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R E Y K JAV Í K

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HRISTMAS GUIDE

2018

H O L I DAY O P E N I N G H O U R S D E C E M B E R’ S C O N C E RT & E V E N T S I C E L A N D I C H O L I DAY T R A D I T I O N S W I N T E R TO U R S & AC T I V I T I E S


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Ring in the New Year like an Icelander: set it on fire! Not only do we gather around massive bonfires (an age-old Nordic custom), but we also set the heavens ablaze with an enormous, people-powered firework show that spans the entire city skyline.


Reykjavík Christmas Guide 2018 Published by: MD Reykjavík ehf. Laugavegur 3, 101 Reykjavik. Tel.: 537-3900 Contact us: info@whatson.is Publisher: Kjartan Þorbjörnsson Editor: Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir, greta@whatson.is Design & production: sbs, sbs@whatson.is Content writers: The What’s On Team

Content List Icelandic Holiday Traditions.......... 6-10 Food, Glorious Food....................... 13-15 Christmas Calendar......................... 17-18 The Yule Lads...................................21-26 New Year’s Eve...............................29-33 Icelandic Christmas Ale...............34-35 Tours & Activities...........................38-48 Burn, Baby, Burn............................ 52-53 Christmas City..................................55-61 Christmas Shopping.....................63-67 Opening Hours................................68-83 Christmas Events...........................87-95 Top 10 December Activities..............95 4

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Ad sales: Reynir Elís Þorvaldsson, reynir@whatson.is Printing: Oddi, Ecolabelled Printing Company. Authors have taken all reasonable care in preparing this handbook, but make no guarantee about the accuracy or completeness of its content. © MD Reykjavík All right reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – without the written permission of the authors and the publisher. Other publications by MD Reykjavík; Reykjavík City Guide, Reykjavík City Map, Akureyri Guide, What‘s On in Reykjavík and the My Destination Reykjavík Magazine, Around Iceland, Áning and Iceland Review.

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ICELANDIC HOLIDAY TRADITIONS Traditions, old and new, are what make holidays so special. Eating a chocolate Easter egg at Easter or blowing out candles on your birthday are the things that take a celebration from nice to festive. Christmas, being the most important holiday of them all in Iceland, is so laden with traditions, it takes us more than a month to cover them all. Advent Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and marks the official start of the Christmas season. It’s when things start getting magical, with lights shining through the winter darkness, concerts and celebrations around town, and festive spirits. People decorate their houses, the official city Christmas tree is lit, and the city centre is filled with people attending Christmas events and doing their Christmas shopping.

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Advent lights Come late November, Advent lights, arguably the most popular of the Icelandic Christmas decorations, are omnipresent in most Icelandic homes. There are two types of Advent lights: Advent wreaths with four candles, one for each Sunday of Advent, and the triangle-shaped, seven-candle electric candelabra, which are popular all over Scandinavia.

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Gifts in shoes The 13 Icelandic Yule Lads, though traditionally known for being troublemakers, have picked up a habit of leaving presents for well-behaved children. When the lads start coming to town, one by one - the 13 days before Christmas children leave their shoe in the window before they go to sleep. When they wake up, they find a gift or a treat in their shoe. If they’ve been good, that is. If they haven’t, all they can expect is an old potato.

Christmas tree Christmas trees in Iceland used to be made of wood and decorated with juniper branches to resemble a real Christmas tree, mostly because there just weren’t that many evergreen trees we could cut down. Today, most Icelanders use real trees, as opposed to artificial ones. The tradition is to decorate them just a day or two before Christmas, on December 23, or even on December 24. They then stay up for the 13 days of Christmas and are taken down, along with all other Christmas decorations, on January 6 – Twelfth Night.

The Christmas Book Flood The vast majority of books in Iceland are sold in the lead-up to Christmas. This is known as the Christmas Book Flood. Most people receive at least one book for Christmas to take to bed on Christmas Eve along with some chocolates. So, at the beginning of November, novels, non-fiction, poetry and short stories are published, and everyone is talking about it. Once Christmas is over and the books have been read, everyone’s a critic, giving their views and opinions on that latest tome and whether it is as good, or better, as the author’s last one.

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CELEBRATE THE SEASON

ON THE SLOPES What better way to ring in the season than hitting the slopes? Bláfjöll is Iceland’s largest ski area – only 25 min. from downtown Reykjavík. You’ll have breathtaking views from our runs: volcanic mountainscapes, pristine icefields and Northern Lights if you’re lucky. DON’T HAVE A CAR? The city bus will drop you at Bláfjöll’s front door. NEED EQUIPMENT? You bring the adrenaline, we’ll take care of the rest. Downhill, boarding, cross-country and all the après-ski refreshments you’ll need to get you into the holiday spirit.

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Winter solstice Icelanders have always considered Christmas to be a festival of lights. This might seem odd as it takes place during the darkest time of the year, but the fact is that Christmas coincides with the winter solstice and we celebrate the fact that in the coming weeks, the days are getting longer, just a few minutes at a time.

Christmas Cat Ah, the Christmas Cat. Sounds sweet, right? Snuggly, even. Well, it isn’t. The Christmas Cat is the child-eating pet of Grýla, the mother of the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads. It does not even eat children who’ve been naughty, but those who did not get new clothes for Christmas. Better be sure and get some new items of clothing for your loved ones this Christmas! Also, check out the huge, lighted Christmas Cat on Lækjartorg square this December.

Malt & Appelsín In Iceland, Christmas is a family affair and drinking is mostly limited to wine with dinner. It comes as no surprise then that the traditional Christmas drink is a non-alcoholic one. A mixture of two sodas produced in Iceland, malt-flavoured malt and orange-flavoured Appelsín, we’re confident this drink is served in around 98% of Christmas feasts around the country.

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New Year’s bonfires On New Year’s Eve, bonfires are lit throughout the country to symbolise the burning of the old year. There’s always a really great atmosphere at these brennur, kids with sparklers, happy faces, friends and neighbours mingling, and the heat of the fire mixed with the winter cold. Since the brennur are not always easy for foreign visitors to find, in recent years, tour operators have started organising special tours to get them involved in the fun.

Twelfth Night According to folklore, strange and magical things took place on Twelfth Night (January 6) that could be dangerous for humans. Cows started talking and people were warned not to listen to them because their talk would drive them mad, seals shed their skins and walked as men, and elves moved to a new house. People made sure to keep every corner of their house well-lit on Twelfth Night in case the elves would stop by on their way. Today, the tradition lives on in Twelfth Night bonfires where the “elf king and queen” will often make an appearance. Families flock to the bonfires and sing New Year’s songs, often containing lots of references to elves.

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FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Food is central to the Icelandic Christmas experience, and the selection ranges from mouthwatering delicacies to some of the most peculiar smelling dishes you will ever find. Fermented skate, we’re looking at you. Ignoring the foul-smelling seafood, there’s plenty of delicious food to be had, just try snacking on buttered laufabrauð coupled with a frosty glass of Malt og Appelsín to see what we mean. The essential Christmas drink Iceland’s traditional Christmas drink is a non-alcoholic mixture of the locally produced Malt (malt beer) and Appelsín (orange soda). Each family member tends to have their own opinion on what constitutes the perfect mixture of the two: 50/50 or 60/40, Appelsín first or Malt first? Debates can go on for hours, days or even years. To avoid the stress of figuring out the correct ratio, these days, the drink also comes premixed.

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Christmas meal For centuries, smoked lamb, or hangikjöt, was the traditional gourmet Christmas meal, although this has changed in the last few decades. Most families tend to stick to one single tradition for their Christmas meal. Popular fare at Christmas includes rjúpa, or rock ptarmigan, and hamborgarhryggur, glazed rack of ham, traditionally a Danish meal. Also, catching on in the last few years are reindeer, turkey, and even Beef Wellington. A smoked leg of hangikjöt is still enjoyed by many on Christmas Day.

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Laufabrauð Laufabrauð, literally “leaf bread,” is a round, wafer-thin, deep-fried wheat cake with intricate decorative patterns. They’re delicious served with butter and add a festive touch to Christmas dinner and Christmas parties. During Advent, families and friends often get together to make laufabrauð as cutting the patterns is delicate and time-consuming work. Frequently, they will throw their artistic skills into the mix, resulting

in some very fine specimens that are considered too pretty to eat and tied up with red ribbons and hung as decorations. Fermented skate day Skötuveislur or fermented skate parties are without a doubt one of the more bizarre Icelandic traditions. Every year on December 23, Icelanders get together and eat skate (the fish) that has been sitting in a closed container and allowed to ferment for a month or more. By that time, it has a smell that will clear your sinuses from about a mile away. The main headache is how to get the smell out of your house before the bells start ringing in Christmas. As a result, many people choose to partake of this delicacy in a restaurant, or alternatively, cook it in the garage or even outdoors. Predictably, not everyone is partial to this tradition. Christmas buffet One of the unshakable traditions of Advent in Iceland is the Christmas buffet. Most restaurants

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offer them and almost everyone will partake at least once during Advent. These are lavish affairs typically containing dozens of dishes, different types of herring, smoked and cured salmon, reindeer pâté, smoked puffin and much, much more… and that’s just the cold dishes. Hot dishes will normally include the ubiquitous smoked lamb, roast pork with rind, rack of ham, turkey, and more. And let’s not even mention the stacked dessert buffet. Apples Iceland’s holiday traditions include shoes in windows, a child-eating cat, fermented skate, and apples. Of all those things, the apples are actually the easiest to explain. Fruit used to be a luxury item, as they all had to be imported to Iceland. They also arrived in Iceland just before Christmas, so they became a natural part of the Christmas celebrations and many of the older generation still fondly remember receiving a gleaming red apple as a Christmas treat. We can get apples all year round now

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but there’s still something special about a Christmas apple. Cookies Christmas cookie baking used to be the barometer of domestic excellence in Iceland. It’s still a big thing, throughout the country, Icelandic homemakers work overtime to bake a dizzying number of different cookies – and are not above boasting about it. Baking six sorts normally generates applause, 12 sorts is regarded with such awe that it is like announcing you just climbed Mount Everest in high heels.

