Wining & Dining
While Iceland might be famous for its more traditional delicacies such as pickled ram’s testicles and putrefied shark, visitors will be pleased to learn that Reykjavík is also fast becoming one of the best locations to sample quality new Nordic cuisine, all cooked up by our treasured local and international talent using those fresh and sumptuous ingredients Iceland is so famous for!
Food aficionados will also be pleased and perhaps even impressed by the number of diverse restaurants in Reykjavík – mostly staffed with award winning chefs that create both imaginative and delicious cuisine. We recommend visitors try out in particular the Icelandic cuisine, which is characterized by an imaginative use of local ingredients such as fresh seafood, organic lamb and wild game; but be sure to try the fabulous Icelandic hotdog and pizza too!
Apart from the great food available in Reykjavík, the city also boasts a remarkable café culture, where trained baristas serving quality coffee are the rule rather than the exception.
For an even greater surprise we encourage our guests to give their taste buds a treat by sampling some the various award winning local beers available. There’s even a school of beer run by the city’s oldest brewery for those who like a little history to go with their beer tasting!
Shopping & Design
For the best shopping experience in Reykjavík we recommend you hit the downtown area of the city which is where most of the shops and boutiques are concentrated. Whether you’re looking to get a gift or souvenir, something unique from one of our many talented designers or even a midnight snack, the city centre is well supplied with brand names, obscure fashion shops, quality art studios and convenience stores.
A wander around the city’s famous shopping streets of Laugarvegur and Skólavördustígur will lead you to some gorgeous little boutiques and charming shops where you’re sure to discover fashion treasures ranging from the ultra-modern and concept -driven to vintage classics from the golden era! If you prefer the mall experience and those global brands, you can take a trip to Kringlan – home to around 150 shops, restaurants and services under one roof.
Shopping hours in Reykjavik can vary however most places are open between the hours of 10am and 6pm during the week with shorter opening hours at the weekend. Remember to reclaim your 15% VAT (value added tax) refund from your purchases.
Arts & Culture
Reykjavík is the place to be for those with an interest in the world of arts and culture, and is home to the majority of our most prestigious cultural institutions and talented performers and artists. Designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, Reykjavík is also the core of Iceland’s literary heritage where you’ll discover a treasure of literary works and a wealth of talented poets and authors.
In recent years, Reykjavík has become well known for its prolific music and performing arts scene – the city is a breeding ground for musical talent and hosts several highly active theatre companies.
Adding to the city’s reputation for creativity are a number of well-established musicians such as legendary local lass Björk, the indefinable Sigur Rós and the ever-so-cute Emilíana Torrini.
Health & Wellness
Reykjavík city is powered by clean energy and characterised by its proximity to nature which extends in and around the city like a green scarf, weaving together a lush oasis of natural open spaces and recreational areas.
Concentrated mainly in these areas are some of the city’s best facilities and services promoting “health & well-being” where you can try-out a multitude of healthy outdoor activities and experience the feel-good energy that comes with all that fresh clean air!
Apart from all those invigorating outdoor activities, where you can indulge in anything from sea-swimming in Nauthólsvík thermal beach to horseback-riding in the red hills of Heidmörk, visitors are also thoroughly encouraged to experience Iceland’s greatest source of well-being by trying out one of our numerous thermal pools and spas – not only an important part of our culture but also a wonderful tonic for the body and mind.
You could blame it on those long winter nights or perhaps the endless summer days, maybe it has something to do with the exceptional quality of the locally produced beer and Icelandic schnapps; but whatever the reason behind Reykjavík’s legendary nightlife or “jammith” as the locals refer to it, it’s certainly gaining a reputation for being one of the hottest places to party in the world today!
If you’ve spent the day absorbing all that green energy in the great outdoors and you need to spend it somewhere, then it’s time to trade those waterproofs and walking boots for your glad-rags and party shoes and see if you have enough stamina to stay up as long as a local! We’ve got pubs, clubs and lots of live venues to suit a multitude of different party moods! On weekdays most bars are open until 1am, with extended party hours from Thursday evening through the weekend, when the bars can stay open until 3am or longer. Most bars and clubs do not charge an entrance fee; however, expect to pay a small charge for entrance to live music venues. If you look younger than the minimum drinking age which is TWENTY, then make sure you bring your ID out with you.