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April 2019

in Reykjavík

Reykjavík’s leading guide to information, events, museums and galleries since 1982

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FROM THE EDITOR 6-49 50-51

Events 54-76 Art & Culture


Shopping & Style


Pubs & Nightlife


Wining & Dining


Practical Info


It’s almost time for Easter, so let’s talk about lamb! The humble sheep doesn’t get a lot of attention from foreign visitors, who mostly go for the flashier parts of the local fauna. And who could blame them, next to the distinguished falcons, jovial puffins, and cuddly seals, Iceland’s sheep tend to look mundane. Looks can be deceiving and not all heroes wear capes. With its wool, milk, and meat, the sheep has kept the people of Iceland warm and fed through the centuries. If you want a taste of local culture while in Iceland, make sure you try lamb at least once while you’re here. Even if you’re not usually a fan of gamey lamb, you might be surprised by the delicate flavour of Icelandic lamb, a combination of the breed and the farming methods result in a great-tasting meat. If you choose to abstain from meat consumption, consider getting some wool products instead to keep warm while in Iceland. A knitted hat or some mittens are a great way to keep the arctic winds at bay but a traditional Icelandic sweater is sure to attract some extra admiration. There are plenty of other things to enjoy about Easter in addition to lamb. For instance, there’s the chocolate Easter eggs! The supermarket displays these days are a dream for everyone with a sweet tooth. Try bringing the egg along to snack on while you wait for the northern lights to appear, the early part of April is your last chance to see them again for the summer!

Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir What’s On Editor What’s On Information Centre, Laugavegur 5.

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WHAT‘S ON IN REYKJAVÍK is published monthly, covering events and happenings in and around Reykjavík. Opinions expressed in WHAT‘S ON IN ReykjavÍk are those of the individual authors. While every effort has been made to ensure the information presented is accurate, prices, times, dates and other information may be subject to change.

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THE WHAT’S ON CHECKLIST April is a great month to visit Iceland. It’s the last month to see the northern lights before it starts getting too bright, and it’s a great time for skiing! Plus, there are plenty of cool events going on. Here are some ideas on how to spend this April in Iceland.

Be sure to check out the Reykjavík International Literary Festival, it’s in English and free of charge. Go skiing or snowboarding at ski resort Bláfjöll, just 25 minutes from Reykjavík!

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Celebrate the First Day of Summer on April 25 by eating ice cream, just like Icelanders do!


Try a couple local Easter beers! Join a horseback riding tour through Icelandic nature. Go on a whale safari from Reykjavík harbour. Be on the lookout for minke whales, humpback whales, and dolphins! Buy a huge candy-filled chocolate Easter egg and celebrate Easter. Go party at electronic music festival Sónar Reykjavík! While you’re checking things off the list, we encourage you to take photos, and tag them with #whatsonrvk, of course!


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So you’re in Iceland, enjoying life, seeing the sights and taking in everything our magnificent country has to offer. Why not share it with the world?




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SKYR Legend has it that the Vikings introduced Skyr to Iceland when they settled in the country some 1.100 years ago. Travel back in time to any farm and Skyr would be on the table – essential nourishment for young and old. Generations past may not have been able to measure the nutritional content in the way we can now, but the life-expectancy of the average Icelander was proof enough that something good was going on. Icelanders have ever since loved the smooth texture of this incredibly healthy dairy product and today

ICELAND’S SECRET TO HEALTHY LIVING it plays a big role in the modern lifestyle diet. Skyr is high in protein and a virtually fat-free dairy delight. Thick and creamy in consistency, it is also rich in calcium and other nutrients. Skyr can be found at almost every home and workplace. Enjoyed at breakfast, lunchtime, pretty much anytime, it has also become a healthy “fast-food” for active people on the go. Delicious in smoothies or energy-boosting drinks, it even features on the dessert menus of many top restaurants, which are bringing a contemporary twist to this established favourite.

MS SKYR – PLAIN Skyr was originally only available as plain and was made at every farm in Iceland. Nowadays, there is a huge variety of flavours available but many still prefer the plain one, especially served with sugar and/or cream.

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KEA SKYR WITH VANILLA Kea skyr comes from the northern part of Iceland and this is one of the most popular flavours available. The taste is full and creamy with zero fat. It’s mild and creamy flavour also makes it popular as a base for desserts.


ÍSEY SKYR WITH BLUBERRIES Ísey skyr is a remarkable dairy product unique to Ice­land. High in protein and naturally fat free, Ísey skyr is delicious, rich in flavour with a thick and creamy tex­ture. Ísey is a beautiful Icelandic female name, meaning ice (ís) and island (ey), in honour of the women who passed on Iceland‘s secret to healthy living from generation to generation. ÍSEY SKYR WITH DARK CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA Skyr producers have been experimenting with new flavours in Ísey skyr while still keeping it as nutritious as possible. One of the more recent additions is Ísey skyr with dark chocolate and vanilla flavour. ICELANDIC PROVISIONS SKYR If you find yourself in the US, craving skyr, don’t panic! This is the only skyr available in the US that’s made with traditional Icelandic skyr cultures, passed down through generations of Icelanders. Rich in protein but low in sugar, with flavors that have a Nordic twist, such as Strawberry with Lingonberry. Icelandic provisions skyr is only available in the US and is a sister brand of Ísey Skyr. #icelandicprovisions







Kaldi is a very mild and comfortable pilsner, dry, fresh, slightly bitter, with notes of roasted barley and hops, and has 5% ABV. You might detect a hint of sweetness as well. The brewery on Árskógssandur, makers of Kaldi beer, was the first microbrewery that opened in Iceland, back in 2006. The regular Kaldi is a pure pilsner, with all the ingredients, except the Icelandic water, coming from the Czech Republic. Even their brewmaster is Czech! Following its success, the brewery opened Kaldi bar in the centre of Reykjavík, where all the varieties of Kaldi beer are available. Kaldi bar is, of course, the best place to get Kaldi, but it’s available in other bars as well, and in bottles at the liquor stores.


Egils Gull has followed Icelanders even since the beer ban was lifted on the 1st of March in 1989, aptly named the “Beer Day” and rightly celebrated. A standard light lager, Gull has proved a fantastic companion on Icelanders’ beer adventures, even winding up as the World’s Best Standard Lager at the World Beer Awards in 2011. Brewed in the style of a pale Munich lager, expect a crisp taste with a fresh lemony tang.

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Bríó uses German hops, giving the beer a very distinctive taste and a sweet aroma. Along with the hops, it uses Pilsen malt and underfermented yeast. Bríó is the first beer produced by Borg Brugghús, a brewery that now produces several popular beers all year round along with seasonal beers for summer, Christmas and Easter. Bríó is a pilsner, a style of beer named after the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. This style of brewing first emerged in the middle of the 19th century and became so popular that the majority of beer drunk today is a relative of the original pilsner. Bríó was originally brewed as the house beer for Ölstofan but due to its popularity, it’s now available in liquor stores as well as most bars in town.


The aroma is of fresh citrus fruits, especially grapefruit, which can also be found in the flavour, along with a strong bitterness that makes you crave another sip. Úlfur was the first Icelandic IPA (India Pale Ale) on the market. It’s in the same calibre as the best produced on the West Coast of the Unites States and surprised many Icelanders with its distinct flavour and aroma. Only American hops are used in the beer and they are added when boiled and after fermentation; a so called “dry hopping” technique. Icelanders took to the beer immediately and it helped clear the way for smaller breweries to try new things.


Although beer and ale have been brewed in Iceland for a long time, beer production was limited during the 20th century, as beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989! Icelanders have more than made up for lost time and the growth in beer production in recent years has been amazing. In just a few years, we‘ve seen many great breweries emerge, filled with ambition and ingenuity, and beer is now the most popular alcoholic beverage in Iceland.

EASTER BEERS Iceland’s craft brewery scene is booming these days, which is most noticeable in the rising popularity of seasonal beers. In addition to summer beers, Þorri beers, and Christmas beers, Icelanders like to celebrate Easter with a beer or two.

PÁSKA KALDI Kaldi, Iceland’s first microbrewery, brew their beers by German purity law, which means they only use raw materials like water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. Their Easter beer Páska Kaldi is a golden, cloudy wheat beer with fruity and floral tones. It’s a fresh and slightly bitter beer with an alcohol percentage of 4.9%. Páska Kaldi is available in liquor stores as well as the Kaldi Bar downtown!

PÁSKAGULL HEFEWEIZEN Gull is the most popular beer in Iceland, a classic drinkable lager. Their Easter beer, however, is different. This hefeweizen wheat beer is the perfect representation of the spirit of Easter, light and tropical with fruity notes of banana and spicy tones of cloves. It’s an interesting and very drinkable brew, not too bitter and not too sweet.

VÍKING PÁSKABJÓR Víking’s Easter beer is a dark lager with an alcohol percentage of 4.8%. It’s sold in brightly-coloured purple and yellow packaging. It is a fresh medium bitter lager with tones of chocolate, caramel, and herbs. What better way to celebrate Easter and spring than with this thirst quencher!

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SEGULL 67 HÉRASTUBBUR PÁSKABJÓR Segull 67 Brugghús is a small, family-owned brewing company located in fishing village Siglufjörður, North Iceland. They are housed in an old fish factory that they turned into a modern brewery. Their Easter beer is called Hérastubbur and it’s a light-golden ale with an alcohol percentage of 5%. It’s a medium bitter ale with tones of citrus and other fruity flavours.


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AN ICELANDIC VOLCANO IS THE REASON FOR DEMOCRACY AS WE KNOW IT The 1783-4 eruption of Laki was history’s biggest volcanic eruption. When it erupted, the ash darkened the sky over all of Europe for years. The ash’s toxicity caused widespread crop failures and the resulting famine all over Europe was almost certainly one of the causes of the French Revolution in 1789, ultimately resulting in the first modern democracy as we know it.

NOT JUST ONE, BUT TWO OF THE BIGGEST ERUPTIONS IN THE RECORDED HISTORY OF THE WORLD, OCCURRED IN ICELAND! Not only was Laki the biggest eruption in recorded history, measured by volume of lava, but Iceland was also the site of the second biggest emission in recorded history, the 2014 eruption of Bárðarbunga. In just 6 months, Bárðarbunga produced enough lava to cover the island of Manhattan – 85 km2. It still isn‘t close to matching Laki. That eruption produced 370 km2 of lava in only 50 days!



All photos provided by the Volcano House


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1/3 OF ALL THE EARTH’S FRESH LAVA ORIGINATED IN ICELAND! When you’re discussing volcanoes, all concepts that have something to do with time get a bit skewed. For instance, fresh lava means lava emissions on earth since the year 1500. The reason for this impressive amount of liquid rock spewing to the surface is because not only does Iceland sit on a crack between two tectonic plates, it’s also on top of a geological hotspot. Even so, for such a small island, that’s a pretty impressive amount of lava.


ICELAND HAS A VOLCANIC ERUPTION EVERY 4-5 YEARS! This isn’t surprising considering the island has somewhere around 150-200 volcanoes, split into different volcanic systems. About 30 different systems are still considered “active” in Iceland, and 13 of them have erupted since the Viking Settlement in 874. Not all the eruptions

WANT TO GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE VOLCANOES OF ICELAND? For more information on volcanoes and geothermal activity in Iceland, go visit the Volcano House by the old harbour. Its attractions include a mineral exhibition and an hour-long documentary on volcanoes, which is shown every hour, on the hour. As an added bonus, there’s also a What’s On desk over there, in case you need any information.

are on the same scale as the Eyjafjallajökull eruption though; some are small enough to be considered tourist attractions and some happen underneath glaciers and never even see the light of day.

ICELAND HAS AN ISLAND SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO OBSERVE AND DOCUMENT FROM THE MOMENT OF ITS CREATION: SURTSEY Surtsey was formed by a volcanic eruption at the bottom of the ocean and emerged from the water on January 14, 1963. It was immediately granted protection by law and no one was allowed to set foot on the island. To this day only scientists are allowed to go there, and even they have to get special permission. This means that we have been able to monitor how life settles on a brand-new land from the beginning, and the information gained has been invaluable to scientists.

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THE LAXNESS MUSEUM Gljúfrasteinn was the home of writer Halldór Laxness (the winner of The Nobel Prize in Literature 1955) and his family for more than half a century. The house is now a museum, where the author’s home is preserved just as it was when he lived and worked there.



A number of events are hosted throughout the year. Every Sunday during the summertime there are concerts in the living room at 16:00. The museum is open on Tuesdays to Fridays from 10–16. Audio guides of the house are available in Icelandic, English, German, Swedish and Danish, and an illustrated guide in French. Gljúfrasteinn-Laxness museum is located in the valley of Mosfellsdalur on the way to Þingvellir National Park, only a 20 minute drive from Reykjavik. For more information, go to

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Tryggvagata 11 - Volcano house Open 11:30-21:00



What to Do in Iceland if You Only Have One Day If you only have one day in Iceland, the first advice I will give you is to change your flight and stay for at least a week more. If that’s not an option, my next suggestion would be to use the time you have to the fullest, since Iceland is a unique destination.

IF ICELANDIC GEOLOGY INTERESTS YOU No country does volcanoes like Iceland, there’s a reason it’s called the land of Ice and Fire. The Reykjavík Erupts! volcano hike takes you to a geothermally active area where the effects of the extreme heat underground are clearly visible on the surface. The colours of the earth are akin to a rainbow and there are bubbling cauldrons of mud everywhere. Lava Tube Caving tour, on the other hand, allows you to visit a cave that was formed during a volcanic eruption. The rock formations alone make this tour worth the trip.

