Reykjavik might be small for a capital city, but it makes up for it in the eclectic mishmash of bars that line the streets. From movie-inspired drinking holes to upmarket cocktail bars, there’s something for everyone.
Beer fanatics rejoice. Micro Bar serves the widest selection of beer in Reykjavik and is the only micro brewer in the country, bringing you everything from local brews from the depths of Iceland to international favourites. Step inside this hop heaven and scour the lengthy menu, but also admire the original wall murals painted by Hugleikur Dagsson, an Icelandic cartoonist. This cool hangout is popular with locals and tourists alike, bringing the small-town, Icelandic vibe to the masses. Opt for the Kaldi draft for a real taste of Iceland.
Vesturgata 2, Reykjavík, Iceland
Feed your cultural taste buds at the Gallery Bar, which comprises the plush leather armchairs of a gentleman’s club with the trendy charm of a modern gallery to bring you a unique experience. Interior chimneys, thick carpets, and dim lighting add a dash of atmosphere, while the contemporary art splashed across the walls brings you a cultural encounter while you sip on a classic cocktail or a pint of local beer. Inside, you’ll find an eclectic mix of punters, from hipster students to middle-aged families and sightseeing tourists.
Bergstadastraeti 37, 101 Reykjavik
Though named after an American city, Boston very much flaunts a Mexican vibe. Serving up a spicy selection of Mexican dishes and locally brewed beer, you can refuel against an interesting soundtrack of Icelandic bands and Latin American melodies. The wooden décor complete with candle-esque lighting provides a cosy feel, which the antique furniture and fun crowd add a dose of rustic Icelandic charm to. There’s even a ski-lodge style patio with heaters where you can dine outdoors in the warmer months.
Laugavegur, Reykjavík, Iceland
Set inside an abandoned biscuit factory, this hostel and bar combo offers its customers something a little bit different. Back in 2008, Iceland was hit by a financial crisis which, luckily, meant the plans to build a skyscraper in the place of this humble factory fell through, leaving it to be transformed into a stylish bar, hostel, and restaurant. On any one week, there are numerous bands that grace the stage to entertain travellers and locals as they sip Icelandic beers, international wines, and a selection of classic cocktails.
Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Le Chateau des Dix Gouttes
This chameleon of a hotspot transitions from a basement café called Tiu Droper in the day to a French-inspired lounge bar after the veil of darkness falls. It might seem like an odd combo, but the mini-makeover this place goes under every night is what draws in the crowds – that, and its dedication to serving a delicious collection of tipples. Here, you can order Iceland’s very own brand of wine, made with rhubarb, crowberries, blueberries, and Icelandic herbs. The cellar-style feel to the décor serves to bolster the French theme, adding a touch of Parisian charm to the daytime café.
Laugavegur 27, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
One of Reykjavik’s newest bars, Slippbarinn only opened its doors to the public a year ago. Still, this drinking hole proves popular with both locals and tourists thanks to its vintage interior and its excellent cocktail culture. Found in the foyer of the Reykjavik Hotel Marina, it oozes sophisticated allure and promises a bar stocked with mastered mixologists and practically every spirit under the sun. The creations are an art in themselves, especially when paired with the possibility of glimpsing the Northern Lights from your barstool.
Mýrargata 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Wander through Reykjavik and you’ll see a hefty amount of colourful street art adorning the walls, from underwater scenes to blown-up bar logos and everything in between. It’s safe to say the street art scene is blossoming, and the Harlem bar grabs hold of this by the horns and runs with it. Here, sixteen artists have made their mark inside, creating a raw and gritty interior that lures in a creative crowd. Expect underground DJs to be working their magic on the decks at the weekend and be prepared to hit the dance floor hard.
Tryggvagata 22, Reykjavík, Iceland
Set slap bang in the heart of the popular Laugavegur shopping street, this quirky bar is the perfect pitstop after a day’s browsing. Step inside to admire the décor, which has been heavily influenced by the cult film, The Big Lebowski. Make your way to the back of the bar for an American-style burger complete with black and white chequered floor and teal accents, or grab a seat near the front to enjoy a beer, wine, or cocktail against a surreal backdrop.
Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Bohemian Bravo draws in a creative crowd of all ages. Its chunky vintage furniture harks back to the rustic Scandinavian charm of Reykjavik, while the exposed lightbulbs add a touch of hipster to the proceedings. On the walls, vibrant artworks provide an eye-catching backdrop for an after-dinner pint or an evening cocktail. As the night wears on, the dance floor gets some action thanks to the fun selection of tunes and the lively collection of customers. The muted colours of the exterior don’t belie the vibrant times waiting on the other side of the door.
Laugavegur 22, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland