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June 2019

in Reykjavík

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

A source of health Thermal swi m m ing pools

Hot t ubs and jacuzzi

Saunas, steambat hs

The place to meet locals

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

Tel: +354 411 5000

Admission Feb. 2019. Price is subject to change

Reykjavík´s Thermal Pools


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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


A couple of years ago, I was driving a friend from the UK around Iceland. It was his first visit to the country and there was plenty to see. It’s always interesting to see your home country through the eyes of a visitor and a few things he noticed have stuck with me. First of all, we were driving the Golden Circle. It’s the most popular tourist route in Iceland and I had prepared him for seeing some amazing natural spectacles. I wasn’t prepared, however, for his reaction to the road over Mosfellsheiði. To me, it’s a desolate place, simply a stretch of road you need to cover before you get to the good stuff. To him, the wide open view over the windswept moor was something he hadn’t seen before. After a long day exploring, it was getting quite late when we headed back, close to midnight. The sun was low in the sky, so I put on my sunglasses. I didn’t think anything of it but he burst out laughing, explaining that he found the idea of wearing sunglasses at midnight hilarious. Often when you’re travelling, it’s not the grand monuments or natural wonders that stick out in your mind when you get home. It’s the small things, the things that are different from back home and the little moments you have along the way. Do us a favour and point out your favourite thing about Iceland to a local, it might seem extraordinary to you but there’s a chance they haven’t even noticed!

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

Design & production: sbs,

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

Content writers: The What’s On Team Ad sales: Reynir Elís Þorvaldsson,

Publisher: Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

Map of Reykjavík: Friðrik Bjarnason

Editor: Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir,

Printing: Oddi, Ecolabelled Printing Company.






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

Descend 120 meters into a volcano that erupted 4.000 years ago

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THE WHAT’S ON CHECKLIST June is a great month to visit Iceland. Summer is just around the corner, the country is teeming with birds, and the sun does not set. Plus, there are plenty of cool events going on. Here are some ideas on how to spend this June in Iceland.

Celebrate Iceland’s National Day on June 17! Feeling hungry? check out one of Reykjavík’s modern food halls. The puffins are here! Go see them!

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Relive the age of settlement at the Viking Festival in


Hafnarfjörður. Party till the early morning at the Secret Solstice festival! Enjoy the long days and explore the countryside, head to Snæfellsnes peninsula or the south coast. Go for a walk along the coast and enjoy the midnight sun! For a fun night out, attend a show at Harpa Concert Hall. 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.

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


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







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


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

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


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


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

LEIFUR - BORG A Belgian style Nordic Saison, Leifur fits like a glove into the New Nordic Cuisine which dominates the Icelandic culinary scene, as its brewed with wild Arctic thyme and heather. A fresh beer and a heavy hitter at the same time, it provides a light kick, packed with an aroma of crushed pepper and citrus. Named after Leifur Eiríksson, the first European to set foot in North America 500 years ago, it manages to live up to sharing a name with Leifur the lucky.

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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Kaffitár Café

Út í bláinn Restaurant

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

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



All photos provided by the Volcano House


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


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

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

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

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

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


Eldhestar, Vellir, 816 Ölfus, Iceland Email: Tel: +354 480 4800

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 10:00–16:00. 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 Reykjavík. For more information, go to

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



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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,, and ask the staff to help you plan an unforgettable vacation.


Only 35 min. from Reykjavík


is a

Breathtaking Experience The highlight of our Iceland trip! The “Must See” event in Iceland Reviewed on TripAdvisor

For more information and bookings: +354 519 1616

+354 760 1000




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Golfing Under the Midnight Sun


There are not many places in this world that offer the spectacle of midnight golf, a joy any golf enthusiast has to try at least once in his life. The near 24 hours of sunlight in the summer months allows golfers from around the world to experience this phenomenon. Iceland has golf courses situated in the most picturesque parts of the country, surrounded by untouched wildlife.

ODDUR Far away from the noise of the city, Oddur Golf Club is one of the gems in the flora of Icelandic golf courses, surrounded by the beautiful valley area of Urriðavatnsdalir. Playing the course is a unique experience. Urriðavöllur, the main course, is one of the few 18-hole golf courses in Iceland, somewhat of a rarity within this young golfing nation. A challenging par 71, Urriðavöllur amounts to a total of 5900m. Opened in 1997, it is recognised as one of the finest courses in the country, having been honoured with hosting multiple Icelandic championships as well as the European Ladies Team Championship in 2016. Oddur Golf Club also sports an easier-going nine-hole practice course named Ljúflingur (Beloved course), for those looking for a nice day out. Only a short 20-minute drive away from the city centre, Oddur is the perfect getaway from the city for some golf in the midnight sun. Contact: - +354 565-9092



The midnight sun


KEILIR Keilir Golf Course is one of the top-ranked golf courses in Iceland, increasingly drawing attention from international guests. It’s a links golf course in Hafnarfjörður, a small town that’s just a 15-minute drive from downtown Reykjavík. The design of the course follows the curves and contours of the land. When playing the Keilir Golf Course, you need to adjust your game to its challenges. Focusing on skill and accuracy will take you farther than power and distance, particularly when dealing with the lava field in the front nine! The toughest hole on the card is the 14th hole played over a small bay. Your drive must be accurate and have some distance to make it to the fairway. The course accommodates both beginners and advanced golfers. Last year, the club opened three new holes on the back nine which puts more coastline into play. Keilir is a golf course not to be missed!

Contact: - +354 566-6045

Contact: - +354 565-3360

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BRAUTARHOLT Brautarholt Golf Course offers a spectacular view of the cold beauty of the North Atlantic, overlooking the Reykjavík cityscape. It will challenge any golf course in the world in terms of dramatic landscape. Situated in nearby Garðabær, Brautarholt is an ambitious course with lush fairways and clean greens which golfers of all skill levels can enjoy. Like many courses in Iceland, Brautarholt is close to bird breeding grounds. The spectacular shoreline is the perfect backdrop to enjoy midnight golf in this challenging 12hole course, which was designed to flow perfectly with the natural surroundings. Brautarholt is a short 30-minute drive away from the Reykjavík city centre. They offer a pick-up service to and from travellers’ hotels to ensure the smoothest ride possible, as well as gear rental.



Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Atlantic Puffin Find more articles like this at

THEY MATE FOR LIFE Puffins uphold the bird version of conservative family values, they mate for life, raise their single puffling over the course of the summer and return every year to their same nest.


