THE CHRIS TMAS ISSUE !
REYKJAVIK’S LEADING GUIDE TO ENTERTAINMENT, EATING OUT, MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES.
Reykjavík Art Museum
Open daily One admission to three museums
HafnarHúS Tryggvagata 17 Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
KjarvalSStaðir Flókagata Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
14.9. 2013 – 5.1. 2014 Zilvinas Kempinas: fountains 14.9. 2013 – 19.1. 2014 icelandic video art 1975–1990 14.9. 2013 – 12.1. 2014 tomas martišauskis: Creature 12.10. 2013 – 28.9. 2014 Erró: the World today
5.10. 2013 – 12.1. 2014 alexander rodchenko: revolution in Photography 5.10.2013 – 26.1. 2014 Kjarval Complete 2 – the Banks’ Collections ÁSmundarSafn Sigtún Open daily 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. 21.9. 2013 – 5.1. 2014 anna Hallin: interplay 11.5. 2013 – 30.12. 2013 tales from the vault – Sculptures inspired by literature www.artmuseum.is firstname.lastname@example.org +354 590 1200
Erró, Storm/Óveður, 2011
Steina Vasulka, Allvision, 1976
Alexander Rodchenko, Lily Brik, 1924, © A. Rodchenko – V. Stepanova Archive © Moscow House of Photography Museum
Kjarval, Pentecost/Hvítasunnudagur, 1917
CONTENTS DECEMBER 2013 XMAS EXPERIENCE
ON THE COVER: CHRISTMAS IN ICELAND 6-31
Season’s greetings and welcome to the December edition of What’s On in Reykjavík.
During December in Iceland, you’re really in for an experience of a lifetime – we tend to think that travelling elsewhere during December is a waste of a holiday, since it’s MUSEUM WALK 32-33 never better than here at home. Throughout the month, you’ll see how Icelanders battle the seasonal darkness by decorating WHATSON.IS 34-35 their houses with christmas lights – until the whole city looks like the Coca-Cola Christmas town (complete with the CocaCola Christmas Trucks, actually). After the REYKJAVIK CITY MAP 36-37 bountiful christmas buffets and the strangesmelling traditional skate fish of Christmas, comes the greatest party of the year, New Year’s Eve, with huge traditional bonfires, EVENT CALENDAR 38-49 and the entire sky lights up in a brightly coloured apocalypse of fireworks. It really is a sight to behold. Add to all this the beauty of stars when the sky is clear and ART & CULTURE 50-55 the increased odds of seeing the Northern Lights (...cause it’s dark all the time) - and you’re really in for a treat.
NIGHTLIFE 56-57 SHOPPING & STYLE 58-61 FOOD & DRINK
You’ll find plenty of helpful things in our December edition: In addition to all of the major events taking place in December, we have tips on christmas dining and shopping, and our articles about Christmas beers and cocktails will really get you into the Christmas spirit (ahem). We also discuss christmas folklore and cover New Years Eve, the greatest party of the year. So with your trusty What’s On guide in hand, go forth and explore Iceland in December, and you will certainly have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Volume 31 – Issue 12. Published by MD Reykjavik ehf. Skógarhlíð 22, 105 Reykjavik. Tel.: 899-2255. E-mail: email@example.com
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THE TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS IN ICELAND
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Christmas in Iceland is a magical time. Taking place a few days after winter solstice, during the darkest time of the year, Christmas brings light and joy to a season that sometimes seems to go on forever.
The history of Christmas is interwoven with the heathen celebration of the winter solstice here in the north. This Nordic festival fell together with celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ when Iceland turned to Christianity over a thousand years ago. In the 4th and 5th centuries, it became a tradition to remember the birth of Jesus on December 25th and to celebrate his christening on January 6th.
It is because of this that the Icelandic Christmas, as Christmas in many other countries, is thirteen days long. It starts at 6.00 pm on December 24th and ends on the night of January 6th. The main events, Christmas Dinner and the opening of presents, take place on the evening of December 24th, which is different from most other Christian countries, where Christmas Day on December 25th brings most of the fun. PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING But to many people, the time spent on preparing Christmas is in no way less important or magical than the actual event. The last four weeks before Christmas are called “aðventa”, equivalent to the English advent. The word comes from Latin and means emergence or coming. When I was a child, some thirty odd years ago, Christmas preparations usually didn’t start until during the advent and for instance, an unwritten rule existed until a few years ago that none of the Icelandic radio stations would play Christmas songs until December 1st. People would also wait to decorate their houses until the advent and stores would not advertise Christmas goods until that time. All this has changed and now the first Christmas advertisements usually see the light of day around October 20th. But despite all that, rituals and
tradition, more than anything, are what makes Christmas in Iceland. People use the same food recipes, attend the same Christmas parties and set the table in the same manner year after year so that when the bell strikes 6.00 on Christmas Eve, everything is the same as it ever was. WHITE CHRISTMAS IN ICELAND, ANYONE? To many of us simple creatures, it is very important to have snow on Christmas. There is usually great speculation during advent on whether Christmas will be white or red here in the land of ice and snow. Because of changes in climate (dare I say Green House Effect?), white Christmases have become somewhat of a rarity in the southern part of Iceland. During the first ten or so Christmases that I remember (yes, that would be the ‘80s), we always had snow during Christmas. In fact, we also had snow during the weeks before Christmas. And the months after Christmas. We basically had snow from November until March (at least that is how I remember it). I guess I have to accept the fact that the 30 centimetres of snow that we had during Christmas in 1982 are never coming back.
noon; they were all dressed up with their two small children still somewhat sleep deprived yet sugaroverloaded from the night before, they looked tired and annoyed. Coming into my house did not help. There we were, me and the kids, sitting in front of the TV in our pyjamas, with steak and sauce leftovers on the living room table and the extended version of The Lord of the Rings about to start. Poor guys mumble something about this being the Christmas Day that they always wanted and slouched off to have smoked lamb with their great aunts. But the thing is, you can watch LOTR any time. Playing cards with your grandma in her best dress while sipping hot chocolate is something that must be cherished without question. WE LOVE IT In all fairness, regardless of what religion Icelanders adhere to, we are a very Christmasoriented nation. And no wonder. Can you imagine what the winters must have been like back in the day? When people lived in huts, lived off the land and could hardly go outside during the winter months without freezing to death or getting lost in a blizzard, it must have been nice to turn on the single candle they had, have the only nice meal they were going to get until spring and put on that one piece of clothing they had that was not used every day. My grandfather, bless him, once described to me his childhood Christmases. They had a small Christmas-tree his father built out of wood, they had good meat after having had nothing but fish for weeks and they had apples, which made him very happy. I cherish this memory with my grandfather. There is something beautiful in imagining him as a small boy on a farm in the 1930’s, happy as a clam with his apple, while modern day culture has us running around like headless chicken in trying to get the biggest presents, the best steak and the sweetest pie.
AN ARTICLE BY ÁGÚSTA RÚNARSDÓTTIR ÁGÚSTA RÚNARSDÓTTIR was born and raised in a small town in Iceland. She is a 37 year old mother of two and she has been looking forward to Christmas all her life.
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THE PARTY-PART Getting together with aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and of course, grand- and greatgrandparents, is what this is all about. Christmas Day, the Second Day of Christmas and the weekend between Christmas and New Years are usually packed with family events. I sense a split in opinions among my friends towards these events. In my family, we try to keep Christmas Day open and obligation-free. For many years, I didn’t even get dressed on Christmas Day, and I sensed some envy from my more party-oppressed friends. I remember friends of mine having stopped by on their way to a Christmas-family function on Christmas Day a few years back. It was around
© RAGNAR TH. SIGURÐSSON
GIVE A MERRY CHEER FOR SOME GREAT CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS! Hlynur Björnsson is a bartender extraordinaire. He has composed these merry cocktails specifically for you guys to enjoy during the holidays festivities! Here‘s something for everyone!
A CHRISTMAS VACATION A festive drink with an edge. Guaranteed to keep the Christmas anxiety to a minimum. 3 cl Absolut Kurant 3 cl Xanté
3 cl Grand Marnier 125 ml Chocolate milk
3 cl Sugar Syrup Everything is shaken with ice, then strained into a martini glass and decorated with some orange peel.
Everything poured into a glass and steamed (or just pop it in the microwave). Whipped cream put on top, with a cinnamon stick and romance.
NAUGHTY AND NICE
Fresh and delicious Christmas shot for all those difficult Yule gatherings.
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Just imagine you sitting under a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night, watching your favourite Christmas movie. If it’s cold outside, snowing and whatnot, then this it the perfect drink for your glass. 3 cl Baileys
3 cl Lime Juice
Bottom layer 50/50 Bacardi Razz & Grenadine Top Layer 50/50 Blue Caracau & Orange Juice Don’t let those layers frighten you away. You just put a spoon over the bottom layer and pour the top layer over it, slowly. For best results, make a few shots until you get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect!
For those in Christmas denial, The Scrooge is the ideal drink. Refreshing and cool, and won’t remind you at all about Christmas. 3 cl Sbieski Caramel Vodka 3 cl Amaretto 3 cl 3 cl Sourz Apple Liqueur 3 cl Sugar Syrup
Put everything in a cocktail shaker and shake to your hearts content. Then, pour it in a cocktail glass and top it of with orange juice and a little bit of grenadine.
AN ARTICLE BY HLYNUR BJÖRNSSON HLYNUR BJÖRNSSON has been working as a bartender for 12 years, he works at Austur and also takes on freelance jobs at parties, birthdays and most anything else you can think of that needs a top bartender. . Check out his Facebook page and see what he’s up to. facebook.com/Hlynurbartender
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Volcano House Café – Healthy and Volcanic The Volcano House Café presents the only volcanic menu in Iceland. Breakfast Lunch Meal of the day Light meals Happy Hour Deserts Volcanic Coffee.
Geological Exhibition, free entrance Tourist information and Booking Service Volcano House Boutique Open from 9.00 – 22/23,00 Films are shown every hour on the hour!
Volcano House I Tryggvagata 11 I Tel. 555 1900 www.volcanohouse.is I firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE MISCHIEVOUS THIRTEEN In most countries, one Yule lad or Santa Claus is considered quite enough. Iceland, of course, had go overboard. We have no less than thirteen Yule Lads and they have not always been very pleasant, either. ARE THEY NAUGHTY OR NICE? The first record of our Yule Lads dates back to the 17th century, and it is believed that they came about as a means to scare children. They varied in number at that time and there seem to have been either nine or thirteen of them to begin with. Since the middle of the 19th century, the number thirteen has been constant. The thirteen days of Christmas probably have something to do with that. The Yule Lads live in the mountains along with their parents, Grýla and Leppalúði, two troll-like, baby-eating figures who always get us into the holiday spirit. There they are accompanied by the murderous Christmas Cat, who sinks his claws and teeth into anyone who does not get new clothes before the clock strikes 6.00am on Christmas Eve. Charming, right? AND THEY BRING PRESENTS, TOO. The Yule Lads arrive one by one and leave one by one. The first one arrives during the night before December 12th and the last on the night before December 24th. Then they start heading for their mountain homes again in the same order, so the last one leaves on January 6th, the last day of Christmas. As opposed to what happens in America, where Santa Claus brings presents on the night before Christmas, the Icelandic Yule Lads bring trinkets during the nights of their arrival, and place them in the shoes of children who have been behaving in a manner acceptable to the grown up population.
Their shoes must be conveniently placed on the windowsills in their rooms in order for the Yule Lads to reach them through the window. Now, you may be wondering if it is a good idea to have children think that it is normal for bearded hobos to be looking into their rooms while they sleep. Believe you me, I know children who have lost sleep from sheer terror of this charming tradition. But the hope of finding a small toy or a bag of sweets in their shoe when they wake up, usually overrides the fear of the Peeping Toms in red. THE NAMES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES Speaking of Peeping Toms, the names of our Yule Lads are quite special. They changed quite often in the old days and varied between regions, but they have remained relatively the same since 1932. The names are very descriptive and refer to their individual mischievous nature. For instance, Þvörusleikir translates as Spoon-licker; Hurðaskellir means Door-slammer; Gáttaþefur is DoorwaySniffer in English, and we also have, and this is no joke, Gluggagægir, which translates as Windowpeeper. So we do, in fact, have our own Peeping Tom, who arrives a few days before Christmas, dressed in red. BUT THEY CAN ALSO BE NICE Today, the boys in red have mellowed. When they arrive at Christmas-dances with bags on their shoulders they do not in any way attempt to harm, hurt or scare children. They are still loud and very forward but for the most part they have become a bunch of singing and dancing old teenagers who make everybody very happy. For the most part.
AN ARTICLE BY ÁGÚSTA RÚNARSDÓTTIR
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS Want to know the population of Iceland? Who‘s the president? Why there are so many beautiful women in Iceland? Why people live so far north in the cold? When is the best time to visit? We have all these answers and plenty more. We strive to have the answer to everything you might possibly. ARE YOU REALLY ESKIMOS? Where did you even get that idea from? No we‘re not. YOUR LANGUAGE DOESN‘T MAKE SENSE, ARE YOU REALLY SPEAKING REAL WORDS? No, this is just an elaborate scheme we put in action whenever there’s a foreigner around. In reality our language is Spanish, because we used to do a lot of business with the Spanish some hundreds of years ago. We sold them salted fish in bulk, in exchange for red wine. That was a great deal… Okay, in reality. Yeah… Icelandic is a real language, spoken by some 300.000 Icelanders. It’s related to the other Scandinavian languages, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, though it doesn’t really sound similar.
SINCE YOU GUYS LIVE IN IGLOOS, DO YOU HAVE INTERNET? The igloo joke is not funny. At all. We are serious folk, living in serious looking houses, with roofs and doors and electricity and stuff. Yes we have internet. Actually, we have like, the highest internet penetration in the world. Practically everyone in Iceland has access to internet.
WHAT ABOUT TROLLS AND ELVES AND STUFF? SHOULD I WORRY? Nah, not really. Unless you provoke or irritate them, in that case you should run.
I HEARD ICELANDIC FOOD IS DISGUSTING, WHAT‘S UP WITH THAT? It‘s not really. Well, some of it is, sure, but the regular food is honestly just that, regular food. You have to keep in mind that back in the day, Iceland was dirt poor and isolated in the middle of the ocean. So we really didn‘t have much choice when it came to culinary development and enhancements. Summer was about hoarding as much food as possible, just in order to survive winter. However, having plenty of food in August is not going to help at all if it‘s all destroyed and disgusting in April is it? So the ingenious Icelanders of yore had to figure out ways to preserve the food and did so by inventing methods of varying foulness, ranging from not foul at all (drying, smoking, salting) to quite foul and even very foul (fermenting stuff in sour whey, leaving stuff in barrels for weeks and calling it “processing”, when in fact things are just going bad.) As a result, some of the traditional Icelandic food has an acquired taste. A lot of it is quite delicious though. For more information, please refer the article “The Taste of Iceland,” on page 8.
DO YOU GUYS LIVE IN SNOWHOUSES?
I JUST GOT MUGGED! WHAT SHOULD I DO???
Yes. Yes we do. As well, we tend to embark on raids to Europe, pillaging and plundering peasants in England. On a serious note: We wish we lived in snowhouses, that‘d probably be awesome. But alas, we don‘t.
No you didn‘t get mugged. You don‘t get mugged in Iceland. You can literally leave your wallet on the ground and either some one will deliver it to you, the nearest police station, or it‘ll still be there the next morning.
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T H E R E Y K J AV I K Reykjavík is filled with things to do, places to go and stuff to see but some are just a little bit more important than others.
Hallgrímskirkja church is one of Reykjavík’s most iconic buildings and is visible from almost anywhere in the city. The tower of the church is among the city’s highest buildings and offers a fantastic view of the city for the small price of 700ISK for adults, 100ISK for children. Hallgrímskirkja is the largest church- and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. It’s named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Petursson, author of the Passion Hymns. The architect who designed it, Guðjón Samúelsson is said to have designed it to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape.
Standing at 25 metres high, Perlan is one of Reykjavík’s most striking buildings and although it was opened to the public in 1991 it still makes a stand out piece of architecture for its modern construction. Up on the fourth level there is a 360 degree viewing platform where you can get the best panoramic views of Reykjavík and when the sun sets it’s a spectacular spot for the northern lights. You can also dine at the Perlan restaurant that slowly rotates so you get to see the whole city without even having to turn your head. We strongly recommend a visit to The Saga Museum while you’re there.
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People go to the pond to feed the birds and enjoy one of the most amazing views that Reykjavík has to offer. There isn’t a 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, hot geothermal waters are pumped in to defrost an area for the birds while those who can handle the cold keep warm from the romantic atmosphere and take to the ice on skates.
When the sun is shining and the air is hot, Austurvöllur is the place to be no matter who you are. Surrounded by cafés and restaurants on Vallarstræti and Pósthússtræti, this public square is a wildly popular spot for locals to dine outside, soak up some sunshine or recline in the grass with picnics. With its close proximity to the Parliament of Iceland building, Austurvöllur has contrastingly also been the gathering place for political protests. At the center of it all stands a statue of Jón Sigurðsson, the renowned figure who led Iceland to independence.
Whether you want to sample dried fish and fermented shark, purchase a bag of Icelandic candy or browse through thrifted clothing, Kolaportið should be the destination of your choice. Kolaportið is an indoor flea market that is open during the weekend between 11am-5pm. The atmosphere is very 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 DVD’s or digging through piles of stuff in search of hidden treasures. We recommend bringing cash, as the majority of stalls don‘t accept cards.