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IF YOU JUST WANT TO SEE THE HIGHLIGHTS It’s no coincidence that The Golden Circle is the most popular day tour from Reykjavík. There are three stops on the way that just happen to be three of the most captivating destinations in Iceland, and as an added bonus, the tour doesn’t take up more than half of your day. The stops are Þingvellir, the national park where the Icelandic Parliament congregated since Viking times, Gullfoss, the awe-inspiring waterfall which lends its name to the Golden Circle, and Geysir, an erupting hot spring, guaranteed to wow visitors.


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IF YOU WANT TO SEE A GLACIER Since you’re visiting ICE-land, you might want to check out some icy tours and it doesn’t get any icier than hiking on a glacier. Glacier hikes are relatively easy and professional gear is provided so the tour should be accessible for most people. You get to walk on a glacier, with guides who know everything there is to know about glaciers and Iceland in general, what more could you ask for?


IF YOU’RE IN THE MOOD FOR A LITTLE LUXURY What’s better than having a spa day? Krauma is a natural geothermal spa in West Iceland, next to Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring. The water of the natural hot spring is mixed with cool glacial water for perfect temperatures. It has five hot tubs and one cold bath, a relaxation room and two steam baths. If you’re in South Iceland, then head to the Secret Lagoon. It’s situated in a geothermal area with plenty of hot water streaming naturally from the ground and steam rising into the air around you. The beautiful location really lets you feel at one with the Icelandic nature. IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AN ADRENALINE RUSH Looking for a thrill? Then go on a buggy ride. A buggy is a fast, sturdy and stable ATV, perfect for everybody who loves the outdoors. When

going on a buggy tour, you better be ready to get dirty, with water splashing up on the side of the tires and dust being blown around your head. Driving a buggy through rough Icelandic terrain, with mud pools, dusty roads and sometimes snow, offers an exciting adventure!

IF YOU READ MOBY DICK AND LIKED IT Marine life abounds in the ocean around Iceland. Of all the creatures that live in these waters, the most spectacular ones have to be the whales. If you’re interested in seeing these immense creatures for yourself, take a whale watching cruise. Even the smallest Icelandic whale you could spot is still the size of a full-grown man, and the largest can reach up to 30 metres in length! If you have a few hours to spare before or after the cruise (or if you get seasick and a cruise is out of the question), check out the Whales of Iceland exhibition for some extra information on these gentle giants.

Whether you are going on tours or staying within city limits, you can be sure of one thing: you won’t have seen enough of what Iceland has to offer. The next time you’re in Iceland (and we’re pretty sure you’ll be back) stop by the What’s On office, or send us an email,, and ask the staff to help you plan an unforgettable vacation.


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What to Do in Reykjavík with Kids

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Though the birth rate in Iceland has dropped in the last few years, it remains higher than the European average, and you could say Icelandic society is family-oriented. That’s good news for those travelling with kids and teenagers, as there is plenty to keep them entertained year-round. Here are a few suggestions of activities with kids in and around Reykjavík. All are accessible by foot, public transportation, private vehicle, or pickup service. None take longer than four hours total and driving time is minimal.


GO SWIMMING Age range: 0-99 Season: year-round

GO ON A WHALE WATCHING CRUISE Age range: 0-99 Season: year-round

Reykjavík’s thermal pools are mostly outdoor and water temperature in the pools and hot tubs ranges from 27 to 42°C to keep you warm even on the coldest days. They’re a popular activity among local families as they’re fun, healthy, and affordable. The showers have kiddie bathtubs and child seats to make washing up easy for the littlest members of your family, there are floaties for those who are learning to swim, and pool toys for the young (and young at heart). Most have shallow kiddie pools and many have water slides as well.

Being out on the water with the chance to see wildlife is exciting for all! Though summer is the high season for whale watching (and the only season to see the popular puffins), whales can be seen off the coast of Iceland year-round. Ships have heated indoor areas for chilly days and provide warm overalls and blankets as well.

FEEDING THE DUCKS Age range: 0-99 Season: year-round Every Icelander has fond memories of childhood trips to the downtown pond to feed ducks with breadcrumbs. Feeding the ducks bread is actually not good for them but birdfeed is easily available. Though ducks are the popular draw, you’ll also see swans, geese and seagulls. When you start to get cold, you can step into the City Hall to check out the large topographical model of Iceland built to scale.


GO RIDE AN ICELANDIC HORSE Age range: 6-99 Season: year-round The Icelandic horse may be small, but don’t call it a pony! These friendly purebreds are a national treasure and love to meet people. Íshestar Horse Farm provides a riding tour for families that is short enough for the young’uns and appropriate for all levels of experience.

GO CAVING Age range: 5-99 Season: year-round Explore a 2000-year-old cave that was formed by a volcanic eruption. The lava is no longer active, but you and the kids will be as you venture in to experience the unique and colourful stone formations firsthand. Kids must be able to walk on their own and keep pace with the group.

GO TO THE VOLCANO HOUSE Age range: 0-99 Season: year-round

GO SPEND A DAY IN LAUGARDALUR Age range: 0-99 Season: year-round The Laugardalur Valley has several activities for the whole family. The Family Park and Zoo house specimens of most of Iceland’s animals, such as sheep, cows, horses, reindeer, and seals. There are several rides open in the summer and

GO TO A MUSEUM Age range: 0-99 Season: year-round Many of Reykjavik’s museums are child-friendly, housing activity rooms and interactive exhibits. For example, the National Museum of Iceland has a children’s room on the second floor where kids can dress up in Viking attire, including trying out swords, shields, chain mail, and helmets. There are historical objects and models they can play with and a reading section where they can read or listen to stories in English and Icelandic. The Maritime museum also offers a chance to board a National Guard ship from the fifties and Árbær Open Air Museum, a collection of old Icelandic houses, is always popular. If you’re spending a day or two exploring Reykjavík’s museums and swimming pools, consider the Reykjavík City Card. Available for 24hr, 48hr, and 72hr periods for kids and adults, it gives you access to museums, swimming pools, public transport, and more, at one low price.

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Iceland is one of the most volcanically active places on earth. The exhibit of volcanic rocks and minerals at the Volcano House is hands-on, giving you a break from saying “don’t touch that!” The documentaries about Iceland’s most recent eruptions and their effects on the country are short enough to accommodate the attention spans of the youngest while exciting enough for the most bored teenager.

play areas are open year-round. Laugardalur also houses ice-skating and roller-skating rinks, the largest thermal pool in the city, and the Ásmundarsafn sculpture collection, which includes an outdoor sculpture garden (for those who can’t handle the decorum of an indoor museum… no matter their age).



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Everything you ever wanted to know about Easter in Iceland


As in most countries, Easter in Iceland is an interesting mix of religious and pagan holidays. On the one hand, the church’s designated Easter days are official holidays and it’s the most popular time of the year for confirmations, a Christian rite of passage most 14-yearolds go through. On the other hand, the first thing that people think of when you mention Easter is not the crucifixion, but chocolate

Easter eggs, and the most popular decorations are not crosses, but chicks. If Easter in Iceland sounds confusing, read this guide so you know what to expect.

THE HOLIDAYS OF EASTER PALM SUNDAY, MAUNDY THURSDAY Even though Iceland is not Catholic, confirmations are popular rites of passage for 14-yearolds in Iceland. Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday are the days most confirmations take place, which means most people in Iceland spend these days attending family parties thrown in honour of these confirmations. GOOD FRIDAY Good Friday is traditionally a day of solemn contemplation where fun and games is not only discouraged, it’s actually illegal. The Icelandic atheist society hosts an annual game of bingo


in protest, since bingo is one of the games specifically mentioned in the laws banning fun on Good Friday.

EASTER SUNDAY The most important part of the Easter celebrations takes place on Easter Sunday morning, when people look for their Easter eggs. Some families plan elaborate Easter egg hunts with a trail of clues leading to the chocolaty prize, others are content to just hide the eggs around the house. Family dinners where lamb takes the central role are also popular. EASTER MONDAY This day actually has no significance and no traditions. It’s just an extra holiday for people to finish what’s left of their Easter eggs or recover from eating a whole Easter egg the day before.

EASTER ESSENTIALS IN ICELAND EASTER VACATION Easter celebrations are usually much more casual than Christmas, for example. Since Easter is a five-day weekend in Iceland, many people use the opportunity to travel, in Iceland or internationally. Ski trips are popular and Aldrei fór ég suður, a free music festival in Ísafjörður, attracts a huge crowd every year. Because these days are official holidays some businesses might be closed, especially on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

EASTER EGGS Easter eggs don’t have a particularly long history in Iceland. They only arrived in the country in the beginning of the 20th century but have since become so popular that more than a hundred tonnes of chocolate in Easter egg form is sold each year. The Easter eggs come in all sizes (some are huge!) and are available in different kinds of chocolate. They’re usually filled to the brim with candy, but there’s one part of the

EASTER DECORATIONS Many people decorate their houses for Easter in shades of yellow and green. The decorations are connected with the coming of spring and a popular way to decorate is to cut a bouquet of branches from a bush or a tree and put in a vase with water. The branches will start sprouting leaves in the warmth inside, even though the trees outside will remain dark and bare for a few weeks yet. EASTER LAMB The traditional Easter Sunday dinner is lamb. That’s a lucky coincidence since Icelanders love lamb. Considering the quality of the Icelandic lamb, that’s really no wonder. There’s no specific lamb dish that’s designated Easter food, but a roast leg of lamb is popular. The delicious Icelandic lamb is a welcome, savoury relief after a day spent gorging on chocolate and candy.

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EASTER CHICKENS There’s one motif that’s especially popular in Easter decorations. It’s not the Easter bunny, which is not a part of the Icelandic folklore, but rather the Easter chick. Easter chick ornaments can be bought everywhere where decorations are sold and every home with children usually has a few homemade, misshapen lumps that are supposed to represent the baby chickens. The Easter chick that is most people’s favourite, however, is the Easter chick that tops the chocolate Easter eggs in every store.

Easter egg’s anatomy that never changes. Each egg contains a small note with a wise Icelandic proverb or a saying on it. Despite the lure of the candy, that’s probably the first thing most people look for when they crack their eggs open.


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Hallgrímskirkja church is one of the best-known landmarks in Reykjavík. It’s the last work of architect Guðjón Samúelsson. His work usually drew inspiration from Icelandic nature in some way and Hallgrímskirkja is no exception, conjuring the mountains and glaciers of Iceland along with the iconic columnar igneous rock. Guðjón started sketching the church in 1937 and they started building it in 1945. It wasn’t completely finished until 1986, although parts of the church had been ready for a long time at that point, even consecrated so the church could be put to use. In front of the church stands a statue of Leifur Eiríksson, known as Leifur the lucky. He was probably the first European to visit North America, centuries before Christopher Columbus got lost on his way to India. It might seem strange to place a Viking statue in front of a church, but actually, it was the other way around. The statue got there in 1932, but they didn’t start building the church until 1945. Hallgrímskirkja is the second tallest building in the capital area. That can mean only one thing, the view from the top is incredible. Take the elevator to the top of the tower and you’ll be rewarded with a view of rows of the multicoloured houses in the centre all laid out neatly like doll’s houses, and further away, the bright blue sea and mount Esja. During Easter, Hallgrímskirkja offers an Easter programme filled with interesting events and concerts.

EASTER PROGRAMME SATURDAY, APRIL 13 AT 16:00 Alumni from the Choir of Clare College Cambridge perform a concert with a professional eight-person ensemble. Tickets 3,500 ISK. PALM SUNDAY, APRIL 14 AT 11:00 Celebrating Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, mass guests carry branches into the church. Members of the Clare College choir sing HOLY THURSDAY, APRIL 18 AT 14:00 The Children’s Song Festival, around 100 children from the capital area join in song accompanied by various instruments. HOLY THURSDAY, APRIL 18 AT 20:00 Gethsemane hour with Schola Cantorum, a tranquil and symbolical ceremony when the ornaments are removed off the altar of Hallgrímskirkja. Schola cantorum sings Miserere by Allegri, conducted by Hörður Áskelsson. GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 19 13:00-18:00 The Passion Hymns are a collection of 50 poetic texts written by minister and poet Hallgrimur Pétursson in the 17th century, telling the story of the Passion of Christ. They are read as a whole by professional actresses, music is performed between the readings. SATURDAY, APRIL 28 AT 14:00 Students of the Music Department of the Iceland University of the Arts perform a diverse selection of music.




A choral concert with a professional 8-person ensemble from Cambridge. The programme is diverse with choral pieces ranging from the renaissance to modern times. This British choir is a special guest of the Hallgrímskirkja Friends’ of the Arts Society and representative of the renowned British choir tradition. On the programme are works by Elgar, Howells, Tavener, Sigurð Sævarsson, Schütz, Gershwin and more. Admission: ISK 3500, discount for seniors, students and disabled. Ticket sale at Hallgrimskirkja open daily 9am- 5 pm and online on LISTVINAFELAG.IS


7 KM



The First Day of Summer: Summer’s (Almost) Here gifts since the 16th century. They even precede Christmas gifts in Iceland by about three centuries!

IT’S TRADITION The First Day of Summer has its roots in the old Icelandic calendar. It’s based on the farming seasons and was in use, pretty much from the settlement of Iceland in the 9th century until as recently as the 19th century, parallel to the Julian and later the Gregorian calendar. According to the Icelandic calendar, there were only two seasons, winter and summer – summer started in late April and lasted until late October.