THEY’RE EASY PREY FOR PREDATORS ON LAND, WHICH IS WHY THEY USUALLY NEST ON ISLANDS Predators like foxes, weasels, cats and dogs don’t reach them on the islands around Iceland or out at sea during the wintertime. Actually, the puffins’ most threatening natural predator is homo sapiens. Puffin is still hunted for food and eaten, fresh or smoked. THEY’RE GREAT SWIMMERS, BUT CLUMSY FLYERS Puffins are graceful on the water, swimming and diving for fish in smooth, natural motions. In the air, however, they look like they’re ready to fall out of the sky at any moment, flying with jerking motions and crash-landing into the water.

©Special tours

THEY SPEND MOST OF THEIR LIFE AT SEA Puffins are pelagic birds, which means that they spend more than half of the year far out at sea. They are well suited to life on the sea and mostly eat fish. They only return to their holes to breed from April to August.


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THEY DON’T MAKE NESTS, THEY DIG HOLES Puffins are seabirds and tend to live where trees don’t. They dig holes instead, up to a metre deep. They sometimes even use old rabbit holes if there are any rabbits in the area. THEIR BEAKS ARE IMPRESSIVE The multicoloured beaks that the puffins sport for the mating seasons have, in some parts of the world, earned them the nickname of sea parrot or even sea clown. In Iceland they have a more dignified moniker, they’re called provosts because their pompous manner reminds people of senior church officials. THEIR BEAKS ARE SO IMPRESSIVE THEY GLOW UNDER UV LIGHT Yes, studies show that puffins have fluorescent beaks! Birds like puffins can not only see the red, blue, and green light humans can see, but also wavelengths at the UV end of the spectrum. Their fluorescent beaks may help them attract the opposite sex.


THEY’RE STILL NOT AS IMPRESSIVE AS THE TUFTED PUFFIN The puffin, or more accurately the Atlantic puffin, has a cousin known as the tufted puffin. Its beak hasn’t got the same range of colours, but the bird more than makes up for it with yellow tufts of feathers, streaming back from its head like luscious blond locks. THEY’RE NOT OUR NATIONAL BIRD That honour belongs to the infinitely more graceful, if less likable, gyrfalcon. For a while the falcon was even represented in the national crest. The national order of Iceland, awarded by the president, is the Order of the Falcon. THEY’RE SMALLER THAN YOU THINK Puffins are only about 30cm from the tip of their bill to the end of their tail and stand at about 20cm on land. This makes them the same size as, or even smaller than most of their stuffed lookalikes sold in Reykjavík souvenir stores. Find more articles like this at

©Amazing tours

Tufted Puffin ©Matthew Zalewski


WHAT’S ON For more information on Icelandic volcanoes, check out

Living in a Hikers’ Paradise


Dust off your backpack and hiking boots, it’s time to discover Iceland on foot. Why, you ask? Because Iceland has some of the best hiking trails in the world! As you probably know, Iceland is a volcanic island filled with mountains and natural wonders, many of which are easily accessible. In fact, Iceland is so crammed with natural wonders that you’re never far away from a great hike. Hiking through Iceland’s beautiful wilderness is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not sure what you’re doing. If you’re unfamiliar with Icelandic nature, consider taking a guided tour. Available guided tours include everything from a stroll through downtown Reykjavík to a multi-day hike in the Icelandic highlands, contact the What’s On information office for more information.

Before you set off into Iceland’s untamed nature, it’s vital that you prepare for your trip accordingly. …… Plan your route so you know exactly where you’re going and let someone else know as well. …… Check the weather forecast before you head out. …… Make sure you have the right equipment! Wear good boots and dress appropriately.

What do you want to do? I WANT TO CLIMB A MOUNTAIN! Mt. Esjan, the mountain visible from the city centre, is one of the most popular hiking spots for locals in Reykjavík. Just step on a bus and get off at the visitor centre at the foot of the mountain! There are several ways up the mountain, and the most popular one takes you straight up the hill, alongside a babbling brook, and offers a view of the city and the surrounding area. The trail leads all the way to the top, but about an hour’s hike will take you to Steinn, a big rock marking the spot where most people stop and head back.


I WANT TO HIKE TO A WATERFALL Why not hike up to Glymur, Iceland’s second tallest waterfall? It used to be considered the tallest waterfall in Iceland, but not so long ago a new one far into the mountains was discovered that’s even taller! Getting there is very difficult, however, so most people stick to Glymur, with an easy hike a short distance from the city. There are a few ways to get to the waterfall, but the easiest one (and the one that requires no fording of rivers) takes about 45 minutes either way. You’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of water thundering down an almost 200m drop! I WANT TO HIKE FOR SEVERAL DAYS The most famous hiking trail of Iceland is called Laugavegur, a hike of approximately 55km in the highlands. The hike takes you through two nature reserves, with a wide variety of landscapes and several river crossings along the way. You walk from the red and yellow mountains of Landmannalaugar through lava fields with bubbly geothermal areas to the birch forests of Þórsmörk. The trail is well marked, with trekking huts along the way, but it’s also possible to camp (and since the huts are often fully booked, it might be necessary!). Usually, people take four days to complete the Laugavegur trail. Note that the trail usually opens for the summer in late June!

I WANT TO SEE A FOREST! Nestled between two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, and surrounded by active volcanoes, Þórsmörk can be thought of as Iceland in miniature; intersected by fresh glacial rivers, the area is home to rumbling waterfalls, lofty mountains, and a rich array of birdlife. What’s more, the area is best discovered on foot! Following the exclusion of sheep, that love to nibble on birch saplings, Þórsmörk has been transformed into a green oasis. There is an oft-cited joke about finding your way when lost in an Icelandic forest: just stand up. However, since the sheep have moved out, the trees have become very tall, making Þórsmörk one of the few forests in Iceland where it is, in fact, possible to get lost!

I WANT TO GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Hornstrandir in the Westfjords is Iceland’s northernmost peninsula. It’s a nature reserve known for its dazzling cliffs, rich birdlife, and amazing sea views. It takes a bit of travelling to get there, but the hiking opportunities in this area are totally worth it! From Ísafjörður, you can take the ferry to Hesteyri, where there are plenty of hiking options. And the best thing is, the area is the natural habitat of the arctic fox. In isolated, uninhabited areas like Hornstrandir, arctic foxes feel more at ease around humans and are therefore easier to spot.



Icelandic National Day

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As the poet said: “Hi, ho, yippy yay, yippy yay, it’s June 17!” It’s time to celebrate some independence! If you’re in town on June 17 and feel like engaging in some Iceland appreciation, there are a few things you might want to know.


