Bars/ Nightclubs, Reykjavík Region
One liked by my brother and me, as we found it the best place to get into conversation with some friendly locals here! Grand Rokk has live music, chess, literature and pub quizzes held weekly. If you want to chat and drink beer you should stay downstairs, but if you are looking for exciting and live music then you should go upstairs.
Dress Code: No dress code, just come as you are.
Reykjavík may be a small capital but it´s BIG fun! We have Irish pubs, dancing, salsa, cafés and everything other capitals have. I have to mention my favorite spots; Pravda, Hverfisbarinn, Rex and Vegamót. You can check these pages out Hverfisbarinn.is, vegamot.is and pravda.is. They are all places with dj´s. Rex is a up scale place with trendy people, a small dance floor but enough tables and fun seating to have conversations. pravda has the same4 crowd but they have more dance floor less seating. Hverfisbarinn is a fun place where a lot of sports people go like Eiður Smári Guðjónsen Chelasea footballer and they play alot of fun music from the 80´s til now. Vegamót is a great restaurant/cafe during the day and a fun cool place in the evenings. They are all open til around 5-6 am on weekends so this is for the real party people.
Dress Code: Dress codes are clean and nice these are the in places so dress cool!
Age: 25+, Rather upmarket place, opens around midnight (only on weekends) Nice interior, rococco sofas. Very hot place right now (april '05). Lots of bankers go there.
Dress Code: Dress nicely. The men there are mostly wearing suits.
Meaning "President Jón", this was the main gay venue in Iceland when we were there and a very happening place during weekends (i.e. Friday and Saturday). However, we found it devoid of any activity on a Sunday night. Best to stick to the Saturday extravaganza and all that it entails!
Dress Code: Anything goes, but obviously the more colourful the better!
Nightlife in Reykjavik doesn't kick off until late where the locals will party on through the night. As prices are so expensive many tend to buy drinks from local supermarkets and drink at home with friends before heading off out.
We found a great bar/cafe on the square right next to Hotel Borg called Kaffi Brennslan I think, which has a great atmosphere. You can have yourself something to eat, a beer or a hot tea with honey and lemon to warm yourself up.
Dress Code: Casual
The newcomer, for me anyway, Q-bar I very much liked in the evening. It seemed to blend just the right amount of free-spirit and sleek with live folk/rock music and bright Sixties minimalism. It was not rowdy (one could actually here oneself talk!) and the people were very cool and stylish in a comfortable and not-too-posy kind of way.
Dress Code: Do the slack and shirt thing and you will get far, my friend!
This used to be called bar 22 and was a tad run-down but had a really cool vibe around it. It happily existed for almost two decades and a few reincarnations as gay bar, rock bar, rockabilly bar and plain old dive, but always seemed to attract cool arty locals who went there when other places closed. It has now been re-christened Barinn. The three floors feature pretty funky murals and food is served on the ground floor. The second floor has a small place for boogie-woogie. The clientele has yet to be formed so its cool status is as yet uncertain, but when I was there on a Saturday night it still looked very much a young urban hangout where the artists, gays and rockabillies never really left!
Dress Code: Young urban gear: I saw both suits and trackies + runners in there!
I love this; and it's quite an original one: apparently some Reykjavíkurs are so smitten with their own nightlife, that they fear tourists from other cities will go loco, have no idea what to do with themselves and will barge into all the "out" places for a drink and a laugh! So they set up their own website (see below) where you can hire a professional guide for a night on the town and you'll be whizzed through lines and into the joints that are in vogue. Apparently the formula is so successful that they also started up their service in Copenhagen and Stockholm!
With the risk of sounding blasé: as for someone who lived in Dublin and now Amsterdam (over 1000 drinking establishments in either city, respectively), I wouldn't be too hard-pressed. Just following the crowds usually does the trick. But I guess if you happen to be Bubba Yankeedoodle from West-Nebraska, you might be overwhelmed with the nocturnal delights Reykjavík has to offer and in dire need of guidance...
Lot of excellent spots. Have named Glaumbar and Kafe Barinn on my Iceland page. They might be 'out' by now.
What makes the nightlife are the beautiful and interesting ppl. They dress like stars. Look even better. And they are all very interesting to chat with. They are very friendly to foreigners (dunno if they might be even more friendly with Scandinavians) and u r sure to be invited to a few nachspiels every night.
Dress Code: casual goes fine most places. It wont hurt to dress inthe latest/hottest style/fashion though. Some spots require more style, mind.
Located at Hverfisgata, this Irish-themed bar definitely has the Celtic thing going on inside! But although the decor might be more "authentic' than in the Dubliner, the atmosphere isn't really the same.
First of all the place was packed to the rafters when we were there. And, unfortunately, those small nooks and crannies that were very quaint at first became very claustrophobic all of a sudden.
Nonetheless it seems very popular so I might be slightly biased. Don't let my judgment influence you and check it out when you're in dire need for a pint of the Black Stuff!
Irish-themed bars are usually a dime-a-dozen and from the outside and décor the Dubliner doesn't seem any different. But the craic is great during the weekend and, unlike pubs located in Ireland, this one stays open until after 5am! There's usually live music and a friendly (if slightly enebriated) crowd.
Dress Code: Casual will do, no dressing up to the hilt required.
This bar is featured in all travel guides and was right around the corner from where we were staying. It has a bohemian feel to it, almost as if you've burst into someone's living room.
It's laid back, so much even that if the staff and visitors were more laid back they'd be horizontal! The music was good and the people seemed to really enjoy themselves. It can be a bit cramped but on both occasions we were lucky enough to be seated and it was fab people-watching from then on!
Dress Code: It's all very laissez-faire so you'll see anything from alternative/hippie ranges to LBDs and Armani suits. I'm sure you'll find a niche inbetween!
For some reason at first I thought this might be a vegetarian restaurant. Actually, it's another chichi restaurant bar - similar to Oliver around the corner, but a bit more intimate and lounge-like. The name of the place means "Crossroads" - and you never know who you'll meet here. I was here on a pretty quiet night, but as all over Reykjavik, things really happen on the weekend.
This small "hole-in-the-wall" is not actually as tiny as it looks on the outside, but it's still intimate and quite charming. I wasn't here on the weekend when (by reputation) it can get quite packed with the cool and the cool-seekers. But it was still pretty "happening" on a Thursday night, and I would gladly come back. (Perhaps on my next visit the DJ will have passed out of his Johnny Cash phase.) This club was featured both in the novel and the film "101 Reykjavik." And if you like the celebrity game, this seems to be a good place to play it. (I've read that Bjork sightings are possible.)
I wrote about this place when I blogged about my general experiences bar-hopping in Reykjavik:
A bit of a dive, but I like that. Live music, even on weeknights in March. Now, it's true that it wasn't exactly good music. . . but not every Icelandic group is destined to go international. A convivial place.
Dress Code: more casual than many others in 101