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March 2019

in Reykjavík

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

Reykjavik´s Geothermal Beach

A golden beach in the north Ever dreamt of sunbathing in the midnight sun, on an island in the North Atlantic? Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach is a paradise for people who love splashing around in the ocean or sunbathing in the golden sand. The beach is equipped with changing facilities and showers, steam-baths and hot tubs. Hot water is pumped into the man-made lagoon and the outcome is a refreshing swimming area averaging between 15°-19°C in summer and a bit colder in the winter.

Open Monday – Friday 11-14 and 17-20 Saturdays 11-16

Tel: +354 411 5000 www.spacity.is


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CONTENT LIST What’s On Reykjavík City Map

FROM THE EDITOR 6-49 50-51

Events 54-76 Art & Culture


Shopping & Style


Pubs & Nightlife


Wining & Dining


Practical Info


At this time of year, in other countries, spring is around the corner. We’ll have to wait a little bit longer for it to reach all the way up to the subarctic north but the day we’re really looking forward to is March 20, the equinox! As I’m sure you know, it gets dark around here during winter. We’ve been getting a little more sun every day since December, when at best, you could hope for four hours of sunshine. It always feels good when the sun starts rising before you have to go to work and by the time the equinox rolls around, it’s nothing but the sunny days (and nights) of summer for the good people of Reykjavík! To mark the occasion, the Imagine Peace Tower is lit on the night of the equinox and for the following week, so make sure to look up at the night sky to see if you can spot the single beam of white light reaching towards the stars. Oherwise, the locals don’t do much to celebrate but you’ll be sure to notice a little more spring in people’s step and perhaps even a sunnier attitude. Luckily, no matter the season, there’s always something going on in the city. The kid-friendly carnival days (think Icelandic Halloween) livens up the city centre and DesignMarch and the Food and Fun festival inject some highclass Nordic luxury into people’s everyday life. Just remember to get out of the city as well, that’s where they keep those impressive landscapes your Instagram is begging for!

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

Design & production: sbs, sbs@whatson.is

Published by: MD Reykjavík ehf. Laugavegur 5, 101 Reykjavik. Tel.: 551-3600

Content writers: The What’s On Team Ad sales: Reynir Elís Þorvaldsson, reynir@whatson.is

Publisher: Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

Map of Reykjavík: Friðrik Bjarnason

Editor: Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir, greta@whatson.is

Printing: Oddi, Ecolabelled Printing Company.






Contact us: info@whatson.is






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 March is a great month to visit Iceland. Even though it’s still cold, the days are getting brighter quickly! Plus, there are plenty of cool events going on. Here are some ideas on how to spend this March in Iceland. Check out some of the events of DesignMarch, Iceland’s biggest design festival. Go snowmobiling on Sólheimajökull glacier!

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Go swimming! Reykjavík has some amazing thermal pools, most of which also feature hot tubs and steam baths.


Enjoy some local craft beers. Admire the view from the top of the tower of Hallgrímskirkja church. Knit a lopapeysa sweater from Icelandic wool. (Or buy one ready-made.) Go skiing at ski resort Bláfjöll! Taste some of Iceland’s local cuisine! March 20 is the equinox and the following week, Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower is lit and visible in the night sky!

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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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.

For more information on skyr, visit www.iseyskyr.com

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.

ÚLFUR 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.

EINSTÖK WHITE ALE A clean and crisp start with a smooth mouth feel thanks to the oats. Citrus and spice round out a refreshing finish. Einstök beer is brewed up north, just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle. You wouldn’t know it when you taste this summery, citrusy white ale. It has the complex flavours of a classic witbier, all brewed with pure Icelandic water for a cool smoothness that is deliciously refreshing. Don’t forget to ask for a slice of orange!

KALDI DARK A dark pilsner, it‘s similar to the regular Kaldi, but the main difference is the use of burnt malt, which provides the beautiful, distinctive dark colour and deepens the flavour. Most Icelanders are used to drinking light lagers and are even a bit wary of dark beers, at least until they taste Kaldi Dark. As mentioned – the Kaldi beers are brewed by Czech traditions, dated from 1842. Kaldi Dark is brewed using 3 different types of Czech hops. Kaldi Dark is unpasteurized with no added sugar or preservatives. You can get Kaldi Dark in all liquor stores as well as some bars, but the best place to get it is of course the Kaldi bar in the centre of Reykjavík.

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PILS ORGANIC Víking Pils Organic has a distinctive floral hoppiness, medium bitterness and a nice balance. Pils Organic took the Bavarian production tradition head on and emerged unquestionably victorious. A member of the same Viking inspired line of beers as the Víking Stout, Pils Organic is decorated with a pattern based on the snake’s heads that used to adorn the ships of the Vikings. Contrary to popular belief, these weren’t meant to intimidate opponents in battles on sea, but rather to frighten sea monsters.


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Beer Day!

A quick historical recap – Icelanders voted for (yes, really) a complete prohibition, starting in 1915. As in other parts of the world, this caused an upshot in smuggling, homebrewing, and business for doctors. Doctors could prescribe “dog doses,” medical grade alcohol, ostensibly for curing dogs and other animals of worms. But another downside of the prohibition was that it made Spain angry. How and why, you ask? Well, Iceland was selling a lot of bacalao (salted fish, but it sounds better in Spanish) to Spain and they didn’t like it when Icelanders stopped buying wine from them instead. So, after a few years of angry Spaniards, wine was back in. Also, homebrewing was rampant anyway so a couple of years later, hard liquor was back in. At that time, however, there was no pressure to allow beer, so it just sort of stayed prohibited. Flash forward to the eighties, beer was considered a fancy luxury item. People going abroad