ICELANDIC INDEPENDENCE – THE SHORT VERSION In 1262, Icelanders gave up their independence to become subjects of the Norwegian king. Almost seven centuries later, we figured that was a bad call and took it back. While most fights for independence include some actual fighting and blood spill, Iceland’s fight was fought with rousing speeches, letters, articles, and poems. Poets and politicians championed Iceland’s independence in the 19th century, and with the home rule in 1904 and sovereignty in 1918, not to mention the waning popularity of colonialism, full independence was fast becoming inevitable. When World War II rolled around, Denmark was occupied by the Germans and Denmark ruled over Iceland in name only. In 1944, on June 17, Iceland declared independence, sending Denmark a politely-worded letter saying something like: “Sorry to hear about the German thing, what a bummer, right? Anyway, the weather here is nice, and everyone says hi. Love, Iceland. PS we’re independent now.”

THE LADY OF THE MOUNTAIN The Lady of the Mountain (Fjallkonan) is the personification of Iceland. Her look has changed a bit through the ages. Early depictions of her have her wearing a crown made of ice and flames and a raven on her shoulder! Today, it’s generally accepted that the Lady of the Mountain wears a faldbúningur, a type of national costume.

Iceland’s independence is one of the rare cases in history where a colony gained independence from their oppressor without any bloodshed at all and Jón never fought for independence in the literal sense of the word. He was a politician, a scholar, and a writer, so his attacks were ideological in nature, never violent. In fact, the most iconic moment of his career was during a meeting with envoys of the Danish government. When it became clear that the demands of the Icelanders weren’t being met, Jón gave a rousing speech, protesting this lack of respect, leading the rest of the Icelandic officials in protesting loudly until the meeting had to be adjourned. This is considered the high point of Iceland’s fight for freedom.

The Lady of the Mountain traditionally makes an appearance at the Icelandic National Day Lady of the Mountain, celebrations, embodied by a loJohann Baptist Zwecker, from cal woman. She reads a poem of Icelandic Legends (1866) her choosing, extolling the virtues of Iceland and the Icelandic nation. Each town in Iceland has their own traditions when it comes to choosing the Lady of the Mountain. In Even though he never led a revolution or used force some places, she is always played by a respectas a means to an end, his ideas and his life’s work, able older woman. In other, it’s a young woman dedicated to fighting for Iceland, shaped the image who’s recently graduated. And in Reykjavík, it’s of Iceland, and was a crucial component in the one of the city’s actresses who dons the Lady of resulting democracy. the Mountain’s garb. CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON! JÓN SIGURÐSSON – INDEPENDENCE HERO So, what is the best way to celebrate 75 mostly gloJón Sigurðsson, sometimes known as president rious years of Icelandic independence? Head down Jón (president of the Icelandic Literature Society, to the city centre, get yourself (or your kid if you that is, as he died before Iceland had its first presihave one) a helium balloon in the shape of a cartoon dent) is generally considered a national hero for his animal of your choosing, get a hot dog in one hand part in the fight for Icelandic independence. Born and a cone of candy floss in the other, and find a on June 17, 1811, he was such an important figure concert to enjoy. Remember to be really proud of in Icelandic politics that after his death, Icelanders Iceland while you’re at it. A small flag on a stick also decided to declare independence on his birthday. helps set the mood.


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

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

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

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

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

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





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Reykjavík is a great city and we wholeheartedly recommend spending some time there, just not all your time. Iceland is at its very best during these short summer months and you simply need to leave the city for a while and take it all in.

HOW TO TRAVEL There are a few ways to get out of town, depending on your preferences. If you’re unfamiliar with the country and want to learn more, taking a guided tour might suit your needs. Reykjavík tourism companies offer tours almost all over the country, some short enough to fit into your afternoon, others longer, so just figure out where you want to go and book your trip. If you prefer a little more freedom to explore on your own, renting a car is a comfortable option, allowing you to travel at your own pace. Just be careful, conditions in Iceland might be different from what you are used to, even in summer. Be

sure to check out Icelandic driving regulations and check the weather forecast before you set off. If driving on your own feels a little too risky, you can always take the bus. The city bus company, Strætó, will take you to some of the larger towns around the country. Other bus companies will take you to great hiking spots or all the way around Iceland.


WHERE TO GO Almost wherever you go, you’ll find natural wonders, lovely little towns and all the untamed Icelandic nature you can imagine. Certain regions do have their specific charm however, so depending on your needs and preferences, here are some destination suggestions. One of the most popular destinations in Iceland is the south coast. This stretch of land between the coast and the mountains is an exercise in contrasts. Verdant farming communities meet jet-black sand beaches, towering glaciers cover imposing volcanoes, and still and clear lakes reside next to thundering waterfalls and erupting geysers. If you don’t have the time to stray too far from the city, exploring the Reykjanes peninsula might be just up your alley. Just a short drive away from the city, this area has still lakes, lava fields, and colourful geothermal areas as well as charming little fishing villages. The Snæfellsnes peninsula is often described as a microcosm of Iceland. Black beaches, hot springs, charming fishing villages, and the majestic Snæfellsjökull glacier overlooking it all, are sights that are not to be missed! If you have the time (at least four to five days), you can even drive all the way around the country. Route 1 or the ring road follows most of the coastline of Iceland and connects most of the major towns.

WHAT TO DO If you have a car, you might just want to find a town to stay in and explore the surrounding region. During the summer season, many towns host festivals that are well worth checking out. Some of the big festivals include Fishermen’s Day at the beginning of June and Icelandic National Day on June 17. If you’re feeling active, go hiking in Iceland at the end of June. Not only is there a chance of good weather but popular hiking trails in the highlands are only open in summer. The most popular multi-day hike is the Laugavegur hiking trail, which usually opens in late June but if you can’t wait that long, hiking up Mt. Esja or the hot spring-filled Reykjadalur valley are great day trips close to Reykjavík. If you’re simply keen to explore the nature and landscapes of Iceland, driving around the country, stopping for hikes and picnics is a great way to spend your days. Look for the sign with a square with looped corners indicating interesting spots ahead.

If you want to be prepared for your trip, contact the What’s On office on Laugavegur and get some advice! 35


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.

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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. 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.

Looking for more? The What’s On Iceland tourist information and booking centres are located in downtown Reykjavík. Visit us at the start of your journey or contact us throughout it.

WHAT’S ON Photo by

SECRET SOLSTICE 2019 The Secret Solstice festival is by now an established part of the social season in Iceland. For the past few years, the festival has taken over Laugardalur valley during the days of the summer solstice and thrown the biggest party of the summer! This year’s edition takes place June 21-23.