According to ancient superstition, if the summer and winter “freeze together” (meaning the night leading up to The First Day of Summer is frosty), it is an omen of, strangely enough, a good, warm summer. These days, if the night before is frosty, it’s mostly an omen of lots of sarcastic Facebook posts, and possibly that you changed out your winter tires too early.

Celebrating the arrival of summer has been done for centuries. People would have a nicer than usual dinner and it’s been customary to give children small gifts known as summer

In the past, The First Day of Summer was considered to be the beginning of a new year. To determine someone’s age usually the winters were counted, and these days, this method is still used to calculate the age of a horse.

OUTDOOR CELEBRATIONS IN ICELAND IN APRIL? WHAT ON EARTH COULD GO WRONG? Icelanders like to celebrate The First Day of Summer, so much so that it’s actually an official holiday. On this day, every town in Iceland

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Iceland has one holiday that’s only celebrated in Iceland, The First Day of Summer. It makes sense that Icelanders would want to celebrate the arrival of summer after long winters, but what doesn’t make sense, is that it’s celebrated in late April, when you can still expect freezing temperatures in Iceland. The First Day of Summer traditionally takes place on the first Thursday after April 18, but why?


WHAT’S ON has its own celebratory programme, but scout parades and brass bands are common. There are usually regional school-based celebrations in each neighbourhood focusing on kids and families.

equally cold musicians, you can always go get Icelandic pancakes instead. The crêpe-like flat pancakes, served either rolled with sugar or filled with whipped cream and jam, are a popular First Day of Summer treat.

Icelanders generally celebrate the coming of summer by wearing shorts and a T-shirt and going for an ice cream drive – completely regardless of the weather (it’s about the principle of the thing!). The rest of us generally just use the day to nap or hit the town.

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Unfortunately, the weather rarely gets the message that it’s summer and the temperature usually hovers somewhere between 0 and 10°C on the day itself. If you’re not in the mood for watching chilly scouts march to the music of


HAVE YOU SEEN THE GOLDEN PLOVER YET?! The golden plover is a migratory bird that has the good sense to leave Iceland for the winter and only comes back when summer is on its way. The tiny wading bird’s return to the country heralds the arrival of spring and Icelanders get really excited! So excited, in fact, that not only are there countless poems about the springtime magic of the golden plover, its arrival each year also makes the front-page of every newspaper in Iceland.

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Notable Events in the History of Iceland 16-18 MILLION BC: The Formation of Iceland. Volcanic eruptions form the landmass known as Iceland. 871 AD: The Settlement of Iceland. Ingólfur Arnarson killed a man in Norway and fled to Iceland. 930 AD: Alþingi (the Icelandic Parliament) established. Alþingi is the oldest parliamentary institution in the world that is still extant. 1000 AD: Conversion to Christianity, discovery of America. Parliament decided everyone would be Christian or at least pretend to be. Leif “the Lucky” Eiriksson got lost and found America, didn’t like it and went home. 1262 AD: Iceland submits to Norway. Civil war between powerful clans was finally resolved by forfeiting independence and submitting to Norwegian rule. This eventually led to Iceland winding up under Danish rule. 1550 AD: Reformation. A violent conflict between Catholics and Lutherans ended with the beheading of Catholic bishop Jón Arason.

1944 AD: Independence. Iceland declared independence while Denmark was too busy being invaded by Germany to protest. 20TH CENTURY: The World Wars and modernisation. The turn of the century saw the first motorboat and car. The World Wars and American occupation resulted in the first serious urbanisation and foreign cultural influence. 1955 AD: Nobel Prize. Halldór Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. 1980 AD: First female president. The world’s first democratically elected female head of state, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, took office. 2008 AD: Crash and miraculous recovery. Iceland’s banking system went spectacularly bankrupt. Since then, things have picked up surprisingly well.

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

2009 AD: First openly gay prime minister. The world’s first openly lesbian head of government, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, took office.

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1602: Monopoly (not the fun kind). The king of Denmark decided Icelanders could only trade with particular Danes, resulting in economic stagnation until the monopoly was abolished in 1786.

THE 1750S: The Enlightenment and the birth of Reykjavík. Industrialisation and modernisation started when “Sheriff” Skúli Magnússon started wool manufacturing at Aðalstræti 10.



Reykjavík International Literary Festival 2019 The Reykjavík International Literary Festival (RILF) takes place on April 24-27 at various venues throughout Reykjavík. Founded in 1985, this will be the 14th time RILF takes place, but it’s the first time it’s held in spring – in appreciation of World Book Day, April 23. The theme this year is “adaptation,” focusing on diverse adaptations of text into film, theatre, and other media, as well as a broader meaning of adapting to change.

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM This year marks the centennial celebration of the publication of Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness’ first novel Barn náttúrunnar (Child of Nature). Therefore, an international symposium will be held in his honour. THE ORÐSTÍR AWARD The Orðstír award for the best translation of Icelandic literature into foreign languages will be handed out for the third time. Two foreign language translators will receive this award, which was first handed out in 2015.


THE AUTHORS RILF is bringing together acclaimed authors from around the globe to partake in panels, readings, and workshops. Lauded as one of Northern Europe’s biggest literary events, RILF has hosted over 300 international authors, such as Margaret Atwood, Herta Müller, Haruki Murakami, Günter Grass, and Kurt Vonnegut. This year, a number of great authors, both Icelandic and international, will be participating.

DAVID FOENKINOS David Foenkinos is a French author and screenwriter. His novel La délicatesse is a bestseller in France. A movie adaptation of the book was released in December 2011. EINAR KÁRASON Einar Kárason is an Icelandic writer. He is best known for his novel Þar sem djöflaeyjan rís which was translated into English as Devil’s Island and made into a movie in 1996. SIMONE VAN DER VLUGT Simone van der Vlugt is a Dutch writer, known there for her historical and young adult novels. Several of her crime novels have been published in English, like The Talisman, Blood Money, and Black Snow. TOM MALMQUIST Tom Malmquist is a Swedish poet and an author. His most famous work is his autobiographical and award-winning novel I varje ögonblick är vi fortfarande vid liv, translated into English as In Every Moment We Are Still Alive. YŌKO TAWADA Yōko Tawada is a Japanese writer currently living in Berlin. She writes in both Japanese and German. She has won many literary awards, including the Goethe Medal and the National Book Award.

Other authors include Hallgrímur Helgason, Samanta Schweblin, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, and Roy Jacobsen. For the full schedule visit

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Books to Read Before You Come to Iceland

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One of the best ways to prepare for a visit to another country is to curl up with a good book and be transported into the mind of a local author. Whether the book is classic or contemporary, it will give you more of a sense of the national psyche than a travel brochure ever can. If you’re visiting Iceland, there are plenty of great Icelandic books to choose from, whether you want to head into battle with the Vikings of the sagas, raise sheep with proud farmers, or solve murders on the streets of Reykjavík.


THE SAGAS OF THE ICELANDERS BY AUTHORS UNKNOWN You can get a collection with all the sagas, but we recommend starting with the most popular ones, such as the epic Njál’s Sagai, the adventurous Egil’s Saga, or the romantic Laxdæla Saga. Reading these centuries-old texts is challenging but rewarding at the same time. THE FISH CAN SING BY HALLDÓR LAXNESS Independent People is Halldór’s best-known novel and it is nothing short of a masterpiece, but it’s also a bleak and depressing portrait of a poor farmer’s life complete with domestic violence, class injustice, child labour, and light paedophilia. What we’re saying is that this is no fun summer read. If you think you’re up for it, by all means, go ahead, but for a more palatable

taste of Laxness, we recommend picking up The Fish Can Sing, a charming coming-of-age story set in Reykjavík at the turn of the century.


101 REYKJAVÍK BY HALLGRÍMUR HELGASON 101 Reykjavík is centred around 30-something Hlynur Björn, who is unemployed and still living with his mother in a small apartment. He spends his days browsing the Internet, watching TV, and staring at girls at the local bar. When his mother comes out as a lesbian and her Spanish girlfriend Lolla moves into their home, his world is shaken up. The movie adaption was released in 2000. PLACE OF THE HEART BY STEINUNN SIGURÐARDÓTTIR Crime novel meets road trip story in Place of the Heart by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir. Harpa,

single mother of teenager Edda, is trying to connect to her daughter while struggling to make sense of her place in the world. After Edda’s best friend dies, Harpa wants to protect her from the dangerous social scene she’s pulled towards. She decides to move to the remote East Iceland, taking Edda and all their belongings with them. In 1995, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir received the Icelandic National Prize for Literature for Place of the Heart.

I REMEMBER YOU BY YRSA SIGURÐARDÓTTIR Yrsa is the queen of Icelandic crime fiction. Despite writing about horrific crimes in a country with statistically less than one murder per year, Yrsa is knwown for writing believable and three-dimensional characters as well as a thrilling plot with twists and turns aplenty. Her books about Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, a crime-solving lawyer, are immensely popular, but she’s also written a few more thrilling stories stretching into the realm of ghost stories and the supernatural. I Remember You combines an eerie ghost story with crime fiction and was made into a movie in 2017.

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DEVIL’S ISLAND BY EINAR KÁRASON Devil’s Island by Einar Kárason tells the story of life in Iceland after World War II, when families were living in barracks left by the US army. The rural community in Iceland conflicted with American pop culture brought to the country by American troops during the war. The story revolves around one family and reads just like an Icelandic saga. The movie adaption of the book by director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson was released in 1996.



Get Blown Away at Sónar Reykjavik 2019 Get ready to party! Sónar’s 26th anniversary celebrations take place March 25-27 in Reykjavik at Harpa Concert Hall. The festival programme is filled with cutting-edge acts and tantalising audiovisual productions. With the focus on digital culture, the festival has the ambition to be a meeting point for different creative disciplines.



ORBITAL Orbital is a critically-acclaimed English electronic dance music duo. Orbital was founded in 1989, but their breakthrough was in 1994 when they headlined Glastonbury Festival. Influenced by techno and punk rock, they are known for their musical improvisations during live shows.

AUÐUR At the Icelandic Music Awards in March, Auður won Songwriter of the Year and Best Electronic Album of the Year with his latest album Afsakanir, a brutally honest narrative of heartbreak after ending a long-term relationship. Auður has signed a record deal with Sony Music and will be releasing his first international release.

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LITTLE DRAGON Little Dragon is a Swedish electronic band founded in 1996. In 2015, their album Nabuma Rubberband received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album. Vocalist Yukimi Nagano is known for her eclectic fashion and theatrical dancing, creating mesmerising live performances.


JON HOPKINS English musician and producer Jon Hopkins began his career as keyboardist for Imogen Heap, and has since collaborated with Brian Eno, Coldplay, David Holmes, and more. Jon Hopkins likes playing with genres, and his live performances range from powerful instrumental music to solo acoustic piano music and bass-heavy electro.

GDRN GDRN is Iceland’s latest pop sensation, first appearing to the scene about two years ago. She’s been getting more and more attention with her R and B sound and scored a big hit with her single Lætur mig. PRINS PÓLÓ Prins Pólo is a popular singer songwriter and experimental artist, also known for his band Skakkamanage. Prins Pólo is known for socially-engaging songs with catchy tunes. His live performances are quirky and charismatic, with use of props like masks, head sets, and paper crowns.

NORTHERN LIGHTS The festival takes place during the northern lights season, and in recent years, many visitors have been able to spot them during the festival days. And you don’t even have to miss any acts. Located at the ocean, you can see them through the windows of Harpa Concert Hall if the conditions are right! Visit the website of Sónar Reykjavík for information about tickets, more acts, and updates about time schedules!

SINCE 1982


Reykjavík Harbor



Old Harbor

Landakot Hospital Landakot’s church

Laugavegur 5

City Centre






ú ðr



Reykjavík Pond

i Fríkirkjan church




Reykjavík Cathedral City Hall

Bríe Hlemmur Bus Station



Hallgrímskirkja church

National & University Library

The Nordic House

OPEN 8:30–20:00 Landspítali Hospital

BSÍ Bus Terminal

Reykjavík Airport

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Háteigskirkja church

Kjarvalsstaðir Tour Booking/Car Rental art museum 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 – or book online with us by sending us a line on, anytime. | | +354 551 3600


Travel Safely in Iceland With a subarctic climate and a very small population, Iceland might be a bit different from other popular vacation destinations you visit. Desolate landscapes, mountains, waterfalls, geothermal areas, and the ocean are natural wonders that are not only beautiful but can also catch you off-guard if you travel unprepared. Let the following eight safety guidelines help you when you’re planning your trip to Iceland.

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1. KNOW ICELAND’S EMERGENCY NUMBERS The emergency number is 112. You can dial it free of charge to reach emergency services like ambulances, rescue teams, and the police.


2. KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEATHER FORECAST Icelandic weather is changeable, and extreme weather can occur. High wind speeds in combination with snow are not uncommon in wintertime and can limit visibility. Always check the weather forecast on before you head out. 3. CHECK THE ROAD CONDITIONS BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT While checking the weather forecast, make sure to also check the road conditions on The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration updates their website regularly, showing when roads are closed, slippery, have patches of ice, or are easily passable.