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THE ICELANDIC CHRISTMAS CALENDAR Þorláksmessa (St. Thorlakur’s Day) December 23 Þorláksmessa is the day of Iceland’s patron saint, St Þorlákur. It’s the last day before Christmas is celebrated, so for most people this is the height of Christmas preparation. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year and many people spend the day getting the last few Christmas gifts. A peculiar Þorláksmessa custom is eating fermented skate. The sinus-clearing aroma and funky flavour of the skate is an acquired taste, but the idea is that it will make the Christmas feast the next day taste even sweeter. Aðfangadagskvöld (Christmas Eve) December 24 Christmas Eve is the most important night of Christmas celebration. Christmas officially begins at 6pm

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sharp. By that time most of the nation is washed and dressed in their best clothes (ideally new clothes, to fend off the Christmas Cat) and ready to sit down to Christmas dinner. This is a very intimate and festive evening that Icelanders normally spend only with their nearest and dearest. After dinner, people relocate to the Christmas tree to open presents. Jóladagur (Christmas Day) December 25 As the main feast is already over by the time Christmas Day rolls around, most people spend the day lazing around, reading the newest books they got for Christmas, or visiting the graves of loved ones. It’s also a day for Christmas parties, however, when people get together with their extended families, eat hangikjöt (smoked lamb) and laufabrauð, and celebrate Christmas together.

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Annar í jólum (Second Day of Christmas) December 26 Iceland has a public holiday the day after Christmas Day, which is simply called the Second Day of Christmas. It’s pretty much the same as Christmas Day, but this time the Christmas party is with the other side of the family. Also, on the Second Day of Christmas, many people figure they’ve spent quite enough time with their families and duck out of the Christmas party early to go partying. Gamlársdagur (New Year’s Eve) December 31 New Year’s Eve is a major event on the Icelandic social calendar. The fun begins around 18:00 when most people have a big festive dinner, after which they head out to a bonfire, or brenna, to mingle and socialise. At 22:30, it is time for the eagerly awaited Áramótaskaup (New Year’s Jest) – a 50-minute comedy special on TV. More than 90% of the Icelandic nation watches the Áramótaskaup so the streets are virtually deserted while it is on.

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The New Year’s madness starts to build as soon as when the final credits roll, and at midnight all hell breaks loose. In Iceland fireworks are sold unrestricted to the public between Christmas and New Year’s, and this small nation of 350,000 people manages to fire off over 500 tons of fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Þrettándinn (Twelft Night) January 6 If you didn’t quench your thirst for arson and explosions on New Year’s Eve, don’t worry, just wait till Þrettándinn (Twelfth Night). There’s a lot of superstition regarding Þrettándinn. The last Yule Lad heads back to the mountains, the elves and the hidden people move houses (keep your lights on the whole night so they don’t settle in one of your dark corners), cows speak, and seals shed their skin to walk on land as men. There’s usually a bonfire where people can finish off the last of their fireworks and the kids get a visit from the elf king and queen.

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INTRODUCING THE YULE LADS Most countries where Christmas is celebrated have their own version of a benevolent person, creature, or thing, that gives children treats around Christmastime. Italy has a Christmas Witch, Spain has a present-pooping log, and America and the UK have, of course, Santa Claus. Iceland, however, takes things a little bit further; we have 13 Yule Lads, each with their own definitive character. They live in a cave in an undisclosed location in the mountains with their mother, the formidable Grýla, her wimpy husband, Leppalúði, and the Christmas Cat.

Grýla Grýla is an Icelandic troll who eats naughty children. She lives in a cave and always has a pot of boiling water at the ready, should she hear of some exceptionally naughty children. Grýla also travels with a large sack for convenient transport of the children she catches. (It should be noted that Icelandic trolls are different from the Norwegian ones and nothing like Internet trolls either. Think large and mountainlike.) Leppalúði Grýla’s third husband is not known for anything much, except for being really lazy. He doesn’t travel like the rest of his family, he just sits around the cave waiting for Grýla to bring him food. His name has become synonymous with being extremely ugly and/or poorly dressed. Christmas Cat It sounds cosy, but the Christmas Cat is actually the sinister sidekick of the ghastly child-eating Grýla. The Christmas Cat lives with her and her wuss of a husband in their cave and children who don’t get a new item of clothing for Christmas end up in its belly. This absolutely does not make any sense but it’s a good excuse to go shopping.

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The Yule Lads

Drawings by Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir The Icelandic Yule Lads are the 13 sons of Grýla (the folklore is not really clear on their paternity, as Leppalúði is her third husband). In the Iceland of yore, they were an incredible nuisance and brought grief to the general populace, stealing food and pranking people, whereas today, they’ve morphed into the kinder, gentler Yule Lads who leave gifts in the shoes of kiddies who have been good all year.

Stekkjastaur Sheep-Cote Clod / Dec. 12 Due to his affinity for sheep milk, Stekkjastaur spends most of his time among humans, breaking into the sheep pens and trying to suckle the ewes. He is resilient in his efforts despite his disability, his two peg legs that make crawling into the sheep pens challenging.

Stekkjastaur

Giljagaur Gully Gawk / Dec. 13 Another fan of dairy products, Giljagaur is a bit more patient and cunninger in his attempts at milk theft. He doesn’t try to go straight to the cow’s udders but waits until the farm workers are distracted before he swoops in and slurps the froth off the fresh milk.

Stúfur

Stub / Dec. 14 Stúfur is named for his height – or lack thereof. For some reason, he considers burnt bits of food that get stuck to the pan a particular delicacy and goes so far as to raid kitchens for dirty pans to get his hands on the good stuff.

Þvörusleikir

Spoon Licker / Dec. 15 Þvörusleikir is extremely tall and skinny, which might have had some influence on his love for wooden spoons. He waits patiently for the work to be finished in the kitchen before he, quick as a flash, grabs the dirty spoons and licks them.

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Stúfur

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Hurðaskellir

Pottaskefill

Pot Licker / Dec. 16 Like Stúfur, this Yule Lad also likes to lick the remains from the inside of the pots. His crimes are simple but thought-out; he knocks on the door, and when the inhabitants rush to see who it is, he sneaks into the kitchen and cleans out the pots.

Askasleikir

Bowl Licker / Dec. 17 In the old days, Icelanders ate their food from lidded wooden bowls called askar. Askasleikir would creep in, hide, and snatch the askar whenever they were put aside, licking their insides clean. Since most people have upgraded to plates, he probably has too, but keeps his name, for old times’ sake.

Hurðaskellir

Door Slammer / Dec. 18 Waking up is never pleasant and being woken by a loud noise such as a door slamming is even less so. For some reason, Hurðaskellir thinks this is hilarious and goes through town slamming doors for his own amusement.

Skyrgámur

Skyr Gobbler / Dec 19th For the uninitiated, skyr (pron. skeer) is a dairy product, halfway between cheese and yoghurt. It’s fat-free, high in protein, and delicious. That should explain both Skyrgámur’s size (he’s said to be the size of a bull) and his habit of eating other people’s skyr.

Bjúgnakrækir

Bjúgnakrækir

Sausage Swiper /Dec 20th Many of the Yule Lads like to steal food but they’re picky about what they want to take. Bjúga is a salty, smoked Icelandic sausage, a favourite of Bjúgnakrækir. He loves them so much, he doesn’t mind crawling through soot and smoke to get them.

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Gluggagægir

Window Peeper / Dec 21 Again, the name really says it all. However, it’s important to note that his intentions, although not honourable, are mostly food-related. He only peeps in windows in order to locate food he could possibly steal.

Gáttaþefur

Door Sniffer / Dec 22 Gáttaþefur was from birth blessed with a huge nose, heightened olfactory senses, as well as the ability to never catch a cold. He is, as so many other Icelanders, partial to laufabrauð and uses his abnormally large nose to sniff out its hiding places.

Ketkrókur

Meat Hook / Dec 23 It’s obvious that some of the Yule Lads are more industrious and cleverer than others. Ketkrókur, for example, travels around with a long stick with a hook at the end, perfect for sticking it down chimneys in order to steal meat, preferably hangikjöt (smoked lamb).

Kertasníkir

Kertasníkir

Candle Beggar / Dec 24 One of the few Yule Lads not constantly occupied with food, Kertasníkir instead enjoys stealing candles, preferably from children. This seems especially mean when you know that in the old days every kid usually got a nice candle for Christmas and sometimes not much else.

Find more info on the Icelandic Yule Lads on christmasiniceland.is

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WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEARS EVE? When Christmas Eve has come and gone, you’ve been to all the family parties, eaten all the cookies and opened all the presents, what’s there to look forward to? New Year’s Eve, that’s what. If you are a kid (or a grown-up with a moderate to severe interest in lighting fires), New Year’s Eve can be just as fun as Christmas, especially in Iceland. A family affair (at first) New Year’s Eve in Iceland is the party night of the year. This might not be completely clear in the early part of the evening, because the majority of Icelanders get together with family and/or friends, eat something fantastic (turkey has become popular), and watch the annual comedy revue on television. Things only start to get going once they get their hands on some fireworks and start doing their best to blow up the neighbour’s house, just before or around midnight.

there is an old superstition that says you have to burn away the old year in order to wake up on New Year’s Day with a clean slate. Just in case the fireworks aren’t enough, we also have a

Come on, baby, light my fire There is a reason for our burning desire to set things on fire, as

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New Year’s Eve bonfire. Since the bonfire promises to burn away the sins of the year gone by, you can imagine how popular it is. Most towns have one, of varying sizes, Reykjavík has ten. Most of them are lit around 8.30pm. That’s after dinner, but before the New Year’s Jest (Áramótaskaupið) starts. Áramótaskaupið is a big deal Just how big of a deal can a comedy special broadcast by the national broadcasting company RÚV be, you ask? Well, in

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2002, for example, 95% of the population was watching. This 50-minute comedy special satirising the year’s most prominent events has been on since 1966, which incidentally is the year RÚV started broadcasting. All conversations in Iceland on New Year’s Day tend to start with a dissection of how funny (or not funny at all) the New Year’s Jest was. The party This might surprise you, but it’s actually not until after midnight that the party gets started. After the fireworks have been lit and hot chocolate has been had with older family members, that’s when people put on their glitter hats, get their confetti bombs ready and head out, drink in one hand, and a lit sparkler in the other. House parties are popular, and downtown

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Reykjavík quickly starts filling up with eager partygoers. Be sure to put on your party hat and your dancing shoes, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up with the Icelanders. Elves and hidden people There’s a fair bit of folklore dedicated to the beginning of the new year. According to tales, this is the night that the elves and hidden people move to a new house, cows speak, and seals leave their seal skin and walk on land as men. While few people have a strong belief in elves and trolls anymore, many people still make sure to leave at least one light on for the whole night, for the hidden people.