Aiming for a more family-friendly festival, you can now bring your children to the festival for free if they are 12 years and under. A Kids Area with bumper car rides and a programme full of fun for kids of all ages is part of the festival.

Of course, the music is the main event and the festival lineup won’t disappoint. Secret Solstice also announced its new off-site after-hours programme “Ragnarök,” which will take place at the Hard Rock Café in downtown Reykjavík after the main festival programme ends.

Photo by Sarah Koury - Entirety Labs

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With huge international artists and the crème de la crème of the Icelandic scene taking the stage, you can prepare for a music festival you’ll never forget. The unique nature of Iceland is an integral part of the festival experience, so make sure you explore the island to its fullest! Every year, the festival organises several unique side events. This year’s events include Into The Glacier, the world’s only rave party in a glacier cave, and The Lava Tunnel 2019, an intimate Icelandic concert in a 5,200 years old magma chamber.

There are also special tickets for teenagers between 13 and 17 years old, as well as family passes.







Auður At this year’s Icelandic Music Awards, pop star Auður won best songwriter and best electronic album for his release Afsakanir. Afsakanir is a brutally honest narrative of heartbreak after ending a long-term relationship. Being invited to join the Red Bull Music Academy in 2016, Auður has now signed a record deal with Sony Music and will be releasing his first international release.

Hatari Hatari made headlines around the world with their BDSM-inspired performance at Eurovision this year. The industrial techno band from Reykjavík finished 10th with their song Hatrið mun sigra. Since Eurovision, the popularity of the group has skyrocketed. In Iceland, their stage reputation was already well known. It’s a band you should see live, so don’t miss them at Solstice this year!

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Another Eurovision representative from Iceland, Svala joined the festival in 2017 with her song Paper. Being the daughter of Icelandic singer Björgvin Halldórsson, she scored her first number one hit together with her dad when she was just nine years old. Her international breakthrough came with the release of her debut album The Real Me in 2001. Unabatedly popular, her show promises to be spectacular.

Sólstafir Sólstafir, formed in 1995, started out as black metal band but transitioned to making atmospheric post-rock/metal. Their expansive, thundering sound has built them a loyal fanbase around the world. They’re applauded for their use of piano and strings and are known for their impressive live shows. Let this band take you on a musical journey!

















Rita Ora Pop sensation Rita Ora has the most top 10 singles of any British female artist in UK chart history. The pop star, songwriter, and actress released her popular debut Ora in 2012, which debuted at number one in the UK. Next to her music, you might know her from her movies, as she starred in Fast & Furious 6, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Get ready to sing along to her hits R.I.P and How We Do (Party).



The Black Eyed Peas The Black Eyed Peas are one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time. Starting out as alternative hip-hop group, they evolved their musical sound to pop and dance-pop. Their breakthrough was in 2003 with their album Elephunk which was later followed by hits Don’t Phunk with My Heart, Don’t Lie, and My Humps. Since that time, the group has sold more than 75 million records!

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

Martin Garrix Martin Garrix has been ranking number one on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list for three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Known from his hits Animals, In the Name of Love, and Scared to be Lonely. He performed at festivals like Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland, and Creamfields, and will now hit the main stage of Secret Solstice.

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Singer, songwriter, and musician Robert Plant is best known as the lead singer of rock band Led Zeppelin. Many name Led Zeppelin as the band that started rock music as we know it, and Robert Plant the greatest vocalists in the history of rock music. Since 2012, he has been performing with his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters. We can’t wait to see this rock legend perform at Secret Solstice!



Fishermen’s Day

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Fishermen’s Day is an Icelandic holiday held on the first Sunday of June. The whole day is dedicated to celebrating sailors and fishermen and their families.


It’s been held since 1938, and since 1987, it’s an official day off for all Icelandic sailors. It’s celebrated all around the country, but especially in ports of towns and villages where the fishing industry plays a major part in daily life. The fishing industry has had, and still has, a huge impact on Icelandic society and without fishermen, Iceland would not be the thriving country it is today. All the more reason to put fishermen in the spotlight. All around Iceland, towns offer entertainment and food and drinks. Activities include wading and swimming in the sea, sea angling, church services dedicated to fishermen, rowing and fishing competitions, market fairs, and many more. It’s a family-friendly festival, with many activities for the little ones, too, like face painting and lots of games. In Reykjavík, Fishermen’s Day is part of the Festival of the Sea, a two-day festival dedicated to fishermen and everything sea related, such as seamanship, vessels, fish, mermaids, sea shanties, and so on. The old harbour is the

stage of all kinds of different events during the festival. Guests can enjoy sailing, sea swimming, fun and games, and a sea creatures exhibit. A stage is set up in Grandi where everybody can enjoy live music, a magician show, and theatre performances. Companies in the area organise events and have special offers during the weekend. Grandi Mathöll will be celebrating its first birthday and there will be free ice cream for everyone. What’s more, its new fresh fish market will be officially opened. Guests can watch how fish is being landed and stored, learn more about how Icelanders use fish, and try out fish factory uniforms. Make sure to visit the old harbour area of Reykjavík June 1-2!

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


1 0 1 R E Y K J AV Í K sími: 517 6767

Two Icelandic themed villages



Restaurant & Lodging

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

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

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

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



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Do you want to have a whale of a time? Then go on a whale safari while you’re in Iceland! The waters around Iceland are the natural habitat of these gentle giants, so this is the perfect place to spot them. Baleen whales are a migratory species, and most travel long distances to tropical waters in winter and back to polar regions in summer. The best season for whale watching in Iceland is therefore between April and October. Going on a whale watching tour and actively searching for whales is an exciting and unique experience!


WHALE WATCHING IN THE CAPITAL AREA You don’t have to travel far to go on a whale safari, as Reykjavík offers good options for whale watching. Different whale watching companies have regular departures from the Old Harbour area. White-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises are seen year-round in Faxaflói bay, a large bay next to Reykjavík, stretching from Reykjanes to Snæfellsnes. In summertime, there are regular sightings of humpback whales and minke whales. You can choose to go on a bigger boat with a refreshment bar, or on a small RIB. The bigger boats have snug inside areas that offer shelter from bad weather, but the small boats have the advantage that you can get very close to oceanic wildlife. At the ticket offices you can ask for complimentary motion sickness pills, but don’t worry, tours are cancelled if the waves are too high.

