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Reykjavik Events

Winter Lights Festival

Dedicated to the theme of light and energy, and really just to cheer everyone up after a long dark winter, the Winter Lights Festival is an exciting public festival centered around Laugardalur park in Reykjavik. It entails a mix of events celebrating arts and crafts, environment and history, sports and culture.

Date: 06 February 2020 - 09 February 2020
Venue: Various venues.


Beer Day

Beer Day in Iceland marks the abolition, on 1 March 1989, of a 75-year long prohibition of beer. Making up for lost time, the citizens of Reykjavik indulge in a beer spree on the same day each year. Highly festive celebrations are held at pubs, restaurants, and clubs all around Reykjavik and the festivities continue long into the night. A runtur (bar crawl) is a popular way of getting to know the various bars and beers in this city famous for its hedonistic nightlife. Many bars and nightclubs are open until 0400. Suggestions that 2 March should be declared National Hangover Day have apparently been strongly resisted. Icelandic beers include Viking Gylltur, a strong lager with a bitter taste, Viking Dimmur, Sterkur, Thule and Ice Bjor. Take your pick.

Date: 01 March 2020 - 01 March 2020
Venue: Various bars and restaurants.


Food and Fun Festival

A tantalising treat for the taste buds, this annual festival sees visiting chefs from around the world travel to Iceland for a programme of food and culinary events. Using locally sourced ingredients, local chefs team up with their international counterparts to create some gastronomic treats including traditional lamb dishes and seafood specialities.

Date: 04 March 2020 - 08 March 2020
Venue: Various hotels and restaurants.


National Day of Iceland

Reykjavik hosts various Independence Day parades and there is a whole lot of street theater, sideshows and dancing to keep everyone entertained.

Date: 17 June 2020 - 17 June 2020
Venue: Throughout the city.

The Arctic Open

A game of midnight golf in Iceland is an unusual delight. The sun barely dips below the horizon and it's possible to play golf round the clock. The Arctic Open is an international event which attracts over 100 players from around the world.

Date: 24 June 2020 - 27 June 2020
Venue: Akureyri Golf Club.

Gay Pride

The biggest gay and lesbian event of the year, the city's annual Gay Pride brings a carnival of colour and celebrations to the streets, bars and clubs of Reykjavik. Events take place at various venues and locations throughout the city as up to 50,000 revellers - including many straight people - attend parties, parades and club nights scheduled as part of the four-day festival. Parties begin early on Thursday night before the official Pride Opening Ceremony on Friday evening. On Saturday, a colourful and noisy parade makes its way down the Laugavegur main shopping street after which there is a fun open-air party that is open to all. On Sunday there is usually a well-supported sporting event before the fun comes to an end at the official Farewell Party in the evening.

Date: 04 August 2020 - 09 August 2020
Venue: Various venues.

Most events are free.

Reykjavik Marathon

Each year thousands of professional and amateur runners travel to the world's most northerly capital to participate in the Reykjavik Marathon. Attracted by the pleasant climate, incredibly fresh air, great scenery and good running conditions, runners can choose to compete in the marathon, half-marathon, or the easier 10km and 5km fun runs. Marathon day was moved to coincide with the city's popular Cultural Night (see separate entry) which provides runners with some great evening entertainment ranging from museum exhibitions and live music to city walks and culinary events.

Date: 22 August 2020 - 22 August 2020
Venue: Various locations.


Reykjavik Cultural Night

An annual event in the city since 1996, Reykjavik Culture Night has become an essential part of cultural life in Iceland, with thousands of people strolling the streets of the city on a single night to enjoy a variety of activities ranging from guided tours, traditional shows and exhibitions to more unusual happenings. A number of galleries, shops, bars and restaurants open til late on the night.

Date: 22 August 2020 - 22 August 2020
Venue: Various venues.

Reykjavik International Film Festival

First held in 2004, this festival has fast established itself as Iceland's biggest and most important film festival. Visitors to the event are given the opportunity to see the cream of the latest releases from around the world as well as shorts and animations from up and coming directors from the international scene. Directors, cinematographers and producers are on hand to talk about their films at a series of seminars and workshops.

Date: 24 September 2020 - 04 October 2020
Venue: Various venues.


Iceland Airwaves Music Festival

Hosted in disused warehouses, airplane hangars, clubs, bars and an assortment of other unusual venues around Reykjavik, this annual music festival has a cool urban flavour and is a popular event among the city's young and trendy folk. Since it was first held in 1999, the event has grown from just being a stage for local DJs to become an international music festival that attracts bands and performers from all over the world. With performances, DJ sets and aftershow parties often continuing through until dawn, this is not a festival for the fainthearted.

Date: 04 November 2020 - 07 November 2020
Venue: Various venues.


New Year's Eve fireworks

New Year’s Eve is traditionally a major excuse to party in the city. Shops and restaurants open in the morning and visitors can take a New Year's Eve tour or make their way to one of the city's large bonfires. Just before midnight, there is a spectacular fireworks display watched by huge crowds at Hallgrímskirkja church, Perlan (The Pearl) and Landakotskirkja church.

Date: 31 December 2020 - 31 December 2020
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Various venues.


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Featured Hotels


Hotel Cabin

It might not have much in the way of frills, but what Hotel Cabin lacks in decorative flourishes, it more than makes up in convenience and charm. That’s not to say that the rooms are unappealing. Most are comfortable and well-appointed, with huge beds and single Scandinavian-style pillows.

Hotel Fron

With its bright blue facade, you can't miss Hotel Fron. When the runtur (pub crawl) gets underway at the weekend, a couple of rooms at the front might get a bit noisy, but most of the rooms are remarkably quiet. It's an excellent choice for leisure travellers wanting a central location at a reasonable price.

Sunna Guesthouse

Just behind Hallgrimskirkja, this guesthouse in the heart of the old town is within easy walking distance of the major attractions, shops and restaurants. The rooms are basic but clean, and the buffet breakfast is included in the rate. Accommodation options range from rooms with shared facilities to studios and apartments.

Hotel Borg

A Reykjavik institution, the grand Hotel Borg overlooks Austurvöllur and the Parliament building on the other side. Inside, rooms are comfortable and well appointed, while the split-level Tower Suite has proved a hit with visiting VIPs. Downstairs, it boasts its own gourmet restaurant, Silfur, which serves top-notch French fare.

Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel

One of the newer hotels in Reykjavik, the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel is housed in the former offices of an old Icelandic shipping line. It has been meticulously refurbished with urbane minimalist chic, so sleek dark wood furnishings cut a fashionable jib against the tastefully off-white décor. Outside it's officious, inside it's delicious.

Hilton Reykjavik Nordica

Good for anyone in search of a quieter stay, the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica sits 10 minutes from the city centre, close to the botanic gardens. Decked out in white and grey, the 284-room hotel is huge but boasts a soothing Scandinavian ambience. Along with the Vox restaurant, it also has an onsite spa.