . With a large outdoor seating area, a selection of over 150 different whiskeys and musical performances, Dillon is almost always fun! The place is popular with locals and tourists alike, who stop here to have a drink and listen to some rythm and blues and enjoy the party atmosphere. When there is no live music, local DJs keep the music flowing. The space inside is quite small, which means that on a turbulent weekend night, the bar itself gets quite hot inside, with customers dancing and moving.
(Sæmundargata, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Wednesday 11.00 to 23.00, Thursday to Saturday 11.00 to 1.00.
This place is located on the university campus and is therefore a bit far from the central scene, but it is a good place to start the night because the beer and wine are quite cheap. The crowd is young and the atmosphere is quite calm and friendly. There are also soccer matches on the big screen.
Petersen Svítan Rooftop Lounge
(Ingólfsstræti 2a, Reykjavík) A beautiful rooftop bar in one of Iceland's most famous buildings, Gamla Bíó . Its extraordinary terrace and 360 ° view over the city are one of a kind. There is jazz background music, some cozy and classy spaces inside where wine and cocktails are served, and plush sofas and cushions on the outside terrace.
(1a Ingólfsstræti, Reykjavík) Open Sunday through Thursday from 11.30 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 11.30 to 3.00.
A bar and restaurant characterized with a nice atmosphere where you can taste the local cuisine and listen to great music while sipping a beer or a cocktail. This bar offers a great selection of Icelandic beers and serves up to 100 types of local beers available. All liqueurs and spirits produced in Iceland are also available.
Den Danske Kro
(Ingólfsstræti 3, Reykjavík) Den Danske Kro is a small Danish-themed local pub located on a side street of Laugarvegur. A casual place in the heart of downtown Reykjavík where everyone is welcome. Accompany your beer with a traditional Danish sandwich, topped with herring, smoked eel or roast beef.
(Laugavegur 22, Reykjavík) Open Sunday through Thursday from 11.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 11.00 to 4.30.
Bravó is one of the most famous bars in Reykjavík , welcoming and full of atmosphere, with soft lighting, with the soft cushions that flank the room and create a place that lends itself to an evening with friends while sipping a good beer. People tend to squeeze in, creating an intimate and, at times, overcrowded night.
(Laugavegur 20, Reykjavík) Open Sunday through Thursday from 11.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 11.00 to 4.00.
With interiors that are faithfully inspired by the film of the same name, Lebowski Bar organizes evenings with film screenings, computer game quizzes and, on weekends, its dance floor is open and DJs play in the console. Attractions like these keep the bar a popular spot, with its most popular hours on weekend nights. Come here to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the film and sip a good White Russian, trying to win the free beers at the wheel of fortune.
(Bankastræti 7, Reykjavík) The bar at the Loft Hostel is always a lively and fun place, especially in the early evening. Although Loft is a hostel-bar, the crowd is a mix of tourists and locals. Events are on the agenda and are usually free. The balcony is perfect for smokers and those who prefer to drink and socialize outdoors and there is a foosball table for those who like to play better than talking or dancing. It boasts excellent views of the city and surrounding mountains. The bar often hosts up-and-coming bands, live shows and DJs.
(Skúlagata 28, Reykjavík) Kex Hostel has become a Reykjavík nightlife institution in recent years . Located in what was formerly a cookie factory, the bar has a large space, complete with mid-century furniture, vintage wall maps, and lots of curios. A small stage at the entrance hosts up-and-coming bands as guests drink and congregate at the bar. A back room serves as a venue for more formal concerts. If you are in your twenties and you like the hipster style, this is your place. Every Tuesday evening, the bar fills up with people for an intimate jazz session with local musicians.
The English Pub
(Austurstræti 12, Reykjavík) A traditional and welcoming place for sports fans, this English-style pub has a nice seating area in the back, there is often football on the television and live music almost every night with local musicians and, for those who feel lucky, there is the wheel of fortune with which you can win up to 1 meter of beer. If you like live sporting events such as the English Premier League, The English Pub is the place to visit. In addition, the pub boasts a large selection of great beers.
(Frakkastígur 8, Reykjavík) Open daily from 12.00 to 1.00.