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Buying fireworks If you would like to shoot some fireworks at midnight, we have good news, this is allowed in Iceland and everybody does it. Every year, nearly 600 tonnes of fireworks are fired. Fireworks are sold by the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) at 130 locations around the country. These fireworks sales are the main source of funding for ICE-SAR, and proceeds are used to pay for training of volunteers and equipment necessary for rescue missions. Fireworks are sold four days a year, from December 28 until December 31. If fireworks are not your thing, you can also donate to ICE-SAR directly.

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PROMOTION

ICELANDIC CHRISTMAS ALE The tradition of brewing beer specifically for Christmas is a Scandinavian one. King Haakon of Norway issued a decree as early as the 10th century that beer would be brewed for the heathen feast of Yule, which was celebrated around the winter solstice (December 22). For centuries, brewing Christmas beers was more than a tradition, it was the law.

In Iceland, of course, beer was banned for most of the 20th century, as the prohibition was only lifted in 1989. (For most of the time, we had to make do with Brennivín and other strong liquors.) Since 1989, beer has become the most popular alcoholic beverage in Iceland and Iceland’s breweries are top-notch. And, of course, no self-respecting Nordic brewery could miss out on brewing a Christmas beer.

The custom of making Christmas beers spread all over the world and it’s no wonder, really; when people are treating themselves to a feast of the best food they can think of, of course they want to wash it down with an equally delicious drink. Christmas beers also tend to go well with smoked, salted, and other heavy foods traditionally served around Christmastime.

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Jólagull Gull is one of the most sold beers in Iceland and the Christmas version is no slouch either. An Icelandic Christmas beer through and through, Jólagull is a lager-style beer, brewed with chocolate malt. With a lightly toasted aroma and a mellow flavour with notes of caramel and chocolate, this beer will have you singing Christmas carols in no time. Perfect for pairing with the Christmas roast, or just for drinking on its own.

Malt Maltöl is one of the first sodas ever produced in Iceland and an essential ingredient in the Icelandic Christmas drink, Malt og Appelsín. The Malt Christmas beer is a slightly more adult version of that popular drink. The sweet, rich taste of Malt already makes you think of Christmas and the more rounded flavour of the Christmas beer makes it perfect for sipping with dinner or with gingerbread cookies.

Boli Doppelbock The soft, warm flavour of Boli Doppelbock feels like a warm hug while notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee delight the taste buds. Boli Doppelbock is best drunk next to a roaring fire and a Christmas tree, although in a pinch, a candle and a branch of pine will do.

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Lebowski Bar is open every day, all day during the holidays, serving you delicious hamburgers from 11:00-22:00. In addition, we serve our special Christmas burger during the holidays, which has become our main pride with its growing popularity over the years. Not to mention our signature drink, the White Russian. We offer over 25 different variations including our newest Christmas cocktail, the White Rudolf. We have DJs playing classic rock hits from the 60s through the 90s every day of the year. On the 24th and 25th, we are open from 11:00-01:00 and on the 26th we kick it up a notch and start the Christmas party as we extend our opening hours from 11:0003:00. On New Year’s Eve we celebrate our biggest party of all! We open for lunch at 11:00 and then at 21:00 DJ Gísli Veltan will start the New Year’s Eve party. At midnight, DJ Keli will take over the dance floor and play some party tunes until the morning of 2019! This is definitely one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in Reykjavík, and it has free entrance! Come celebrate the holidays with us at Lebowski Bar! Happy Holidays from the Lebowski team!


TOURS & ACTIVITES DURING CHRISTMAS Winter in Iceland is completely different from summer in Iceland. The waterfalls that looked impressive surrounded by green grass in summer, are an unforgettable sight on a frosty winter morning. And let’s not forget, it’s only during winter that the spectacular northern lights come out to play. There is something for everyone when it comes to sights to see from Reykjavík in winter. Whether you’re looking for nature and scenery or some thrilling action, it’s all within day’s reach from the capital.

Safety first

!

Remember that travelling in winter requires a lot more care than travelling in summer, especially because the weather tends to change suddenly. On a perfectly regular Sunday morning, it’s not unusual to experience a hailstorm, followed by blinding sunlight, followed by sleet, followed by a freak blizzard, followed by a complete calm followed by torrential rain. All within an hour. Be sure to check the forecast before you set out, wear warm clothing, preferably in layers, and consult with the locals, they know how to deal with our temperamental climate.

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The amazing northern lights The northern lights are a spectacular phenomenon, and although there’s unfortunately never a guarantee you’ll see them on your trip, you can at least enlist the help of locals who know best. Here are some tips: make sure the sky is dark and clear, try your best to be patient, and since you have to be patient, wear warm clothes. There are many northern lights tours available on christmas. tourdesk.is, where you can go by boat, bus or even by superjeep. Another thing to think about is making the most of the day by combining a northern lights hunt at night with another activity during the day, such as going on a glacier hike, getting a lobster dinner, or even making a trip of it by driving to the stunning glacial lagoon, Jökulsárlón. That way your time on the tour is always well spent and everybody leaves with a new and exciting experience.

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Glacier climbing and glacier hiking For those who are not afraid of something more physically strenuous, taking a walk on top of a glacier is sure to be a trip to remember. One of the things that make Iceland so unique is the proximity of Reykjavík and other towns to awe-inspiring glaciers. Keep in mind, however, that to explore the glacier, you need to travel with an experienced guide, otherwise it’s just too dangerous. On christmas.tourdesk.is you’ll find some very interesting glacier walks of various difficulties and lengths. Everyone should be able to find something to fit their needs and physical fitness.

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The south coast The south coast not only has some of Iceland’s most beautiful scenery, but it also has some of Iceland’s most diverse landscapes. It’s no wonder that a tour that takes travellers past striking waterfalls, seemingly endless stretches of volcanic black sand beaches, and a quaint little local village called Vík, as well as offering people a chance to explore a glacier up close, comes heavily recommended. Try flying If you don’t have a lot of time, or if you’re just feeling luxurious, exploring Iceland from the air is one of the best possible ways to see everything the country has to offer. With no tedious driving between natural wonders, taking a ride in a helicopter or a sightseeing flight is all thrills, all the time. You even get to visit places you can’t really get to unless you’re prepared to hike for hours.

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Snowmobiling on a glacier Not all travellers are content just watching the natural wonders Iceland has to offer from a distance and prefer to get up close and personal instead. For those people, we have only four words: snowmobiling on a glacier. This is a great opportunity for the adventure-seeking traveller who wants to explore a glacier firsthand. Langjökull (the country’s second largest glacier) is only approximately a 2.5-hours’ drive from the capital and tours run there every day, all year. Once there, you get the chance to see the breathtaking Icelandic interior in a way few people ever experience, e.g. views from the flanks of Langjökull from locations you can only access on specialised vehicles like snowmobiles. Snowmobiling can even be coupled with classic day tours such as the ever-popular Golden Circle, allowing you to see all the highlights of Icelandic nature in a single day.

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11:30-22:00 -01:00

Normal opening hours

17:00-22:00 16:00-01:00


The Golden Circle The Golden Circle is the most popular day tour in Iceland, probably because it features some of the most impressive natural phenomena in the country, but you can still get back to the city before dark. The first stop is the Geysir geothermal area. Close by is one of Iceland’s most powerful and majestic waterfalls, Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall. The Golden Circle tour then comes to an end with a stop at Þingvellir National Park. It’s an area that’s impressive, both historically and geographically as it is the spot where the tectonic plates of Europe and America meet, creating some stunning views. For those who are interested, Þingvellir is also a world-renowned diving site. Horseback riding The Icelandic horse is a breed unlike any other in the world. It’s been bred in complete isolation since the 11th century, a feat only accomplished because of Iceland’s isolation. Small and extremely well-tempered, the

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Icelandic horse is known for its unique gait, the “tölt,” an unusual gait where the horse seems to crouch down and slide over rough landscapes like lava fields. You’ll find a variety of tours on christmas.tourdesk.is for all levels of expertise as well as a perfect opportunity to test-drive the “tölt.” Activities in town Nature can be beautiful this time of year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do within the city limits, especially when the weather is acting up. The museums of Reykjavík, both art and history, can be a very rewarding experience for the culturally-minded. After nurturing the mind in the museums, the geothermally-heated swimming pools of Reykjavík can take care of the body with a relaxing soak in the hot tubs. Afterwards, there are several great restaurants scattered throughout the centre and plenty of Christmas concerts and other events to keep you occupied.

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Whale watching Observing the giants of the ocean is a profound experience you really shouldn’t miss. There are 23 species of whales in the ocean around Iceland, though some are more common than others. The largest whale you might spot is the blue whale – the largest mammal that ever lived. Even though it’s the middle of the winter, you can still book a whale watching tour straight from Reykjavík with a pickup service right to your hotel. Just make sure you’re dressed warmly and enjoy the ride. Varied tours available on christmas. tourdesk.is. PS if you prefer not to

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go out to sea, check out the whale museum by the old harbour. Into the Glacier If you’re not content with hiking or driving ON the glacier, why not just go straight into it? The man-made ice cave in Langjökull is a tunnel through the inside of a glacier, where you can see into a glacial crevasse from the bottom up. On the way there, you get to enjoy the beauty of West Iceland, the highlight probably being Hraunfossar, where the river flows from underneath the edge of a lava field, over red cliffs worn smooth by the water.

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A Christmas store in the heart of Reykjavík

Hafnarstræti 2 — 101 Reykjavík


CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR’S EVE TOURS Christmastime is a wonderful time to visit Iceland. Even though it’s dark outside, the streets are amply decorated and shops and cafés offer a cosy respite from the cold. Do you want to immerse yourself in local Christmas and New Year’s traditions during your stay in Iceland? Then join one of the following Christmas and New Year’s Eve Tours. Reykjavík Christmas walk Do you want to know more about Icelandic Christmas? Then going on a Christmas Walk through Reykjavík is the thing for you. This cultural walking tour of Reykjavík will get you into the Christmas mood in no time. You will get a unique insight into Icelandic Christmas traditions, while at the same time hear more about Reykjavík’s history, art, architecture and cuisine. Short stops to sample food and drinks at local restaurants are included, as well as a small Christmas gift.