tended to drink nothing but beer for the duration of their vacation (usually starting as soon as they entered the plane) and an actual popular drink was “imitation beer,” an alcohol-free beer mixed with vodka or even Brennivín. Towards the end of the eighties, things were changing. The Cold War was coming to an end, walls were coming down and in the spirit of radical changes, the Icelandic Parliament was discussing if they should allow the sale of beer to a thirsty Icelandic nation. A few decades later, the discussion in Parliament seems pretty ludicrous. Some MPs thought that allowing beer would cause young people to start drinking earlier and people would be drinking beer at all hours of the day, resulting in them getting drunk at work. One MP even raised her concerns that beer would replace coffee as the nation’s drink of choice. Despite their concerns, on March 1, 1989, the prohibition on beer was ended. Needless to say, most Icelanders still drink more coffee than beer and the age when people start drinking has actually gone up since the eighties, not down. Iceland has built up an impressive tradition of beer brewing in the years since 1989 and craft breweries all over the country are making quality brews of all types. March 1 has become an unofficial holiday known as Beer Day which, it should come as no surprise, is celebrated by drinking lots of beer.

For more information on Icelandic volcanoes, check out www.volcanohouse.is

Iceland has an unofficial holiday on March 1 called Beer Day. If you’re wondering why Icelanders celebrate beer once a year, it’s because, for a long time, they couldn’t drink it. For the better part of the 20th century, beer was illegal in Iceland. For some strange reason, alcoholic beverages like vodka, wine, and gin were fine. But beer was off the table. Why? We’re glad you asked.



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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 www.gljufrasteinn.is.

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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, info@whatson.is, 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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The Sagas of the Icelanders, written in the 12th and 13th century and telling the stories of the early settlers of Iceland from the 10th century, are an amazing treasure trove of historical knowledge about the early years of settlement in Iceland. Better yet, they’re also impressive examples of literary excellence that still hold their own when it comes to enthralling storytelling.

The sagas might be several centuries old and originate in a society with completely different values to our own, but the stories they tell are universal and timeless. Just like modern literature, they deal with love, loss, honour, adventure and everything in between. If you want to start reading the sagas but you’re just not sure where to begin, here’s our guide to reading the sagas.

IF YOU LIKE ROMANCE NOVELS AND SOAP OPERAS – START WITH LAXDÆLA SAGA Laxdæla is the thrilling story of bonds of friendship torn asunder for the love of a woman. The love triangle of the formerly inseparable friends Kjartan and Bolli, and the beautiful and clever Guðrún has far-reaching consequences in this heart-wrenching story of honour, destiny, love and betrayal. Will Guðrún follow her heart or her pride? Are they all mere pawns of fate? Will her efforts to overturn destiny prove fruitful… or fatal?

IF YOU’RE INTO FANTASY – START WITH VÖLSUNGA SAGA Völsunga saga has it all, dragons, sleeping beauties, magical swords, revenge and a dash of incest. It’s basically Game of Thrones for the 13th century! It’s the story of the Völsungs, a dynasty of kings and heroes. The best-known story from the saga is the story of Sigurður, the slayer of the dragon Fáfnir. After he kills the dragon, he eats its heart, because magical birds told him to do it. What more do you need to know?

IF YOU LIKE ACTION MOVIES AND ADVENTURE STORIES – START WITH EGILL’S SAGA Egill’s saga tells the story of the fascinating antihero Egill Skallagrímsson and his adventurous travels all over the north of Europe. With a fierce fighter and clever poet with severe anger management issues as main character, Egill’s saga weaves together the stories of the first time Egill killed a man (at the tender age of 7 years old), his impending beheading which he escapes with the aid of some seriously great poetry, and a drunken feast turned massacre (where our hero at one point cuts off a man’s head before vomiting down his neck), to name a few.


IF YOU’RE A FAN OF LEGAL DRAMAS AND GREEK TRAGEDIES – START WITH BRENNU-NJÁLL’S SAGA Njála, as this saga is affectionately known, is the most revered of all the sagas in Iceland and its main character, Gunnar of Hlíðarendi, is probably the most idealised hero in all Icelandic literature. Familial obligations, honour and, most importantly, love, throw him, his best friend Njáll and everyone they hold dear into a whirlwind of theft, lawsuits, murder and punishments. His fate is marked from the moment he lays eyes on the woman he loves and not even Njáll’s sage advice can save him. As an added bonus, Gunnar’s wife, Hallgerður, happens to be arguably the best female character in all medieval literature.

All the sagas are available in English in bookstores in Iceland. IAdditionally, if you’re travelling Í S L E N S K I BA R I N N I N G Ó L F S S T R Æ T I 1A 1 0 1 R E Y K J AV Í K outside the city limits, we recommend seeking out areas where the sagas are set. Borgarnes www.islenskibarinn.is postur@islenskibarinn.is sími: 517 6767 and Hvolsvöllur, to name but a few towns, each have a museum dedicated to the sagas taking place in the area, Egill’s saga and Njáll’s saga respectively.


1 0 1 R E Y K J AV Í K

www.islenskibarinn.is postur@islenskibarinn.is sími: 517 6767

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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!



7 KM



How to Spend a Day in the Grandi Area

GETTING STARTED A great place to start out the day is at Coocoo’s Nest, as the place provides one of the best weekend brunch menus Reykjavik has to offer. Omelettes, breakfast burritos, eggs Florentine, you name it! It’s a cosy place that can get crowded quickly, so be there on time. Or head to Bergsson Mathús. They offer several brunch options, as well as sandwiches, and yoghurt bowls. For lunch options, check out Matur or Drykkur, offering traditional Icelandic cuisine with a modern twist. LEARN SOMETHING NEW When you’re all fuelled up, a museum is the perfect next stop. Lucky for you, the Grandi area

offers an abundance of them in an astonishingly small radius. One of them is the recently renovated Maritime Museum, with a permanent exhibition on the importance of fishing for the Icelandic nation and a temporary one about Dutch merchant ship the Melckmeyt that sunk in the harbour of Flatey in the 17th century. If you want to experience key moments from Icelandic history, make sure to check out the Saga Museum. You will also find Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights Centre in the area, and Whales of Iceland, an exhibition of life-size whale models. Talking about whales, whale watching boats depart from the old harbour, too, so you can try your luck and see these gentle giants in real life.