4. BE EXTRA CAREFUL WHEN VISITING GEOTHERMAL AREAS The water in geothermal areas can reach a temperature of up to 100°C. Falling in or slipping can cause serious burns. Luckily, there are clear paths, so make sure to stay on them. 5. DON’T GO TOO CLOSE TO THE OCEAN Sneaker waves – waves that stretch out way farther onto shore then regular waves – are common in South Iceland at Reynisfjara and Kirkufjara beaches. These waves are more powerful than people expect, and accidents can and have proven fatal. Keep a safe distance from the water. 6. STAY ON THE PATH Whether it’s at a waterfall, geothermal area, or during a mountain hike, it’s important to stay on the path. If you see a closed path, do not step over the line. It’s closed for a reason. 7. LET SOMEONE KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING If you’re planning to go hiking, camping, or hitchhiking, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. You can also leave your travel plan on 8. FOLLOW THE UPDATES ON SAFETRAVEL.IS Next to submitting your travel itinerary to SafeTravel’s website, you should use it during your stay to check on safety warnings and updates. SafeTravel offers an indispensable source of information for travellers in Iceland. SafeTravel is also located at the tourist information centre on Bankastræti 2.

Fish • Lamb • Whale • Icelandic cuisine with a twist Icelandic music and nightlife Mix with the locals . .and all the Icelandic beers in one awsome place!


1 0 1 R E Y K J AV Í K sími: 517 6767

Two Icelandic themed villages



Restaurant & Lodging

The Viking Village is a unique place and it is the only Viking theme Hotel and restaurant in Iceland. We have step by step been developing our facilities over the last 28 years and will hopefully continue to do so in the future. We offer Hotel accommodation and Viking houses. Good for families and groups.

The Fisherman´s Village, our newest 25 rooms accommodation is Hlið in Álftanes only few minutes drive from the Viking Village. Like a country home by the seaside. Such an idyllic place to visit. The restaurant is open for groups in the evenings. Close to the president´s residence.

e iv e dr ntr es ce ut y in cit m he 15 o t t

Viking feasts - Souvenirs - Live entertainment most nights “You haven’t been in Iceland if you haven’t been to us“ Don’t miss it! Booking: | +354 565 1213



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Northern lights, the photogenic snow scenes, frozen waterfalls. There are many reasons to enjoy Iceland in wintertime and early spring. For locals, one reason stands out: skiing. Even though Iceland doesn’t have high mountains like Switzerland, it is a ski paradise – if you know where to go. Happy skiing!


BLÁFJÖLL Bláfjöll is a popular ski area, conveniently situated just half an hour outside of Reykjavík. It’s the largest ski resort in Iceland, with runs of varying difficulty levels covering a total of 15km. The slopes are wide and well-maintained. The longest is 2.5km and has an elevation difference of 240m. The most difficult is 700m long and has an elevation difference of 200m. A ski rental and a ski school are located on-site. Depending on the weather and snow conditions, the season runs from January through May. Keep an eye on Bláfjöll’s website to follow regular updates about opening times! Season: January - May Opening hours (subject to change due to weather and snow conditions): Weekdays from 14:00 till 21:00 Weekends from 10:00 till 17:00 Distance from Reykjavík: 30km

Have a look at their website for entrance fees and weather updates:


HLÍÐARFJALL If you’re headed north, don’t miss out on Hlíðarfjall, Akureyri’s topnotch ski resort. It’s located just a few kilometres outside of town, with breathtaking views over the fjord Eyjafjörður. Using natural snow and snow machines, the resort prides itself on its high-quality snow. Floodlit slopes guarantee skiing in the dark winter months, and ski and snowboard lessons are offered onsite. It has 30 slopes in total, and elevation levels differ between 500m and 1,000m above sea level. It’s open from December to April, making it the most popular destination for winter getaways.

Have a look at their website for current opening times and entrance fees:

Season: December - April Opening hours are variable over the season and depend heavily on the weather. Distance from Reykjavík: 385km

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING Iceland has a lot to offer for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Both Bláfjöll and Hlíðarfjall offer several cross-country tracks. However, the best trail runs through Landmannalaugar. This highland region is famous for the well-trodden Laugavegur hiking trail. Less travelled in winter, a journey through these rugged hills will take you past black, desolate lava fields and steamy geothermal springs. The hot river flowing through the area ensures that it’s the perfect location for winding down after a long day in the snow. Contact the What’s On Information Office, Laugavegur 5, for more information

Season: February - April

Season: March - June Distance: Tröllaskagi to Reykjavík: 380km

Stop by the What’s On office or send us an email if you’re interested in a cross-country skiing tour or heli-skiing tour!

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HELI-SKIING It’s not within the range of most casual skiers but if you want to go all out for the most luxurious skiing experience, go heli-skiing! You take a helicopter up to a mountaintop and ski down the untouched snow! The best spot for heli-skiing is the Tröllaskagi peninsula, in North Iceland. The peninsula is 4,000km2 and contains descents of up to 1,500m. It’s home to long and exciting trails, starting at mountain peaks and heading all the way down to the sea shore. Hidden crevasses and open glacial surfaces provide challenges for all kinds of skiers. The season runs from February through the end of June. Perfect for skiing under the midnight sun in summer and enjoying the northern lights in winter!


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Spring is around the corner and with it, more daylight, but do not fear; you have a chance to see the northern lights until mid-April! After mid-April, the days will be too bright to see them, as the faint light of the aurora borealis is no match for the midnight sun. So, grab the opportunity to enjoy them while you still can!

Seeing the lights is a magical experience and we recommend seeking them out while you’re in Iceland. However, there are a few things every northern lights hunter should keep in mind. The northern lights aren’t a reliable attraction and seeing them can be a matter of being in the right spot at the right time. It’s not all down to luck, however, as there are a few things you can do to maximise your chances of seeing the ethereal lights.

Different ways to see the Northern Lights: GOING BY COACH:


Cheap and effective. A northern lights tour by bus or minibus is a good way to see the lights if you’re not too concerned about being surrounded a lot of people and simply travelling by bus. Perhaps not the best time if you don’t see anything – but it’s the cheapest option to see the lights, and it gets the job done.

A great experience regardless of lights. Going by boat and seeing the city from the sea at night, is in itself a great experience. The boat ride is a very good choice for those who want to ensure they get something out of their tour even if no lights are found.superjeep



To p 8 tip s fo r th e no rth er n lig ht s The city lights block the northern lights!


Daylight and northern lights don’t go hand in hand!


The northern lights appear way above the clouds!


The northern lights don’t come out by order – be patient and you might get lucky!


So we’d recommend a tour that includes some great activity as well as northern lights hunt – so you won’t feel disappointed!


It can get seriously cold, especially when the sky is clear and you’re waiting for a long time.


Taking photos with a flash won’t work. Ever. A tripod and long exposure are your friends!

Lie down on the ground. Look up. Enjoy!

Book your northern lights tour now online or at the What’s On tourist information centre, at Laugavegur 5. GOING BY SUPER-JEEP: Exclusive and thrilling. Going on a hunt for the lights with a specially modified superjeep is a thrilling experience that’s fun and exciting. Sights can of course never be guaranteed, but the off-road action of a superjeep makes for a great adventure, the lights are just an added bonus.

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R E Y K J AV Í K SIGHTS TO SEE Reykjavík sightseeing has something for everyone! The city is filled with things to do, places to go, and stuff to see, but some things are just a little bit more important than others. Check out the map in the centre of the magazine to find the exact location of these Reykjavík sights.

Check out our centerfold map for the locations of these sights

1 | HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA Hallgrímskirkja church is one of Reykjavík’s most iconic buildings and is visible from almost anywhere in the city. It’s the largest church and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. The church tower offers a fantastic view of the city. It’s named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Petursson, author of the Passion Hymns. The architect, Guðjón Samúelsson, designed it to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape. Construction started in 1945 and was finished in 1984.


2 | PERLAN Standing at 25m, Perlan is one of Reykjavík’s most striking buildings. Built on top of the city’s hot water tanks, Perlan is known for its unique architecture. Inside Perlan, you can visit Wonders of Iceland, an exhibition spread over multiple levels. A visit to a real ice cave, planetarium shows, exhibitions on Iceland’s history, glaciers, volcanoes, and water, and a spectacular 360° viewing platform are all included in a ticket. On the top floor, a restaurant and coffeehouse for guests in need of refreshment. Surrounding Perlan is the Öskjuhlíð area, one of the many green spaces in Reykjavík, perfect for a walk on a sunny day. 3 | TJÖRNIN Tjörnin (The Pond) is the heart of the city centre and offers some of the most amazing views in Reykjavík. There is no better place in the city to enjoy a beautiful sunset and you can watch or feed a huge variety of birdlife that calls the lake home, while you’re at it. When the lake freezes over in winter, geothermal water is pumped in to defrost an area for the birds and feeding them is a popular family pastime all year round. Those who can handle the cold take to the lake on ice skates.

4 | AUSTURVÖLLUR When the sun is shining, Austurvöllur is the place to be. Surrounded by cafés and restaurants, this public square is a popular spot for locals to dine outside, soak up some sunshine or recline on the grass with picnics. In fact, whatever the season, Austurvöllur is the place to be. It’s used for celebrations on holidays and in December, the city’s biggest Christmas tree is located there. Due to its proximity to The House of Parliament, Austurvöllur is also a popular gathering spot for political protesters. At the centre of it all stands a statue of Jón Sigurðsson, the renowned figure who is credited with leading Iceland to independence.


5 | KOLAPORTIÐ Whether you want to sample dried fish and fermented shark, purchase a bag of Icelandic candy or browse through thrifted clothing, Kolaportið, an indoor flea market, open on the weekends between 11:00-17:00, is your best bet. The atmosphere is unique, and the old industrial building is usually filled with people hunting for books or antiques, grocery shopping at the food court, selling their old garments, buying music and DVDs, or digging through piles of stuff in search of hidden treasures. We recommend bringing cash, or visiting the ATM at one of the entrances, as the majority of stalls don’t accept cards. 6 | HARPA The whole 28,000m2 of Harpa stand at the edge of Reykjavík Harbour. It houses Iceland’s biggest concert hall, suitable for a broad range of concerts and cultural events, a conference centre with meeting facilities and in-house catering, as well as a couple of fine restaurants. Harpa also hosts promotions, plays, and public events. It’s open to everyone, and you should definitely visit Harpa, whether it’s to take in a show, buy souvenirs, go to a concert or have a lovely dinner in one of the fabulous restaurants. Harpa was designed by a Danish firm in cooperation with Ólafur Elíasson, an Icelandic artist, and opened to the public in 2011. 7 | THE OLD HARBOUR It’s the first lasting harbour in Reykjavík, although it’s no longer the city’s busiest one. The most-visited area is the eastern pier where you’ll find a community of shops, galleries, electric bike and scooter rentals, and guided tour operators. You will also find numerous whale watching companies willing to take you out to sea on unforgettable excursions. The area is filled with excellent restaurants (pizza, seafood, burgers, etc.) and cafés. The atmosphere at the old harbour is friendly, the air is fresh and salty and there are plenty of interesting activities to check out. 8 | THE SUN VOYAGER A beautiful sculpture of a Viking ship located

9 | HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT Founded in 950 AD, Iceland’s Parliament, Alþingi, is the oldest extant parliament in the world! For centuries, the Parliament gathered in the open air (on the aptly named Þingvellir, Parliament Fields) but in recent years, they’ve met in Reykjavík. The House of Parliament is a modest classical building of hewn Icelandic dolerite, and it gives Austurvöllur square a dignified look. The Parliament garden behind the building is small but lovely in the summertime.

10 | LAUGARDALSLAUG Every country has traditions when it comes to leisure. Icelanders’ favourite pastime is going swimming. Laugardalslaug is the city’s largest pool with extensive facilities, located in Laugardalur valley. Its facilities include a 50m outdoor pool, an outdoor children’s pool and a paddling pool, two waterslides, numerous hot tubs, a steam bath, gym, and a mini golf course. There really is no better place to be on a sunny day, or a cold one for that matter. Right outside you will find a hot dog stand where you can buy traditional Icelandic hot dogs.

Check out our centerfold map for the locations of these sights

by the ocean on a small peninsula by Sæbraut, close to downtown Reykjavík. The sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason symbolises the Viking past of the Icelanders and is an ode to the sun. It serves as reminder of our history and heritage when the first Viking settlers came sailing to Iceland. The Sun Voyager looks its best when the sun is setting, at whatever time that may be. The unforgettable view of the sculpture with a backdrop of the ocean and Mt. Esja is every photographer’s dream.



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Check out the article The Reykjavik Sight Experience on pages 48-49 for more information about the places numbered here.



What’s On Tourist Information and Booking Centre Locations Main areas


Tour Pick Ups

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Museums in Downtown Reykjavík


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Reykjavík’s history reaches more than a thousand years back and the city has a rich cultural heritage. History buffs, art afficionados and budding natural scientists should all find something to pique their interest in the museums of the city centre.



VOLCANO HOUSE Get to know Iceland’s fascinating geology by exploring their mineral exhibition and watching their documentaries on some of Iceland’s most interesting volcanic eruptions in recent history. 1

REYKJAVÍK MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY The museum presents both historical and contemporary photography in an artistic, social, and cultural context. Showcased are family photographs, photos from portrait studios, industrial and advertising photographs, press photography, landscape photographs, and more.

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THE SETTLEMENT EXHIBITION In 2001, archaeological remains of a hall from the age of settlement were excavated and The Settlement Exhibition is built around these findings, the oldest relics of human habitation found in Reykjavík. 5

REYKJAVÍK ART MUSEUM The Hafnarhús location of the Reykjavík Art Museum serves as the museum’s institute of contemporary art. Pop artist Erró’s works are as fascinating as the museum’s temporary exhibitions.

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ICELAND The museum, established in 1863, houses some of the nation’s most beloved treasures. The permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation is an engaging way to get to know Iceland’s history. Visit the Culture House’s exhibition Points of View as well for an introduction to the country’s cultural heritage.