WHALE WATCHING OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL AREA You can also see whales outside of the Capital Area. In wintertime, the fishing town Grundarfjörður is where it’s all at. The bay is filled with herring feeding on phytoplankton. Now, seeing breaching herring is probably not the reason why you travelled to Iceland. However, this herring aggregation attracts all kinds of cetaceans, like dolphins, porpoises, and most importantly, killer whales! Can you think of anything more spectacular than seeing a pack of killer whales swim by? There are also excellent whale watching opportunities in North Iceland. The town Húsavík is also known as the whale watching capital of Iceland, because of the many whales in its bay, Skjálfandi bay. Humpback whales, blue whales, minke whales, pilot whales, and sperm whales are often sighted. Because of the deep waters in the bay,


there is also a higher chance to see rare species like the basking shark, the northern bottlenose whale, and the beluga!

WHALES OF ICELAND EXHIBITION Whales of Iceland is an exhibition in the Grandi area of Reykjavík. It showcases 23 man-made life-size models of whale species that occur in Icelandic waters, like a 25m long blue whale and a full-size sperm whale. It offers a great opportunity to see the actual sizes of these whales (they are even bigger than you think!), and to learn interesting facts about each whale at the same time, by reading information stands and watching videos. Educational and fun!

Minke whale: a small baleen whale measuring 7m to 8m in length, weighing between 5 to 10 tonnes. It’s black- and grey-coloured, has a dorsal fin, and will live for 30 to 50 years. It’s not likely to breach, so look for its back and dorsal fin during a tour. Also called “stinky minkes” because they smell of rotten fish. Humpback whale: a large baleen whale measuring 12m to 16m in length and weighing about 36 tonnes. It has long pectoral fins, a stubby dorsal fin, and a knobbly head. They are known for breaching, their high spouts of water, and for showing off their flukes as they go for deeper dives! White-beaked dolphin: the most common dolphin in Icelandic waters. It is 2.5m to 3m in length and weighs up to 350kg. They are often spotted in big groups, sometimes hundreds together! They love playing, jumping out of the water, and splashing about. Harbour porpoise: the smallest cetacean around Iceland. They are only 1.5m to 2m in length and weigh 55kg to 70kg. They are usually quite shy, but sometimes jump out of the water and play with the whale watching boats.

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COMBO TOURS – WHALES AND PUFFINS In summer, puffin colonies are found all around Iceland. The first small flocks arrive in April and the last ones leave in September, but the best months to see puffins are between May and August. Most whale watching companies offer whale and puffin combination tours. For puffin spotting, it’s best to be on a small boat and to bring binoculars. Puffins are tiny, and the closer you can get to them, the better the experience will be! These puffin tours are possible from Reykjavík. Just off the coast of the city, puffins breed each year on three small islands. Next to puffins and whales, common sights during these tours include arctic terns and the great skua.




HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA INTERNATIONAL ORGAN SUMMER Hallgrímskirkja church is one of the best-known landmarks in Reykjavík. It’s the last work of architect Guðjón Samúelsson. His work usually drew inspiration from Icelandic nature in some way and Hallgrímskirkja is no exception, conjuring the mountains and glaciers of Iceland along with the iconic columnar igneous rock.

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. Hallgrímskirkja is the second tallest building in the capital area and the view from the top is incredible. Take the elevator to the top of the tower and you’ll be rewarded with a view of rows of the multicoloured houses in the centre and further away, the bright blue sea and Mt. Esja.

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This June, Hallgrímskirkja offers a programme filled with interesting events and concerts.


FESTIVAL OF THE SACRED ARTS The Hallgrímskirkja Friends of the Arts Society has hosted the biannual festival since 1987 at various times of the year but this year, it returns to its original time, around the Whitsun. The festival finds inspiration and creativity in this ancient church festival, which is fitting, as innovation and creativity will be a big part of the 2019 festival. Two original compositions will premiere, performed by several accomplished choirs, orchestras, and soloists. The festival will feature many concerts and events, both in the church itself as well as the Ásmundarsalur gallery across the street. Festival passes are for sale for ISK 16,000.

INTERNATIONAL ORGAN SUMMER The 27th International Organ Summer Program takes place in Hallgrímskirkja this year. The festival presents three organ concerts every week on Iceland’s largest organ, The Klais. Some of Iceland’s top organists will be performing on Thursdays from 12:00-12:30 and great local and international organists will perform on Saturdays

at 12:00-12:30 and Sundays at 17:00-18:00. The concert series has received excellent criticism in Icelandic media including all of last year’s performances which were played on the national radio. The concert series will begin on the 22nd of June with one of Iceland’s top organists Björn Steinar Sólbergsson and finish on the 25th of August with this year’s guest of honour and organ genius, Mattias Wager, organist at The Cathedral in Stockholm, Sweden.

CONCERTS IN JUNE: Saturday 22 June at 12:00-12:30 Björn Steinar Sólbergsson organist in Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík Björn Steinar will perform pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach and Alexandre Guilmant. Tickets 2500 ISK Sunday 23 June at 17:00-18:00 Björn Steinar Sólbergsson organist in Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík Playing pieces by Louis Viérne, Jón Leifs, Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir and Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson. Tickets 3000 ISK Thursday 27 June at 12:00-12:30 Tuuli Rahni, organist in Ísafjarðarkirkja Tickets 2500 ISK Saturday 29. June at 12:00-12.30 Mattias Wager, organisti Dómkirkjunnar í Stokkhólmi, Svíþjóð Performing pieces by Edward Elgar, Dimitri Shostakovich, Jean Guillou and Johann Sebastian Bach. Tickets 2500 ISK Sunday 30. June at 17:00-18:00 Mattias Wager, organist at The Cathedral in Stockholm, Sweden Performing pieces by Elgar, Guillou, Bach and Shostakovich. Tickets 3000 ISK




The Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir, Schola cantorum, Festival orchestra, 4 soloists. Isabelle Demers organist plays Messiaen. Cond. Hörður Áskelsson. SATURDAY 1 JUNE - PREMIÈRE AT 5 PM & SUNDAY 2 JUNE AT 5 PM HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA

HYMNS TO THE HOLY VIRGIN FROM THE RED BOOK OF MONTSERRAT “They sometimes want to sing and dance”

Chamber ensemble Umbra with Marina Albera, internationally acclaimed psalterium player. TUESDAY 4 JUNE AT 9 PM HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA

FESTIVAL SOUNDS – TWO TRUMPETS AND ORGAN Johann Nardeau and Baldvin Oddsson trumpets. David Cassan organ. Festive music by Vivaldi, Händel, J.S. Bach and organ improvisation WEDNESDAY 5 JUNE AT 8 HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA