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Going to the Grandi area is one of the best ways to spend a day near Reykjavík’s city centre. The harbour area has undergone a transformation in the last couple of years, transitioning from an industrial area to a melting pot of food and culture. A beautiful row of white houses with aqua-coloured doors which used to be fishermen’s quarters now play host to a vast array of delicatessen shops and designer workshops.


WHAT’S ON Find more articles like this at www.whatson.is 28

BRANCH OUT There are other places of interest close by, such as Þúfa (Hillock), an art piece which offers a great viewing platform for the Reykjavík harbour area. From the top, you can see the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall. The brilliant glass building stands in sharp contrast to the fish-drying hut on top of the hill, complete with fish heads hanging out to dry. On your way around Grandi, look out for a peculiar statue. A monument was erected there in honour of all the players of the online video game EVE Online, with their usernames written on the base of the statue. The headquarters of the company behind the game, CCP Games, is also located in Grandi. DINNER ALERT We’re not at a loss when it comes to dinner options in the Grandi area. A great option for dining is in The Marshall House, which was transformed from a fish processing plant to an art lover’s dream. Aside from the fantastic restaurant La Primavera, the building also houses the Living Art Museum, Kling & Bang art gallery, and Danish/ Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson’s studio. Grandi Mathöll is a street food hall located inside a refurbished fish factory offering something for everybody, from Korean street food to chicken burgers, and from vegetable soup to fresh coffee. Feeling more like fresh Neapolitan pizza? Then head to Flatey Pizza for traditional pizzas made with simple, flavourful ingredients (be sure to

check out their bar on the second floor!). Or step in next door at Lamb Street Food, for filling, hearty falafel or lamb wraps filled to the brim with fresh veggies.

SHOP TILL YOU DROP If you want to go shopping, there are a couple of neat little stores in Grandi. Check out Búrið for local and exotic delicatessen. Close to the Omnom chocolate factory and shop, you will find the sustainable fashion store Farmers Market which is specialised in wool clothing. There is more shopping to be done at clothing design workshops such as Steinunn and Krínólin. Do you want to leave Iceland with a book or two? Then check out Forlagið Bókabúð, the bookstore of Iceland’s biggest publisher. CHEERS Restaurant and bar Bryggjan Brugghús has an in-house brewery. You can take a tour of the brewery, during which the brewers will personally introduce you to the world of Icelandic craft brewing. It’s a surprisingly vibrant scene, considering that beer was banned in the country until 1989! Can’t get enough of beer? Then head to craft brewery Ægisgarður. There you will learn how beer is made, how to taste it, the history of beer in Iceland, and as a finale, you will get to taste their beers. If you’re in the mood for a fancy cocktail, then Luna Flórens is the place to be, a stylish mix of a café, gift shop, florist, and bar.

24 locations in Iceland

WHAT’S ON For more information on Icelandic volcanoes, check out www.volcanohouse.is



Hallgrímskirkja church is probably the bestknown landmark in Reykjavík, along with Perlan. It’s the last work of architect Guðjón Samúelsson, one of the most prolific architects of Iceland. 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 multi-coloured houses in the centre all laid out neatly

like doll’s houses, and further away, the bright blue sea and mount Esja.

THE HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA MOTET CHOIR The Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir, founded in 1982 by Hörður Áskelsson, has long been one of the leading choirs in Iceland. It counts around 60 members and has received rave reviews and garnered praise and accolades from Icelandic as well as international critics throughout the years. Its large and diverse repertoire includes a number of oratorios, passions and requiems, as well as a cappella sacred music from various periods. The choir has also premiered many Icelandic compositions and has a special connection to the man the church is named after – music to 17th century religious poet Hallgrímur Pétursson’s work is often on the choir’s programme.

Brahms Bruckner Mendelssohn ROMANTIC CHORAL AND ORGAN MUSIC SUNDAY MARCH 10TH AT 5 PM IN HALLGRIMSKIRKJA The Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir performs romantic choral music by Bruckner, Mendelssohn, Brahms and others. A lovely interplay of choral and organ music with soprano soloist Ásta Marý Stefánsdóttir, who won first prize in the Vox Domini singing competition in 2018 ADMISSION: ISK 3900 / ISK 2500 Ticket sale in Hallgrimskirkja, open daily 9am - 5pm and online on midi.is


The Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir Ásta Marý Stefánsdóttir, soprano Björn Steinar Sólbergsson, organist of Hallgrimskirkja Conductor: Hörður Áskelsson, Music Director of Hallgrimskirkja

listvinafelag.is, motettukor.is The Hallgrimskirkja Friends of the Arts Society 37th season

Riding with Eldhestar

Would you like to experience something different? HORSES & HOT SPRINGS Experience a variety of scenery and excellent riding trails. Tour 3C

SOFT RIVER BANKS This is a tour for the experienced rider! Who would not like to ride in an extraordinary environment? Tour 3B

ICELANDIC DIVERSITY Get in touch with Icelandic nature on horseback and taste the treasures of the nearby sea. Tour 2G

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

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


DesignMarch 2019

Iceland’s Biggest Design Festival DESIGNTALKS On March 28, the seminar DesignTalks takes place at Harpa Concert Hall, a day filled with lectures from international professionals on the importance of design. Speakers of DesignTalks 2019 include Lara Lesmes & Fredrik Hellberg, Philip Fimmano, and Kristian Edwards. Find more articles like this at www.whatson.is

Fashion and design are the two keywords of upcoming four-day event DesignMarch (HönnunarMars in Icelandic), taking place from March 28-31 in Reykjavík. During DesignMarch, the capital of Iceland is turned into one big showcase for innovative creations and designs. The festival aims to connect local and international designers at more than one hundred events and exhibitions. All kinds of designers are part of the programme, from fashion designers to architects, and from furniture designers to product designers.



