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Reykjavik Nightlife

Reykjavik doesn't quite live up to its reputation as the 'Ibiza of the North' but for such a small city, there's no shortage of things to do once the sun disappears. In true Scandinavian style, drinking starts late with most bars and clubs staying quiet until at least 2200.

After that, the streets and bars are thronged until the early hours with many locals flitting between establishments as they take part in an old-fashioned runtur (bar crawl). Most of the action centres on Laugavegur and the roads leading off it.

Bars in Reykjavik

Bravó

A small comfortable bar located on the main shopping street, this restaurant regularly has local acts and while it has changed names a few times, it is one of the most popular bars in Reykjavik. Playing funky electronic music often, this bar has an energizing vibe and people often squeeze in, even if it is already crowded.

Address: Laugavegur, Laugavegur 22, Reykjavik , 101
Telephone: +354 580 8020
Website: http://www.bravo.is/

Den Danske Kro

A small bar with a huge outdoor courtyard, Den Danske Kro isn’t shy about advertising its Danish roots with Dannebrogs (Danish flags) hanging off just about every available surface. Hugely friendly and with excellent beer on tap, it’s a particularly good spot for a relaxed, convivial night out.

Address: Miðborg, Ingólfsstræti 3, Reykjavik, 101
Telephone: +354 552 0070.
Website: http://www.danski.is

Kaffibarinn

Announced by a huge red and white sign inspired by the London Underground, this bohemian café is popular with the city's media and fashion sets. Arty, cosy and often candlelit, it’s the perfect place to meet and talk about the latest electronica bands or your new web project.

Address: Miðborg, Bergstadastraeti 1, Reykjavik, 101
Telephone: +354 551 1588.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/kaffibarinn/

Pablo Discobar

New in Reykjavik, this themed bar with tropic décor will make you feel like you’ve won an all-expenses-paid trip to Columbia. On the third floor of a building, below it sits its restaurant compadre Burro. Offering cocktails at a good price, Pablo Discobar is a popular destination for Happy Hour.

Address: Austurstræti, Veltusund 1, Reykjavik , 101
Telephone: +354 552 7333
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Pablo-Discobar-790555284413653/

Vegamot

A two-floor bistro that sits in an enviable spot in the city centre, during the day Vegemot is a respectable restaurant famous for good fish but transforms into a hipster bar come nightfall. Popular with the city's cool crowds, it is famous for attracting top DJs from around the globe and stays open until 0500 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Address: Miðborg, Vegamotastig 4, Reykjavik, 101
Telephone: +354 5 113 040.
Website: http://www.vegamot.is

Clubs in Reykjavik

Austur

One of Reykjavik’s hottest party spots, the mosaic-walled Austur attracts a young and glamorous crowd – and just about every visiting VIP. The party starts around 2200 and continues well into the small hours with the dance floor becoming increasingly packed as the pop cranks up and the alcohol takes effect.

Address: Miðborg, Austurstræti 7, Reykjavik, 101
Telephone: +354 568 1907.
Website: http://www.austurbar.is/

Prikid

One of the oldest bars in Iceland, Prikid is low-key and relaxed during the day but turns into a heaving temple to boozing and dance come evening. The décor is American-lite and the dancefloor is edged with diner-style booths. Popular with a younger crowd, it gets seriously rammed at weekends.

Address: Miðborg, Bankastraeti 12, Reykjavik, 101
Telephone: +354 551 2886.
Website: http://www.prikid.is

Sólon

A smaller alternative to Austur, Solon is a bar during the day but turns into a nightclub at the weekend. Named after the owner (a real character who claims to be the greatest man in Iceland), it draws a respectable roster of DJs, and a relaxed crowd. Like most clubs, it’s not the cheapest, and most people drink at home then arrive late.

Address: Miðborg, Bankastraeti 7A, Reykjavic, 101
Telephone: +354 562 3232.
Website: http://www.solon.is

Live music in Reykjavik

Café Rosenberg

The royal blue walls and moody neon lighting might give Café Rosenberg the feel of a boudoir, but an evening spent here is anything but relaxing thanks to the high-octane acts that occupy the tiny stage. Expect jazz, blues, rock and just about anything else that takes the owners' fancy.

Address: Miðborg, Klapparstigur 25, Reykjavik, 101
Telephone: +354 5 512 442.
Website: http://www.caferosenberg.is

Harpa

One of Reykjavik’s most iconic buildings, Harpa sits on the harbour front and is the place to go for top-end concerts from visiting bands and musicians, as well as local talent. Seriously slick inside, it boasts incredible ocean views from the in-house bars and also hosts events – among them Sonar Reykjavik and the Reykjavik Jazz Festival.

Address: Miðborg, Austurbakki 2, Reykjavik, 101
Telephone: +354 528 5050.
Website: http://www.harpa.is

Salurinn

The first, purpose-built concert hall in Iceland, Salurinn opened in 1999 and has since established itself as the top place to go in Reykjavik for cutting-edge theatre, dance performances and music concerts. Designed with acoustics in mind, it comes into its own when orchestras are in town.

Address: Kopavogur, Hamraborg 6, Reykjavik, 200
Telephone: +354 5 700 400.
Website: http://www.salurinn.is

Classical music in Reykjavik

Dance in Reykjavik

Theatres in Reykjavik

Music and Dance in Reykjavik

Culture in Reykjavik

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Featured Hotels

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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.

Hotel Reykjavik Natura

Located a 20-minute walk from the city centre, close to the domestic airport, Hotel Reykjavik Naturais is run by national carrier Icelandair. A short stroll from the Perlan complex, it is good for nature fans with biking, running and walking paths and a nearby geothermal beach. Inside, rooms are comfortable and there’s an onsite spa.