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Bonfire tour Bonfires are a big part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Iceland. In Reykjavík, there are bonfires all around the city. Locals flock to these fires to burn away the old year, celebrate, and sing together. It’s a happy family event. You can join these bonfires by going on the Bonfire Tour. A fun way to get to know local traditions. This tour is only available on New Year’s Eve. Sparklers included!

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New Year’s fireworks cruise Enjoy Reykjavík’s spectacular, world-famous fireworks from first class seats by going on a fireworks cruise. The comfortable vessel leaves Reykjavík harbour at 23:00 and returns back to shore around 00:30. The view over the city from sea is impressive and gives you the chance to see how all corners of the city light up. While watching the fireworks, you will get a complimentary glass of champagne, so you can toast to the new year at midnight.

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Magic & mystery at New Year During the Magic & Mystery tour on December 31, you will explore Icelandic traditions and folklore connected to New Year’s Eve. There will be a stop at a fireworks sales location of the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, so you can stock up for New Year’s Eve. You will also visit the old cemetery of Reykjavík and explore a place where elves are said to live. At the end of the tour, a small bonfire is lit, and you burn away the passing year. Sparkling wine, fireworks, sparklers, and a small gift included.

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OlD ChRiStMaS LeGeNdS

BoLd cHrIsTmAs fLaVoRs WhIcH OnE ArE YoU? NUTTY & SWEET

GrÝ

MOM TO THE YULETIDE LADS

CHOCOLATE & SALMIAK

OR

LePpAlÚÐI THEIR GRUMPY DAD

FOR OUR LOCATIONS - PLEASE VISIT TEOGKAFFI.IS


MERRY CHRISTMAS! GLEÐILEG JÓL!


HAPPY NEW YEAR! GLEÐILEGT NÝTT ÁR!


BURN, BABY, BURN Icelanders discover their inner pyromaniac once New Year’s Eve rolls around. Aside from the tons of fireworks that are blown up every year, Icelanders have the unique tradition of throwing New Year’s bonfires. The first documented case of a New Year’s Eve bonfire was in 1791 when a group of schoolboys gathered up some old barrels and lit them. They lit the fire on a hill in downtown Reykjavík which they named Vulcan, in honour of

the Roman god of fire. Ever since, the tradition of New Year’s Eve bonfires has spread all over the capital, and the country at large. They have changed a bit over time though, as the bonfires largely revolved around drunkenness and ruckus in the first years of the tradition. Nowadays it is more a family affair as families gather round in a symbolic ritual where the old year is left behind. There are bonfires taking place all over the capital area and we encourage you to track one down and take part in the tradition.

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New Year’s Eve bonfires in the Capital Area Ægisíða (1) is the bonfire closest to the city centre, right by the seaside. Head over there to get into the mood for the night.

bonfire on Úlfarsfell (10) mountain which is lit at 15:00, and the one in Skerjafjörður (7) which is lit at 21:00 following a torch parade.

These 10 locations are where the largest bonfires of New Year’s Eve will be placed. The larger bonfires are marked with a larger fire on a map and vice versa. Most of the bonfires will be lit at 20:30 on New Year’s Eve, except for the

Fireworks are strictly forbidden due to safety purposes. There is no organised schedule for these events, but people normally gather for some songs and we encourage to join in. Hum it till you make it.

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REYKJAVÍK CHRISTMAS CITY Each December, Reykjavík is transformed into a magical Christmas city. There are fun Christmas events involving everything from culture to food, horseback riding to sailing, and singing to shopping all over the city, but some places are even more festive than others. Check out all the festive areas in the city and partake in our holiday joy.

Ice-skating at Ingólfstorg Square in December

Christmas Market at Elliðavatn

Where: Ingólfstorg – Central Reykjavík

Where: Elliðavatn, 25 min. drive from downtown Reykjavík

When: Open every day in December from 12:00-22:00

When: Every weekend until December 22 from 12:00-17:00

Admission: Free if you bring your own ice skates

Admission: Free

Nova has yet again joined forces with the city of Reykjavík to open an ice-skating rink on Ingólfstorg square. This year, 100,000 light bulbs will light up the beautiful square. In addition to the Ingólfstorg ice-skating rink, a Christmas market will be also located at Ingólfstorg Square surrounding the ice rink, where both refreshments and merchandise will be for sale. Helmets and skates can be rented on-site for 1,190 ISK.

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Further information: www.facebook.com/heidmork/ www.heidmork.is The annual Crafts & Design Christmas market and the Christmas tree sale in Heiðmörk woods, located on the outskirts of Reykjavík, will be open every weekend until Christmas, from 12:00 to 17:00. The Christmas trees are beautiful and Icelandic-grown but even if you’re not there to get a tree,

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there’s plenty of activities. You can take a stroll around the arts and crafts market and the kids can watch the campfire and meet the Icelandic Yule Lads. If it gets cold, you can always head to the café for a cup of coffee or even hot chocolate.

Christmas Programme at Árbær Open Air Museum Where: Árbær Open Air Museum, Kistuhyl, 110 Reykjavík When: Sunday December 9 and 16 from 13:00 to 17:00 Admission: 1,650 ISK, but under 18 and over 70 free Further information: reykjavikcitymuseum.is Immerse yourself in the sights, smells and sounds of a traditional Icelandic Christmas at Árbær Open Air Museum. Visitors, both young and old, will enjoy experiencing the Christmas preparations and the celebration of days gone by with activities including

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the preparation of traditional Icelandic Christmas food, and crafts, such as candle making and laufabrauð cutting. Watch out for those playful Yule Lads (traditional Icelandic Santa Clauses) who may peep through the windows or play tricks on guests. Traditional Christmas sweets will be on offer in the general store, hot chocolate at the Museum Café and much more. Free entry for those with a Reykjavík City Card.

Lighting of the Christmas Tree Where: Austurvöllur square, downtown Reykjavík When: December 2 Admission: Free For many locals, the lighting of the Christmas tree on Austurvöllur square in front of the Parliament building is the official start of Christmas. Norway has gifted Reykjavík with a Christmas tree since 1951, as a

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Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 pm to 5 pm A feast of sights and sounds, the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjรถrรฐur offers live entertainment, visits from the Icelandic Yule Lads, horse-drawn carriage rides and quaint village of Christmas houses selling everything from Icelandic design and craft to snacks and hot drinks.

More info at jolathorpid.is


sign of the relationship between the two nations. The lighting of this tree is always done on the first Sunday of Advent, and festivities start in the late afternoon. There will be hot chocolate and coffee, Christmas carols will be sung, and the Icelandic Yule Lads will make their appearance and entertain both adults and children.

and local companies will participate in making this year’s Christmas Village the biggest one yet. As usual, Thorsplan plaza is transformed into a Christmas market, there will be plenty of concerts and events, and people will be able to take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

Hafnarfjörður Christmas Village

Where: Nordic House, just outside of the city centre

Where: Hafnarfjörður, 20 min. from downtown Reykjavík with bus no. 1

When: Throughout December

When: Weekends until Christmas from 12:00 to 17:00. Open until 22:00 on December 23

Further information: www.norraenahusid.is

Admission: Free Hafnarfjörður Christmas Village has been evolving for years and the whole town centre of Hafnarfjörður becomes one big Christmas Village during the Advent. Hafnarfjörður residents

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Christmas at the Nordic House

Admission: Mostly free entry, but the cooking course is 1,500 ISK

There’s a lot going on at the Nordic House this December. For instance, the Nordic House features an eco-friendly pop-up shop until December 20, where you can buy children books, woollen socks, small instruments, puzzles, dolls, and more. It’s open

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09:00-17:00 on weekdays and 10:00-17:00 during weekends. And what do you think of an environmentally-friendly Christmas market (December 2), or a slow food course where you learn more about Sami Christmas cuisine (December 7). On December 8, you can follow a workshop on how to change an old book into a Christmas ornament and from December 9, you can visit an exhibition about Grýla, the mother of the Icelandic Yule Lads.

Christmas with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra Where: Harpa, Eldborg hall When: December 15-16 at 14:00 and 16:00 Admission: 2,700-3,200 ISK Further information: en.sinfonia.is The Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas concerts have been enormously popular among listeners of all ages. This

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family gala takes a peek into the baðstofa, the common room in the old Icelandic farmhouse, where the Christmas elves and the Christmas Cat have taken up residence. At the forefront is the exquisite Christmas music of Jórunn Viðar, who would have turned 100 this year. Students from the Iceland Ballet Academy interpret Ingibjörg Þorbergs’ Christmas Cat and Gunnar Þórðarson’s Jólaóður (Ode to Christmas), and the Reykjavík Girls’ Choir and the Litlu Sprotarnir Sign Language Choir perform Christmas classics, together with Valgerður Guðnadóttir and Kolbrún Völkudóttir. Young wind players will appear with the orchestra, and the Reykjanes Music School Bell Choir rings in the Christmas season, playing holiday favourites before and after the concert. Master of Ceremonies is Hildur the Clown, and the conductor is Bernharður Wilkinson.

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Advent at Harpa Where: Harpa Concert Hall When: December 2-23 Admission: Free Further information: www.harpa.is facebook.com/HarpaReykjavik Every weekend during Advent, Harpa offers live music and other events in Harpa’s open spaces like the corridors and the

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restaurant area. All events are free of charge, unless mentioned otherwise. Bring the whole family and enjoy some quality time at Harpa. The Icelandic Opera, different music schools, The Reykjavík Big Band, a brass band, a jazz band, and a handbell choir will all perform. Also, the Coca Cola train and Yule Lads will stop at Harpa on December 8. Check out the full programme on Harpa’s website.

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CHRISTMAS SHOPPING The centre of Reykjavík has a host of specialty boutiques where you will most certainly find something unique. While the main shopping streets are Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur, make sure you don’t forget the small shops that are hidden in the old harbour district. Also, visit a Christmas market or two for handcrafted Christmas ornaments and local specialties. If you’re looking for unique, one-of-a-kind items to take back as Christmas presents, why not check out the work of Icelandic designers. Design shops in the city centre are filled to the brim with the innovative design Iceland is known for. Read our tips on where to find the perfect Christmas presents for your loved ones. Woollen garments Icelanders know that the secret to keeping warm is Icelandic wool. Not only is it warm, but it

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looks pretty darn good as well. There are all sorts of woollen products available, everything from simple hats and mittens to the beautiful scarves and blankets by Vík Prjónsdóttir. The most common one, however, is the lopapeysa, the Icelandic woollen sweater. Try the Farmer’s Market products for great design, but if you’re looking for something more classic, nothing beats the sweaters of The Icelandic Handknitting Association on Skólavörðustígur.