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During the festival, hundreds of events are organised. Confirmed events include:


FLOWERS IN A VASE Sigurrós Björnsdóttir and Gudrun HavsteenMikkelsen display handcrafted clay vases in collaboration with flower studio Pastel that makes flower installations in the vases. They use cut, dried, and fresh flowers, and let the flowers take their own space, just like in nature. URBAN SHAPE Architect Paolo Gianfrancesco invites everyone to celebrate cities. He displays maps of European capitals and the largest cities in the United States side by side, creating an overview that cannot be found anywhere else. His goal is to capture the essence of cityscapes through the flow of information. SKÓGARNYTJAR Being at the forefront of using Icelandic wood, Skógarnytjar designed the first furniture line from Icelandic materials. Their publication under the same name discusses the use of Icelandic wood and other sustainable Icelandic resources that can benefit society.

PLUS ETERNITY Plus Eternity is an installation by &AM inside Grótta lighthouse. It’s described as “a metaphysical product line where the connections between objects are obscured, but all have a common source of the founding lovers of &AM and chronicled in their drawings.” Please note that because of the tides it is only possible to visit the exhibition during certain times, check out the website of DesignMarch for more information. BANANA STORY Banana Story represents an ongoing investigation of the complex system of transported goods around the world. This investigation is told as a story from the viewpoint on a banana that is transported from Ecuador to Iceland, showing various ports and checkpoints. It’s a story about mundane objects, international business, and human relations. Most events are open to the public, for more information visit www.designmarch.is.

SINCE 1982


Reykjavík Harbor



Old Harbor

Landakot Hospital Landakot’s church

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Iceland Explained LOPAPEYSA WHAT IS IT? A woollen sweater made from the wool of Icelandic sheep. The Icelandic lopapeysa is knit in the round so it doesn’t have any seams and it has a circular patterned border around the shoulders. Other than that, you can let your imagination run wild, the colours and patterns can vary. WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT? We suppose the most interesting thing about it is just that everybody has one. They don’t have a particularly long history, as they were first made in the 1950s, but they were an instant hit with Icelanders and have been extremely popular ever since. Made from the wool of Icelandic sheep, lopapeysas are light and pretty but warm and waterproof at the same time.

HOW DO I MAKE ONE? For it to be a proper lopapeysa, you need lopi, a type of yarn spun from the wool of Icelandic sheep. The pattern is circular around the shoulders and recipes are readily available, for example at the Handknitting Association. Patterns around the waist and wrists are optional. One of the reasons the lopapeysa became so popular is that it’s easy and fast to knit.


WHY IS HE IMPORTANT? According to the Nobel Prize Committee of 1955, “his vivid epic power renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.” Halldór is the only Icelander in history to receive the Nobel Prize (although Gunnar Gunnarsson reportedly also came close). Awards aside, his work has influenced Icelandic culture in a fundamental way and many of his characters are household names in Iceland. HOW CAN I READ HIS WORK? Most of his novels are available in translations. His most famous novel is Independent People, the saga of a woefully proud Icelandic farmer

and his family, although for beginners, we recommend The Fish Can Sing, a coming-of-age story set in early-20th-century Reykjavík. If you want to know more about the author, the house he lived in for most of his life, Gljúfrasteinn, was turned into a museum after his death. You can visit the house with the art and furniture just as it was when he lived there.

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WHAT DID HE DO? He’s the best-known Icelandic writer of the 20th century, the author of books such as Independent People, Iceland’s Bell and World Light. He is best known for his social realism novels and was controversial in Iceland when he was a young author, not only because of his incendiary writings and his refusal to follow normal rules of spelling but also because of his left-leaning politics.



Icelandic Carnival! In countries where Lent is observed, it’s usually preceded by a carnival. Icelanders do not observe Lent, but that’s no reason not to have a holiday or three, although the Icelandic version is maybe not what you’d expect.


CREAM PUFF DAY / MARCH 4 Bolludagur is the first in a row of three peculiar holidays that together constitute Icelandic Carnival and it roughly translates to “Cream Puff Day” in English. It’s celebrated on the Monday six weeks before Easter, so the actual date is different every year. It’s believed that bakers from Denmark or Norway introduced the custom to Icelanders in the middle of the 19th century. It’s those people we have to thank for bringing the delicious bolludagsbolla to Iceland. Bolla is the Icelandic word for all sorts of circular pastries. The bolludagsbolla, however, is something special. It’s a cream puff traditionally filled with jam and whipped cream and topped with a chocolate glaze, although in later years, bakers have been experimenting with all sorts of fillings. It can be made at home or bought from a bakery and its only flaw is that it’s only served on Bolludagur.

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Eating the bollur (the plural form) is great, but that’s not the only thing this day is about. See,


the tradition dictates you can’t buy your own bolla, you have to get someone to buy it for you. If you manage to spank someone before they get up in the morning, they owe you a bolla. Children all over Iceland arm themselves with a bolludagsvöndur (a paper paddle specially made for the occasion) on the Sunday before Bolludagur. When they wake up the following day, they creep into their parents’ room and spank them repeatedly while yelling “Bolla!” over and over again. Doesn’t that just sound like a great way to start your Monday morning? Want to make your own bollur? Here’s a recipe!