The whole 28.000 square meters of Harpa stand at the edge of the Reykjavik Harbour with Iceland‘s biggest concert hall suitable for a broad range of concerts and cultural events, conference centre with meeting facilities and in-house catering and fine restaurants. Harpa also occasionally hosts promotions, plays, and public events. It‘s open to everyone, always, and you should definitely visit Harpa, whether it‘s for a show, to buy souvenirs, a concert or a lovely dinner in one of the fabulous restaurants. Harpa was designed by a Danish firm in co-operation with Ólafur Elíasson, an Icelandic artist, and opened to the public in 2011.
THE OLD HARBOR
The descriptive name comes from the fact that it‘s the first lasting harbor in Reykjavik. The most visited area is the eastern pier where you’ll find a community of shops, galleries, electric bike and scooter rentals and guided tours in Reykjavík. You will find numerous whale watching companies willing to take you out to sea on unforgettable excursions. The area is filled with excellent restaurants (sushi and other seafood, tapas, burgers, etc.) and coffee houses. The atmosphere at the old harbour is friendly, the air is fresh and salty and there’s plenty of interesting activities to check out.
THE SUN VOYAGER
A beautiful sculpture of a Viking ship located by the ocean on a small peninsula by Sæbraut, close to the Reykjavík center. The sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason symbolises the Viking past of the Icelanders and an ode to the sun. It serves as reminder of our history and heritage when the first Viking settlers came sailing to Iceland. An ideal opportunity to see Sólfarið at its best is when the sun is setting, at whatever time that may be. It should be every photographer’s dream to capture the amazing view.
Every country has traditions when it comes to leisure. Iceland’s big thing is swimming pools.. Laugardalslaug is the city’s largest pool with extensive facilities, located in Laugardalur Valley. Its facilities include a 50m outdoor pool, outdoor children’s pool and paddling pool, two waterslides, numerous hot tubs, steam bath, gym and 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 dog.
Head over to page 32 for the Reykjavik Museum Walk.
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With an impressive, modern design, the building sits right on the northern shore of Lake Tjörnin. It’s not only offices for the mayor and city’s excutive officials, but is also open to visitors, providing internet access, an information desk, exhibition halls and a cafe. Café Öndin boasts huge glass windows so you can sit back and admire the water, bird life, nature and city surrounds. Go to the galleries to admire one of the steady streams of new and exciting exhibitions always coming through. The three dimensional map of Iceland is always a favourite with visitors to the country.
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Although beer and ale have been brewed in Iceland for a long time, the growth in recent years has been amazing. In just a few years, we‘ve seen many great breweries emerge, filled with ambition and ingenuity. There is one thing they all have in common though, the Icelandic water; renowned for its purity and quality. Here you can read up on some of our favorite beers, all of whom you‘ll find in Reykjaviks pubs and bars.
VÍKING CHRISTMAS BEER Víking Christmas beer has been the best seller in Iceland for many years. This Marzen Vienna style beer was first introduced in 1990. It has golden amber colour and taste notes of malt, burnt sugar and caramel. The brewing takes longer time due to low heat secondary fermentation after main fermentation is finished. Due to this method the beer has better balance and body.
BRÍÓ The first beer produced by Borg Brugghús, Bríó is a pilsner, however unlike what most people might think, being a pilsner doesn‘t mean it‘s any less of a beer. The name comes from the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. This style of brewing first emerged in the middle of the 19th century and immediately became so popular that the majority of beer drunk today is in some way derived from the original pilsner. Brío uses German hops, giving a very distinctive taste and a sweet aroma. Along with the hops, it uses Pilsen malt and under-fermentation yeast. Brío, which has won many awards and prizes over the years, was originally brewed as the House Beer for Ölstofan (see pg. 12) and is available in liquor stores around the country as well as most bars in town.
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The Brewery on Árskógssandur was the first microbrewery that opened in Iceland, back in 2006. Their first product, Kaldi, definitely paved the way for the rest of them. 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! Kaldi is a very mild and comfortable pilsner, with 5% ABV. You can detect a hint of sweetness in it. Kaldi is the most sold bottled beer in Iceland today and has been tremendously well received. You can get Kaldi in the liquor stores in bottles, as well as on draught at MicroBar.
KALDI DARK Most Icelanders are a bit afraid of dark beers, at least until they taste Kaldi Dark. A dark pilsner, it‘s not that much different from the regular Kaldi, as the main difference is the use of burnt malt, which provides the beautiful, distinctive dark color. Kaldi Dark is unpasteurized with no added sugar or preservatives. As mentioned – the Kaldi beers are brewed by Czech traditions, dated from 1842. Kaldi Dark is brewed using 3 different types of Czech hops. You can get Kaldi Dark in all liquor stores as well as in MicroBar on draught.
JÓLABOCK JólaBock is a traditional Bock style beer brewed primarily with Munich malt. It has dark red-brown color with rich malt flavor and hint of caramel and chocolate aftertaste. Has been ranked one of the best Christmas beer available in Iceland since introduced. You should be able to find JólaBock on draught in special beer bars in Iceland and all better bars should have it available in bottles. A Christmas spirit in a bottle.
ÚLFUR The first Icelandic IPA (India Pale Ale) on the market. Úlfur IPA is in the same caliber as the best produced on the West Coast of the Unites States and probably comes to many Icelanders as a surprise regarding flavor and aroma. The aroma is of fresh citrus fruits, especially grapefruit, which can also be found in the flavor and a strong bitterness makes you crave another sip. Only American hops are used in the beer and hops 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.
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EINSTÖK DOPPELBOCK This limited-edition winter brew is worth the wait. Malted barley and chocolate tones define the traditional style, while the robust aroma and long, mellow finish will make this the perfect companion for your holiday adventures. Einstök DoppelBock is the seasonal beer from this unique brewery in Iceland which is now the biggest exporter of speciality beer from the country. You should also be able to find this specialty beer in UK and USA along with the other three variants from Einstök; White Ale, Pale Ale and Toasted Porter.
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This beer is unique in the Icelandic beer scene and quite possibly globally as well. Lava is a pitch black Ale, with its colour coming from dark-roasted mat, burnt in a similar way as coffee beans. The Brewmasters goal was to create a distinctive beer. Lava is described as being like a good wine – improving with age, reaching optimal quality after 3 years of storage in a cold place. Lava is a very smoked Imperial Stout, and considered by beer connoisseurs as one of the best Icelandic beers. It has received many international awards, including a gold medal at the “United States Open Beer Championship” – where it competed against over 1650 beers. Lava is available at the bigger liquor stores as well as exclusively on draught at MicroBar.
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THE WONDERFUL FEEL OF LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS STRESS One of the wonderful perks of living in a small country is the closeness that develops between people. This is very apparent in the smaller towns but even in the capital of Reykjavik, with its 120.000 inhabitants, you can sometimes still feel the closeness, although Bob Dylan was not entirely wrong when he said that the times they were a-changin’. One of the best days to experience this is the day before Christmas. LAUGAVEGUR The history of commerce at Laugavegur goes hand in hand with the history of Reykjavik. The road construction of Laugavegur was approved in the town council in 1885, and its original purpose was to facilitate travel to the hot springs used by maids and housewives to wash the laundry (the preface “lauga-“ means “spring-“ in English). The street soon became the hub of shopping and commerce in Reykjavik and consequently in the country. SHOPPING IN DECEMBER They turn the lights on in November. Laugavegur and the adjoining shopping streets are decorated with lights and ornaments, and that is when the fun begins. Every weekend until Christmas, the atmosphere is cheerful and filled with anticipation. And of course, the stress level rises as the big day approaches because when stores close at 11pm on December 23rd, everything
must be in the bag. In my hometown, the women have a habit of asking each other: Have you done everything yet? I never understood this question when I was a child, but nowhere does it spring to life more than at Laugavegur on the day before Christmas. THE FEEL OF IT December 23rd is called Þorláksmessa, or St. Þorlak’s Day, in Iceland, and it is a very special day in downtown Reykjavik. You can roughly divide the crowd into two groups; those who have not yet finished their Christmas shopping and those who got everything done in time and just want to get into the mood. There is music in the streets and as the day progresses the crowd becomes denser, and the pubs start filling up. All this is mixed with the smell of fermented skate and the light-salted desperation of husbands who decided to save the wife’s present for last, yet again. This is the busiest shopping day of the year, and I actually know people who are very organised in their Christmas shopping, but always put off one or two things, just so they can get the true feel of Laugavegur on Þorláksmessa. My obsession with doing everything like the women in my home town permits no such indulgence but for those of you who plan on spending Christmas in this strange country of ours, walking down Laugavegur on this special day is something you should absolutely put on your list of things to do.