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The great outdoors 66° North, whose flagship store at Bankastræti is hard to miss, was founded in 1926 to make protective clothing for Icelandic fishermen who went out on tiny boats in all sorts of weather. For them, their clothing could mean the difference between life and death. There may be places where the weather is colder, but few of them can match the unpredictability of the Icelandic weather. You will be sure to find high-quality jackets, hats, and parkas in their store. Health and beauty Herbs gathered in Iceland’s pristine nature are popular ingredients in Icelandic skincare products. Sóley uses handpicked Icelandic herbs from the Laugarvatn region in their products, and Villimey uses herbs picked in the remote Westfjords. Check out the products of the Blue Lagoon, in which skin-healing silica is used. BIOEFFECT’s anti-wrinkle EGF serum, made with natural ingredients, is a

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popular choice, too. And what do you think of skincare made with Icelandic seaweed? Taramar, sold in most pharmacies, uses this as main ingredient. Icelandic jewellery Iceland’s arts-and-crafts scene is proof that the colder the climate, the more creative the people. Icelandic jewellery designers each have their own distinctive flair – some turning out bold, raw, chunky pieces, while others prefer ornaments as delicate and fragile as flowers in a black Icelandic desert. Whatever your personal preference, you are sure to find something to your taste.

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Petersen's Christmas Garden 360°view of the city HAPPY HOUR: 16.00-20.00 : 17.00-01.00

LIVE MUSIC THURSDAY 21.00-23.00

Petersen svítan • Ingólfsstræti 2a • gamlabio@gamlabio.is

/petersensvitan


Ceramics You will find a surprising amount of Icelandic ceramic galleries in downtown Reykjavík. Just walk down Skólavörðustígur from Hallgrímskirkja church and stop by galleries along the way. Browse through a wide selection of pots, dishes, cups, and bowls, all made with Icelandic clay. Kirsuberjatréð, Kogga Caramics, and Kaolin are just a few of the galleries around.

concept store that catches your eye downtown. Geysir and Húrra Reykjavík offer a great selection of Nordic fashion. And as a bonus, buying new clothes as Christmas presents will keep your loved ones safe from the Christmas Cat, who will eat those who did not get new clothing for Christmas!

Local sweets Icelanders love chocolate, and there’s really good chocolate to be found in Reykjavík. Check out the Omnom Factory in the old harbour district. Their seasonal Christmas bars are not only delicious, their packaging is also a feast for the eyes. Fashion and style What better present to take home than a unique fashion item that will turn heads wherever you go? Try stopping at Aftur, Kiosk, Kormákur and Skjöldur’s menswear shop, or just any

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SHOPPING SCHEDULE LAUGAVEGUR & THE DOWNTOWN REYKJAVIK AREA December 13-15.................................. 10-22 December 16........................................ 13-18 December 17-22................................. 10-22 December 23....................................... 10-23 December 24........................................ 10-12 December 25-26.............................Closed December 31......................................... 10-12 January 1.............................................Closed

SMÁRALIND December 13-22...................................11-22 December 23.........................................11-23 December 24........................................ 10-13 December 25-26.............................Closed December 31......................................... 10-13 January 1.............................................Closed KOLAPORTIÐ FLEA MARKET Weekends..................................11:00-17:00

Please note that information about opening hours is subject to change. TAX-FREE SHOPPING Don’t forget, when you buy merchandise that costs 6,000 ISK or more, you can get 15% off. Claim your refund at Keflavik Intl. Airport.

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KRINGLAN December 13-22................................. 10-22 December 23....................................... 10-23 December 24........................................ 10-13 December 25-26.............................Closed December 31......................................... 10-13 January 1.............................................Closed

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PROBABLY THE

WORLD’S SMALLEST WATCH MANUFACTURER

With his legendary concentration and 50 years of experience our Master Watchmaker and renowned craftsman, Gilbert O. Gudjonsson, inspects every single timepiece before it leaves our workshop. All the watches are designed and assembled by hand in Iceland. Only highest quality movements and materials are used to produce the watches and every single detail has been given the time needed for perfection.

www.jswatch.com


VOLCANO & EARTHQUAKE EXHIBITION A world class exhibition on volcanoes and earthquakes surrounded by active volcanoes

MORE INFO AND TICKETS AT

Open every day

www.lavacentre.is

9:00 - 19:00


The Lava Centre is situated at Hvolsvöllur on the South Coast of Iceland, surrounded by active volcanoes. It truly acts as the gateway to Iceland’s most active volcanic area. The Lava Centre just received two Red Dot Awards, which cement its position as a world class exhibition.

Iceland Volcano & Earthquake Centre Austurvegur 14, Hvolsvöllur · South Iceland


Reykjavik Raincoats HVERFISGATA 82, corner of vitastigur www.reykjavikraincoats.com Tel: 5711177 - info@reykjavikraincoats.com

Store locations Epal - Laugavegi 70 EPAL - Harpa Airport fashion - kef airport


RESTAURANT OPENINGS Please note that information about opening hours is subject to change. DECEMBER 24 1919 Restaurant ................................................................................................................... 18:00-22:00 Bæjarins bestu......................................................................................................................10:00-16:00 Bjórgarðurinn...........................................................................................................................15:00-1:00 Brauð og co Frakkastígur...................................................................................................6:00-16:00 Bryggjan..................................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Búllan Geirsgötu.................................................................................................................... 11:00-15:00 Café Loki....................................................................................................................................8:00-18:00 Dirty burger and ribs Austurstræti............................................................................... 11:00-22:00 Early in the morning.............................................................................................................7:00-10:00 Grand Restaurant .....................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-21:00 Hard Rock Café..................................................................................................................... 12:00-21:00 Haust Restaurant....................................................................................... 11:30-14:00/18:00-22:00 Hlölli Ingólfstorgi..................................................................................................................10:00-15:00 Holt Restaurant.................................................................................................................... 17:00-20:00 Ísafold........................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Jörgensen.................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Kaffi Lækur...............................................................................................................................9:00-13:00 Kaffitár Bankastræti.............................................................................................................. 7:00-13:00 Lebowski......................................................................................................................................11:00-1:00 Metro Smáratorg................................................................................................................... 11:00-15:00 Metro suðurlandsbraut....................................................................................................... 11:00-15:00 Mimisbar ......................................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-22:00 Pylsa Pylsa Bistro.................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Ramen Momo................................................................................................11:30-15:00/17:00-23:00 Restaurant Red Chili ......................................................................................................... 16:00-22:00 Rio Reykjavík..........................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Sandholt..................................................................................................................................... 6:30-14:00 Satt..............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Sjávarbarinn........................................................................................................................... 11:00-23:00 Ský...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Slippbarinn...............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Smakkbarinn.......................................................................................................................... 12:00-16:00 Uppsalir................................................................................................................... 11:30-15/From 18:00 Vox...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00

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DECEMBER 25 1919 Restaurant ................................................................................................................... 18:00-22:00 American bar............................................................................................................................. 17:00-1:00 Apotek..................................................................................................................................... 18:00-23:00 Bæjarins bestu....................................................................................................................... 10:00-3:00 Bjórgarðurinn...........................................................................................................................15:00-1:00 Bryggjan..................................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Café Loki........................................................................................................................................ 10:00-22 Dirty burger and ribs Austurstræti............................................................................... 11:00-22:00 English Pub................................................................................................................................12:00-1:00 Grand Restaurant .....................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-21:00 Grillmarkaðurinn............................................................................................................18:00-22:30:00 Hard Rock Café.................................................................................................................... 15:00-22:00 Haust Restaurant....................................................................................... 11:30-14:00/18:00-22:00 Hlölli Ingólfstorgi................................................................................................................... 12:00-0:00 Holt Restaurant.................................................................................................................... 17:00-20:00 Hressó........................................................................................................................................ 13:00-0:00 Humarhúsið.............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Ísafold........................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Jörgensen.................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Lækjarbrekka..........................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Lebowski......................................................................................................................................11:00-1:00 Lobsterhouse.........................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Mimisbar ......................................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-22:00 Pylsa Pylsa Bistro.................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Ramen Momo.................................................................................................11:30-15:00/17:00-21:00 Restaurant Red Chili ......................................................................................................... 16:00-22:00 Rio Reykjavík..........................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Satt..............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Sjávarbarinn........................................................................................................................... 11:00-23:00 Skelfiskmarkaðurinn........................................................................................................... 17-22:30:00 Ský...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Slippbarinn...............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Smakkbarinn..........................................................................................................................13:00-23:00 Sólon Bistro............................................................................................................................ 11:00-23:00 Uppsalir.....................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Vox...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00

DECEMBER 26 Early in the morning.............................................................................................................7:00-10:00 1919 Restaurant ................................................................................................................... 18:00-22:00 American bar............................................................................................................................12:00-3:00 Apotek..................................................................................................................................... 18:00-23:00 Bæjarins bestu....................................................................................................................... 10:00-3:00 Bar Ananas...............................................................................................................................16:00-3:00 Bjórgarðurinn...........................................................................................................................15:00-1:00 Blásteinn Matbar.................................................................................................................... 17:00-3:00 Brauð og co Frakkastígur...................................................................................................6:00-18:00 Brewdog..................................................................................................................................12:00-01:00 Búllan Geirsgötu.................................................................................................................... 11:00-21:00 Burro........................................................................................................................................ 18:00-23:00 Café Loki...................................................................................................................................8:00-22:00 Den Danske Kro......................................................................................................................14:00-3:00

