Reykjavík Experience

Wining & dining

Visitors will be pleased to learn that Reykjavík is fast becoming one of the best locations to sample quality new Nordic cuisine. Talented local chefs spend all their waking days conjuring up new ways to showcase the fresh, seasonal ingredients that Iceland is so famous for, such as fresh seafood, organic lamb, and wild game. In fact, in 2017, Iceland got its first Michelin star, awarded to Dill Restaurant. And Restaurant Skál, located inside Hlemmur Food Hall, received a Bib Gourmand award from Michelin in 2019. While fine dining is great, be sure to try the fabulous Icelandic hot dog and ice cream, too.

Apart from the great food available in Reykjavík, the city also boasts a remarkable café culture, where trained baristas serving fresh coffee are the rule rather than the exception. We also encourage guests to give their taste buds a treat by sampling some of the various award-winning local beers available. If you can’t decide which one to try, many local breweries offer tasting sessions.

Shopping & design

For the best shopping experience in Reykjavík, go downtown. Most of the shops and boutiques are concentrated on Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur streets. Be sure to check out Reykjavík’s brand-new shopping area Hafnartorg as well! Whether you’re looking to get a souvenir of your time in Iceland, a gift for someone back home, or something unique from one of our many talented designers, the city centre is well supplied with brand names, obscure fashion shops, and quality art studios.

If you prefer a mall experience and international brands, you can take a trip to Kringlan – home to round 150 shops, restaurants, and services under one roof.

Shopping hours in Reykjavík can vary but most places are open between the hours of 10:00 and 18:00 during the week, with shorter opening hours on Saturdays. Remember to claim your 15% VAT (value added tax) refund from your purchases. You can get your refund at the airport.

Arts & culture

Reykjavík is home to our most prestigious cultural institutions and most talented performers and artists. The National Gallery and the Reykjavík Art Museum have exciting exhibitions ranging from traditional to contemporary. Inside The Marshall House by the old harbour, you’ll have a chance to visit inspiring exhibitions at the Living Art Museum, the Kling & Bang gallery, and artist Ólafur Elíasson’s studio.

Designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, Reykjavík is the core of Iceland’s literary heritage, home to a wealth of talented poets and authors. The most celebrated of Icelandic literary offerings are of course the Sagas of Icelanders but in the past few years, crime fiction in the vein of Nordic noir has also been popular.

Reykjavík is also well known for its prolific music and performing arts scene – the city is a breeding ground for musical talent. A number of well-established musicians played their first gigs in Reykjavík, such as the legendary Björk, the indefinable Sigur Rós, as well as indie darlings Of Monsters and Men and Sóley, to name but a few.

Health & wellness

Reykjavík’s clean energy and proximity to nature ensure a vacation guaranteed to replenish your well-being and give you a boost of energy that will last long after your return home.

The city’s green spaces and recreational areas offer plenty of opportunities for walking, running, or cycling. Indulge in anything from sea swimming at Nauthólsvík thermal beach to horseback riding in the red hills of Heiðmörk! 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.

Nightlife

You could blame it on those long winter nights, the endless summer days, or maybe the exceptional quality of locally produced beer and Icelandic schnapps; whatever the reason, Reykjavík’s legendary nightlife (djammið, as the locals refer to it) has a reputation of being one of the hottest in the world. Get ready to party!

If you’ve spent the day absorbing all that green energy in the great outdoors and you need to use 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 01:00, but on weekends, the bars can stay open until 04:30. Bars and clubs do not charge an entrance fee; however, expect to pay a small charge for entrance to some live music venues. If you look younger than the minimum drinking age, which is 20 in Iceland, then make sure you bring your ID with you.