AN ARTICLE BY ÁGÚSTA RÚNARSDÓTTIR
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HALLGRÍMSKIRJA’S CHRISTMAS MUSIC FESTIVAL 2013 Friends of the Arts Society invites to the Hallgrimskirkja´s Christmas Music Festival 2013 with a great program of different events full of festive spirit December 1st – 31st. It starts with a choir concert December 1st at 5 pm with Hallgrimskirkja´s Chamber Choir Schola cantorum, performing Advent and Christmas music by Pärt, MacMillan e.c. and a world premiére of Christmas Carols by icelandis composer Hafliði Hallgrímsson. The Festival includes 11 concerts, with the acclaimed house choirs and organists. One of the highlights is the Motet Choir´s Christmas concert accompanied by Famous soprano Diddú,
young trumpet player Baldvin Oddsson and organist Björn Steinar Sólbergsson (Dec 7./8.) Another highlight the popular annual Festive Sounds at New years eve (Dec 31st) with three trumpets, Timpani and organ offering a program of well known pieces. The famous Klais organ will sound in lunch time concert on the 21st anniversary of the Klais organ, Dec 13 and between Christmas and New Year on Dec 29. There is also one Jazz concert in cooperation with the German Embassy in Iceland- the worlld famous Spiritual Standards Duo with outstanding German and Dutch musicians playing German and international Christmas
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON EVENTS IN DECEMBER? CHECK OUT THE WHAT’S ON EVENT CALENDAR FOR MORE INFO ON PAGES 38 THROUGH 48 AND ON WHATSON.IS/EC
songs on saxophone and piano, free entrance See more information hallgrimskirkja.is.
HALLGRIMSKIRKJA CHRISTMAS MUSIC FESTIVAL 2013
December 1st - December 31st 2013
CHRISTMAS CONCERT with the HALLGRIMSKIRKJA’S MOTET CHOIR and soprano star DIDDÚ
Dec 7 Saturday at 5 PM Dec 8 Sunday at 5 PM Performers: MÓTETTUKÓR HALLGRÍMSKIRKJU SIGRÚN HJÁLMTÝSDÓTTIR soprano BALDVIN ODDSSON trumpet BJÖRN STEINAR SÓLBERGSSON organ
PROGRAM INCLUDES: HÄNDEL, MOZART, SIGVALDI KALDALÓNS, HALLDÓR HAUKSSON OG ÁSKELL JÓNSSON.
CONDUCTOR: HÖRÐUR ÁSKELSSON
ADMISSION: 3.900 / 2.500 ISK
December 13, Friday 12.00–12.30 noon Organ concert with advent music. The Klais organ’s 21st anniversary Björn Steinar Sólbergsson plays works by César Franck, J.S. Bach and Andrew Carter. Admission 1500 ISK.
December 1 - 1st Sunday in Advent 5 pm VENI VENI IMMANUEL- FESTIVE ADVENT CONCERT - SCHOLA CANTORUM chamber choir of Hallgrímskirkja Premier of Christmas Carols by Hafliði Hallgrímsson and Advent and Christmas a cappella music by MacMillan, Arvo Pärt, Kreek and Sviridov and Icelandic composers Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson and Haukur Tómasson. Conductor: Hörður Áskelsson. Admission 3500/ 2500 ISK. December 4, Wednesday 12.00-12.30 noon ADVENT LUNCHTIME CONCERT SCHOLA CANTORUM chamber choir of Hallgrímskirkja Conductor: Hörður Áskelsson. Admission 2000 ISK.
December 11, Wednesday 12.00-12.30 noon ADVENT LUNCHTIME CONCERT SCHOLA CANTORUM chamber choir of Hallgrímskirkja Admission 2000 ISK. December 18, Wednesday 12.00-12.30 noon CHRISTMAS LUNCHTIME CONCERT SCHOLA CANTORUM chamber choir of Hallgrímskirkja Conductor: Hörður Áskelsson. Admission 2000 ISK
December 20, Friday 7.30 pm Spiritual Standards - Jan von Klewitz saxophone and Markus Burger piano. In cooperation with the German Embassy in Iceland. Free entrance. December 29, Sunday 5 pm Organ concert Baroque at Christmas! Björn Steinar Sólbergsson plays works by Bach, Buxtehude and D’Aquin. Admission 2500 ISK. December 31, New Years Eve 5 pm Festive Sounds at New Years Eve! Three trumpets, timpany and organ. Famous works by Bach, Albinoni, Charpentier. Ásgeir H. Steingrímsson, Eiríkur Örn Pálsson, Einar St. Jónsson trumpets, Eggert Pálsson timpani and Hörður Áskelsson organ. Admission 3000 ISK.
www.hallgrimskirkja.is Hallgrimskirkja Friends of the Arts Society 32. season Ticket sale at Hallgrimskirkja, tel 510 1000 open daily 9 am - 5 pm and at midi.is
THE FESTIVAL OF OVEREATING
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All over the world, food traditions are a significant part of Christmas and Iceland is no exception. Each family has their own special features of traditional Icelandic courses that cannot be changed because then Christmas wouldn’t be the same. But what used to be a two day feast a few decades ago has now turned into weeks of indulgence and luxury. Not that I am complaining.
THE MEAT The weeks before Christmas used to be connected with fasting. In some cases, it was a religious thing but in Iceland it more often than not was simply a result of poverty and limited resources. People had to save the good stuff for Christmas because there wasn’t much of it around. The traditional Icelandic Christmas dish at the start of the last century was “hangikjöt”, smoked lamb served with potatoes and white sauce made from butter, milk, wheat and sugar. For the less fortunate, the alternative was cooked grouse which remains a peremptory course for some, even to this day. In many households, hangikjöt is still served on Christmas Day but what is served on Christmas Eve varies more than it used to. Smoked ham (a Danish tradition) and turkey (an American dish) have become very popular in the last decades. THE COOKIES One thing is an absolute must in preparing for the holidays in Iceland, and that is the baking of
Christmas cookies. There was a time when the excellence of a housewife was primarily judged by the number of cookie-types. Anything less than ten types was a sign of inadequacy. This has changed, both with the increased variety of sweets on offer and also because, let’s face it, who has time to spend weekend after weekend making cookies that will probably take up shelf space long into the new year because everybody had crème brûlée and Ris à l’amande? THE DRINK Yes, we have a unique Christmas drink. Not everybody likes it though. I’ve claimed that those who do not must have had their taste buds removed, but that is just one woman’s opinion. It is a soft drink, a mixture of two soft drinks actually. One is an Icelandic orange soda; the other is called Malt and is, as the name suggests, a malt-based soda, dark brown and very sweet. When you mix those two together, you get what I can confidently claim that 90% of all Icelandic households serve with Christmas dinner.
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STEIKHÚSIÐ — THE STEAK HOUSE Steikhúsið simply means „The Steak House” and that underlinesour goal, to focus solely on steaks. The Steak house is in the middle of Reykjavík, opposite the old harbor, which has recently formed into a lively neighborhood of restaurants, cafes and artisan stores and work shops. When you wisit us, remember to try our “28 days” 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 because the building housed a blacksmithand metal works in years gone by. BOOK A TABLE ONLINE OR BY CALLING (354) 561 1111. THE KITCHEN IS OPEN FROM 17:00 TILL LATE — VISIT WWW.STEAK.IS HOLIDAY HOURS: WE ARE CLOSED ON DECEMBER 24.,25. AND 26. OPEN ON DEC 31. AND JAN1. 17-22
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THE BUFFETS A novelty was introduced into the Icelandic Christmas scene in the 1980’s, namely the Christmas Buffet, which has since then become an indispensable part of getting into the holiday spirit. Originally, this was a Danish tradition and the buffets were a lunch event, serving herring and cold meats. Soon this developed into a full dinner which most major restaurants in Iceland offer in the weeks before Christmas, and many companies now invite their employees to such events as part of the holiday spirit. THE GREATEST TRADITION OF ALL Not every tradition involves fresh ingredients and the faint smell of quality cuisine. One of the largest Christmas-traditions in Icelandic takes place on December 23rd. It is the preparation and eating of fermented skate. To be fair, the preparation begins a few months earlier. The Icelandic way of fermenting the skate is quite simple; the flaps of the fish are piled into a container and left there for a month or two. During that time, the urea in the blood of the
skate brakes down into ammonia compounds. Harmful bacteria that would otherwise cause the flesh to rot (to become putrid) are kept away by the high acidity and other harmless bacteria during this process. It is commonly thought that Icelanders eat putrid skate, but that is not the case. The strong ammonia smell of a well-prepared skate should take your breath away and thoroughly clean your sinuses. I know people who say that if eating fermented skate does not bring tears to your eyes, then it is not potent enough. It is fair to say that wherever you go on the day before Christmas, you will smell this wonderful tradition. The smell gets into people’s hair and clothing and spending time outside does nothing to get rid of it, so people carry it with them wherever they go. If you are not lucky enough to know one of the many brave Icelanders who cook this controversial dish in their home, some restaurants offer fermented skate on the day before Christmas, thus creating an atmosphere that is truly, in more ways than one, like no other.