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Dirty burger and ribs Austurstræti............................................................................... 11:00-22:00 English Pub...............................................................................................................................12:00-3:00 Essensia...................................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Fiskfélagið.................................................................................................................................From 17:00 Fiskmarkaðurinn....................................................................................................................17:30-22:30 Fjöruborðið............................................................................................................................. 12:00-21:00 Forréttabarinn...................................................................................................................... 16:00-22:00 Grand Restaurant ....................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-22:00 Grillhúsið................................................................................................................................. 16:00-22:00 Grillmarkaðurinn.......................................................................................... 11:30-14:00/17:30-22:30 Hard Rock Café......................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Haust Restaurant....................................................................................... 11:30-14:00/18:00-22:00 Hlölli Ingólfstorgi.................................................................................................................... 12:00-2:00 Höfnin............................................................................................................. 11:30-14:00/17:00-22:00 Holt Restaurant..................................................................................................................... 18:00-21:00 Hressó........................................................................................................................................ 13:00-0:00 Humarhúsið.............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Icelandic fish and chips........................................................................................................11:30-21:00 Ísafold........................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Íslenski Barinn.......................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Jamie’s Italian.........................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Jómfrúin................................................................................................................................... 11:00-22:00 Jörgensen.................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Kaffitár Bankastræti..............................................................................................................7:00-18:00 Kopar......................................................................................................................................... 17:00-22:30 Lækjarbrekka..........................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Lebowski.....................................................................................................................................11:00-3:00 Matarkjallarinn.......................................................................................................................From 00:00 Matur og Drykkur................................................................................................................ 18:00-22:00 Metro suðurlandsbraut...................................................................................................... 11:00-20:00 Mimisbar ......................................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-22:00 Nostra..................................................................................................................................... 17:00-00:00 Old Iceland..................................................................................................... 11:30-15:30/17:00-22:00 Prikið............................................................................................................................................ 8:00-4:30 Primo........................................................................................................................................ 12:00-22:00 Pylsa Pylsa Bistro.................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Rakang Thai.............................................................................................................................17:00-21:00 Ramen Momo........................................................................................................ 11:30-15:00/17-21:00 Restaurant Red Chili .......................................................................................................... 11:00-23:00 Sæta Svínið...................................................................................................................................17-00:00 Sandholt.....................................................................................................................................8:00-18:00 Satt..............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Sjávarbarinn........................................................................................................................... 11:00-23:00 Sjávargrillið...............................................................................................................................From 17:00 Ský...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Slippbarinn...............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Smakkbarinn..........................................................................................................................13:00-23:00 Snaps.........................................................................................................................................17:00-23:00 Sólon Bistro............................................................................................................................ 11:00-23:00 Subway Laugavegi............................................................................................................... 11:00-21:00 Sumac..............................................................................................................11:45-14:00/17:00-23:00 Sushibarinn.............................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Út í bláinn ...............................................................................................................................18:00-23:30 Vox...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00

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DECEMBER 31 1919 Restaurant ................................................................................................................... 18:00-22:00 American bar............................................................................................................... New Year’s Party Apotek...................................................................................................................................... 18:00-21:00 Bæjarins bestu........................................................................................... 10:00-16:00/00:30-6:00 Bar Ananas............................................................................................................................ 16:00-23:00 Bjórgarðurinn...........................................................................................................................15:00-1:00 Blásteinn Matbar..........................................................................................11:00-17:00/22:00-3:00 Brauð og co Frakkastígur...................................................................................................6:00-18:00 Brewdog.................................................................................................................................. 12:00-21:00 Bryggjan................................................................................................................................ 17:00-00:00 Búllan Geirsgötu.................................................................................................................... 11:00-15:00 Burro........................................................................................................................................ 18:00-23:00 Café Loki...................................................................................................................................8:00-22:00 Den Danske Kro...................................................................................................................... 12:00-4:30 Dirty burger and ribs Austurstræti............................................................................... 11:00-22:00 Early in the morning.............................................................................................................7:00-10:00 English Pub...............................................................................................................................12:00-4:00 Essensia......................................................................................................... 11:30-14:00/17:00-22:00 Fiskfélagið................................................................................................................................17:00-21:00 Grand Restaurant ....................................................................................12:00-14:00/19:00-23:00 Grillmarkaðurinn...................................................................................................................18:00-22:30 Hard Rock Café............................................................................................................................. 11:30-22 Haust Restaurant.............................................................................................................11:30-14/18-22 Hlölli Ingólfstorgi............................................................................................ 10:00-17:00/1:00-7:00 Höfnin............................................................................................................. 11:30-14:00/17:00-22:00 Holt Restaurant.................................................................................................................... 17:00-20:00 Hressó..................................................................................................................11:00-21:00/1:00-6:00 Humarhúsið.............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Icelandic fish and chips........................................................................................................11:30-18:00 Ísafold........................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Jamie’s Italian.........................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Jómfrúin.................................................................................................................................... 1:001-15:00 Jörgensen.................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Kaffi Lækur...............................................................................................................................9:00-13:00 Kaffitár Bankastræti.............................................................................................................. 7:00-17:00 Kofinn.................................................................................................................. 12:00-17:00/From 1:30 Lækjarbrekka..........................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Lebowski.....................................................................................................................................11:00-4:30 Lobsterhouse.........................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Matarkjallarinn........................................................................................................................17:00-21:00 Matur og Drykkur......................................................................................19:00 (booking required) Metro Smáratorg................................................................................................................... 11:00-16:00 Metro suðurlandsbraut....................................................................................................... 11:00-16:00 Mimisbar ......................................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-22:00 Nauthóll.....................................................................................................................................17:00-21:00 Nostra..................................................................................................................................... 17:00-00:00 Prikið......................................................................................................................................... 00:00-4:30 Primo........................................................................................................................................ 12:00-22:00 Pylsa Pylsa Bistro.................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Rakang Thai..............................................................................................................................11:00-17:00 Ramen Momo.................................................................................................11:30-15:00/17:00-21:00 Restaurant Red Chili ......................................................................................................... 16:00-22:00 Rio Reykjavík..........................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Sæta Svínið..............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Sandholt..................................................................................................................................... 6:30-14:00 Satt..............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Sjávarbarinn........................................................................................................................... 11:00-23:00 Sjávargrillið..............................................................................................................................17:00-21:00 Ský...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Slippbarinn...............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00

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Smakkbarinn..........................................................................................................................13:00-23:00 Snaps........................................................................................................................................ 18:00-23:00 Sólon Bistro............................................................................................................................ 11:00-22:00 Subway Laugavegi................................................................................................................11:00-17:00 Sumac..............................................................................................................11:45-14:00/17:00-23:00 Sushibarinn...............................................................................................................................11:30-17:00 Tapas.......................................................................................................................................... Untll 22:00 Vox...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00

JANUARY 1 Fjöruborðið............................................................................................................................. 12:00-21:00 1919 Restaurant ................................................................................................................... 18:00-22:00 American bar.............................................................................................................................14:00-1:00 Apotek..................................................................................................................................... 18:00-23:00 Bæjarins bestu....................................................................................................................... 10:00-3:00 Bjórgarðurinn...........................................................................................................................15:00-1:00 Brewdog.....................................................................................................................................14:00-1:00 Bryggjan..................................................................................................................................17:00-23:00 Búllan Geirsgötu.................................................................................................................. 12:00-22:00 Café Loki.................................................................................................................................10:00-22:00 Chido..........................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Den Danske Kro.......................................................................................................................15:00-1:00 Dirty burger and ribs Austurstræti............................................................................... 11:00-22:00 English Pub................................................................................................................................12:00-1:00 Fiskfélagið........................................................................................................................................From 17 Fiskmarkaðurinn....................................................................................................................17:30-22:30 Forréttabarinn...................................................................................................................... 16:00-22:00 Grand Restaurant ......................................................................................................... 12-14/18-22:00 Grillmarkaðurinn...................................................................................................................18:00-22:30 Hard Rock Café......................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Haust Restaurant.............................................................................................................11:30-14/18-22 Hlölli Ingólfstorgi.................................................................................................................... 12:00-2:00 Holt Restaurant.................................................................................................................... 17:00-20:00 Hressó........................................................................................................................................ 13:00-0:00 Icelandic fish and chips........................................................................................................11:30-21:00 Ísafold........................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Íslenski Barinn.......................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Jörgensen.................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Kofinn......................................................................................................................................... 14:00-0:00 Kopar......................................................................................................................................... 17:00-22:30 Lækjarbrekka..........................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Lebowski.....................................................................................................................................11:00-3:00 Matarkjallarinn.......................................................................................................................17:00-23:00 Metro Smáratorg.................................................................................................................. 14:00-21:00 Metro suðurlandsbraut...................................................................................................... 14:00-21:00 Mimisbar ......................................................................................................12:00-14:00/18:00-22:00 Primo........................................................................................................................................ 12:00-22:00 Pylsa Pylsa Bistro.................................................................................................................17:00-22:00 Restaurant Red Chili ......................................................................................................... 16:00-22:00 Sæta Svínið............................................................................................................................. 17:00-23:30 Sandholt................................................................................................................................... 9:00-20:00 Satt..............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Sjávarbarinn........................................................................................................................... 11:00-23:00 Sjávargrillið......................................................................................................................................From 17 Ský...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Slippbarinn...............................................................................................................................11:30-22:00 Smakkbarinn..........................................................................................................................17:00-23:00 Sólon Bistro........................................................................................................................... 16:00-23:00 Subway Laugavegi............................................................................................................... 11:00-21:00 Vox...............................................................................................................................................11:30-22:00

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Riding with Eldhestar

The guide will tell guests stories about the Icelandic Jólasveinn (Yule-lads or Santa Clauses) and their mother, the mythical giantess named Grýla, who roamed around the countryside. You are invited for coffee and Christmas cookies in a cosy cafeteria were Christmas music will fill the air.

Christmas Heritage Tour

This tour takes us through meadows, lava fields and a small river. On our way we enjoy the nice scenery of volcanic mountains and farmland.

Horses & Hot Springs

1.5-2 hours riding 12,900 ISK Tour 2A

Experience a variety of scenery and excellent riding trails. 2.5-3 hours riding 15,000 ISK. Tour 3C

GREAT VARIETY OF HORSE RIDING TOURS JUST OUTSIDE REYKJAVIK Get further information at www.eldhestar.is

Eldhestar, Vellir, 816 Ölfus, Iceland info@eldhestar.is +354 480 4800


MUSEUMS DURING CHRISTMAS When it’s snowing outside, it’s nice to spend time inside, and visiting a museum or two is the best way to warm up on a cold winter’s day. Reykjavík’s history reaches more than a thousand years back and the city has a rich cultural heritage. What better way is there to learn more about Icelandic culture than visiting the museums scattered throughout the city centre? Some museums have a special Advent programme, like Árbær Open Air Museum. Christmas activities take place in every corner of the museum. Singing Christmas carols, dancing around the Christmas tree, and visits from the Yule Lads are just a couple examples. Lots of special activities will be organised, like making traditional Icelandic Christmas decorations, decorating laufabrauð (a crispy, deepfried cracker), candle making,

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wood whittling, spinning yarn, and knitting. It will also be possible to taste hangikjöt (smoked lamb) and fermented skate. The National Museum of Iceland also has an annual Advent programme, starting the first weekend of December. During Advent, there will be an exhibition with information on Icelandic Christmas traditions. Between December 12-24 the Yule Lads will pay a visit to the museum at 11:00, after they finish their work of putting gifts in kids’ shoes. Generally, museums will be closed over Christmas (December 24-26) and on January 1. Almost everyone is at home with their families during those days. If you’re in town during the holidays and are looking for a museum to visit, check out the opening hours in this guide.