4 dl water 160g margarine 250g flour ¼ teaspoon baking powder 5 eggs

We start by mixing water with butter in a pot, bringing it to boil. Add the flour and baking powder and mix fiercely, until the mixture gathers up in a ball of dough when you stir it. Remove from heat and let cool for a while. Add the eggs, one by one, stirring well in between each one. Pipe the dough on a baking sheet (or spoon it on if you’re not that fussy about their shape) and be careful to keep a good space between them, the puff part of the name is there for a reason. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 210°C or until golden

brown. Be careful not to open the oven before you think the puffs are ready! The outer crust must be well baked, so the puffs hold their structure and don’t collapse in on themselves. For the perfect Icelandic bolla, fill the puff with jam and whipped cream and top it with a chocolate glaze. If you’re feeling adventurous, fill it with whatever you like! Caramel pudding, ice cream, and Nutella all spring to mind. Good luck! This brilliant recipe is borrowed from www.eldhus.is. We recommend that website for an array of nice Icelandic recipes.



EAT-TILL-YOU-BURST DAY / MARCH 5 Sprengidagur, or Bursting Day, is Iceland’s version of Mardi Gras. Icelanders celebrate it by eating as much as they can of boiled, corned (salt-preserved) lamb (sometimes horse) and split pea soup. It’s delicious! This holiday falls on the Tuesday after Bolludagur. On Sprengidagur, every Icelandic home, as well as most restaurants are flooded with the aroma of salted meat and peas. Why is it called Bursting Day? You should eat until you feel like you’re going to burst (think Monty Python’s Mr. Creosote). Remember, this comes just after a day dedicated to stuffing your face with a huge amount of cream puffs. Lent is not something Icelanders actually observe, not anymore at least, but for some reason there’s still a special day for filling up on treats before Lent. It’s basically a celebration of gluttony, so enjoy it! Go to the nearest restaurant and ask if they’re serving saltkjöt. If they don’t, there’s probably another one close by that is.



If by any chance you are traveling to Iceland with a child, you might want to look into this. If not, keep this in mind when picking a day to do grocery shopping.

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Ash Wednesday is, in most countries, a solemn day. It’s the first day of Lent and the time of fasting that comes with it, and people give up something they enjoy in order to remember Jesus’s 40 days in the desert. In Iceland, however, children dress up in costumes and sing songs for candy. It’s sort of like the Icelandic version of Halloween, without the pagan undertones. The children only beg for candy in shops and businesses (In Reykjavík and the bigger towns, at least), so Laugavegur and the shopping malls are filled with kids of all ages in costumes of all shapes and sizes. The children are expected to earn their candy by singing a song, a tradition that excites the young ones, but most adults dread it, especially those working in commerce.



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 www.vedur.is 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 www.road.is. 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 www.safetravel.is. 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.




Photos by Antonía Lárusdóttir

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Food and Fun Reykjavík 2019


Food and Fun is an annual culinary festival in downtown Reykjavík, celebrated for the 18th time from February 27 until March 3. The festival brings chefs from all over the world to Reykjavík, where they get the chance to work with local restaurants and Icelandic ingredients. During the festival, Reykjavík is the place to be for foodies and food lovers!

HISTORY 18 years ago, when February and March were still off-season months in Iceland, the idea was born to organise a competition between Icelandic and foreign chefs to brighten up Icelandic winter. In this competition, culinary professionals from all over the world work together with Icelandic restaurants to develop exciting menus based on surprising combinations and flavour experiments. The original goal to bring more people to Iceland in the dark winter months with a fun food festival has been accomplished, with thousands of visitors each year since 2002! ICELANDIC INGREDIENTS The emphasis of the festival lies on Icelandic ingredients, like fresh fish, free-range lamb and organic dairy products. The best Icelandic basics are mixed with exotic ingredients, resulting in exciting new creations. Culinary professionals from all over the world have shown great enthusiasm for working with Icelandic produce. Because of the festival, Icelandic skyr is now also used as an ingredient in several savoury recipes, where it was originally


only viewed as a sweet dessert or breakfast item. New viewpoints, angles, and outlooks bring professional cooking to a higher level.

NEW – OFF MENU New this year is the “off menu” feature. In this category, gastro pubs and street food vendors join the festival and will be serving unique dishes specially prepared for the festival. Off menu will show a different side of the Food and Fun experience and will make it possible for guests to try individual courses from international top chefs. Bjórgarðurinn, Brass, Kore, and Public House join in this category.

THE FOOD AND FUN CHEF OF THE YEAR AWARD During the festival, famous chefs are invited to rate the recipes and food that has been designed for the festival. From all the finalists, three are chosen to compete for the Food and Fun Chef of the Year Award. Restaurants that join in 2019, are: Apótek Restaurant, Essensia, Geiri Smart, Grand Hotel, Holt Restaurant, Grillið, Kolabrautin, Kopar, La Primavera, Mathús Garðarbæjar, Nostra, Reykjavík Meat, Skelfiskmarkaðurinn, Sumac, Vox, and more!

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: www.vikingvillage.is | +354 565 1213 43

WHAT’S ON Find more articles like this at www.whatson.is 44




Spring is around the corner and with it longer days, but do not fear; the northern lights are here 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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The northern lights forecast can be found on en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/, but it is a little hard to decipher if you’ve never seen it before. Our handy-dandy guide should make things a little bit easier.


How To Read the Northern Lights Forecast

THE COLORS WHITE means NO CLOUDS, while DARK GREEN means VERY CLOUDY. The different shades of green then mean more, or less, cloudy.

GOING ON A TOUR? There are many tours taking you far from the bright city lights for a better chance of seeing the aurora. These tours will be cancelled if there is no chance of seeing the lights. All major operators can be

trusted to do this, first of all, because there is a high standard of professionalism in Iceland, but more importantly, because they lose money if they take you out needlessly – most of them promise to take you out again for free if you don’t see anything.