AN ARTICLE BY ÁGÚSTA RÚNARSDÓTTIR
REYKJAVÍK CHRISTMAS CITY: PACKED FULL OF FESTIVE FUN AND EVENTS! In collaboration with various partners throughout the Reykjavík Capital Area preparations for Advent and Christmas are in full swing for the creation of an exciting, eventful and decorative season. Established as a joint initiative between the City of Reykjavík and a number of partners in the capital area, the project is designed to promote our festive winter celebrations throughout the month of December, attracting both residents and visitors from around the world.
Select zones within the city have been designated as special Advent areas where our business partners and colleagues are encouraged to collaborate in the creation of a unique Christmas experience by organising markets, events and exhibitions. Drawing on Iceland’s rich tradition of folklore and storytelling, residents are encouraged to engage visitors with tales of Yuletide legends, such as the notorious Christmas Creatures, who will once again take up residency in the form of projected animations on the walls of various city buildings. Guests are also encouraged to take part in the Hunt for the Christmas Creatures - a fun activity for all the family, leading participants through the wonderland of Icelandic Christmas.
Enjoy Reykjavík with one easy to use card
The Reykjavík Welcome Card offers great value for money by giving you FREE ADMISSION to all of Reykjavík’s thermal pools and museums, with unlimited travel on Reykjavík buses, free ferry rides to Videy Island and DISCOUNTS at selected shops and restaurants. The card is available for 24, 48 and 72 hours. For more information about the Reykjavík Welcome Card visit www.visitreykjavik.is. Connect with culture!
Enjoy the nature! Take a dip in our thermal pools!
See the Sights!
The Official Tourist Information Centre in Reykjavík Adalstraeti 2 101 Reykjavík Tel +354 590 1550 email@example.com www.visitreykjavik.is
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BONFIRES AWAY When I was a child, my anticipation during the weeks before Christmas sometimes became palpable, even painful at times. Looking forward to Christmas as a child is a memory that millions of people around the world can relate to on some level. But do those people also remember what it felt like when Christmas was over? I do. Luckily, when you are in Iceland, there is no need to despair on December 27th. New Years is still to come and after that, you have Þrettándinn, or the Twelfth Day of Christmas, to look forward to. If you are a kid (or a grown up with a moderate to severe interest in lighting fires), these two evenings can be just as fun as Christmas, but on a completely different level. THE PARTY-NIGHT OF THE YEAR New Year’s Eve in Iceland is a very special event. It is the party-night of the year, with “party” being a very broad term with endless different interpretations. The core of the evening, for the majority of Icelanders, is getting together with family and/or friends, looking spectacular, eating something fantastic, watching the Annual Comedy Revue on television and then completely letting go of themselves fireworks-wise at midnight (and well into the morning in some cases). After that, the evening splits into two scenarios. Those of us with kids try to get them into bed some time before 2 am. Those without such obligations get busy taking the party, in whatever shape or form, to the next level. LIGHT’EM IF YOU GOT’EM But what happens between the meal and the TV Show was always my personal favourite; the bonfire. Every town in Iceland, no matter how small, throws a bonfire on New Year’s Eve. In my youth, the kids helped with gathering firewood for the bonfire. When I say firewood, I mean pellets, old tires, worn out furniture, card-board boxes, dry wood (and sometimes not-so-dry wood).
The tires made the biggest smoke. Black as night. Awesome. The first New Year’s bonfire on record In Iceland was in 1791 when a group of schoolboys gathered on a hill in Reykjavik and turned fire to barrels and old timber. Half a century later, the bonfires had become quite common but they were not regarded as particularly intellectual gatherings since drinking and hooliganism was quite common. The hooliganism has been toned down somewhat since then, but you can still see a person or two with beer in one hand and a lit sparkler in the other at the New Year’s Eve bonfire. For the most part, it is just people dressed in winter-clothing on top of their best evening-dresses and suits, hand in hand with their kids, enjoying what they used to enjoy when they were kids. FIREWORK CITY The amount of fireworks lit and the stretch of time that the show lasts are unique for Iceland at the turn of each year. You will see fireworks almost everywhere, as long as you spend the evening somewhere near other people. The size of the show obviously differs with the size of the town and in Reykjavik you will see a spectacle like you have never seen before. In the most populated areas, the noise, the smoke and the smell in the streets sometimes resemble what I think a war zone must look and feel like. If you prefer less smoke and more overview, move to the higher areas on the east or north sides of town and prepare to be blown away. Figuratively speaking, of course. THE END OF IT ALL On Þrettándinn, or the Twelfth Day of Christmas, those who have not yet had their fill of bonfires and fireworks can keep smiling. Add all the Yule Lads saying farewell, more fireworks and the odd elf jumping around, and you are in for a treat of an evening. It is safe to say that fire and explosions play a large part during the darkest hours of winter. We Icelanders do anything to brighten our days.
AN ARTICLE BY ÁGÚSTA RÚNARSDÓTTIR
Enjoy the freedom of riding ﾃ拘HESTAR offers horseback riding tours through the spectacular Icelandic landscape. Whether you join our tours into the wilderness of the remote highlands, through the lush countryside or, all year round, for a short ride from our Riding Centre near Reykjavik, riding with ﾃ行hestar is a great experience. For over 30 years ﾃ行hestar has given people an opportunity to ride the Icelandic horse, the most versatile gait horse in the world. Horses are our partners and our passion.
For further information check our websites www.ishestar.is and www.ihtravel.is, call +354 555 7000 or be our friend on Facebook. ﾃ行hestar is the only Icelandic riding tour operator with an EarthCheck certificate. We are a part of nature. We care about nature.
THE REYKJAVIK MUSEUM WALK Reykjavik is rich with culture and history which can be experienced in the many museums that our city has to offer. To make life easier for you, here is a proposed Museum Walk that covers the best bits of downtown Reykjavik, while within a walking distance. 1
The museum gives visitors an idea of the real life in Iceland, where volcanoes and earthquakes are a constant threat. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur daily and Icelandic nature is in a state of constant flux. Volcano House lets you experience the world of Icelanders by coming as close as possible to experiencing an eruption or earthquake for yourself. They also have an in-house cinema where they offer two back-to-back documentaries on historical volcanic eruptions.
THE REYKJAVÍK MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The museum’s main objective is to present both historical and contemporary photography in an artistic, social and cultural context, as well as nurture public and scholarly interest in photography and its culture. The collection’s themes are diverse, you can find family photograpshs, photos from portrait studios, industrial- and advertising photographs, press photography, landscape photographs and more.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ICELAND
The nation’s most precious treasures are kept and displayed at The National Museum of Iceland that was established on the 24th of February in 1863. The aim of the museum is to increase and relay knowledge of Icelandic cultural heritage from the beginning until now. At the museum you will find objects that provide insight into Icelandic cultural history and displays from different eras.
THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ICELAND
The principal art museum of Iceland, established in 1884. Its art collection consists mainly of 19th and 20th century art works. In its possession are many of the keystones of Icelandic art history, as well as a growing collection of works from other countries. The National Gallery’s main role is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit Icelandic art and offer education about it, as well as there is a considerable emphasis laid on showing Icelandic art in context with international art.
REYKJAVÍK ART MUSEUM
Hafnarhús serves as the museum’s institute of contemporary art, where n ew d eve l o p m e n t s i n art are explored through diverse exhibitions of Icelandic and international artists. An exhibition of paintings by well known pop artist Erró is a permanent feature. You’ll really like the restaurant inside that has a beautiful view over the harbour. Don’t forget to stop by the Hafnarhús shop for postcards, art posters and books published by the museum.
THE SETTLEMENT EXHIBITION
Archaeological remains were excavated in Aðalstræti in 2001, which turned out to be the oldest relics of human habitation in Reykjavík. The relics are now preserved at their original location as the focal point of the Settlement Exhibition. The construction of Viking Age buildings is explained using multimedia technology and computer technology is used to give an impression of what life was like in the hall.
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WHAT’S ON IN ICELAND ALL THE INFORMATION ON EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING IN ICELAND So you‘ve arrived in Iceland, your warm clothes in your bag, high hopes and a lot of excitement. Great! But now what? There are about a million incredibly cool things to do in Iceland, so it can definitely be a daunting task to organize a stay here. Luckily – you‘ve got a hawk in a corner.
You really should check out whatson.is
A HAWK IN A CORNER REALLY DOESN‘T MAKE SENSE TO ME.