THE MARITIME MUSEUM The fishing industry is the cornerstone of Iceland’s economy and The Maritime Museum is the best place to learn more about it. At the museum, you also have a chance to board Óðinn, a former Coast Guard vessel.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ICELAND The National Gallery’s art collection consists mainly of 19th and 20th century art. In its possession are many of the keystones of Icelandic art history, as well as a growing collection of works from other countries.





WONDERS OF THE VOLCANO In the city centre, by the old harbour

SHOWTIMES 9 AM – 9 PM on the hour, every day.

“ “ “

Great intro to Iceland! Really interesting documentary and lovely staff! The hands on display of different rocks/volcanic products is great fun.

Tryggvagata 11, Reykjavík, Iceland | +354 555 1900 |





N E W I N TOW N HÖFÐI MATHÖLL A brand-new food hall opened in Reykjavík on March 22. Höfði Mathöll houses nine diverse food stalls to ensure there’s something on offer for everybody. Specialties from many parts of the world will be available, including Italian, Indian, Mexican, and of course Icelandic food. Culiacan, Hipstur, Svangi Mangi, Íslenska flatbakan, Wok On, The Gastro Truck, Beljandi, Sætir snúðar, and Indican are the vendors that will offering their delicious food and drinks. You find Höfði Mathöll on a 15-minute drive from downtown Reykjavík at Bíldshöfði 9, and it’s open seven days a week.

REYKJAVÍK STREET FOOD You will recognise Reykjavík Street Food by their bright yellow building on Ingólfstræti and their yellow logo showing fish and chips in front of a soup bowl. Reykjavík Street Food offers flavourful and reasonably-priced fast food. They have traditional Icelandic kjötsúpa, meat soup

and plokkfiskur, fish stew, on their menu, as well as lobster soup, seafood soup, a selection of noodle soups, and fish and chips. A cosy establishment that will not break the bank.

DISDIS DisDis is an Icelandic fashion store located on main shopping street Laugavegur. Everything they sell is made in an environmentally-friendly way. Moreover, all is homemade, either in Iceland or in Pondicherry, India. Products from India are bags made from recycled plastic as part of a project focused on increasing the participation of women on the labour market. Go to DisDis if you’re looking for high-quality, modern Icelandic fashion, like multifunctional skirts that can be worn in three different ways, and clothing with adaptable sleeves.

Reykjavík Street Food

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DALUR HEALTH STORE Dalur is a health shop with a focus on Icelandic beauty products and food supplements. Dalur is located in Hafnartorg, a newly-developed area in downtown Reykjavík hosting a number of retail spaces, offices, and apartments. You will find products from Spa of Iceland, Arctic Star, Blue Atlantic, and Taramar, amongst others. If you’re not looking for health products, they’re also selling one of Iceland’s best chocolate brands, Omnom!

Höfði Mathöll


EVENTS NOTABLE EVENTS IN REYKJAVÍK FInd more information and events on 56

The Proclaimers



APRIL 15 Scottish pop duo Charlie and Craig Reid, better known as The Proclaimers, will come to Iceland for the first time in their 30-year career. They’re best known for their songs I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), Sunshine on Leith, and Letter from America. Since 1987, they’ve released 11 studio albums, the latest being The Angry Cyclist in 2018. They will play in Eldborg auditorium of Harpa Concert Hall at 20:30, and tickets cost between ISK 8,800 and 12,600. Expect an evening filled with their old and new hits!

APRIL 24-28 Brighter Days (Bjartir Dagar) is a family festival in Hafnarfjörður, one of Reykjavík’s neighbouring towns. Companies, associations and individuals organise different events in collaboration with the town. Exhibitions, free entrance to the swimming pool and museums, circus acts, comedy shows, theatre plays, and pop up cafés are just examples of the many events that are happening during the festival. Music festival HEIMA is part of Brighter Days, during which artists perform at peoples’ homes all over Hafnarfjörður, this year on April 24.

REYKJAVÍK CHILDREN’S CULTURE FESTIVAL APRIL 9-14 The Reykjavík Children’s Culture Festival is held for the ninth time this year. The festival is exclusively dedicated to children and teenagers up to 16 years old. During the festival, 150 different events, workshops and performances are organised, that all put the focus on the child as an artist. Activities include theatre workshops, circus acts, visual arts, storytelling, music and film workshops, puppetry and dance activities. Kindergartens, primary schools, music and art schools, libraries, museums, and theatres join forces with experienced, professional practitioners, artists, and other people working with children.

Reykjavík Children’s Culture Festival

A RARE, ONCE-INA-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY Around, on and deep within the awesome Langjökull ice gap glacier. Into the Glacier offers various tours to the World's largest ice tunnel. The ice tunnel and caves are located high on Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjökull. Daily departures from Klaki base camp, Húsafell center and from Reykjavik. You can choose from various tours and book online at Tel: +354 578-2550



APRIL 10-14 Who doesn’t love cocktails? Every year in Reykjavík, a long weekend is dedicated to them. During the Reykjavík Cocktail Weekend, downtown bars, pubs, and restaurants collaborate with the Bartenders’ Association to present new and exciting flavour combinations. Most establishments will have a special cocktail menu during the weekend and will organise cocktail-related events. Reykjavík Cocktail Weekend ends with the annual Icelandic Cocktail Competition during which the tastiest cocktails are rewarded, traditionally taking place at Gamla Bíó at Ingólfsstræti 2a. Cheers!

APRIL 25-27 Get ready to party! Sónar kicks off its 26th anniversary celebrations in Reykjavík on four stages inside Harpa Concert Hall. Sónar is a series of annual worldwide avant-garde electronic music festivals, presenting the newest innovative trends. Sónar aims to be more than just a music festival, adding installations and video art projections next to performances to their program. The festival programme is filled with cutting-edge acts and tantalizing audiovisual productions, including Little Dragon (SE), Dawn (US), Orbital (UK), and Icelandic acts Vök and FM Belfast. With the focus on digital culture, the festival has the ambition to be a meeting point for different creative disciplines.

REYKJAVÍK INTERNATIONAL LI TERARY FESTIVAL APRIL 24-27 The Reykjavík International Literary Festival is held every two years in downtown Reykjavík, with main venues being IÐNÓ and the Nordic House. The festival offers an exciting programme for literature enthusiasts, with visiting authors from many countries worldwide. Simone van der Vlugt, Tom Malmquist, Anuradha Roy, and Yoko Tawada are just a few of the authors present at this year’s edition. Previous guests include Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, and Nobel Prize winners Herta Müller, Günter Grass, and J.M. Coetzee. All events are in English and there’s no admission fee.

Reykjavik International Literary Festival

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Sónar Reykjavík



VOLCANO HOUSE Wonders of the Volcano The Volcano House includes a hands-on mineral exhibition featuring different mineral samples, such as lava from the 2014 eruption of Bárðabunga and ash from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. A documentary in English is screened every hour, on the hour, from 9:00 to 21:00. It focuses on some of the most famous eruptions of Iceland and covers the causes and effects of Icelandic volcanic activity in general. The show is also available in different languages by arrangement. The Volcano House is fun and educational for people of all ages, and kids are especially welcome (free for 0-10 years old).

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The Volcano House is a great stop on your museum day. After standing and reading for hours, it’s nice to sit down and watch a movie.


The Volcano House is a great late-night activity (the last show is at 21:00), a good replacement if your tour is cancelled, or if the weather is bad (it’s always nice and warm inside). Drop by anytime! For more information, see

Wonders of the Volcano

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R E Y K JAV I K A R T MUSEUM Á S M U N DA R S A F N Ásmundur Sveinsson: Under the Same Sky – Art in Public Spaces The sculpture garden at Sigtún is dedicated to the works by Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982). It is also the point where the exhibition Under the Same Sky extends its view to some of the numerous outdoor pieces that the late sculptor has created and installed in places around and outside Iceland. The works in the exhibition are more meditative in comparison to the outdoor sculptures: smaller in scale, made of different materials, and three-dimensional studies to the enlarged works that Ásmundur realised in the end.

Black and White

Brynhildur Þorgeirsdóttir: Natural Elements Brynhildur Þorgeirsdóttir (b. 1955) studied at The Icelandic College of Art and Crafts, at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Holland and the California College of Arts and Crafts, as well as specialising in glass at Orrefors in Sweden and Pilchuck Glass School in USA. Brynhildur’s work can be found in all major museums in Iceland, as well as many museums on both sides of the Atlantic.


Erró: Black and White Erró: Black and White has around 30 new and recent black-andwhite paintings by Erró. The works show the artist’s creative energy and innovation. He mixes historical figures with manga and cartoon figures. The material is diverse, and it is safe to say that it covers most of the artist’s interests. Erró is known for his unbridled enthusiasm for most things between heaven and earth. Inspired by cartoons and art history, he has

created powerful pieces. These paintings are brimming with sarcasm and humour towards social issues and human nature.

Now Nordic Developed in collaboration with a team of curators drawn from each of the participating five Nordic countries, Now Nordic will present collectible pieces from emerging and established designers working

at the intersection of art, design, and craft. Encompassing both digital and physical exhibitions, the project aims to introduce international audiences to the variety, scope and ambition of Nordic design today – and to explore whether the characteristics that have historically defined it are still evident in our increasingly globalised creative culture.


Steikhúsið simply means “The Steak House” and that underlines our goal, to focus solely on steaks. Steikhúsið is in the middle of Reykjavík, opposite the old harbor, which has recently formed into a lively neighborhood of restaurants, cafes, artisan stores and work shops. When you visit us, remember to try our “28-day” tendered meat. The heart of the place is a coal oven from Mibrasa, Spain. It is only fitting that we use coal for grilling and baking, since the building housed a blacksmith and metal works in years gone by. THE KITCHEN IS OPEN FROM 17:00 ‘TILL LATE — VISIT WWW.STEIK.IS

Booking: +354 561 1111 &

We´ve got the car to make your day We go out of our way to bring you the vehicle you want - at a price you like. To complete our service, here´s a really great offer for you.




*Book online and use the coupon code FLYBUS1 to claim your discount

BSÍ Bus Terminal • 101 Reykjavík Keflavík International Airport • Tel. +354 519 9300



Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir: Circle, Square and Line Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir (19241977) was a unique artist on the Icelandic art scene. Her work is

ÁSGRÍMUR JÓNSSON CO L L EC T I O N KORRIRÓ OG DILLIDÓ PICTURES OF FOLKLORE AND FAIRY TALES BY ÁSGRÍMUR JÓNSSON Step into magic! The visual world of Icelandic folklore and fairy tales created by Ásgrímur Jónsson in his art is a truly enchanted realm. Elves, trolls and ghosts were given

a clear form in Ásgrímur’s art. He first exhibited such pieces in Iceland in 1905. Ásgrímur’s works on folklore themes were well received; in the press, reviewers expressed delight that the folktale heritage was being addressed, for the first time, by an Icelandic artist. Ásgrímur’s depictions of the appearance of elves and trolls met with widespread approval; hence the artist appears to have succeeded in capturing the way that Icelanders in general imagined such beings. The exhibition Korriró og Dillidó offers an ideal opportunity for the entire family to experience the unique supernatural world of elves in their finery, and terrifying trolls, as depicted with passionate sincerity by Ásgrímur Jónsson. The emphasis is on the visitor’s own imagination – offering the opportunity to enjoy this aspect of the cultural heritage, which can throw light upon the fears, dreams and desires of former generations – and their relationship with awe-inspiring Icelandic nature.

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Jóhannes S. Kjarval: of great aspirations Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (1885-1972) was one of the pioneers of Icelandic art in the 20th century and is one of the country‘s most beloved artists. His connection to, and interpretation of Iceland’s natural environment is thought to have taught Icelanders to appreciate it anew, and to have encouraged pride in the country’s uniqueness and the world of adventure to be discovered within it. Kjarval’s subject matter can be categorized into three main groups: landscapes, portraits, and fantasies or works of imagination. These often overlap, however, so that all three kinds may be found in the same canvas.

based on geometric abstract art, where the focus is on visual effects of regular forms, a style known as Op-Art. Eyborg’s work was always based on the primary quality of art, primary forms – circle, square, line – on their internal interaction and stimulus to the optic nerve. During her career she kept exploring the possibilities of abstract art and geometry, and thus was more responsible for the development of the geometric abstraction painting than any other Icelandic artist.



SIGURJÓN ÓLAFSSON MUSEUM CONNECTIONS – SCULPTURES BY SIGURJÓN ÓLAFSSON AND SOME OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES The thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum in October 2018, is marked by an exhibition in which fourteen artists , all of whom had some connection with Sigurjón and his art, engage in dialogue with Sigurjón’s works, in his former studio. The work of all is characterised by a passion for craft. All set out to create spatial works, whether stone sculptures or three-dimensional works in metal, wood, paper or textiles.


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Treasures of a Nation


Violin Power I Violin Power I is Steina‘s first autonomous work, shown in the early days at The Kitchen, a gallery/ theatre/laboratory run by Steina and her husband Woody Vasulka in what had been a kitchen in the basement of the Broadway Central Hotel in New York. She made the work in 1970-78. In this autonomous work we can observe Steina‘s development as an artist, from playing the violin in her youth and dancing in later years, to singing along to the Beatles‘ Let it Be as a stoical, mature artist. Treasures of a Nation In the collection of the National Gallery of Iceland, there are over 11,000 works of various kinds, from various countries and from various periods. In the exhibition a fair selection of works from the collection displays the evolution of art in Iceland from the early 19th century to our times. The exhibition features a variety of media and styles distinguishing this short but eventful history. During the first decades, from 1884 to 1911, the collection was exclusively based on the generous donations


of foreign artists, mostly Danish and other Scandinavians, but in the early 20th century, Icelandic art became more prominent. Today, only one of every 10 works in the collection of the National Gallery is foreign, despite the fact that foreign artists are still slightly more numerous than Icelandic artists. The generosity of various individuals, artists and other parties can be thanked for the pace with which the collection

grew during the last century. Many of the pioneers of modern Icelandic art bequeathed their works to the nation. In the late 20th century the museum’s purchasing fund increased and with it the collection expanded. There is a long and remarkable trajectory from the fragile drawings of Helgi Sigurðsson (1815-1888) to the frail poet Jónas Hallgrímsson (18071845) to the exquisite sculptures of Margrét H. Blöndal (1970-).