The Klais grand organ and carillon of Hallgrimskirkja join forces with state-of-the art computer technology. Curator: Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson. SATURDAY 8 JUNE AT 9 PM HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA


The Hallgrimskirkja International Baroque Orchestra. Soloist: Georgia Browne flute Concertmaster: Tuomi Suni. Festive music by J.S.Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi. PENTECOST - SUNDAY 9 JUNE AT 8 PM HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA

FESTIVAL CLOSING CONCERT “Eternal Fire, Fountain of Love”

Pentecost Cantatas by J.S. Bach and Sigurður Sævarsson The Hallgrimskirkja International Baroque Orchestra, The Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir, Schola cantorum, 5 soloists. Cond. Hörður Áskelsson PENTECOST MONDAY 10 JUNE AT 5 PM HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA

Ticket sales online at and at Hallgrímskirkja, tel. 510 1000. Concessions for senior citizens, students, the disabled and members of Listvinafélag Hallgrímskirkju. • •


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.

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.

Check out our centerfold map for the locations of these sights

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.

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.


5 | KOLAPORTIÐ Whether you want to sample dried fish and

6 | HARPA The whole 28,000m2 of Harpa stand at the edge of Reykjavík Harbour. It houses Iceland’s biggest concert hall, suitable for a broad range of concerts and cultural events, a conference centre with meeting facilities and in-house catering, as well as a couple of fine restaurants. Harpa also hosts promotions, plays, and public events. It’s open to everyone, and you should definitely visit Harpa, whether it’s to take in a show, buy souvenirs, go to a concert or have a lovely dinner in one of the fabulous restaurants. Harpa was designed by a Danish firm in cooperation with Ólafur Elíasson, an Icelandic artist, and opened to the public in 2011.

7 | THE OLD HARBOUR It’s the first lasting harbour in Reykjavík, although it’s no longer the city’s busiest one. The most-visited area is the eastern pier where you’ll find a community of shops, galleries, electric bike and scooter rentals, and guided tour operators. You will also find numerous whale watching companies willing to take you out to sea on unforgettable excursions. The area is filled with excellent restaurants (pizza, seafood, burgers, etc.) and cafés. The atmosphere at the old harbour is friendly, the air is fresh and salty and there are plenty of interesting activities to check out.

8 | THE SUN VOYAGER A beautiful sculpture of a Viking ship located

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

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

Check out our centerfold map for the locations of these sights

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



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



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


Tour Pick Ups

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Museums in Downtown Reykjavík


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

“ “ “

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

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





N E W I N TOW N SKJALDBAKAN Who doesn’t love pizza? With the opening of Skjaldbakan pizzeria at Grandi Mathöll, you can give into your pizza cravings without feeling guilty. They offer two types of pizza crust, one keto (low-carb) crust and one sourdough crust, and a selection of delicious fresh toppings to choose from. You can pick and mix your own pizza, or order one from the menu! Their crunchy keto pizzas are especially popular. Of course, they have beer, sodas, and coffee to go with your order. Check this place out next time you’re in the old harbour area!

KRINGLAN FOOD HALL Kringlan expanded its food court and now has its very own modern food hall section. Five food trucks opened their doors there recently.

Fjárhúsið offers lamb-based Icelandic cuisine, Kore serves Korean street food, Jömm has vegan fast food on the menu, Tókýó Sushi offers fresh sushi, and Halab Kebab sells kebab and falafel wraps. While Fjárhúsið, Kore, and Tókýó Sushi are also found at different locations, Jömm and Halab Kebab are exclusively located at Kringlan.

BÖBBLÍS Have you heard of Hong Kong bubble waffles? If not, then you should change this as soon as possible. Böbblís is the first place in Iceland serving the sweet Hong Kong-inspired desserts. At Böbblís, you can order a fluffy egg waffle shaped like a cone filled with ice cream and all the toppings you like. You have to make a small detour to get this treat, though, as they’re located in Hafnarfjörður, a 15-minute drive from downtown Reykjavík. Believe the buzz, it’s worth it!


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NEW STORES HAFNARTORG You can now shop at GK Reykjavík and Cos in one of Reykjavík’s newest shopping areas, Hafnartorg. GK Reykjavík is a fashion store selling clothes for Reykjavík’s hippest, with brands like Acne Studios, Anine Bing, Tiger of Sweden, Kenzo, and Calvin Klein. Cos is H&M’s more high-end sister brand. They opened a two-storey store of 700m2 close to the H&M store that was already located at Hafnartorg. At Cos, you will find timeless and practical designs. With these additions, Hafnartorg is one step closer to being complete.



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Festival of the Sea



JUNE 1-2 The first weekend of June is dedicated to fishermen, and their importance is celebrated all around the country on Fishermen’s Day. The Festival of the Sea is an extension of Fishermen’s Day. The festivities are focused on traditional Icelandic culture and the importance of Iceland’s fishing industry. It celebrates all aspects of the sea, such as ships, fishing, and mermaids. During this day, visitors can go sailing, sea swimming, attend concerts and theatre shows, and follow family-friendly workshops. The restaurants in the harbour area offer special discounts during this weekend!

JUNE 8 Vök has been creating the finest indie-electronic in the country since 2013. They produce a perfect combination of atmospheric sounds and dreamy vocals. The group lists Portishead, Air, and Massive Attack as their main influences. Vök’s latest release In the Dark has been well received around Europe. To celebrate, they will perform at Hard Rock Café on June 8. The concert starts at 22:00 and tickets cost ISK 3,490. If you are into indie, then Vök is a must-see!

V IK ING FESTIVA L JUNE 13-17 Every year, Reykjavík’s neighbouring town Hafnarfjörður becomes the centre of attention when the Viking Festival is organised. It’s the largest and oldest event of its kind in Iceland. Different aspects of Viking culture are celebrated, like Viking cuisine, handicrafts, storytelling, archery, games, music, and battle demonstrations. There is also a market selling Viking-inspired goodies. The festival is held at Víðistaðatún park.

Viking Festival


JUNE 17 On June 17, 1811 an Icelandic legend was born. His name was Jón Sigurðsson and he was the leader of the Icelandic independence movement. In 1944, Iceland earned its independency and his birthday was chosen as the Icelandic National Day. On June 17, dozens of events are organised from 10:00 till late in the evening. Theatre, music, workshops, free coffee and waffles, strongmen competitions, dance, street happenings, this day has it all! Don’t miss these celebrations if you are in Iceland!