Well – it would make sense, if you‘d have read the FAQ‘s on WhatsOn.is. They‘re pretty awesome actually, though the author allegedly goes overboard at times in his borderline desperate attempts at humour. So having a hawk in one’s corner is a good thing. It‘s basically an ally, often times an unexpected ally, but one you can rely on. Your hawk will come to your aid when you most need it. Just like the guys at What‘s On in Iceland do! SO...WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT AGAIN? What‘s On in Iceland! Or Reykjavik! It‘s two different things, but still basically the same. You see, What‘s On in Reykjavik is the magazine you‘re currently holding. We‘re mighty proud of it and have really put a lot of effort into doing it the best we can. This magazine is now in its 30th running year of publication, making it one of the most, if not the oldest and most established tourist publications in Iceland. Now, any respectable magazine ought to have a website that goes along with it right? At least we feel so. That‘s why we decided to completely overhaul our old website, in order to bring you the new and improved whatson. is. There, we try to cater to the whole of Iceland, by the name What’s On in Iceland. It’s not a big
difference obviously, but we feel the distinction important nonetheless. We’re pretty happy about the website to be honest. There are still tweaks and modifications to be made – but we’re working on it, trying to improve the site by the day, adding interesting content and such. We’d of course welcome all feedback should you have any, reaching us at firstname.lastname@example.org is probably your best bet. WHAT CAN I FIND ON YOUR WHATSON.IS? Whatson.is is the online platform for this magazine; so as a result, you’ll find the majority of the content pieces from it there. The website offers articles from our contributing writers, with more added frequently, where we have the chance of going more in-depth and in more detail than we can in the magazine, as we’re not restrained by print any more. We’re also working on constructing the most complete section of FAQ’s and Practical Information on Iceland the world has ever seen. It’s a daunting and ambitious task, fuelled and powered by the ever flowing fountain that is the curiosity of our visitors. As such – please feel free to ask us whatever you want to know about Iceland, Icelanders or life in Iceland, and we’ll a) answer you and b) put the answer on the website! We decided to share some of our favourite FAQ’s in the pages to come – so check it out and as always, let us know how you like it. Online you’ll also find our older issues of course, as well as our restaurant, nightlife and shopping recommendations along with the backbone of our existence, the event calendar. However, there’s one thing in particular we’re quite excited about. You see, we’ve teamed
That means that you don’t have to go searching all over the place for things to do while you’re here, as whatson.is (along with this magazine!) can be your one-stop shop, for everything from food and drink, to events, to tours, activities and excursions! Want a good restaurant, a whale watching trip under the northern lights followed
by a great pub to relax after a long day? Well! We got it! Like I said, this is something we’re very excited about and we’ve spent a considerable time in selecting the right operators to work with and making sure everything is set up right. We truly hope you have an awesome stay in Iceland. We also hope you’ll enjoy whatson.is and it can help you out and advice you during your stay. Stay in touch with us via social media, e-mail or any other method you find agreeable and take care!
SOME OF THE TOURS AND ACTIVITIES WE OFFER
ESSENTIAL ICELAND Enjoy an amazing tour through a landscape of extreme contrasts, full of history and geology. Our day begins in Þingvellir National Park, the site of the ancient Viking parliament dating back to the 10th century. From there we head into the highlands, through the barren mountain pass of Kaldidalur to the Langjökull for an unforgettable discovery of this enormous glacier, before exploring one of Iceland‘s (biggest and) most spectacular lava caves (in Hallmundarhraun).
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up with some of the leading tour operators in Iceland. Like…the best of the best, in order to offer you guys the option to book your tours and activities right on our website.
PEARL TOUR - GOLDEN CIRCLE The tour allows visitors to get in touch with some of Iceland’s most famous and exciting natural phenomena. Our first stop is at Þingvellir, one of Iceland’s most significant historical sites. From there, we head along mountain tracks to Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss waterfall. Next we kick the action into higher gear to get even closer to Iceland’s nature and go for a snowmobiling tour at the Langjökull area, Iceland’s second largest glacier.
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NORTHERN LIGHTS HUNT
A great quad bike/ATV tour in the vicinity of Reykjavik. An enjoyable adventure tour only 15 minutes from most hotels in Reykjavik, fun for the whole family. The tour is perfect for beginners and anyone who wants to experience something new and different while enjoying the splendid outdoors. This tour is a great way to explore the beautiful back country of Reykjavik in a thrilling, yet safe way.
Departure from Reykjavík, we take you on a mystery-filled tour in a super jeep. A tour spiced with excitement and surprises, away from the city lights and into the barren landscape in the outskirts of Reykjavík in search of the elusive Northern Lights. On a clear night and with a little luck we can see the lights swirl around in dramatic shapes across the night sky – truly an amazing sight.
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OPENING HOURS: 12 A.M. - 7 P.M. FRIDAYS 12 A.M. - 6 P.M. WEEKENDS 1 P.M. - 5 P.M.
CONTEMPORARY LANDSCAPE Most of the photographs in the exhibition illustrate changing ideas. Weather, perceptions of time and space, and man in nature are the starting points, in combination with more traditional approaches, creating a fresh and diverse vision. The photographers turn their lenses on anything between heaven and earth – literally: the space between something and nothing in the landscape; memories and sensations; tourists in Icelandic nature; the feminine in the landscape; urban nature; landscape viewed through a car window, on a tour around Iceland. These factors and others feature in Contemporary Landscape; interwoven in such a way that man and nature are not opposites in landscape photography, as they once were. Man is no longer a visitor in the landscape: he is invited in. Man is part of nature, and his works are an extension of nature, as British artist Andy Goldsworthy has observed:
merging limits of reality, poetry and fiction. The conversations are recorded on videotape and written as manuscripts which are installed in the ground floor of the museum. During the exhibition works in the property of the museum made by chosen women artists will be presented and they invited to take part in the assembly along with guests playing roles from comtemporary time and history. The outcome of that assembly is thus added to the poll of conversations about the feminine and the bestial in a wide context. The work is a long-term task where every installment entails addition characterized by place and history.
CREATIONS - KRISTÍN GUNNLAUGSDÓTTIR
OPENING HOURS: 11 A.M. - 5 P.M. CLOSED MONDAYS
ASSEMBLY OF THE HOLY Until December 8th. In the exhibition Assembly of the Holy is directed to the role of feminity in the ideology of the Western World. The artists Bryndís Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir and Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir have in that purpose invited to assemblies or improvised conversations where the theme is discussed as it appears on the
The striking aspect of Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir’s art is its daring, erotic feature represented in a mediaeval,
religious way with the help of textile and gilded support, related to sacred art of the Gothic era. Her consummate draughtsmanship and exquisite handling of materials is in stark contrast to the bold, even shocking way in which she presents her works.
TREASURES - BEASTS IN CAGES
The National Gallery of Iceland continues to present the richness of its collection. Both its legacy from the nineteenth century and its more recent acquisitions are displayed in various rooms of the museum. These treasures give a good insight into the variety of Icelandic art in modern and contemporary periods and bear witness to its thriving and dynamic practice at every level of visual arts. In addition a glimpse of NGI’s collection of works by foreign artists will be presented, particularly prints by Edvard Munch, whose 150th anniversary will be celebrated on December 12th 2013.
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NATIONAL GALLERY OF ICELAND
REYKJAVIK MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY
VOLCANO HOUSE OPENING HOURS: 9 A.M. - 9 P.M.
WONDERS OF VOLCANOES From the small island Vest’mannaeyjar, watch the awesome power of red-hot lava, seemingly irresistible as it moves in slow motion, swallowing and crushing everything in its path. Like a sci-fi monster, you see it start to engulf a thriving community and the impending disaster as it edges to the harbour to destroy the only safe haven for the fishing fleet. Every boat is pressed into service to ferry the inhabitants to safety as they watch more of their lives disappear. Then, the 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull that covered farms and villages in a deep layer of ash and an almost impenetrable fog, threatening, once again, the livelihoods of hard-working communities. A massive flood sweeps down the mountain, putting bridges along the main road linking the southern towns and villages at risk.
THE NORDIC HOUSE OPENING HOURS: 12 A.M. - 5 P.M. CLOSED MONDAYS
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BOG OF GOLD In a bog called Vatnsmýri, three artists have settled in, hunting for treasure. What will surface if they start digging, digging in the flesh, digging in the mind, digging into the living mire, wet and cold, anoxic and often despised? Will it be an upwelling of oil or glittering gold? Is the secret of life encrypted in the dialogue between the sexes, the flowing of milk and the circulation of life? Why is the bog iron red? How does the seed know what kind of plant it will eventually become? Why does a serpent and a half-eaten apple continually arise when we dig deeply in our minds? Why is this fly fluttering in our faces?
Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir, Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir and Hildur
Hákonardóttir attempt to answer these questions and more. This is their second exhibition together -- three generations simultaneously asking -- not the same questions -- but all of them asking. One exhibition, yet three free-standing exhibitions -- all at the same time.
and boundaries of drawing, printing and installation. It is a continuous enquiry into the properties of media where one work generates the next.
