The most northern capital city in the world, Reykjavik is a small city with a big personality. Situated near many stunning natural formations (such as the waterfalls of the Golden Circle and the northern lights), many tourists flock to Reykjavik mainly to visit the rugged Scandinavian wilderness. However, it’s also home to a vibrant cultural and nightlife scene (bar hopping is practically a national sport here). A quaint, relaxed city by day, it transforms into a thriving nightlife capital at night. Explore the variety of Icelandic craft beers offered in its many bars, go bar hopping with locals or watch a night movie at the first art house cinema in the country. Here are 10 things to do at night in Reykjavik, Iceland, that you can try out.
1. Try the different craft beers on tap at Skúli Craft Bar
Can you really say you’ve been to Reykjavik if you didn’t have a sip of an Icelandic beer? Thankfully, with an assortment of more than 130 craft beers (it’s a rotating selection of 14 beers at any one time), Skúli Craft Bar’s got you covered. It’s a cozy, chill bar that prides itself on its quality craft beer on tap. Sit at the bar and chat with the friendly bartenders, or have a go at the old-school Pac Man machine at the back. It’s a mellow place that’s bound to give you a good time - if you can find it, of course.
Skúli Craft Bar
Address: Fógetagarður, Aðalstræti 9, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Website: Skúli Craft Bar
Opening hours: Open 3PM - 11PM from Sunday - Thursday, 3PM - 1AM from Friday - Saturday
Price: 15-30 USD
2. Dine with a view at Kolabrautin
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Located on the top floor of the Harpa Concert Center, Kolabrautin provides you with a panoramic view of the city. We actually can’t decide which is better here - the food, or the view. It’s a modern, Mediterranean-Icelandic fusion restaurant which serves up unique and creative dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Head here for dinner after enjoying a concert at the halls downstairs, for a classy way to end your night.
Address: Austurbakki, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Website: Kolabrautin Ristorante
Opening hours: Open from 5.30PM - 10PM from Tuesday - Saturday, closed on Sunday and Monday
Price: 30-70 USD
3. Savour Bill Clinton's favorite Icelandic hot dogs at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Cheap food might be hard to come by in Iceland - thank goodness there’s Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. It’s the best hot dogs in town - literally (Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur loosely means ‘the best hot dogs in town’). Don’t be fooled by its humble appearance - this delicacy is a lamb sausage topped with an assortment of sweet sauces that tastes, unlike its American counterpart. Open till the wee hours of the morning, it’s a great meal to fill your hungry, post-clubbing bellies with, although you can really enjoy them at any hour of the day. There are a few stands located citywide, although all of them draw a queue once the stand opens. Even former president Bill Clinton is a fan.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Address: Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Website: Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Opening hours: Open from 10AM - 2AM from Sunday - Thursday, 10AM - 4.30AM on Friday and Saturday
Price: Under 10 USD
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4. Enjoy live music acts at Húrra
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Húrra is a live music venue cum night club - it’s one of the most happening destinations in Reykjavik, with a different event almost every day (they even have Movie Nights!). The music played is an eclectic mix of alternative, funky and jammy, but always on point. Often frequented by locals, Húrra is a good place to experience the true Reykjavik nightlife.
Address: Tryggvagata 22, Reykjavik, Iceland
Opening hours: Open 6PM - 1AM from Sunday - Thursday, 6PM - 4.30AM on Friday and Saturday.
Price: 11-30 USD (No cover)
5. Dance the night away at Paloma
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Dance the night away at one of Reykjavik’s biggest dance venues! This newly upgraded spot boasts a wide range of music on its two floors (the main dance floor is on the second floor). There’s even a pool table in the basement if you want to take a break from all the dancing. As one of the city’s most renowned clubs, you’re always in for a good night at Paloma.
Address: Naustin 1-3, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Website: Paloma Club
Opening hours: Open from 8PM - 1AM on Thursday and Sunday, 8PM - 4.30AM on Friday and Saturday
Price: 11-30 USD
6. Enjoy a stroll along the Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach
Head down to the Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach for a leisurely stroll after dinner. It might be pretty cold at night, but that doesn’t stop locals from going in for a dip. The water is kept warm through a hot water pump, although you still probably shouldn’t go in in the colder months. During the day, you can even rent towels and bathing suits and go for a soak in the hot tubs.
Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach
Address: Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach
Website: Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach
Opening hours: Open 11AM - 2PM, 5PM - 8PM from Monday - Friday, 11AM - 4PM on Saturday, closed on Sunday
Experience a different sort of nightlife on a Northern Lights tour. Often regarded as one of the most amazing wonders of the world, being able to observe this stunning phenomenon in its raw, natural beauty is an otherworldly experience. The tour will bring you into the vast wilderness of the Icelandic landscape for the best view of the lights, although sightings are not guaranteed (the Northern Lights only appear between September and April). If you’re not lucky enough to catch any, you can go on the next tour for free. It’s a must-go for anyone visiting Reykjavik.
Iceland: Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavik
Duration: 4 hour
8. Stuff your face with pizza at Hverfisgata 12
Hverfisgata 12 is a cool hipster pizza joint that serves sourdough-based pizza with an impressive selection of toppings. It’s so cool, it doesn’t even have a name - it’s simply referred to by its address. The restaurant is located in the heart of the city and it is spread out over three floors. With a casual, laidback vibe, it’s a great place to grab dinner and chill.
Address: Hverfisgata 12, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Website: Hverfisgata 12
Opening hours: Open 5PM - 12AM from Sunday to Wednesday, 5PM - 1AM on Thursday and Friday
Price: 20-50 USD
9. Learn about Reykjavik with Citywalk Reykjavik
One of the most established walking tour companies in the country, Citywalk Reykjavik has brought thousands of guests around the city. They provide three tours - a pay-as-you-wish walking tour of the city (during which you’ll learn about its history and culture), a pub-crawl (a tour of the nightlife!), and a financial tour (an interesting tour about Iceland’s economy). The guides are a friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming bunch, and their enthusiasm in showing you around the city is contagious. Due to the popularity of these tours, you should call ahead to secure a spot in advance, as spots run out fast.
Address: Austurvöllur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Website: Citywalk Reykjavik
Opening hours: Open from 9AM - 9PM daily
Price: 20-50 USD
10. Catch a movie at Bíó Paradís
The first art house cinema in Iceland, Bíó Paradís prides itself on being the center of Reykjavik’s local film scene - it is the venue of the annual Reykjavik International Film Festival. It screens mostly independent Iceland films, shorts and documentaries, with the occasional European or American movie. Film buffs should definitely check this place out.
Address: Hverfisgata 54
Website: Bíó Paradís
Opening hours: Open from 5PM daily, till late
Price: 20-30 USD
Explore the wonders of Iceland at night
If you’re visiting the land of the midnight sun during the colder seasons, don’t fret! Just because the days are shorter doesn’t mean you can’t venture out till late. With a plethora of activities to keep you occupied till the early morning, the nights are always young in Reykjavik, Iceland.
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