There are many places worth checking out in Iceland and even though we feel that our 21 stores should be up there with the waterfalls and geysers, we’re not completely mad. That’s why we offer free delivery right to your door.

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Akranes Reykjavik Keflavik Selfoss

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EINAR JÓNSSON MUSEUM This is a museum in the heart of Reykjavík that houses the work of Iceland’s first sculptor Einar Jónsson. The museum contains close to 300 artworks spanning a 60-year career: carvings from the artist’s youth, sculpture, paintings and drawings. A beautiful tree-clad garden adorned with 26 bronze casts of the artist’s works is located behind the museum. The task of the museum is to collect, preserve and display the work of Einar as well as to conduct research on his life and art. Paolo Gianfrancesco

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URBAN SHAPE Paolo Gianfrancesco Cities are perhaps humankind’s greatest creation. They evolve out of the constant interplay of people and their environment. They consist of both visible elements, such as buildings and the urban landscape, and those that cannot be seen, such as history, human interactions, and the flow of information. Although maps do not provide the true picture of a city, they do give an indication of its character. Exhibiting maps of European capitals and the largest cities in the United Sates, side by side, offers a perspective that cannot be found on Google Maps, in books, or even through travel. Architect Paolo Gianfrancesco invites us to this celebration of the city. Using data from the open-source project Open Street Map, coding allows him to include certain kinds of information, while excluding others. His objective is to capture the essence of the city landscape

Einar Jónsson Museum

through the flow of information.

food, music, and more.

Over the course of the exhibition six cities will be highlighted by dinners infused with storytelling. A fascinating selection of Reykjavík local inhabitants with foreign roots will be invited to share their stories, and those of their city of origin, through

During the exhibition period there will be a series of talks on the art of travelling, where specially invited globetrotters will be sharing stories of their lifestyles and epic journeys.

HAPPY HOUR 4-7PM every day Live music EVERY NIGHT Beer Bingo & Pub Quiz every month



Ingólfssstræti 3, 101 Reykjavík | Tel: 552-0070 |

A source of health Thermal swi m m ing pools

Hot t ubs and jacuzzi

Saunas, steambat hs

The place to meet locals

Admission Adults 1000 isk. Children 160 isk. Thermal pools and baths in Reykjavik are a source of health, relaxation and pureness. All of the city´s swimming pools have several hot tubs with temperatures ranging from 37˚ to 42˚C (98˚–111˚F). The pools are kept at an average temperature of 29˚ C (84˚ F)

Tel: +354 411 5000

Admission Feb. 2019. Price is subject to change

Reykjavík´s Thermal Pools



Catherine Canac-Marquis Primary Colors Primary Colors is a photographic project comprised of historical images and images of our time, and narrates a

Settlemen Exhibition

rescue mission of the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue.

THE SETTLEMENT EXHIBITION The Settlement Exhibition An open excavation where Viking ruins meet multimedia technology. Just below ground in downtown Reykjavík, this open excavation uncovers the city’s Viking Age history. Discovered during building work in 2001, these archaeological remains turned out

to be the earliest evidence of human settlement in the city, with some dating to before AD 871±2. Careful excavation revealed a 10th-century hall or longhouse, which is now preserved in its original location as the focal point of the exhibition. Interactive technology immerses you in the world of the Reykjavík farm at the time of the first settlers, including information on how Viking Age buildings were constructed and what life was like in the hall. The Settlement Exhibition is part of Reykjavík City Museum.

FInd more information and events on | Páll Stefánsson “I’m not looking back: this show is about the present, the moments I am capturing here and now. Refugees on the move, a fast-flowing river that moves inexorably on. A woman half-hidden behind a tussock or hillock. A hillock that becomes a mountain. A fine-looking man who has nothing. Not even a future.” Páll Stefánsson was born just south of the Arctic Circle, in the Öxarfjörður district of north Iceland, in 1958. He studied photography in Sweden in the last century, 1979-82, and is now a Sony Global Imaging Ambassador. Páll has published 37 books, which include images of the neighboring mountains, as well of a Coptic girl in Alexandria and of long shadows on the yellow sands in Önundarfjörður in Iceland’s West Fjords.


Family Photos



Making of a Nation

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From creative printing to artist publishing In this exhibition we are introduced to examples of Icelandic artists’ books from the collection of the National and University Library of Iceland. Examples of printmaking dating all the way back to the latter part of the 19th century to modern day book art. One of the pioneers of artists’ books, Dieter Roth (1930- 1998), made his first book in Iceland around 1957. Since that time, artists’ books have been part of the expression of Icelandic visual artists. During the Reykjavik Arts Festival there will be a special exhibition of Eygló Harðardóttir’s, Sculpture (2016), and the prototype will be exhibited in the Reading Chamber in

the Culture House. The exhibition commemorates the 200th anniversary of the National and University Library, but within the Library there is an increased emphasis on book art.

The Making of a Nation Heritage and History in Iceland The National Museum of Iceland’s permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation – Heritage and History in Iceland, is intended to provide insight into the history of the Icelandic nation from the settlement to the present day. The aim is to cast light on the Icelanders’ past by placing the cultural heritage preserved by the National Museum in a historical context, guided by the question: what makes a nation? The exhibition includes about 2,000 objects, dating from the

Settlement Age to the present, as well as about 1,000 photographs from the 20th century. The exhibition is conceived as a journey through time: it begins with the ship in which medieval settlers crossed the ocean to their new home, it ends in a modern airport, the Icelanders’ gateway to the world..

Discovering Iceland’s Monasteries The exhibition is based on research done by Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir, professor of archaeology at the University of Iceland and the National Museum of Iceland. The research aimed at finding clues on monastic activities in Iceland from the foundation of the earliest one in 1030 to the dissolution of the last in 1554.


THE ICELANDIC PUNK MUSEUM The Icelandic Punk Museum is located at Bankastræti 0, an underground location that served as public toilets from 1930 to 2006. The museum honours the music and the spirit that has shaped musicians and bands to this day; people who dared to be different. Objects, photographs, videos, posters, etc. from roughly 1978 to 1992 are on display with texts in Icelandic and English, and the main music from the period is available to guests.

Punk Museum

C U LT U R E H O U S E Points of view This exhibition gives visitors the chance to delve into the collections of six different cultural institutions. A unique journey through Iceland’s visual legacy, offering an innovative guide to a nation’s cultural history.

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Points of View


Welcome to Jómfrúin, the home of Danish smørrebrød in Reykjavik. It all began in 1888 with Oscars Davidsen’s highly praised smørrebrød restaurant in Copenhagen. An unbroken tradition of quality and Danish culinary culture for the past 100 years. Enjoy! Open every day 11:00 - 22:00 | Lækjargata 4 | 101 Reykjavík |

STEAKHOUSE STEAKHOUSE With taste taste of of iceland iceland

Experience fantastic Experience fantasticmeal mealin inaa stylish environment stylish environment at atFrakkastíg Frakkastíg8b 8b in in the the center center of ofReykjavík Reykjavík


Phone: +354 Phone: +354 557 557 7665 7665 ••

ART & CULTURE Find more recommendations on 76




REYKJAVÍK CITY MUSEUM Reykjavík’s only open air museum, where you can stroll through the past and experience the way we lived Fun, fascinating and full of surprises, this living museum takes you on a journey through time. Guided tours at 13:00 all year round.

REYKJAVÍK CITY MUSEUM An open excavation where Viking ruins meet digital technology Just below ground in downtown Reykjavík, this open excavation uncovers the city’s Viking Age history. Guided tours on weekdays in February at 11:00.

Kistuhylur, Reykjavík 411-6304 | Hours: Daily 13-17

Aðalstræti 16, Reykjavík | 411-6370 | Hours: Daily 9-18

REYKJAVÍK CITY MUSEUM A harbour museum exploring Iceland’s dramatic relationship with the sea. The survival of a nation depended on generations of brave fishermen heading into the unknown. Exhibitions and artefacts bring our ocean history to life, from battling the waves, to the ‘Cod Wars’ and beyond. Guided tours of Óðinn Coast Guard Vessel: 13:00, 14:00 & 15:00. Grandagarður 8, Reykjavík | 411-6340




FREE ENTRY Looking for a place to hang out, browse the internet, get access to Wi-Fi or meet the Reykjavik locals? Then Reykjavik City Library is the perfect place to visit. Have a seat and dip into the latest magazine or relax while checking out their great selection of books.

A museum with indoor and outdoor exhibitions dedicated to the work of Einar Jónsson, Iceland’s first modern sculptor (1874-1954). The museum was built in the early 1900’s when Einar Jónsson offered all of his works as a gift to the Icelandic nation.

FREE ENTRY Hafnarborg has a collection of Icelandic art and regular exhibitions presenting leading Icelandic and international artists. Collection exhibitions are a regular part of the program. Around exhibitions are workshops and guided tours.

Tryggvagata 15, Reykjavík 411-6100 | Hours: Mon-Thu 10-19, Fri 11-18, Sat & Sun 13-17

Hallgrímstorg 3, Reykjavík 551-3797 | Hours: Tue-Sun 10-17

Strandgata 34, Hafnarfjörður 585-5790 | Hours: Wed-Mon 12-17



REYKJAVÍK CITY MUSEUM An island, where art, history and nature lie just beyond the city shore The combination of stunning views, historical ruins and contemporary art pieces make Viðey island something special. Just a short boat-ride takes you to another world. Ferry Schedule: Weekends only.

An exhibition in Reykjavík consisting of 23 life-size whale models - fun to touch and explore. Learn more about whales with indepth multimedia and interactive information displays, videos and audio guide in several languages mixed with soothing whale sounds and underwater ambient lighting.


Viðey Reykjavik 411-6356.

Fiskislóð 23-25 , Reykjavík 571-0077 | Hours: Daily 10-17

REYKJAVÍK CITY MUSEUM Reflecting the contemporary, while archiving the past – this is Reykjavík’s home of photography. Reykjavík’s main photography museum offers an ongoing programme of contemporary and historical exhibitions, and an onscreen archive of thousands of images from the past. Tryggvagata 15, Reykjavík | 411-6390 | Hours: MonThu 10-18, Fri 11-18, Sat & Sun 13-17

Day Tours - All the most exciting places in Iceland



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Day Tours - All the most exciting places in Iceland



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Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon


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Wonders of Snæfellsnes National Park


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Iceland's leading art museum, established in 1884. Its collection consists mainly of 19th, 20th and 21st century art. The National Gallery possesses a coherent array of Icelandic works and a fine collection of international art. Together they constitute around 11.000 items.

Offers a state-of-the-art exhibitions on the cultural history of Iceland. The permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation - Heritage and History of Iceland, gives a comprehensive picture of Iceland’s cultural history through the ages to the present day.

A museum that Icelandic sculptor Sigurjón Ólafsson’s wife founded as a tribute to his life and work in 1984. She had his studio in Laugarnes converted to an exhibition space to house his collection of works, including sculptures, sketches, drawings and biographical material.

Fríkirkjuvegur 7, Reykjavík 515-9600 | Hours: Tue-Sun: 11-17

Suðurgata 41, Reykjavík 530-2200 | Hours: Tue-Sun: 10-17

Laugarnestangi 70 553-2906 | Hours: Sat-Sun 14-17


One of the pioneers of Icelandic art and the first Icelander to take up painting professionally. Having died in 1958, he bequeathed all his works, as well as his studio home to the Icelandic nation.

Probably the most unique museum you’ll visit on your trip, the Icelandic Phallological Museum is a one of a kind. Here you’ll find a collection of more than two hundred penises and penile part belonging to almost all land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland.

The Northern Lights Center, Aurora Reykjavik, allows you to experience the Northern Lights in a completely different way, both if you saw them, but as well if they escaped you while in Iceland. The centre features information, education and of course stunning visuals of the elusive lights that’ll get your heart racing.

Laugavegur 116, Reykjavík 561 6663 | Hours: Daily 10-18

Grandagarður 2, Reykjavík 780-4500 | Hours: Daily 9-21



This peculiar building, built on top of six water tanks on a hill overlooking the city, houses two exhibitions, The Wonders of Iceland and Water in Icelandic Nature. In addition, Perlan has a recently-opened planetarium, a great restaurant, and an observation deck with a 360¨view of the city and its surrounding nature.

Shows documentaries that give a good idea of real life in Iceland, where volcanoes and earthquakes are a constant threat. There’s also a mineral exhibition, giving a brief overview of Iceland’s geological history and volcanic system, and a boutique, with Icelandic designs, artwork, lava rocks, pumice, bottles of ash and Lava Jewellery.