JUNE 20 The Suzuki Midnight Sun Run has been held every year since 1993. It’s organised in Laugardalur valley in Reykjavík around the time of the summer solstice. Laugardalur valley looks great this time of year with nature in full bloom. Runners can choose between three distances: 5km, 10km, or a half marathon. Close to the start and finish of the race is Reykjavík’s biggest geothermal pool, and all participants are invited to the swimming pool after the race. The perfect way to relax after a run in the midnight sun.

S EC R E T SOLSTICE JUNE 21-23 There’s nothing like partying in Icelandic summer, listening to the music of international stars as well as the most exciting acts in Iceland right now. And that is exactly what you can do at Secret Solstice! With international legends such as Black Eyed Peas, Martin Garrix, and Rita Ora, and Icelandic artists like Svala and Hatari, it promises to be an exciting sixth edition! If you would like to explore Iceland while you’re here, there are plenty of packages available, so be sure to check out Secret Solstice’s website for more information!

Secret Solstice

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Icelandic National Day



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).

Wonders of the Volcano

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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 latenight 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

AURORA REYKJAVÍK Catch the Aurora Borealis All Year Round There is perhaps nothing more magical than witnessing the beauty of a Northern Lights display. However, those unpredictable, ever dancing lights don’t always show up on cue – and fade away during the summer months. So, it is with great joy that we welcome Aurora Reykjavík – The Northern Lights Center, where the Northern Lights are always on display.

Aurora Reykjavík

Aurora Reykjavík’s pull and ace up its sleeve is its fantastic 4k timelapse film of the Aurora Borealis. Aurora Reykjavík’s latest addition are virtual reality goggles featuring the world’s first 360°movie of aurora displays entirely shot in Iceland. If you can’t catch the Northern Lights yourself, this utterly realistic experience is definitely the next best option to witness the beauty of this truly amazing phenomenon.

Capturing the Northern Lights with your own camera can be challenging, but, at Aurora Reykjavík, you get taught by the experts: bring your camera and try the right settings at the Northern Lights Photo Simulator. In the exhibition you will find an entertaining selfie booth – have fun looking all fabulous under the Northern Lights! For more information, see

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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

R E Y K JAV I K ART MUSEUM K JA RVA L S S TAÐ I R Sölvi Helgason: Floral Fantasy Sölvi Helgason (1820-1895) is indisputably Iceland’s most fascinating folk artist; a charismatic outsider both in his life and in his art. He was a rover, a scholar and an artist, but also a capricious eccentric who disobeyed the law of men and was hence punished with imprisonment. Rich and colorful flower compositions characterize Sölvi’s works, and he repeatedly used the same floral patterns, either as the main subject of the image, or as background for portraits. It is worth noting that the exhibition Floral Fantasy will have on display 16 previously unknown works by Sölvi Helgason, that

have until now been preserved in Denmark.

Jóhannes S. Kjarval: Can’t Draw a Harebell The artist Eggert Pétursson (b. 1956) has assembled an exhibition of the floral works of Jóhannes S. Kjarval. Upon taking on this project for Reykjavík Art Museum, Eggert decided to examine the floral factor in Kjarval’s work and approach it from an artistic viewpoint. According to Eggert, Kjarval’s flower works are more extensive than his own, Kjarval traverses all over. He does not limit himself to botany but paints and sketches flowers around him, be it ornamental plants, potted plants or wildflowers, and last but not least he paints the flora of the mind. Eggert resolved to categorise the works by their elements and figurative connection and display them as he would his own work. His selection is intended to create a coherent exhibition rather than as a historical overview of Kjarval’s floral works.

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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.

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.


EVENTS MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS FInd more information and events on 64

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.

Maó’s World Tour

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

R E Y K JAV I K ART MUSEUM HAFNARHÚS Erró: Maó’s World Tour The series Chinese Paintings is fiction, where the staging and the presence of Mao in various locations is a sarcastic reference to the wave of Maoism which seized groups of Western artists, intellectuals and politicians following the student riots in Paris in May 1968. The series objectifies both the utopian dream of the future and the fear of the Chinese Cultural Revolution spreading around the world. The Chinese Paintings made Erró famous internationally. The exhibition in Hafnarhús contains

Art in Public Spaces

paintings, collages and engravings from the Reykjavík Art Museum’s collection.

Finnbogi Pétursson: Hz At his private exhibition in the A-hall of the Reykjavík Art Museum - Hafnahús, the artist Finnbogi Pétursson presents a new work specifically tailored to the exhibition space. Throughout his four-decade career, Pétursson has worked with perception and

emphasized the boundaries of vision and hearing. He has developed countless ways to make sound waves visible, highlighted the frequency of material and space, and work with the physics of the environment. At the exhibition in Hafnarhús, sound waves are led into a large pool and the ribbles of the water are reflected on the walls of the hall in an immersive installation.


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

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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,

Treasures of a Nation


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-).

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AMY’S DONATION The word benefactor is rarely heard in discussion of the collections of art museums. Yet in the history of their work benefactors have frequently played a part, and their contributions are an integral factor in the story of how the National Gallery of Iceland collection has been acquired. Amalie Engilberts was one of the National Gallery’s many benefactors. The daughter of artist Jón Engilberts and his wife Tove, she was born in Denmark in 1934 and died in Iceland in December 2007. Amalie, known as Amy, was a popular fortune-teller in Iceland, and for many years she explored the occult. She has been described as a well-read cosmopolitan.


CONNECTIONS 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.



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

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

Einar Jónsson Museum

essence of the city landscape through the flow of information.

of their city of origin, through food, music, and more.

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

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

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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)

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Reykjavík´s Thermal Pools


Settlemen Exhibition


Sonja Margrét Ólafsdóttir - Roots Roots is a photographic exhibition with photos by Sonja Margrét Ólafsdóttir. The exhibition will last from 11 April until 10 June 2019. Our identity and sense of self is deeply rooted in our development from an early age. Just like plants, our roots provide stability, nourishment and make sure we don’t lose our way.

Icelandic Meat Soup

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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Icelandic meat soup | Kristjón Haraldsson Icelandic Meat Soup presents a spotlight on photographer Kristjón Haraldsson, whilst focusing in on the practice, process, and form of photography. Alongside an examination of the photographic method, the photographer behind the camera is revealed. Together they work to paint a portrait of Kristjón, his family, and of the nation of Iceland in the seventies and the eighties.


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T H E N AT I O N A L MUSEUM OF ICELAND 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..

Making of a Nation

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.

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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.


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.



Points of View

Open every day 11:00 - 22:00 | Lækjargata 4 | 101 Reykjavík |

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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!


