The people of Iceland have mastered the art of partying and Reykjavík has become world-famous for its vivid and legendary nightlife. You could blame it on the long winter nights or the endless summer days, you could say it’s because of the remarkable quality of the locally produced beer and schnapps; but whatever the reason for this amazing Icelandic party talent, you should give it a go! Finding the right place to unleash your inner party animal should not be a problem as there are so many interesting places to visit. This is your ultimate guide to the Reykjavík nightlife, drinking and bars.
Photo by Helgi Halldórsson
The best thing about partying in Reykjavík is that you have everything in one place and bars are within walking distance from each other. When you have put on your high heels and party hat, you should have no problems finding a pub, club or live venue that caters to your party needs. On weekdays most bars are open until 1am, with extended party hours from Thursday evening through the weekend, when bars can stay open until 3am or longer. Usually there is no entrance fee, queues are small and only a selected few places have dress codes. Please note that the legal drinking age in Iceland is TWENTY.
Bar-hopping is a very popular sport in Reykjavík, so don’t worry if you don’t like the first place you visit. You just hop from one bar to another until you find something you like! This allows you to meet a lot of nice people and listen to different genres of music.
Photo by Helgi Halldórsson
The best bars and pubs in Reykjavík
This is a place where you can drunkenly belt out tunes to live music, cheer on your favourite sports team or just sit down and enjoy a cold beer. They have a big wheel of fortune where you can win a metres worth of beer.
This is the place to go if you want to enjoy good beer and a great place to start your evening. They have an unbeatable selection of beers and the prices are reasonable. You can order a mini beer sampler course from Icelandic micro breweries and learn about the brews from the knowledgeable staff.
This amazing cocktail bar by the harbour offers a quirky and interesting menu of drinks and some are very creative. This is a trendy bar with a cool vibe and excellent service. Make sure to take advantage of their happy hour every day between 3pm-6pm.
4. Kex Hostel
This place is a favourite among those looking for a drink after a long day at the office. Kex is beautifully decorated and offers a great selection of drinks and a wonderful menu from the kitchen. The place is often host to live music events where you can enjoy good music in a relaxed atmosphere.
5. Club Kiki
When you feel the rhythm of the night running through your veins and you just have to bust a move, then Kiki is the place to be. Here you can shake your moneymaker and get down and dirty on the floor without anyone judging you, or your moves. This rainbow-striped place is welcoming to all.
Húrra is an interesting blend of bar, club and live music venue. Here you can sit down for a drink early in the evening, see a live band step on stage and after that dance to the electric beats of live DJs into the wee hours of the next morning.
This place has a fairly solid line-up of live bands and singers performing almost every night. Rósenberg has provided a stepping stone for many young artists into the Icelandic music scene. Prices are fair, food is good, entertainment amazing and the atmosphere is laid back and cozy.
This is a hip and cool place with two floors catering to electronic dance music. You will want to join the crowd in dancing the night away to the mesmerising beats. The place is decorated with romantic wallpaper, neon-tape windows and glowing red lights. If you want good fun, then Dolly is the place to be.
This is one of the hippest and most popular bars in Reykjavík. It is always busy and full of locals of all ages, a great place for a lively drink with a mixed crowd. Some say the atmosphere in Kaffibarinn is representative of the Icelandic love of partying hard. They mainly play alternative and electronic music.
10. Skúli Craft bar
Skúli is the perfect place to kick back with friends and enjoy good beer. This rustic bar offers an excellent selection of great beers with a clear focus on craft, very nice ambience and great service. Skúli is the perfect place for beer connoisseurs and people taking their first steps into the world of craft alike. Taps are constantly changing so you will be pleasantly surprised each time.
The Reykjavík nightlife is well worth a visit during your Reykjavík City Break and I hope this post has inspired you to put on your gladrags and see which party place in Reykjavík you like best.