In recent years, Reykjavík has become known for its nightlife and is praised by tourist and travel magazines all over the world. The charm of Reykjavík lies in the intimacy and how small the city is. Everything is in one place, everyone knows everyone, bars are within walking distances, there are no entry fees, the queues are small, hardly dress codes anywhere, there are no VIP rooms and the bars are open late. The bars get packed and nobody raises an eyebrow if people start dancing on top of tables or chairs or start playing instruments along with the songs.
During weekends Icelanders go out quite late so often a night might look slow then all of a sudden things start to kick off. On a weekend this might happen at midnight or later. The reason for this is that many Icelanders like to save money on the alcohol by having house parties.
Most bars, pubs and clubs are located in and around the main shopping street of Laugavegur. They very rarely charge entrance fees, expect if there is a live band or show happening. You can stroll between bars, changing your location if you don’t like the music or if it gets too crowded. You will not find large clubs in Iceland, but instead, you’ll mostly find cafés or restaurants that turn into bars and dance venues as the night goes on. The bars close at 4 – 5 am during weekends and 1 AM during weekdays.
Prices of drinks in Reykjavík vary but are in general expensive. A pint of beer is usually 1000 – 1200 Icelandic kroner and cocktails can go up to 2600 ISK, however, most Icelandic cafés, pubs and bars have excellent happy hour offers on drinks, some lasting to 10 pm on weekdays.
When in Iceland, it is also recommended that you try the great selection of Icelandic crafts beers. In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the variety Icelandic craft beers and micro-breweries, and micro bars that focus on promoting local beers.
A few years ago the downtown Reykjavík was quiet during weekdays and Icelandic people just went out to party during weekends but this has changed a lot and now every night in Reykjavík is a vibrant one, with live shows, pub quizzes, stand-up comedy and much more.