INSTALLATION, LIGHT WORKS AND TRAVEL JOURNALS
The Christmas calendar in the Nordic House takes place daily in the festival hall in December until Christmas. The Christmas calendar consists of live performances, for example music, dance, reading and performance art. A new window is opened daily at 12:34 pm and the audience will then get to know about the performance of the day.
An exhibition by the Finnish artist Mari Mathlin. Our cultural and personal background defines our understanding of nature and the way we look at and depict it. Mari‘s aim is not to visualize a specific place. Instead she seeks to enter into a dialogue with an environment that she can relate to and where she can experience a feeling of home. Being intuitive and process lead, her artistic practice examines the possibilities
THE NORDIC HOUSE CHRISTMAS CALENDAR 1st of December – 23th of December at 12:34 pm
Before every performance we offer the audience nonalcoholic mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. Everyone is welcome to attend, and there is no entrance fee.
OPENING HOURS: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M. THURSDAYS 10 A.M. - 9 P.M.
ZILVINAS KEMPINAS: FOUNTAINS Fountains is a large site-specific installation. It is a landscape ofsort with pools of magnetic tape waves that are driven by heavyduty industrial fans. Zilvinas Kempinas (b. 1969, Lithuania) has been using magnetic tapes from VHS cassettes to create works that apparently deny the original functions of the medium, but his works continue to stir up various levels of nostalgias in cultures that are familiar with the tape format, toward a replaced technology. Sleek and shiny, the black tape has been removed from its casing to become an object to be experienced in a physical
space. The exhibition is a part of the Cultural Program of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and supported by The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
ERRÓ: THE WORLD TODAY This exhibition shows Erró´s gifts to Reykjavík Art Museum in recent years. The works add to the huge collection he has presented to the Museum over the years. His latest gift comprises a multitude of works – collages, oils, watercolours and enamels – which he has made over the past twelve years. The works represent a new period in the artist’s career, during which he has created his own visual world using new approaches and themes. These latest works bear witness to the artist’s joiede-vivre and creativity in juxtaposing images from around the world.
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REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM HAFNARHÚS
TOMAS MARTIŠAUSKIS: CREATURE Creature is a site specific installation by Lithuanian artist Tomas Martišauskis (b. 1977), which is a postmodern take on the relationship between sculptural matter and the space. Using advanced technologies he translates a specific sculptural object into various mediums thus expanding the notion of traditional sculpture. Even though the primary object will not be exhibited, its 3D, video and audio renditions become what the artist describes as “authentic copies”. Paradoxical relationship between authenticity and a copy enables to see different aspects of the object: its interior and exterior, its sound, plasticity in animation and in the structural drawing.
ICELANDIC VIDEO ART FROM 1975 – 1990 A renowned show by Korean artist Nam June Paik in 1963 at a gallery in Wuppertal, Germany, is generally regarded as heralding the birth of video art. On TV screens he displayed distorted TV images; the exhibition was a first, because the artist turned his attention to the electronic signal that makes up a TV image. The aim of the exhibition is to focus on the 1980s, and the crucial place of that decade in the history of Icelandic video art. The exhibition also explores the circumstances of the artists, and asks questions about the preservation of works of video art, and how works of that period should be shown.
OPENING HOURS: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
TALES FROM THE VAULT
This exhibition of works from the museum’s collection explores the literary motifs that inspired Ásmundur Sveinsson in creating his sculpture. Based on myth, poetry, biblical stories, and Icelandic folklore, these works vaunt Sveinsson’s heroic stance as an artist representing his generation. Through Sveinsson’s varied artistic approaches and the lens of his own storyteller’s imagination, these works become ambassadors of the tales.
ANNA HALLIN: INTERPLAY
drawings and an installation, which interact with the building that houses the Ásmundur Sveinsson Museum, and a selection of his works from the 1930s and 40s.
REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM – KJARVALSSTAÐIR OPENING HOURS: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
ALEXANDER RODCHENKO: REVOLUTION IN PHOTOGRAPHY A retrospective of the photographs of Rodchenko, one of the leading Russian artists of the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition is from the collection of Moscow House of Photography. The art of Rodchenko and other avantgarde Russian artists of the time is indissolubly connected with the rapidly-changing society of the time, industrialisation and the
Russian Revolution. Rodchenko was one of the key figures in a group of radical artists in Moscow, who called themselves Constructivists, and saw art as a tool to serve the interests of society and progress.
KJARVAL COMPLETE 2 – THE BANKS‘ COLLECTIONS Over the years Icelandic banks have purchased and conserved many works by Icelandic artists, and they own large collections of art works by Jóhannes S. Kjarval, one of Iceland’s leading artists of the 20th century. The paintings normally hang in meeting rooms and public halls of bank branches all over Iceland, but this exhibition will provide an unprecedented opportunity to see the banks‘ entire Kjarval collections in one place. These include many masterpieces never before seen publically exhibitions. The works are hung in the spirit of the salon, covering the walls of the galleries from floor to ceiling.
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In her exhibition Interplay at the Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum, SwedishIcelandic artist Anna Hallin explores the threads that form so many connections in the history of art, between different countries, cultures and periods, and between one artist and another. In this exhibition Anna works with a kind of interplay between her own works and the sculptures of Ásmundur Sveinsson, while also examining Ásmundur’s links with Sweden and the work of Carl Milles, who was Ásmundur’s tutor for several years. The exhibition includes sculptures by Anna, as well as
REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM ÁSMUNDARSAFN
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ICELAND OPENING HOURS: 11 A.M. - 5 P.M. CLOSED MONDAYS
KNOWING THE YULETIDE LADS Hands-on exhibition on the Ground level. Old Christmas Trees and the Icelandic Yuletide Lads on the third floor.
CHRISTMAS FAMILY ACTIVITY GAME In December families are welcome to take part in the Christmas activity game at the National Museum of Iceland. The game, The Search for the Christmas Cat, is available in five languages. It is a great opportunity for families to learn together about Icelandic heritage in an entertaining way.
THE MAKING OF A NATION - HERITAGE AND HISTORY IN ICELAND
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The exhibition 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?
SIGFUS EYMUNDSSON PHOTOGRAPHER
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. It 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.
I CAN’T BRING MYSELF TO RETREAT - SNAPSHOTS OF QUEER HISTORY The National Museum of Iceland celebrates Reykjavík Gay Pride with an exhibition at Torgið (the Square) on the ground floor of the Museum building. The exhibition provides insights into the life and struggles of LGBT people in Iceland over the years,
as described in their own words at different times. They recount the ways in which they learned to face their own feelings, and recall different stages in the campaign for human rights for LGBT people. Each individual has his or her own view of the world. Different voices unite in harmony – accompanied by photographs of the people who speak.
SIGFUS EYMUNDSSON PHOTOGRAPHER Sigfus Eymundsson was a photography pioneer in Iceland and his collection of photographs was the first one of its kind to be housed at the National Museum of Iceland. What do the photographs portray, why did Eymundson take those photographs and what is their significance to Iceland’s cultural
heritage? We seek answers to those questions and many more at the first retrospective exhibition of Eymundsons’ collection.
ICELANDIC SILVERWORK To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the National Museum of Iceland a new exhibition on various silver items made in Iceland will be opened on the 24th of February in the museum‘s Arc Hall. Various silver objects from a long period of Iceland‘s history will be shown at the exhibition where the focus will be on the methods used to create them. At the same time another exhibition, Part–time Silversmith, will be opened in the Corner, where guests can see the tools that silversmiths of the past used to make silver objects.
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OPENING HOURS: 11 A.M. - 5 P.M.
THE LIBRARY ROOM
HAFNARBORG OPENING HOURS: 12 A.M. - 5 P.M. THURSDAYS 12 A.M. - 9 P.M. CLOSED TUESDAYS
RÚNA - BESIDE THE DEEP WATERS An exhibition focusing on the long and diverse career of Icelandic artist Rúna, Sigrún Guðjónsdóttir (b. 1926). The exhibition displays examples from Rúna‘s diverse artistic career, spanning both design and free visual art. She has been active in many fields: she was a pioneer of pottery in Iceland; has collaborated with leading design companies abroad; illustrated books and designed advertisements; and made a large number of murals for public buildings, working with her husband Gestur Þorgrímsson (19202003). In addition to objects and pictures from such projects, the exhibition also includes paintings by Rúna
from all stages of her career; paintings on tiles and on handmade Japanese paper.
THE GLOBE OF GOODWILL 2003 – 2013 The Benefit Society for Children with Disabilities (SLF) has launched a Globe of Goodwill every year since 2003. The Globes form a unique collection of artwork by some of Iceland’s most renowned artists. In december they can all be viewed together alongside some of the handmade originals, artists´ drawings and sketches and other material related to the artists´ working process in an exhibiton in Hafnarborg.