ART & CULTURE Find more recommendations on 76




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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


Viðey Reykjavik 411-6356.

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

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

All the most exciting places in Iceland! BSÍ Bus Terminal - City Centre •101 Reykjavík

GOLDEN CIRCLE DIRECT A fusion of sights & history!

6.999 ISK

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Airport Transfers The Flybus operates in connection with all arriving & departing flights at Keflavík International Airport.

All flights Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík City and/or vice versa

45 min

Free WiFi

3.499 ISK

For our flexible Flybus schedule, please visit

All the most exciting places in Iceland! BSÍ Bus Terminal - City Centre •101 Reykjavík

JÖKULSÁRLÓN GLACIAL LAGOON Beautiful scenery all day long!

19.999 ISK

The Golden Circle & Friðheimar

7.599 ISK

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Horse Riding & Golden Circle

20.399 ISK

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Hop On - Hop Off - City Sightseeing

4.000 ISK

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

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

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

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

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

Laugarnestangi 70 553-2906 | Hours: Tue-Sun 13-17


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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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


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

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Bergstaðastræti 74, Reykjavík 515-9625 Hours: Tue-Sun 13-17








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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

Laugavegur 15, Reykjavík 511-1900 |

Skólavörðustíg 15, Reykjavík 511 5656 |




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

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

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

Skólavörðustígur 12, Reykjavík 519 6033 |

Laugavegur 65, Reykjavík 445 3269 |

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




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

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

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

Kringlan 4-12, Reykjavík 517-9000

Skólavörðustígur 8, Reykjavík 832-0567 |

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

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MJÚK means SOFT in Icelandic. SOFT TEXTURES, MODERN DESIGN, ICELANDIC SPIRIT... Local family, who design, produce and sell stylish blankets, hats and scarves from the purest country in the world. Get special shopping experience and meet the designers at:








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

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

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

Laugavegur 25, Reykjavík 553-3003 |

Laugavegur 8, Reykjavík 552-2412




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

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

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

Skólavörðustígur 3, Reykjavík 551-0036

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Skólavörðustígur 43, Reykjavík 551-2850 |


Laugavegur 37, Reykjavík 552-1965 |

Skólavörðustígur 2. Reykjavik 552-5445




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

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

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

Laugavegur 90, Reykjavík 696 6604

Hagasmári 1, Kópavogur 528-8000 |

Bankastræti 7, Reykjavík 533-3800 |




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



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

Laugavegur 20a, Reykjavík 552-2300

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

Veghúsastígur 9, Reykjavík 897 8212

Klapparstígur 33, Reykjavík



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

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

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

Laugavegur 22

Veltusund 1, Reykjavík 552 7333

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Bankastræti 7, Reykjavík 553 8140








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.

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

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

Klapparstígur 27, Reykjavík 581-2020

Laugavegur 20b, Reykjavík 581-2200

Austurstræti 8, Reykjavík 571 9999




Built in 1926 as an apartment, the Petersen Suite is one of Reykjavík’s hidden gems. Take the elevator up to the third floor above the historic Gamla Bíó concert hall to reveal an elegant bar with one of Reykjavík’s best views. On sunny days, you need to get there early, the sunny patio fills up quickly!

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.

Bankastræti 5, Reykjavík 552-9600

Ingólfsstræti 3, Reykjavík 552-0070




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

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

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

Bergstaðastræti 1, Reykjavík 551-1588

Klapparstígur 38, Reykjavík

Austurstræti 12, Reykjavík 578-0400

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Ingólfsstræti 2a 3rd floor, Reykjavík 563-4000 |


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 -




B O A R D !

Elevate your encounter with Iceland! Amazing helicopter tours around Iceland for individuals or groups. You can choose from a 20 minutes city sightseeing tour up to a whole day journey and everything in between. Our service team is on duty 24/7 and will happily assist you at any time. Check out our tours and prices on our website. ¡ (+345) 589 1000 ¡



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

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

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

Tryggvagata 4-6, Reykjavík 561-1111 |

Nauthólsvegi 106, 101 Reykjavík 599 6660 |

Grandagarður 16, Reykjavík 577 6200 |




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

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

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

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

Ingólfsstræti 1a, Reykjavík 517-6767

Æðarhöfði 36, Mosfellsbær 566 8480 |



The fish and chips stand down by the old harbour combines the best of British and Icelandic culture, with fresh, quality Icelandic fish served in the traditional British way. You can even get mushy peas and malt vinegar with it! Festing on piping hot fish and chips on a sunny day while looking over the old harbour is an unbeatable Reykjavík experience.

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!

Between the Reykjavík Maritime Museum and Reykjavík Marina Hotel 840-4100 |

Hverfisgata 4-6, Reykjavík 517-0030 |

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Bankastræti 8, Reykjavík 420-2700








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

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

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

Laugavegur 27, Reykjavík 527-2880

Lækjargata 4, Reykjavík 551-0100




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

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

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

Nýlendugata 14, Reykjavík 517 1800 |

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


Eyrarbraut 3A, Stokkseyri 483-1550

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




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

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

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

Laugavegur, Reykjavík 787 6200 |

Frakkastígur 8, Reykjavík 557 7665 |

Tryggvagata 11, Reykjavík 511 1118 |

Experience the amazing LangjĂśkull glacier from the inside A rare, once in a lifetime opportunity

ykjavĂ­k e R d n a r te n e c ll fe m HĂşsa Daily departures fro

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




open daily 09:00 - 21:00









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

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

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

Bankastræti 2, Reykjavík 551-4430

Amtmannsstígur 1, Reykjavík 561-3303 |




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

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

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

Grandagarður 20, Reykjavík 519-7766 |

Geirsgata 3, Reykjavík 567-2700

Tryggvagata 20, Reykjavík 527-5000

Frakkastígur 8, Reykjavík



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

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

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

Vesturgata 2a, Reykjavík 552-5300 |

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

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Grandagarður 8, Reykjavík 456 4040 |






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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.


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. 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.

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. 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

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

The Lava Centre

The creation of Iceland

Earthquake simulator

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

Learn how and why Iceland hosts so many volcanic eruptions.

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


Open every day

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9:00 - 19:00

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

Meet some of Iceland’s finest designers Epal Harpa / Epal Skeifan 6 / Epal Design Kringlan / 568 7733














Skólavörðustígur 7 & 16 and Kringlan, Reykjavík. HOME: Skólavörðustígur 12, Reykjavík. Hafnarstræti, Akureyri and Haukadalur.

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What's On - June 2019  

What's On - June 2019