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DECEMBER 23 Árbær Open Air Museum............................................................................................... 13:00 – 17:00 Aurora Museum................................................................................................................. 09:00 – 21:00 Museum of Design.............................................................................................................12:00 – 17:00 National Gallery of Iceland ........................................................................................... 10:00 – 17:00 National Museum of Iceland ........................................................................................ 10:00 – 17:00 Perlan – Wonders of Iceland.......................................................................................09:00 – 18:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Ásmundarsafn.................................................................... 10:00 – 17:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Hafnarhús............................................................................. 10:00 – 17:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Kjarvalsstaðir ..................................................................... 10:00 – 17:00 Reykjavík Maritime Museum......................................................................................... 10:00 – 17:00 Reykjavík Museum of Photography .......................................................................... 13:00 – 17:00 Saga Museum / Sögusafnið.......................................................................................... 10:00 – 18:00 Tales from Iceland............................................................................................................ 09:00 – 17:00 The Settlement Exhibition........................................................................................... 09:00 – 18:00 Volcano House................................................................................................................. 09:00 – 22:00 Whales of Iceland.............................................................................................................. 10:00 – 17:00

DECEMBER 24 Árbær Open Air Museum.............................................................................................. 13:00 – 14:00 Aurora Museum.................................................................................................................09:00 – 16:00 National Museum of Iceland.......................................................................................... 11:00 – 12:00 Perlan – Wonders of Iceland....................................................................................... 09:00 – 17:00 Saga Museum / Sögusafnið.......................................................................................... 10:00 – 14:00 Tales from Iceland.............................................................. 09:00 – 13:00 (last admission 12:00) The Settlement Exhibition ...........................................................................................09:00 – 14:00 Volcano House..................................................................................................................09:00 – 16:00 Whales of Iceland.............................................................................................................. 10:00 – 17:00

DECEMBER 25 Aurora Museum.................................................................................................................09:00 – 16:00 Perlan – Wonders of Iceland........................................................................................ 10:00 – 19:00 Saga Museum / Sögusafnið...........................................................................................12:00 – 18:00 Tales from Iceland.............................................................. 09:00 – 13:00 (last admission 12:00) Volcano House................................................................................................................... 10:00 – 16:00 DECEMBER 26 Árbær Open Air Museum............................................................................................... 13:00 – 17:00 Aurora Museum................................................................................................................. 09:00 – 21:00 National Gallery of Iceland ........................................................................................... 10:00 – 17:00 National Museum of Iceland........................................................................................ 10:00 – 17:00 Perlan – Wonders of Iceland.......................................................................................09:00 – 18:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Ásmundarsafn..................................................................... 13:00 – 17:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Hafnarhús.............................................................................. 13:00 – 17:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Kjarvalsstaðir ...................................................................... 13:00 – 17:00 Saga Museum / Sögusafnið.......................................................................................... 10:00 – 18:00 Tales from Iceland.............................................................. 09:00 – 13:00 (last admission 12:00) The Settlement Exhibition .............................................................................................12:00 – 18:00 Whales of Iceland.............................................................................................................. 10:00 – 17:00

DECEMBER 31 Árbær Open Air Museum ............................................................................................... 13:00 – 17:00 Aurora Museum.................................................................................................................09:00 – 16:00 Perlan – Wonders of Iceland....................................................................................... 09:00 – 17:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Hafnarhús............................................................................. 10:00 – 14:00 Reykjavík Maritime Museum............................................................................................10:00-14:00 Saga Museum / Sögusafnið.......................................................................................... 10:00 – 18:00 Tales from Iceland.............................................................. 09:00 – 13:00 (last admission 12:00) The Settlement Exhibition ...........................................................................................09:00 – 14:00 Volcano House..................................................................................................................09:00 – 18:00 Whales of Iceland.............................................................................................................. 10:00 – 17:00

JANUARY 1 Aurora Museum.................................................................................................................09:00 – 16:00 Perlan – Wonders of Iceland.........................................................................................10:00– 19:00 Reykjavík Art Museum Hafnarhús.............................................................................. 13:00 – 17:00 Saga Museum / Sögusafnið...........................................................................................12:00 – 18:00 The Settlement Exhibition............................................................................................ 12:00 – 18:00 Volcano House..................................................................................................................10:00 – 20:00 Whales of Iceland.............................................................................................................. 10:00 – 17:00

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THERMAL POOLS DURING THE HOLIDAYS Swimming in Iceland is a unique experience. Calling Iceland a swimmer’s paradise might sound like a contradiction in terms to some people, but, due to the abundance of geothermal water, swimming is one of the most popular pastimes on this Arctic island. Nothing beats soaking in a hot tub in the winter darkness with steam wafting up from the geothermally-heated water and stars twinkling above. Hot tubs are a place to relax, soothe aching muscles after working out, and last but not least, to socialise. Sure, it can take a bit of effort to run out into the cold, wearing only your swimsuit, but once you’re immersed in that silky warm water, it is completely worth it.

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The Capital Area boasts 18 public thermal pools that are open almost every day during the holidays. The largest of the pools, Laugardalslaug, is only closed for one day during the Christmas season. It’s open on New Year’s Day from 12:00 to 18:00, and can you think of a better way to start the new year? The Reykjavík City Card, valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours, gives free entry to Reykjavík’s pools, hot pots and saunas. Next to free access to pools, it also provides free entry to museums and galleries, the Reykjavík Zoo and Family Park, and free use of the public transport system in the Capital Area. For more information, visit www.visitreykjavik.is If you want to go swimming, check out the opening hours of the pools in Reykjavík during the holidays in this guide.

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ÁRBÆJARLAUG

LAUGARDALSLAUG

December 23........................ 09:00-18:00 December 24.........................08:00-13:00 December 25.................................. Closed December 26.......................... 12:00-18:00 December 31..........................08:00-13:00 January 1.............................................Closed BREIÐHOLTSLAUG

SUNDHÖLLIN

December 23........................ 09:00-18:00 December 24.........................08:00-13:00 December 25.................................. Closed December 26....................................Closed December 31..........................08:00-13:00 January 1.............................................Closed

December 23.........................08:00-18:00 December 24.........................08:00-13:00 December 25.................................. Closed December 26.......................... 12:00-18:00 December 31..........................08:00-13:00 January 1................................... 12:00-18:00 VESTURBÆJARLAUG

GRAFARVOGSLAUG December 23........................ 09:00-18:00 December 24.........................08:00-13:00 December 25.................................. Closed December 26....................................Closed December 31..........................08:00-13:00 January 1.............................................Closed KLÉBERGSLAUG

December 23........................ 09:00-18:00 December 24.........................08:00-13:00 December 25.................................. Closed December 26.......................... 12:00-18:00 December 31..........................08:00-13:00 January 1................................... 12:00-18:00 YLSTRÖND (NAUTHÓLSVÍK)

December 23........................... 11:00-15:00 December 24..........................10:00-13:00 December 25.................................. Closed December 26....................................Closed December 31...........................10:00-13:00 January 1.............................................Closed

Reykjavík Christmas Guide

December 23.........................08:00-18:00 December 24.........................08:00-13:00 December 25.................................. Closed December 26.......................... 12:00-18:00 December 31..........................08:00-13:00 January 1................................... 12:00-18:00

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December 23-31..............................Closed January 1.................................... 11:00-15:00

Please note, opening hours are subject to chance.

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CHRISTMAS EVENTS IN REYKJAVÍK & NEIGHBOURHOOD December 10

December 12

I am Grýla. 10:00 @ The Nordic House. Free admission. This exhibition explores manifestations of Grýla over the course of time. The foyer of The Nordic House is transformed into a Wunderkammer where interpretations of contemporary artists are juxtaposed with works of the more distant past. Exhibition open until January 13.

Icelandic Christmas Songs. 12:15 @ Salurinn Concert Hall. Free admission Mezzosoprano Hildigunnur Einarsdóttir sings new and old traditional Icelandic Christmas songs with Guðrún Dalía Salómonsdóttir on piano.

December 11 Ólafur Elíasson plays J.S. Back. 20:30 @ Dómkirkjan. Free admission

Reykjavík Christmas Guide

Coney Iceland Advent Show. 21:00 @ Gaukurinn. 3000 ISK A very very dark Xmas Side Show Spectacular! Coney Iceland and Squidling Brothers present an advent show like no other! Margrét Eir’s Christmas Concert. 20:00 @ Iðnó. 4,500 ISK

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December 13 The Children’s Book Flood. 14:00 @ The Nordic House. Free admission The Children’s Book Flood offers activities like making your own message in a bottle, your own passport, writing poems or stories, and creating characters. Bubbly Thursdays. 17:00 @ Petersen svítan. Free admission Christmas Party with Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band and guest singers. 21:00 @ Gamla Bíó. 6,900 ISK

Guðrún Árný’s Christmas Concert. 20:00 @ Víðistaðakirkja. 4,500 ISK Margrét Eir’s Christmas Concert. 20:00 @ Fríkirkjan í Hafnarfirði. 4,500 ISK

December 15 Christmas Food Market. 11:00 @ Harpa. Free admission Prins Jóló. 20:00 @ Gamla Bíó. 3990 ISK Prins Póló turns into Prins Jóló for Christmas. He will perform his best hits with a Christmas sound.

Guðrún Árný’s Christmas Concert. 20:00 @ Víðistaðakirkja. 4,500 ISK

December 14 FM Belfast. 21:00 @ Hard Rock Café. 3000 ISK Are you ready for FM Belfast’s Christmas Party? Turn off your TV and put your phones away to have an unforgettable time with FM Belfast!

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December 16 Christmas Food Market. 11:00 @ Harpa. Free admission Christmas at Árbær Open Air Museum. 13:00 @ Árbær Open Air Museum. 1650 ISK The museum offers a great programme of events for the whole family, you’ll not find a more cosy or cheerful place to visit this time of year.