Open since 2018, this international brewery brand is also very popular in Reykjavík. Located on the up-and-coming street of Hverfisgata, this two-story venue is sure to give you a great night and good beer. They make partnerships with Icelandic and international breweries, which are a welcome blend on their menu of famous Brewdog beers.
(Vesturgata 2, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 16.00 to 24.00, Friday and Saturday from 16.00 to 1.00.
Micro Bar is a craft brewery located in a basement just a stone's throw from Ingólfstorg Square. The bar offers around 80 international beers, and a wide selection of Icelandic draft beers. The atmosphere is relaxed and relatively quiet, with soft lighting and a large wooden bar. You will find locals at the tables sipping a beer and chatting with friends.
(Laugavegur 21, Reykjavík) Open Monday through Thursday from 9.00 to 23.00, Friday and Saturday from 9.00 to 1.00, Sunday from 9.00 to 21.00.
Located in Austurvollur, Kaffibrennslan is a Reykjavik bar with a relaxed atmosphere that transforms into a very busy nightclub at night.
Skúli Craft Bar
(Aðalstræti 9, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 12.00 to 23.00, Friday and Saturday from 12.00 to 1.00.
Skúli Craft Bar is a fairly recent addition to Reykjavik's craft beer scene. Although Skúli is a rather small place, the selection of locally brewed beers is very large.
Session Craft Bar
(Bankastræti 14, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 2.00pm to 12.00am, Friday and Saturday from 12.00pm to 1.00am.
Small but cozy brewery, very popular with locals. A stop any beer lover visiting Reykjavík bars should make.
(Mýrargata 2, Reykjavík) Located in the Old Harbor area, this Reykjavik cocktail bar is popular with tourists and serves quirky cocktails, beers and hearty food. Depending on when you visit, you may arrive in the middle of a happy hour or in time to enjoy some live music.
(Laugavegur 20, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 12.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 12.00 to 3.00.
A Reykjavik nightlife classic , Kaldi is a charming little bar that's extremely popular with locals. Craft beer is good and the place is usually very busy. It is often difficult to find a table, but if you manage to do it, you will surely stay for a drink. This is also a favorite spot for Icelanders forty year olds. You will often see businessmen and women having a Happy Hour and people chatting with friends who have just met.
(Klapparstígur 33, Reykjavík) Open Sunday to Thursday from 12.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 12.00 to 3.00.
With great music and a cozy atmosphere, this bar is perfect for a good chat with friends, and is a popular hangout for Happy Hour and after-work drinks. Vedur is located on a side street and has large windows that allow you to admire the comings and goings of people outside. An unassuming little bar that is worth a visit.
(Veghúsarstígur 9, Reykjavík) Open Monday from 16.00 to 21.00, Tuesday to Thursday from 16.00 to 23.00, Friday and Saturday from 16.00 to 23.30.
Tucked away among charming corrugated iron houses, Port 9 is Reykjavik's best wine bar . This refined delight is perfect to sit down for a sip or ten of some of the most delicious wines Iceland has to offer. Don't be afraid to ask the waiters for the menu: they are absolute experts.
The Drunk Rabbit Irish Pub
(Austurstræti 3, Reykjavík) Open Sunday through Thursday from 12.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 12.00 to 4.00.
The Drunk Rabbit is an authentic Irish pub in the heart of Reykjavik city . Happy hour from 12 to 19 every day and live music every night.
The Irishman Pub
(Klapparstígur 27, Reykjavík) Open Sunday through Thursday from 12.00 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 12.00 to 3.00.
Irishman Pub is a new addition to Reykjavík's burgeoning pub and bar culture, and is always popular.
Bastard Brew & Food
(Vegamótastígur 4, Reykjavík) Open Sunday through Thursday from 11.30 to 1.00, Friday and Saturday from 11.30 to 4.00.
Craft brewery offering a good choice of own beers and a dozen beers from other breweries on tap and bottled. They also make ambitious handcrafted cocktails that are refreshing reinterpretations of classic cocktails.
(Grandagarður 8, Reykjavík) Open Sunday through Thursday from 11.30 to 23.00, Friday and Saturday from 11.30 to 1.00.
Located in the hippest area of Reykjavik's nightlife and close to the harbor, this artisanal bar offers great drinks and local food. The beer collection is great and they also have vegan options.