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THE NUMBERS The numbers are a combination of how likely it is for the lights to be active and how active they will be. Don’t be discouraged if the number is low, it’s actually very rare for the number to be higher than five. Also, take the scale with a grain of salt; a low number doesn’t mean that they won’t come out or won’t be impressive, and a high number isn’t a guarantee that they will be glorious all through the night.



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 info@volcanohouse.is | www.volcanohouse.is





N E W I N TOW N BRIKK Nordic bakery Brikk opened their first location in Reykjavík this February. You can now get their fresh bread and sweets not only in Hafnarfjörður but also at Mýrargata 31. Brikk has been impressing locals with their out-of-this-world sourdough bread and cinnamon buns. They have a lot more goodies on offer, like chocolate cookies, banana splits, and lemon sponge cakes. But try their freshly made sandwiches and soup of the day, too! Just step into this cosy bakery and we promise you will not be disappointed.

ICELANDIC STREET FOOD Icelandic Street Food already had one very popular fast food restaurant on Lækjargata, and now they’ve opened their second location at Laugavegur 85. They keep their menu simple with Icelandic fish stew (plokkfiskur), two kinds of soup served – lamb and seafood – in a bread bowl, and sweets as dessert.

They target mostly tourists and want to offer visitors a taste of homemade Icelandic food for a reasonable price. It’s a family business and the traditional Icelandic recipes they use come straight from the owners’ grandmother. Free refills on soup!

NOMAD On the corner of Laugavegur and Frakkastígur, you will come across a new, brightly illuminated store called Nomad. The shop, encompassing a Scandinavian minimalist style, offers a vast selection of gifts, ranging from funny socks to candles, and from coffee alarm clocks to floating magnetic vases. In addition to this, magazines and books about design and cuisine are sold, as well as fine art poster prints of Icelandic nature by Ingimar Th. Follow the store on Instagram.com/nomad_Iceland for the latest updates.


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SUPER 1 Grocery store SUPER 1 opened recently on Hallveigarstígur, replacing the Bónus grocery store that closed on that location earlier this year. People familiar with Danish supermarkets will recognise that the logo is similar to low-cost grocery store REMA 1000’s logo. SUPER 1 is run in collaboration with this Danish supermarket chain and carries a lot of Danish products previously not available in Iceland. Next to a great variety on offer and a lot of fresh produce, the store has long opening hours, staying open until 22:00 in the evening.



EVENTS NOTABLE EVENTS IN REYKJAVÍK FInd more information and events on www.whatson.is/ec 56

Food & Fun Festival



MARCH 1 Iceland has an unofficial holiday called Beer Day dedicated to delicious beer because, for a long time, they couldn’t have any! For the better part of the 20th century, beer was illegal in Iceland. People feared allowing beer would cause young people to start drinking and that people would be drinking all throughout the day. Despite all the concerns, the prohibition on beer was lifted on March 1, 1989. Since then, March 1 has become the unofficial holiday known as Beer Day, which, it should come as no surprise, is celebrated by drinking lots of beer.

UNTIL MARCH 3 Food and Fun is an annual culinary festival in downtown Reykjavík, celebrated for the 18th time in 2019. The festival brings chefs from all over the world together and for a long weekend, they serve specially prepared menus at some of the city’s top restaurants. The festival focuses on Icelandic ingredients, like fresh fish, free-range lamb and organic dairy products. Visiting chefs are required to use Icelandic ingredients in the centrepieces of their dishes. During the festival, Reykjavík is the place to be for professional chefs, hobby cooks, foodies, and everybody who enjoys good food.

DESIGNMARCH MARCH 28-31 Fashion and design are the two keywords of the four-day event DesignMarch (HönnunarMars in Icelandic). During DesignMarch, the capital of Iceland is turned into one big showcase for innovative and beautiful creations. The festival aims to connect local and international designers at more than 100 events and exhibitions. Designers from all kinds of disciplines are part of the programme, including fashion designers, architects, furniture designers, and product designers. Most events are open to the public. Everybody can join the fun!


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 www.intotheglacier.is Tel: +354 578-2550



MARCH 8-24 The Taiwan Film Festival is organised for the first time in Iceland this year. The festival aims to celebrate Taiwan’s long history and diverse cultural heritage as seen through the eyes of Taiwanese filmmakers. A broad range of subjects is included in the programme, from LGBTQ rights to ethnicity, and from land rights to environmental issues. The opening film of the festival on March 8 is The Great Buddha+, a dark comedy telling the story of a night security guard and a recyclables collector entangled in a web of secrets. The festival takes places at independent cinema Bíó Paradís and at cultural centre IÐNÓ.

UNTIL MARCH 10 Attention please, movie lovers! This film festival focuses on national and international art-house movies, and screens award-winning movies from all over the world. Stockfish connects Icelandic and international film industries and aims to be a breeding ground for new collaborations and ideas. It’s open to the general public and the best artistic movies are shown. Among the movies shown this year are: Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built, Taka 5 by Magnús Jónsson, Anthropocene by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky, and Manu Delago’s Parasol Peak.

RAINBOW REYKJAVÍK MARCH 7-10 Rainbow Reykjavík is Iceland’s winter pride festival, organised for the eight time this year. The festival takes place over three days and is a great introduction to Iceland. If you get a ticket to the whole festival, it includes northern lights and nature tours, as well as local dinners and a visit to geothermal baths. You can also get separate tickets to some of the festival’s events, such as the Masquerade Ball at IÐNÓ on March 9, a night filled with glamour, beauty, and amazing prizes. Or attend a drag show at Gaukurinn bar before dancing the night away at Kiki Queer Bar and join the one and only Queer Bingo Extravaganza!