Varmahlíð 1, Reykjavík 566-9000 | Hours: 9-19

Tryggvagata 11, Reykjavík 555-1900 | Hours: Daily 9-22


Its objective is to collect, study and present Icelandic design and crafts from 1900 to the present day. This young museum, the only one of its kind in Iceland, holds regular exhibitions of Icelandic and international design during the year. Exhibitions from the museum‘s own collection are regularly held. Garðatorg 1, Garðabær 512-1525 | Hours: Tue-Sun 12-17

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Bergstaðastræti 74, Reykjavík 515-9625 Hours: Sat-Sun 14-17








Mainly devoted to paintings and sculpture by well established Icelandic and international artists. Kjarvalsstaðir offers a permanent exhibition of key works by one of Iceland’s most beloved landscape painters, Jóhannes S. Kjarval, as well as changing exhibitions that explore various thematic and historical aspects of Icelandic art.

Opened in 1983, the collection is housed in a unique building designed and constructed mostly by the artist himself from 1942-1950. The original building served Sveinsson as studio and home; behind it he built a crescent-shaped structure as a workand exhibition space.

The old harbour warehouse, Hafnarhús, offers a progressive exhibition program with local and international contemporary artists. The work of current notables, art canons and newcomers are presented in six galleries. Hafnarhús is also home to the works of Erró (b. 1932), a significant player in the international pop art scene.

Flókagata 24, Reykjavík 411-6420 | Hours: Daily 10-17

GLJÚFRASTEINN LAXNESS MUSEUM Halldór Laxness is arguably the most famous Icelandic writer of all time, and the only Icelander to have won a Nobel Prize, which he received for literature in 1955. Gljúfrasteinn was his home until his death, and today it is a museum dedicated to his life and work.

Sigtún, Reykjavík 411-6430 | Hours: Daily 13-17



FREE ENTRY A selection from the numismatic collection is on display on the ground floor of the Central Bank’s main building in Kalkofnsvegur 1, Reykjavík.

An active exhibition space that has organized many exciting exhibitions throughout the years. They put an emphasis on introducing young Icelandic artists, as well as showcasing work by better-known Icelandic and foreign modern and contemporary artists.

Kalkofnsvegur 1, Reykjavík 569-9600 Hours: Mon-Fri 13:30-15:30

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Gljúfrasteinn, Mosfellsbær 586-8066 | Hours: Tue-Fri 10-16


Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavík 411-6400 | Hours: Daily 10-17, Thu 10-22

The Marshall House Grandagarður 20, Reykjavík 551-4350 | Hours: Tue-Sun 12-18, Thu 12-21




A progressive modern art museum in Kópavogur, dedicated to sculptor Gerður Helgadóttir; the only museum in Iceland dedicated to a woman. Its collection consists of more than 1400 works by Gerður, as well as the works of the most celebrated Icelandic artists of the 20th and 21st century.

Artifacts and works of art from the varied collections of six institutions provide a reflection of Iceland’s visual art history and cultural heritage in the exhibition Points of View, a journey through the Icelandic visual world of past and present.

Iceland maintains strong ties to other Nordic countries, and the center of this cooperation is the Nordic House, designed by acclaimed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in 1968. The Nordic House is the venue if you want to enjoy the best of Icelandic culture as well as experiencing rich culture of the Nordic countries.

Hamraborg 4, Kópavogur 441-7600 | Hours: Tue-Sun 11-17

Hverfisgata 15, Reykjavík 530-2210 | Hours: Daily 10-17

Sturlugata 5, Reykjavík 551-7030 | Hours: Sun-Tue 10-16, Wed-Sat 9-21

Lunch from 1.690 kr Happy-Hour 600 kr Brewery Tours






For over twenty years, jewelry designer Anna Maria has created her things of gold and silver, a design that is both pure and timeless. Exceptional attention to detail and craftsmanship create the elegant simplicity that shines through Anna Maria’s products.

Icelanders are known for being a stylish people, whether you judge from their clothes, their homes, or just their lifestyles. At the heart of their stylishness is Scandinavian design, whether it‘s Icelandic or from our neighbouring countries. The Hrím stores offer you the chance to decorate your home (or even yourself) with the classic style of the Scandinavians!

On Laugavegur, in the heart of Reykjavík, you’ll find the very unique Little Christmas Shop—which is dedicated to the spirit of Christmas, all year round. There you’ll find Icelandic decorations and everything needed for that festive spirit. Should not be missed as it is definitely one of the most special and fun stores to visit.

Laugavegur 25, Reykjavík 553-3003 |

Laugavegur 8, Reykjavík 552-2412




The oldest ceramic workshop in Iceland established 1927. Three generations of artistic potters. Unique handmade ceramics, Viking masks and various ceramic potteries decorated with lava, made by Gudmundur Einarsson. Located right next to Hallgrímskirkja and the statue of “Leif the Lucky”.

An Icelandic design company and clothing brand, founded in 2005 by a young artist couple, designer Bergthora Gudnadottir and musician Jóel Pálsson. With strong ties to the vibrant Icelandic music and design scene, the Farmers Market design concept and inspiration draws from Icelandic roots, combining classic Nordic design elements with chic modernity.

The jewellery forms which Metal design is known for are inspired by the Icelandic flora. But what stands out the most is the shape “The Coast” that is inspired by the waves of the Icelandic coast.”The coast silver jewellery line is for ladies and gentlemen.

Skólavörðustígur 3, Reykjavík 551-0036

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Skólavörðustígur 43, Reykjavík 551-2850 |


Laugavegur 37, Reykjavík 552-1965 |

Skólavörðustígur 2. Reykjavik 552-5445




If you‘er interested in getting some Icelandic design to take back home , be sure to stop by Jökla on your way down the Laugavegur shopping street. You can get Icelandic design for you, your children, or your home and the best thing is that you‘re buying straight from the designers

With over 90 shops and businesses spread over three floors, Smáralind is Iceland’s largest shopping centre. Located only a 15-minute drive from downtown Reykjavík, there’s a great selection of famous brands at the mall, as well as local labels. With plenty of food options available, from restaurants to bakeries, coffee shops to ice cream parlours, you will not go hungry while shopping.

Nowhere in the populated world does the weather change as fast, or as often as here. Thus Icelandic designers have to meet the requirements of consumers who have to go out all year long in harsh conditions. That‘s where the label Cintamani comes to the rescue. Their goal is to keep us warm, dry and comfortable, whatever the weather may bring.

Laugavegur 90, Reykjavík 696 6604

Hagasmári 1, Kópavogur 528-8000 |

Bankastræti 7, Reykjavík 533-3800 |




SPORT EVENTS LIVE ON 6 HD SCREENS #TheEnglishPub Austurstræti 12 | 101 Reykjavík | Tel: 578-0400 |

SKÓLAVÖRÐUSTÍGUR 14 - 101 REYKJAVÍK - TEL: +354 571 1100


Inside their spacious shop in downtown Reykjavik, Michelsen Watchmakers offer you to browse one of Iceland’s best selection of watches. Along with their own design they also have a wide selection of well-known brands including Rolex, Tag Heuer, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel, Movado, Swiss Military and more.

The Icelandic music scene is extraordinarily vibrant, considering the size of the nation. Is there a better souvenir to take home than music from your new favourite Icelandic musician? This shop is a friendly place where you can sit down, listen to a selection of music, enjoy a free espresso, read magazines, or browse their juicy collection of rock literature.

Laugavegur 15, Reykjavík 511-1900 |

Skólavörðustíg 15, Reykjavík 511 5656 |




The Geysir stores have been selling beautifully designed clothes for years but the recently opened Geysir Home focuses on quality design items for the home, everything from candles and linens to ceramics and posters by Icelandic artists. Don’t miss the downstairs art & design gallery, Kjallarinn.

Taking some Icelandic design home is the best possible souvenir of a great trip. Luckily, Icelandic designers are known for their inimitable style! Try stopping by Kiosk, a co-op shop owned by 8 different designers. Not only are the clothes to die for, but the designers also take shifts behind the counter so you get to meet the people behind the design as well!

Rustic, vintage interior, intertwined with the latest fashion in outdoor and woolen clothing. Add some puffin, reindeers and other iconic animals and you‘ve got one of the coolest shops in town. This is one place you‘ll have to visit, if only for the experience.

Skólavörðustígur 12, Reykjavík 519 6033 |

Laugavegur 65, Reykjavík 445 3269 |

Skólavörðustíg 7, Reykjavík Skólavörðustíg 16, Reykjavík 519-6000 |




Epal’s goal is increase Icelanders interest and respect for fine design by introducing and providing top quality design products from all over the world, particularly Scandinavia. Epal has always been very supportive of Icelandic designers and done what they can to help them promote their design around the world.

Kringlan Shopping Centre is conveniently located close to downtown Reykjavik. Standing at 50.000 sq.m. and equipped with 150 shops and services, including a multiplex cinema, a seven-outlet food court and three themed restaurants, it has something to suit every need.

Laugavegur 70, Skeifan 6, Kringlan & Harpa Reykjavik, Keflavík Airport 568-7740 |

Kringlan 4-12, Reykjavík 517-9000

Stylish blankets, hats and scarves from the purest country in the world. Skólavörðustígur 8, Reykjavík 832-0567 |

Renowned for its excellent products and quality. Offering the widest selection of traditional hand knitted Icelandic sweaters, the range of products also includes special designs and a variety of woolen products from leading Icelandic manufacturers. Borgartún 31, Reykjavík Skólavörðustígur 19, Reykjavík 552-1890 |

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Tasty Local Cuisine by the old harbour NÝLENDUGATA 14, 101 REYKJAVIK


6.950 kr. FESTIVE PLATTER salmon gravlax, marinated herring, wild goose breast, smoked lamb carpaccio DUCK LEG CONFIT

——— 2018 ———


I C E L A N D I C R E S TA U R A N T & B A R Table Reservations: +354 517-1800 -

Trip - Booking Agency & Tourist Info | Laugavegur 54, Reykjavík | | +354 537 8100 Open Mon-Sat 09:00-18:00 & Closed on Sun in April | Located directly opposite Bónus Supermarket, on the main street


One of the coolest bars in Reykjavik these days is Kaldi Bar. In close cooperation with north-Icelandic micro-brewery of the same name, Kaldi offers you a selection of craftbrewed beers on tap. Great happy hour and great fun, Kaldi is a place not-to-be-missed!

American Bar is named appropriately since it’s an American Bar in Reykjavík, of the kind you’re probably familiar with from other countries: there are dudes, chicks and random university students partying to the latest MTV tunes. They specialize in American culture and entertainment.

Klapparstígur 27, Reykjavík 581-2020

Laugavegur 20b, Reykjavík 581-2200

Austurstræti 8, Reykjavík 571 9999




This café/bar is in the perfect spot on the main street. This snug basement used to be a butcher’s shop but has been transformed into a comfy place to relax, have a drink and swap tales with friends. As an added bonus, Kofinn doesn’t just have happy hour, they have coffee hour as well!

b5 bar/bistro has become a very popular establishment with the locals of the capital. With its very contemporary and stylish interior, b5 is laid back during the day, while as night falls, the lights dim and the atmosphere changes accordingly.

This homey pub with a Danish theme is popular among locals. Happy hour every day from 4-7pm and live music with talented Icelandic musicians every night. Beer bingo every month and other fun events! Located in the heart of the city centre.

Laugavegur 2, Reykjavík

Bankastræti 5, Reykjavík 552-9600

Ingólfsstræti 3, Reykjavík 552-0070




Best known as Damon Albarn’s hangout place back in the days, this most famous bar in Iceland is a popular destination for the artsy crowd. During the week it‘s more of a café, but on the weekend the volume rises and KB becomes one of the hottest bars in Reykjavik.

Ten seconds from Laugavegur, you'll find a Beach-Bar/Tiki Bar in downtown Reykjavík. The tropical atmosphere is best enjoyed with a fruity cocktail in hand. At weekends city's best DJs will make guests feel sunny while they enjoy some of the best cocktails in town.

A popular pub in city centre. The English Pub offers happy hour every day from 4-7pm, live music every night, wheel of fortune and all major sport events are shown on 6 HD screens. Special events: Open Mic Tuesday, Guinness Thursday and Whisky Sunday.

Bergstaðastræti 1, Reykjavík 551-1588

Klapparstígur 38, Reykjavík

Austurstræti 12, Reykjavík 578-0400

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A new addition to the thriving pub & bar culture in Reykjavík. Happy hour every day from 12PM to 7PM! Guests can enjoy a game of darts, listen to live music Thursday to Sunday evenings, spin the wheel of fortune and you can even book a private karaoke room! Sláinte.








Dark and raw, this large bar/club opens up its back room to make a concert venue, with live music or DJs most nights. One of the coolest and hipster friendly places in town and your best bet of catching the next big thing from Iceland.

If you are visiting Iceland for the first time then you must stop by the Lebowski Bar. Open every day from 11AM, happy hour from 4-7PM, food served until 10PM, Quiz every Thursday (free entry), live sport events on 5 HD screens and Reykjavik nightlife every Friday & Saturday.

Beer enthusiasts look no further! In a cellar underneath Restaurant Reykjavík, just off Ingólfstorg square, you will find Micro Bar. This ambitious bar serves only beer from microbreweries! Carrying an impressive 140 different kinds of beers from all over the world, this is definitely the go-to place for beer fans.

Tryggvagata 22, Reykjavík

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Vesturgata 2, Reykjavík




Every city needs to have a friendly neighbourhood Irish pub and in Reykjavík, that bar is the Drunk Rabbit. It doesn’t matter if you’re going in for a snack, to enjoy the live music they have every night, people-watching in the lively bar, or just enjoying a beer or five in good company, the Drunk rabbit has got everything you need.