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Pálmar Plays Piano. 19:00 @ Íslenski Barinn. Free admission Sunday Jazz. 20:00 @ Bryggjan Brugghús. Free admission

part of his 2018 concert tour. The centrepiece of the show are two semi-generative, self-playing pianos that Ólafur and his team have spent over two years developing.

Giovanni Guidi & Alessandro Lanzoni. 20:00 @ Salurinn. 3900 ISK Two of Italy’s most exciting young jazz pianist have a conversation on two pianos. Iron Maiden frontman’s Bruce Dickinson: Spoken Word. 20:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 9,990-12,990 ISK Dickinson will share his most fascinating recollections, including stories from his over 30 years with Iron Maiden, his childhood, realising his dream of flying, and his recent battle with cancer. Crooner Christmas with Songs of Leonard Cohen & Nick Cave. 19:00 @ Iðnó. 9,900 ISK

December 17 Monday Jazz. 21:00 @ Húrra. Free admission Sigríður Thorlacius & Sigurður Guðmundsson. 20:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 4,990-9,990 ISK Two of Iceland’s most-beloved singers, Sigríður Thorlacius and Sigurður Guðmundsson, are having their annual Christmas concert. Sigríður and Sigurður, together with their band, will present a special Christmas programme.

Ólafur Elíasson plays J.S. Back. 20:30 @ Dómkirkjan. Free admission Funniest Four. 21:00 @ The Secret Cellar. Free admission Four of Iceland’s best comedians do their thing! Free stand-up comedy show in English. Singer-Songwriter Night. 21:00 @ Dillon. Free admission Crooner Christmas with Songs of Leonard Cohen & Nick Cave. 19:00 @ Iðnó. 9,900 ISK

December 19 Christmas with Sissel. 18:00 and 20:30 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 6.99014.990 ISK Sissel’s Christmas Shows are sold out every year all around Scandinavia. She will be joined by an impressive team of musicians from Iceland, the UK, and Norway, and together they will bring out the Christmas spirit in our hearts like nobody else can.

December 18 Ólafur Arnalds. 20:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 8,990-14,990 ISK BAFTA-award-winner Ólafur Arnalds performs in Harpa as

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Christmas with Sissel

December 20 Björgvin’s Christmas Guests. 21:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 5,990-14,990 ISK Bubbly Thursdays. 17:00 @ Petersen svítan. Free admission Jón Jónsson’s Christmas Concert. 20:00 @ Háskólabíó. 6,990 ISk Icelandic pop sensation Jón Jónsson has held concerts during Christmastime every year since 2013, always selling out the venue. Jón has been compared to Jack Johnson, John Mayer, and Gavin DeGraw.

Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town. Jón Jónsson’s Christmas Concert. 20:00 and 23:00 @ Háskólabíó. 6,990 ISk

December 22 Björgvin’s Christmas Guests. 16:00 and 20:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 5,990-14,990 ISK Christmas with Emmsjé Gauti and friends. 17:00, 20:00 and 23:00 @ Háskólabíó. 3.990-6.990 ISK

December 21

December 23

Björgvin’s Christmas Guests. 18:00 and 22:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 5,990-14,990 ISK

Bubbi Morthens’ St. Þorlákur’s Day Concert. 22:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 5,990-10,990 ISK

Pop-up Hygge Xmas Edition. 19:00 @ Pink Iceland. Free admission

Pálmar Plays Piano. 19:00 @ Íslenski Barinn. Free admission

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Christmas Screening. 20:00 @ Bíó Paradís. 1,600 ISK On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the

Chess Tournament. 20:00 @ Hlemmur Square. Free admission

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Sunday Jazz. 20:00 @ Bryggjan Brugghús. Free admission

Reykjavík Christmas Guide

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www.christmasiniceland.is


THE ORIGINAL

NORTHERN LIGHTS BY BOAT

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FROM REYKJAVIK

WE GO THE EXTRA MILE BOOK NOW! +354-560-8800 specialtours.is info@specialtours.is


Proudly Presents

The OLIVIER AWARD winning comedy “Best Entertainment”

“DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN is a worldwide comic phenomenon”

BROADWAY’S LONGEST RUNNING SOLO SHOW

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“CAVEMAN ranges from howlingly funny to movingly tender.”

“It’s hilarious! A BLOCKBUSTER!”

-THE DENVER POST

-WASHINGTON POST

“Your face hurts from laughing so hard” -SEATTLE POST

“CAVEMAN is hysterically funny!” -VARIETY

With Joel Saemundsson Directed by Emma Peirson

In English!

@ AEGISGARDUR ICELANDIC BREWERY EYJARSLOD 5, REYKJAVIK Shows Every Week

Tickets at WhatsOn, Reykjavik Hotels & www.tix.is/en/


December 26

December 28

Egill Ólafsson’s Christmas Concert. 17:00 @ Eldborg, Harpa. 6,90014,900 ISK Egill Ólafsson will perform a wide range of music, from traditional Icelandic Christmas songs to his own hits.

I am Grýla. 10:00 @ The Nordic House. Free admission This exhibition explores manifestations of Grýla over the course of time. The foyer of The Nordic House is transformed into a Wunderkammer where interpretations of contemporary artists are juxtaposed with works of the more distant past. Exhibition open until January 13.

December 27 Bubbly Thursdays. 17:00 @ Petersen svítan. Free admission Christmas with the Philharmonic Choir. 20:00 @ Langholtskirkja. 3,900 ISK The Philharmonic Choir of Iceland will perform its annual Christmas Concert in Langholtskirkja church. The program is both festive and cheerful; including a first performance of a new Icelandic Christmas carol, along with a diverse array of choral music.

Reykjavík Christmas Guide

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Karaoke Night. 20:00 @ Loft Hostel. Free admission It’s time to shake up those vocal chords and synchronized dance moves, because it’s time for our karaoke night at Loft. Free Ópal shot for whoever dares to walk up on the stage and sing their heart out. That’s how we praise the brave!

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December 31

December 29 Lights on the Highway. 22:30 @ Hard Rock Café. 3,500 ISK

December 30 Sunday Jazz. 20:00 @ Bryggjan Brugghús. Free admission Pálmar Plays Piano. 19:00 @ Íslenski Barinn. Free admission Árstíðir’s Christmas Concert. 20:00 @ Fríkirkjan. 3,500 ISK Lights on the Highway. 22:30 @ Hard Rock Café. 3,500 ISK

New Year’s Eve Run. 12:00 @ Harpa, starting point. 11:0024:00 ISK This annual 10K run attracts both elite runners as well as recreational runners. This year, there will also be a 3K fun race. Many participants dress up and a special prize is awarded to the best costume. NYE 2018 with Jon Hopkins & Kiasmos. 00:30 @ Húrra. 3,500 ISK Jon Hopkins and Kiasmos will join DJ-forces at Húrra this New Year’s Eve to throw an unforgettable party. They will turn the venue upside down to create an atmosphere unlike anything you have seen before.

Events are subject to change. Check www.whatson.is/ec for updated listings.

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SINCE 1982

TOURIST INFORMATION

Reykjavík Harbor

Harpa

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Old Harbor

Landakot Hospital akot’s ch

Laugavegur 5

City Centre

Reykjavík Cathedral City Hall

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i

Gu

Reykjavík Pond

i Fríkirkjan church

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Hlemmur Bus Statio Hallgrímskirkja church

OPEN 8:30–22:00 Landspítali Hospital

The Nordic House

BSÍ Bus Terminal

Reykjavík Airport

• • • • • • • • •

Tour Booking/Car Rental Information Luggage Storage SIM Cards Maps Free Wi-Fi Reykjavik City Card Event Calendar Bus Tickets and more!

You can also find us at Laugavegur 54, Bankastræti 2 and Tryggvagata 11 – in the Volcano House by the Old Harbour www.whatson.is | info@whatson.is | +354 551 3600

Kjarval art mu


TOP 10 DECEMBER ACTIVITIES

1.

Gaze at the stars while soaking in one of the 18 thermal pools in the Capital Area.

2.

Revel in a Reykjavík winter: be dazzled by the multicoloured Christmas lights, skate on Tjörnin lake, the ice rink at Ingólfstorg, or at the skating hall in Laugardalur.

6.

Stop at one of Reykjavík’s many cafés for a warm drink or at any of the city’s great restaurants for a traditional Christmas buffet.

7.

Let the unique and sure-footed Icelandic horse carry you through picturesque valleys and over rocky, grey lava fields.

3.

Make the most of the opportunity to shop taxfree. Icelandic design with a hefty discount, who can resist that?

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10.

Burn away the remnants of last year’s sins at a New Year’s Eve bonfire, or by setting off a bunch of fireworks at midnight. Spoil yourself rotten in the ethereal environment of the Blue Lagoon. If you don’t have the time, the city’s thermal pools are also excellent.

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Have a snowball fight underneath the unforgettable northern lights. Take a tour through the majestic Icelandic landscape and see some of the many natural wonders Iceland has to offer, waterfalls, erupting hot springs, glaciers, and so much more.

Experience Iceland’s history, art and culture, from the age of settlement to modern times.

Reykjavík Christmas Guide

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Community, Culture, Nature - Since 1963

Subscribe to Iceland Review magazine at www.icelandreview.com


SRE99

Golden Circle & Reykjavík Christmas Walk PRICE FROM

Adults (16+):

28.600

12 - 15 years:

14.300

0 - 11 years:

Free of charge.

NM01

Reykjavík Christmas Walk PRICE FROM

Adults (16+):

18.900

12 - 15 years:

9.450

0 - 11 years:

Free of charge.

RE91

Bonfire Tour

Celebrate New Year's Eve with us

PRICE FROM

Adults (16+):

8.999

12 - 15 years:

4.500

0 - 11 years:

Free of charge.

NM02

Magic & Mystery at New Year

PRICE FROM

Adults (10+):

16.500

0 - 9 years:

Free of charge.


RE62

Northern Lights Tour If you don’t see any lights on the RE62 tour ...you can re-book again for free. PRICE FROM

Adults (16+):

4.999

On www.re.is At your reception

12 - 15 years:

2.499

0 - 11 years:

Free of charge.

Free WiFi www.re.is BSÍ Bus Terminal 101 Reykjavík


Skólavörðustígur & Kringlan, Reykjavík. Hafnarstræti, Akureyri. Haukadalur. Geysir.com.

Reykjavik Christmas Guide 2018  
Reykjavik Christmas Guide 2018