Rainbow Reykjavik (Photo Kent Lárus Björnsson)

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Taiwan Film Festival



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 www.volcanohouse.is.

Wonders of the Volcano

Check out our event calendar at whatson.is/ec for more information and events.

EVENTS MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS FInd more information and events on www.whatson.is/ec 62

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

Sigurður Guðmundsson: Intimacy and Sculpture Sigurður Guðmundsson (b. 1942) studied in Iceland in 1960-63 and then moved to Holland for further studies. He lives and works in Reykjavík, China and Holland. Many, large sculptures by him can be found in public spaces in the Nordic Countries and Central Europe. Sigurður has won many competitions, including a competition for an outdoor artwork by the Children’s Hospital, and for outdoor artwork to mark the turn of the century in Reykjavík.

R E Y K JAV I K ART MUSEUM HAFNARHÚS 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

Art in Public Spaces

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.

Colour: Draft II Colour is the subject of all the works in this exhibition, both as a natural phenomenon as well as

a cultural one. The artists reflect different ideas, the history of painting, chemistry, symbolism, perception and even house paint.

D35 Leifur Ýmir Eyjólfsson The series aims to give promising artists a chance to hold their first solo exhibition in a public art museum and direct attention to new and exciting currents in the art world.


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.STEAK.IS

Booking: +354 561 1111 & steik@steik.is

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BSÍ Bus Terminal • 101 Reykjavík Keflavík International Airport Info@EnterpriseRentACar.is www.EnterpriseRentACar.is • 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: ...author 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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BEIRÚT, BEYRUT, BEYROUTH, BEYROUT In recent years, the art world as a whole has developed a fascination for the Beirut art scene. This is due in part to the sheer concentration of talent, but also to the seduction of a scene that is multi-generational, supportive, enthusiastic, generous, expansive and truly international. Many of the artists are multilingual and possess double citizenships. 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-). inclusive one.

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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.

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BEHIND THE SCENES WITH EINAR ÞORSTEINN In 2014, the Icelandic architect and mathematician Einar Þorsteinn Ásgeirsson (19422015) donated most of the contents of his workshop to the Museum of Design and Applied Art in Iceland. The gift included diaries, photographs, drawings, calculations, sketchbooks, models, furniture, and other items relating to his life and work.

Einar Þorsteinn Ásgeirsson

Einar Þorsteinn was a pioneer in geometric research and the use of 3D models, through which he was able to study and explain concepts such as five-fold symmetry. He was also ahead of his time in the study of sustainability, as shown in the dome houses he designed in the 1980s, each of which featured its own indoor garden. Einar Jónsson Museum

Einar Þorsteinn can best be described as a true Renaissance man. He was also a collaborator, working closely with the artist Ólafur Eliasson, for example on the glass exterior of the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, and

with the architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller. Filing his work is an exciting and educative process – it deepens

our understanding, sparks new ideas and connections, opens up a dialogue, and brings back memories.

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



Ingólfssstræti 3, 101 Reykjavík | Tel: 552-0070 | www.danski.is

A source of health Thermal swi m m ing pools

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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 www.spacity.is

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.

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...now | 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 | jomfruin.is

STEAKHOUSE STEAKHOUSE With taste taste of of iceland iceland

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ART & CULTURE Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is 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 | reykjavikcitymuseum.is Hours: Daily 13-17

Aðalstræti 16, Reykjavík | 411-6370 | www.reykjavikcitymuseum.is 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 www.reykjavikcitymuseum.is




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 | borgarbokasafn.is Hours: Mon-Thu 10-19, Fri 11-18, Sat & Sun 13-17

Hallgrímstorg 3, Reykjavík 551-3797 | www.lej.is Hours: Tue-Sun 10-17

Strandgata 34, Hafnarfjörður 585-5790 | www.hafnarborg.is 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. www.reykjavikcitymuseum.is

Fiskislóð 23-25 , Reykjavík 571-0077 | www.whalesoficeland.is 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 reykjavikcitymuseum.is | Hours: MonThu 10-18, Fri 11-18, Sat & Sun 13-17

Day Tours - All the most exciting places in Iceland



Northern Lights Tour If you don’t see any lights on the RE62 tour ...you can re-book again for free. PRICE Adults (16+): FROM


12 - 15 years:


1 - 11 years:

Free of charge.


Northern Lights – Small Group Tour

If you don’t see any lights you can join our RE62 Northern Lights Tour for free. PRICE Adults (16+): FROM


12 - 15 years:


1 - 11 years:

Free of charge.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS The Flybus operates in connection with all arriving & departing flights at Keflavík International Airport. Guaranteed seats

Free WiFi

45 minutes

For our flexible Flybus schedule, please visit www.flybus.is

On www.re.is At your reception

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

Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík City & vice versa PRICES FROM

2.999 ISK Book now on www.flybus.is

Day Tours - All the most exciting places in Iceland



Golden Circle Direct PRICE FROM

Adults (16+):


12 - 15 years:


1 - 11 years:

Free of charge.



South Shore Adventure


Adults (16+):


12 - 15 years:


On www.re.is At your reception

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

1 - 11 years:

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


Adults (16+):


12 - 15 years:


1 - 11 years:

Free of charge.