Port 9 wine bar is a hidden gem just off the main shopping street. Serving selected wines and a unique blend of appetizers made with the freshest seasonal ingredients, Port 9 is one of the best spots in the city to stop by for a glass of quality wine in a relaxed atmosphere.

This cozy little bar is named after the Icelandic word for weather, Icelanders’ conversation topic of choice in most situations. Offering a selection of wine, beer, and cocktails, Veður is a great spot for hanging out with friends, and the large windows make it ideal for people-watching over a drink.

Austurstræti 3, Reykjavík 553 1041


Laugavegur 20a, Reykjavík 552-2300

Veghúsastígur 9, Reykjavík 897 8212

Klapparstígur 33, Reykjavík




This hostel café/bar is bright and spacious; the perfect place to start the night. The hall hosts events most nights and on summer afternoons, the balcony is the best place in town for a beer in the sun. Last but not least, Loft has the best foosball table of all the bars in the city centre.

Kiki is the only queer bar in town these days but it is also the best one! If you’re worried you won’t find the place, don’t be. The rainbow coloured street entrance, stream of people in a dancing mood, and the far off sound of dance-heavy beats should lead you where you want to go!

Cocktails, dancing, and a tropical atmosphere, what more can you ask for? Climb up a flight or two of stairs from the central Ingólfstorg square and you’ll find Pablo Discobar, one of the best places in town to get a cocktail and dance the night away.

Bankastræti 7, Reykjavík 553 8140

Laugavegur 22

Veltusund 1, Reykjavík 552 7333

1–5 hours day tours for beginners to experienced riders. In stunning nature only 15 minutes from Reykjavik! Pre-booked pick up provided. 555 7000





Tasty tapas with an Icelandic twist. With a new spin on traditional Icelandic cuisine and an extensive selection of local beer, Forréttabarinn – “The Starters Bar” – is worth seeking out when you need a bite to eat or a place to start your night out in Reykjavík. Whatever you choose from the refreshingly creative menu, you’re in for a treat!

Passion, expertise and craftsmanship are the main characteristics of Te & Kaffi, a family owned chain of coffee houses and speciality coffee roasters. Highly skilled and amicable baristas, exciting and tasty drinks in beautifully designed coffee houses makes Te & Kaffi a must visit.

An open-sandwich restaurant in the Danish tradition offering authentic Danish smørrebrød along with a selection of hot dishes. The restaurant is located in the heart of the city centre and seats 80 guests. It is a popular lunch venue, especially with people from the business sector.

Laugavegur 27, Reykjavík 527-2880

Lækjargata 4, Reykjavík 551-0100




KRYDD is an à la carte restaurant that offers a dinner and lunch menu, along with appetizers and a state of the art cocktailbar. On sundays, it offers a brunch buffet between 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

What’s the only thing that’s better than a feast of Icelandic langoustine? A feast of Icelandic langoustine in a charming restaurant by the seaside in a tiny, picturesque fishing village. Their langoustine soup alone is well worth the 45-minute drive from the city.

BREAKFAST Early in the Morning is the perfect start to your day, whether you're going hiking on a volcano or just strolling around Reykjavík. This breakfast/brunch spot is hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, so stop by for a tasty breakfast in a relaxing atmosphere!

Nýlendugata 14, Reykjavík 517 1800 |

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Hafnarborg, Strandgötu 34, Hafnarfjörður Open: M-T 11-23, F-S, 11-01, S 11-23


Eyrarbraut 3A, Stokkseyri 483-1550

Veghúsastígur 7-9, Reykjavík 695 1021 Open daily 07:00-10:00




Hlemmur Mathöll is a European style food hall featuring global delicacies alongside tasty Icelandic dishes. A former bus station, Hlemmur is now the new home for gourmands and fast food lovers alike in Reykjavík. Hlemmur brims with life on both weekends and weekdays alike, so head on down to see what the fuzz is about.

As the name suggests, Reykjavík Meat is the city’s newest new steakhouse. The food is cooked over coals giving it a delicious flavour, and crowning their menu is the award-winning sashi marbled beef. They also offer seafood, lamb and vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as delicious cocktails!

This is not your run of the mill fish and chip shop! Not only does the restaurant use the freshest fish and ingredients, they serve their fish with delicious skyr-based sauces. This fast-food upgrade is much more nutritious than you‘d think! After eating, we recommend visiting the Volcano House, it‘s in the same building!

Laugavegur, Reykjavík 787 6200 |

Frakkastígur 8, Reykjavík 557 7665 |

Tryggvagata 11, Reykjavík 511 1118 |

SHRED ICELAND Hit the slopes at Bláfjöll, Iceland’s largest skiing area, close to Reykjavík. 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.


MON–FRI 14–21 WEEKENDS 10–17

Adult prices start at ISK 2050. Downhill, boarding, cross-country and some fine après-ski refreshments.


A 25 LY DRIV MIN. DOW E FROM N REYK TOWN JAVI K tel. +354 530 3000

/skidasvaedin #bláfjöll


EXIT THE CITY ENTER THE ADVENTURE WITH GEYSIR CAR RENTAL Geysir Car Rental is located in Geysirland Tourist Info at the Harpa Concert Hall. Get free CDW insurance cover and Unlimited Milage on all rentals. No one way fees and great prices.

Geysirland | Austurbakka 2 | 101 reykjavik | | | Tel +354 455 0001 /geysircarrental



A restaurant opposite the old harbour that offers traditional steak dishes along with some exciting and fairly unorthodox choices. The pride and joy of The Steakhouse is the Mibrasa charcoal oven, a rare oven that is designed to cook the perfect steak by mixing modern technology with ancient tradition.

Looking out over the Nauthólsvík beach, this charming Scandinavianinspired bistro is the perfect oasis from the stress of the everyday. Whether you’re there for a light lunch, a glass of wine on a sunny afternoon, a cup of hot coffee on a cold one, or a lovely dinner with a loved one, Nauthóll is the place to go.

Grandi Mathöll is a must visit for foodies. Situated in the hip Grandi area, the European style food hall has everything from fresh salmon ceviche to Vietnamese spring rolls and Korean tacos. Right next door is one of Iceland’s busiest harbours, and visitors can see a feed of live ship arrivals.

Tryggvagata 4-6, Reykjavík 561-1111 |

Nauthólsvegi 106, 101 Reykjavík 599 6660 |

Grandagarður 16, Reykjavík 577 6200 |




Joe & The Juice is an on-trend coffee shop / juice bar. The concept answers today’s busy people’s needs for a quick pick-me-up in the form of great espresso drinks, freshly pressed juices, and variety of sandwiches prepared on the spot.

The Icelandic Bar is very aptly named: it is an Icelandic bar. But more than that, it is a bar that aims to preserve the essence of being Icelandic by combining the historical and cultural heritage of this ancient land with the very hip and cutting edge culture of modern times.

BLIK Bistro & Grill is a restaurant where the breathtaking surroundings wow you from the very first sight. The restaurant is located in Mosfellsbær and is therefore the perfect stop on the way to the Golden Circle. Only 10 minutes drive from Reykjavik. Tasty appetizers, dishes from the grill, three course meal or delicious drinks.

Laugavegur 10, Reykjavík; Smáralind, Kringlan, World Class Laugum, Keflavík Airport

Ingólfsstræti 1a, Reykjavík 517-6767

Æðarhöfði 36, Mosfellsbær 566 8480 |



Mathús Garðabæjar, a feather in the cap of the restaurant flora in Garðabær, has been delighting its customers ever since they opened their doors. Serving everything from fish to pasta to vegetarian fare in exquisite dishes, Mathús Garðabæjar is the perfect place to bring the whole family!

A chain of cafés and espresso bars with over 30 years of experience in serving and roasting high-quality coffee. They operate cafés in 7 locations in Iceland, promising a highly knowledgeable staff and a great cup of coffee procured in a responsible and fair way.

If you’re looking for top-notch Italian food, look no further than Essensia. Using only the best ingredients and preparing them in a way that showcases their quality, the good people of Essensia make sure our whole dining experience is one to remember. Don’t forget about their delicious Italian wines!

Bankastræti 8, Reykjavík 420-2700

Hverfisgata 4-6, Reykjavík 517-0030 |

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Garðatorg 4B, Garðabæ 571 3775 |








One of Iceland’s most treasured restaurants has made a comeback. The Italian delicacies of La Primavera are here to stay. Situated in the Marshall building, a former fishing warehouse, the building is also home to an art gallery, an art studio and the Living Art Museum.

This elegant Icelandic bistro in the heart of the city centre serves delicious food from Icelandic ingredients in a historic environment. A light lunch or a delicious dinner is perfectly accompanied by people watching in this lovely old building, part of the oldest street façade in Reykjavík.

If you want to enjoy gourmet French cuisine with a nordic twist, then The Lobsterhouse is the right place for you. Our langoustine, “the Icelandic lobster“, is widely know for it’s great taste and one of our most favourable dishes. Dining at The Lobsterhouse is an experience full of warmth and history.

Bankastræti 2, Reykjavík 551-4430

Amtmannsstígur 1, Reykjavík 561-3303 |




Kopar is a restaurant by the old harbour in Reykjavik which has an emphasis on adventure and experience in a brasserie setting. Their menu is composed of various locally sourced ingredients from sea and land, and aims to give you a taste of Iceland in a single evening.

A fun restaurant, with the look and feel of an American Diner. Reasonably priced, offering delicious food and a very good service, you‘ll definitely get great value for your money here. They put a special emphasis on using only high quality ingredients, making for a terrific meal.

Hop lovers, rejoice! UK’s Craft Beer Phenomenon just opened a bar and restaurant in downtown Reykjavik, located at the corner of Hverfisgata and Frakkastigur. Featuring 20 taps including BrewDog’s headliners, seasonals and one off brews as well as great local Icelandic craft beers. Highly impressive food menu and a very cosy atmosphere.

Grandagarður 20, Reykjavík 519-7766 |

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Geirsgata 3, Reykjavík 567-2700


Tryggvagata 20, Reykjavík 527-5000

Frakkastígur 8, Reykjavík




Bryggjan Brugghús is lively restaurant/ brewery, featuring fresh Icelandic brews and an ambitious menu. Whether you are looking for seafood or some quality pub grub, Bryggjan has something for you. If you are a beer enthusiast, you can also hop on a brewery tour.

Quality, fusion and fun are the Fish Company’s main characteristics. The interior is stylish and the quirky tableware fits in wonderfully. The menu is a world of adventures from starters to deserts. It’s designed to take you on a seafood journey and not only a journey of the Icelandic culinary waters but a trip around the world.

Head out to Brauð & Co. to get your hands on the scrumptious sourdough bread and tasty cinnamon buns. The early bird gets the worm, so don't be late! Keep in mind that the queue can get quite long, but it's well worth it.

Grandagarður 8, Reykjavík 456 4040 |

Vesturgata 2a, Reykjavík 552-5300 |

Opens early, closes at 18:00. Frakkastígur 16, Reykjavík Hlemmur Mathöll, Reykjavík Fákafen 11, Reykjavík



TOUR BOOKING Grandagarður 2 | 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 780 4500



open daily 09:00 - 21:00

VOLCANO & EARTHQUAKE EXHIBITION The Gateway to Iceland’s Most Active Volcanic Area

The Lava Centre

The creation of Iceland

Earthquake simulator

A world class exhibition on volcanoes and earthquakes surrounded by active volcanoes.

Learn how and why Iceland hosts so many volcanic eruptions.

Feel what it’s like when the ground starts to shake and rumble.


Open every day

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9:00 - 19:00

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



HOW TO ... GET TO THE AIRPORT Iceland’s international airport is located in Keflavík, about 50km from Reykjavík. If you rent a car or take a cab, it will take about 45 minutes to get to Reykjavík. A cheaper but just as reliable option is taking a bus to and from the airport. They connect to flights and will drop you off or pick you up at bus stops close to your accommodation in Reykjavík.

PARK IN THE CITY CENTRE There are different parking zones which charge different rates. Look for a parking sign (a big P on a blue and white sign) indicating zones 1-4. Look for the nearest black terminal to pay, with cash or card. Street parking is limited so consider parking in one of the many parking garages in the city centre.

TAKE THE BUS Strætó is the Icelandic bus company, and their yellow buses are easy to spot around the city. You can only buy a ticket on the bus if you have the exact amount in cash. Tickets can also be bought in 10-11 supermarkets, What’s On and by using the free Strætó app, which also has the latest bus schedules. GO SWIMMING There are 18 swimming pools in the capital area and if you have the time, you should try them all. Swimming is great, but don’t miss relaxing in the hot tubs – this is where the community gathers and socialises. If you haven’t packed a bathing suit, you can rent one at the pool. If you need any more information or want to book a tour while you’re in Reykjavík, visit What’s On at Laugavegur 5 or contact us at

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GET MONEY Iceland has its own currency, the Icelandic króna (ISK). It’s best to get króna at any bank (open monday to friday, 9-4), including the one at the Keflavík International Airport (open 24/7). You can either exchange money or go to an ATM to get cash. You don’t need piles of cash, though, as credit card and debit card payments are widely accepted in Iceland.

MAKE CALLS Getting an Icelandic SIM card is easy, you can get them at the airport, phone companies, and of course the What’s On tourist information centre at Laugavegur 5.



WE GO THE EXTRA MILE +354-560-8800



MEN: Skólavörðustígur 16. WOMEN: Skólavörðustígur 7 & Kringlan. HOME: Skólavörðustígur 12. GEYSIR: Hafnarstræti, Akureyri and Haukadalur.

Profile for MD Reykjavik

What's On - April 2019  

What's On - April 2019