There may be limited sunlight in the northern city of Reykjavik,
but the locals here really know how to make good use of those long,
cold, dark winter nights. Be blown away by the bright lights of the
bars and clubs that line the streets and heat things up on the
Due to the high cost of alcohol, the nightlife only gets going very late as most Icelanders tend to have a few drinks at home before hitting the town. Travellers arriving in Reykjavik by air should not pass up the opportunity to buy cheap alcohol in the duty free store at the airport - a secret Icelandic tip! Some local Icelandic drinks, such as Brennivín, which when translated literally means 'Black Death', are extremely high in alcohol content - you have been warned!
Once sufficiently warmed up for the night, head to trendy Laugavegur where most of Reykjavik's 100 or so bars and clubs are centred round the strip and its side streets. On pumping Friday and Saturday nights it's not uncommon for the street to be filled with people all night long. It's also not uncommon for some of the beautiful Icelandic women drinking in the bars to turn out to be escorts who will then demand payment for any time spent chatting them up.
Many of Reykjavik's cafés turn into bars after 6pm and turn into bustling bars, perfect for starting the night out with a few cold ones. Party the night away at NASA on Austurvollur where three dance floors playing anything from house to pop attract revellers, while older party goers looking for something a little more sophisticated should visit Rex on Austurstraeti for a good night out. Live music your thing? Many clubs offer live music early in the evening, such as NASA and Kaffi Rosenberg on Klapparstigur are your best bet.
The Norden Voyager Card grants tourists discounts of up to 20% off restaurants, sights, hotels, car rentals, clothing and music in Iceland. During the winter months it costs $19.95 for 6 months' use. Definitely worth it for those planning on experiencing all Reykjavik has to offer.
Become our Reykjavik Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our Reykjavik travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Reykjavik or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.
iExplore offers made-to-order, privately-guided adventure tours to Iceland and over 200 other world wonders. Come Back Different!