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 | www.listasafn.is Hours: Tue-Sun: 11-17

Suðurgata 41, Reykjavík 530-2200 | www.nationalmuseum.is Hours: Tue-Sun: 10-17

Laugarnestangi 70 553-2906 | www.lso.is 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 | www.phallus.is Hours: Daily 10-18

Grandagarður 2, Reykjavík 780-4500 | www.aurorareykjavik.is 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 | www.perlan.is Hours: 9-19

Tryggvagata 11, Reykjavík 555-1900 | www.volcanohouse.is 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 | www.honnunarsafn.is Hours: Tue-Sun 12-17

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is


Bergstaðastræti 74, Reykjavík 515-9625 www.listasafn.is 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 | www.artmuseum.is 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 | www.artmuseum.is 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 www.sedlabanki.is Hours: Mon-Fri 13:30-15:30

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is

Gljúfrasteinn, Mosfellsbær 586-8066 | www.gljufrasteinn.is Hours: Tue-Fri 10-16


Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavík 411-6400 | www.artmuseum.is Hours: Daily 10-17, Thu 10-22

The Marshall House Grandagarður 20, Reykjavík 551-4350 | www.nylo.is 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 | www.gerdarsafn.is Hours: Tue-Sun 11-17

Hverfisgata 15, Reykjavík 530-2210 | www.culturehouse.is Hours: Daily 10-17

Sturlugata 5, Reykjavík 551-7030 | www.nordice.is 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 | www.hrim.is

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 www.annamariadesign.is

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is

Skólavörðustígur 43, Reykjavík 551-2850 | www.listvinahusid.is


Laugavegur 37, Reykjavík 552-1965 | www.farmersmarket.is

Skólavörðustígur 2. Reykjavik 552-5445 www.MetalDesignReykjavik.is




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

Loved by parents and children alike and praised in the media for boldness and creativity, Ígló&Indí has offered both parents and children an ever growing collection of clothes with a fresh take on children’s fashion since 2008—representing the best childhood has to offer.

Laugavegur 90, Reykjavík 696 6604

Garðatorg 4, Garðabær 445-2020 | www.igloandindi.com

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. Bankastræti 7, Reykjavík 533-3800 | www.cintamani.is




SPORT EVENTS LIVE ON 6 HD SCREENS #TheEnglishPub Austurstræti 12 | 101 Reykjavík | Tel: 578-0400 www.enskibarinn.is | info@enskibarinn.is

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.

+354 832 0567

Laugavegur 15, Reykjavík 511-1900 | www.michelsen.is

Skólavörðustíg 15, Reykjavík 511 5656 | www.12tonar.is




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 | geysir.com

Laugavegur 65, Reykjavík 445 3269 | kioskreykjavik.com

Skólavörðustíg 7, Reykjavík Skólavörðustíg 16, Reykjavík 519-6000 | www.geysir.com




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 | www.epal.is

Kringlan 4-12, Reykjavík 517-9000 www.kringlan.is

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 | www.handknit.is

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is


MJÚK means “soft”. This Icelandic brand reflects sustainable design, care about nature and people. Stylish and durable blankets, hats and scarves from the purest country in the world. It’s Icelandic family who design, produce at their factory and sell directly. A new MJÚK Iceland store opens on March 1, 2019 at Skólavörðustígur 8! Fast deliveries around Iceland and internationally. Shop online at www.mjukiceland.com.




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 - www.forrettabarinn.is

Trip - Booking Agency & Tourist Info | Laugavegur 54, Reykjavík | trip@whatson.is | +354 433 8747 Open Mon-Sat 09:00-21:00 & Sun 09:00-19:00 | 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 www..irishman.is

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 www.ktf.is

Bankastræti 5, Reykjavík 552-9600 www.b5.is

Ingólfsstræti 3, Reykjavík 552-0070 www.danski.is




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 www.kaffibarinn.is

Klapparstígur 38, Reykjavík

Austurstræti 12, Reykjavík 578-0400 facebook.com/enskibarinn

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is


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 www.hurra.is

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is

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 www.lebowski.is

Veghúsastígur 9, Reykjavík 897 8212 www.port9.is

Klapparstígur 33, Reykjavík www.vedurbarinn.is




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 www.kiki.is

Veltusund 1, Reykjavík 552 7333 www.discobar.is

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

www.ishestar.is 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 www.teogkaffi.is

Lækjargata 4, Reykjavík 551-0100 www.jomfruin.is




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 | www.forrettabarinn.is

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is

Hafnarborg, Strandgötu 34, Hafnarfjörður www.kryddveitingahus.is Open: M-T 11-23, F-S, 11-01, S 11-23


Eyrarbraut 3A, Stokkseyri 483-1550 www.fjorubordid.is

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 | www.hlemmurmatholl.is

Frakkastígur 8, Reykjavík 557 7665 | www.rvkmeat.is

Tryggvagata 11, Reykjavík 511 1118 | www.fishandchips.is

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.



skidasvaedi.is 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 | www.geysir.is | info@geysir.is | 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 | www.steik.is

Nauthólsvegi 106, 101 Reykjavík 599 6660 | www.nautholl.is

Grandagarður 16, Reykjavík 577 6200 | www.grandimatholl.is




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 www.joeandthejuice.is

Ingólfsstræti 1a, Reykjavík 517-6767 www.islenskibarinn.is

Æðarhöfði 36, Mosfellsbær 566 8480 | www.blikbistro.is



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 www.kaffitar.is/en

Hverfisgata 4-6, Reykjavík 517-0030 | www.essensia.is

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is


Garðatorg 4B, Garðabæ 571 3775 | www.mathus.is








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 www.laekjarbrekka.is

Amtmannsstígur 1, Reykjavík 561-3303 | www.thelobsterhouse.is




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 | laprimavera.is

Find more recommendations on www.whatson.is

Geirsgata 3, Reykjavík 567-2700 www.koparrestaurant.is


Tryggvagata 20, Reykjavík 527-5000 www.grillhusid.is

Frakkastígur 8, Reykjavík www.brewdog.com




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 | www.bryggjanbrugghus.is

Vesturgata 2a, Reykjavík 552-5300 | www.fiskfelagid.is

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



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

Follow us on


9:00 - 19:00

social media

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 info@whatson.is.

Find more information on www.whatson.is

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. Geysir.com

Profile for MD Reykjavik

What's On - March 2019  

What's On - March 2019