You've heard the stories. People in Europe like to party, and Iceland is no exception. As the country's capital, Reykjavik has plenty to do during a Friday or Saturday night out. The proximity of its bars and restaurants to one another makes it easy to have a night on the town and then wander home on foot. So if you're wondering “Where is the party in Reykjavik on the weekend?”, then read on. We’ve got you covered with where you should go, what you should do, and what you should wear.
What to Expect During a Saturday Night in Reykjavik
Nightlife in Reykjavik has a lot going for it. Everything is within walking distance because it's located in one central area. Most of the bars and restaurants are concentrated around Laugavegur street, Hverfisgata street and further down from the main drag, Bankastræti street and Austurstræti street. The word “stræti” means “street” in Icelandic. Another bonus: you almost never have to pay to get in. You'll never really wait in line and if you do, it's not for very long. In addition to being kind and friendly, Icelanders are very practical. They know it's cold outside.
While it’s always best to check, dress codes are almost non-existent unless it’s a really upscale place. You can wear what you like, which is great for backpackers or people traveling on a budget. Like many cities in Europe, the party in Reykjavik goes into the wee hours. Many bars and clubs stay open until 4:30 or 5:30 in the morning.
Where to Go for Reykjavik Nightlife
Once you get your dancing shoes on, it's time to head on down to Laugavegur. In addition to being the center of Reykjavik’s nocturnal activities, it's also the city’s main shopping area. Bar crawling is extremely popular as people rarely stay in the same place all night. As you make your way from establishment to establishment, you'll discover many different types of bars. From Bar Ananas (the tropical Banana Bar) to Lebowski's movie-themed bar, you’ll want to explore the various themes and decor. Some of the unusual interiors might even end up in one of your Instagram stories!
When you get a case of the munchies, make a beeline for the food carts.The famous hot dogs from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur make a great late-night snack. Lobster Hut is also a favorite to satisfy cravings for Scandinavian comfort food. For those looking for greasier fare, be on the lookout for chips shops. Who doesn’t love a late-night french fry run on the weekend? You can also scout for a convenience store to pop into to pick up a bag of Doritos or package of Oreos.
Best Bars in Reykjavik
Known as KB, the legendary Kaffibarinn Bar features electronic music and alternative tunes. The bar is co-owned by Blur’s Damon Albarn and is Reykjavik’s most popular hangout.
The French-themed Le Chateau des Dix Gouttes lounge bar serves double duty. During the day it’s a mild-mannered basement café known as Tiu Dropar (Ten Drops). At night it is magically transformed into an elegant wine bar that also serves cheese plates, waffles, and a selection of charcuterie. You can also sample the blend of blueberries, crowberries, rhubarb, and Icelandic herbs known as Kvöldsól, a delicious Icelandic wine.
Beer lovers will want to check out one of Reykjavik’s best microbreweries, Micro Bar. Other popular venues are Kex Bar, the bar housed in an abandoned biscuit factory and Gallery Bar, where you can get your daily art fix along with quality cocktails. Gaukurinn is one of many gay-friendly bars and clubs in Reykjavik such as Club Kiki’s.
Whatever you decide to do, your weekend plans are sure to be great! Saturday nights in Reykjavik are a time to have fun, get warm and meet new people. So get out there and get your party on.
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