MUSEUM OF DESIGN AND APPLIED ART OPENING HOURS: 12 A.M. - 5 P.M. CLOSED MONDAYS
The Library Room, the old reading room of the National Library, features an exhibit selected and arranged by the National and University Library. On display are many of the landmark books of Icelandic cultural history, dating from the introduction of printing in the sixteenth century to the present day. These include the oldest published versions of the Sagas of Icelanders, Sagas of the Kings of Norway and Eddic poems, Hallgrímur Pétursson’s Psalms of Christ’s Passion and Vidalín’s Homilies, popular educational works from the Enlightenment, law codices and land registers, cultural journals and folktale collections from the nineteenth century, the works of Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness and other writers, selected books of poetry and much more.
THE CULTURE HOUSE
ASÍ ART MUSEUM OPENING HOURS: 1 P.M. - 5 P.M. CLOSED MONDAYS
TUMI MAGNÚSSON AND MICHAEL MØRK - ON SITE Tumi Magnússon and Michael Mørk both work with threedimensional aspects in the two-dimensional. They work individually with photography, painting and video involving spacious aspects as an important part of the work.
From December 7th. Paradigm is an exhibition curated by the independent curator and artist Lars Sture and consists of works by 18 Norwegian artists working in glass, ceramics and metals. The exhibition includes works by some of the most outstanding Norwegian artists in these fields.
Tumi Magnússon´s works always have a spacious base being presented against the two-dimensional agents but they reach three-dimensional expression through scale changes and installation in space. He uses everyday objects as the basis for its expression.
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PARADIGM A NORWEGIAN TRAVELLING EXHIBITION
The art of Michael i Mørk is often based in the rational functions of the homes spacious constructions, such as kitchen modules and other everyday objects. The works involve a time constraint by merging movement to a part of it.
RECURRING IN DEC
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas A guided tour every day at 13:00 in December.
Christmas at the Árbær Open Air Museum
Mozart by Candlelight
Children’s Christmas Hour Every Saturday in Dec, between 11-13 pm.
Imagine Peace Intercultural gathering and workshop for families in Viðey Island.
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27)
How to Become Icelandic in 60 Minutes (from 27th to 30th)
Christmas Concert with the Hallgrímskirkja’s Motet Choir and Sopran Diddú
Pearls of Icelandic Song - New Year’s Concerts (from 27th to 30th)
SUNDAY, DEC 1ST HAFNARBORG Curator’s Talk Guided tour of the exhibition Beside the Deep Waters.
THE SETTLEMENT EXHIBITION REYKJAVIK Yule – mid-winter celebration
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Reykjavik Boys Choir Veni Veni Immanuel - Festive Advent Concert
TUESDAY, DEC 3RD Lunch Time Concert with clarinet player Rúnar Óskarsson and pianist Antonía Hevesi.
WEDNESDAY, DEC 4TH GERDUBERG CULTURE CENTER Handicraft and coffee session – Printing for Christmas
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THURSDAY, DEC 19TH
ÁRBÆR OPEN AIR MUSEUM
SUNDAY, DEC 8TH
ÁRBÆR OPEN AIR MUSEUM
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Advent Lunchtime Concert
THURSDAY, DEC 5TH HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Advent Music and Meditation with the Klais organ
FRIDAY, DEC 6TH
HARPA, ELDBORG Russell Band - Messiah Complex
TUESDAY, DEC 10TH HAFNARHÚS Talk Series
WEDNESDAY, DEC 11TH
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Spiritual Standards
SATURDAY, DEC 21ST GARÐAKIRKJA Mozart by Candlelight
SUNDAY, DEC 22ND DÓMKIRKJAN Mozart by Candlelight
THURSDAY, DEC 12TH GULLREGNIÐ, KÓPAVOGUR Art from Lava and More Icelandic artists show their handmade art made from lava and other works.
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA Advent Music and Meditation with the Klais organ (See p. 27)
FRIDAY, DEC 13TH HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Organ Concert with Advent Music
SATURDAY, DEC 14TH HAFNARHÚS Guided tour with the Museum Belt
HARPA Gourmet Christmas Market
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ICELAND
The Nordic House Markowitz/ Andersson/Mogensen
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27)
Gallery talk in connection with the exhibition Kjarval Complete 2: The Banks‘ Collections
Concert: Tríó Reykjavík
Advent Lunchtime Concert
The Icelandic Yule - An Illustrated Presentation in English
FRIDAY, DEC 20TH KJARVALSSTAÐIR
Mozart by Candlelight
MONDAY, DEC 9TH
SATURDAY, DEC 7TH
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Christmas Music and Meditation with the Klais organ
The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert
SUNDAY, DEC 15TH HARPA, ELDBORG The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27)
WEDNESDAY, DEC 18TH
Christmas Concert with the Hallgrímskirkja’s Motet Choir and Sopran Diddú.
Christmas Lunchtime Concert
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27)
The Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra’s Annual Christmas Concert
MONDAY, DEC 23RD ÞORLÁKSMESSA HARPA, ELDBORG Bubbi Morthens - Annual Concert
TUESDAY, DEC 24TH AÐFANGADAGUR WEDNESDAY, DEC 25TH JÓLADAGUR THURSDAY, DEC 26TH ANNAR Í JÓLUM SATURDAY, DEC 28TH LAUGARASVEGUR 29 Jon Thormodsson, author of a 1,300-page book, Peace and War: Niagara of Quotations, talks in English in his home on peace and war and answers questions.
SUNDAY, DEC 29TH HARPA Children’s Christmas Ball
HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Organ Concert - Baroque at Christmas
TUESDAY, DEC 31ST GAMLÁRSDAGUR HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA (See p. 27) Festive Sounds at New Years Eve!
IMAGINE PEACE TOUR
NORTHERN LIGHTS CRUISE Make it’s Eldsure ing!
daily at 22:00 from 15 September to 15 October 21:00 from 16 October to 14 March 22:00 from 15 March to 15 April
to Viðey island daily at 20:00 from 9 October to 8 December
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WHALE WATCHING from Reykjavík all year round EL-01 / EL-02 / EL-03
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REYKJAVIK CITY LIBRARY 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. Tryggvagata 15, Reykjavik 411-6100 |borgarbokasafn.is Hours: Mon-Thu 10-19, Fri 11-18, Sat & Sun 13-17
HAFNARBORG 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. Strandgata 34, Hafnarfjörður 585-5790 | www.hafnarborg.is Hours: Daily 12-17, Thu 12-21, Closed Tue
REYKJAVIK MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY FREE ENTRY The only independent museum of photography in Iceland. The aim of the museum is to shape a unique vision and to be leading in its field. The museum preserves various collections from professional and amateur photographers. Tryggvagata 15, Reykjavik 411-6390 | www.photomuseum.is Hours: Mon-Thu 12-19, Fri 12-18, Sat & Sun 13-17
SIGURJÓN ÓLAFSSON MUSEUM
MUSEUM OF DESIGN AND APPLIED ART
THE EINAR JÓNSSON MUSEUM
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 L a u g a r n e s co nve r te d to a n exhibition space to house his collection of works, including sculptures, sketches, drawings and biographical material.
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.
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.
Laugarnestangi 70 553-2906 | www.lso.is Hours: Sat & Sun 14-17
THE SETTLEMENT EXHIBITION Experience Viking-Age Reykjavik at the new Settlement Exhibition. Multimedia techniques bring Reykjavik’s past to life, providing visitors with insights into how people lived in the Viking Age, and what the environment looked like to the first settlers. Aðalstræti 2, Reykjavik 411-6370 | www.reykjavik871.is Hours: Daily 10-17
Garðatorg 1, Garðabær 512-1525 | www.honnunarsafn.is Hours: Daily 12-17, Closed Mon
ÁRBÆJARSAFN Collection of artifacts docu-menting the development of the city of Reykjavik. Prese ntly the museum comprises 27 buildings, built between 1820 and 1907. Árbær, Reykjavik 411-6300 www.reykjavikmuseum.is Hours: Guided tours every day at 13.00 or by appointment.
Hallgrímstorg 3, Reykjavik 561-3797 | www.lej.is Hours: Sat & Sun 14-17.
THE NUMISMATIC MUSEUM 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, Reykjavik. Kalkofnsvegur 1, Reykjavik 569-9600 www.sedlabanki.is Hours: Mon-Fri 13:30-15:30
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There is no better way to start or end your Iceland adventure than by bathing in the famous Blue Lagoon. You can either board the bus at BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavík or at Reykjavík Intl. Airport (KEF). After having enjoyed everything that the wonderful Blue Lagoon has to offer, you can either return back to Reykjavík or be dropped off at Reykjavík Intl. Airport (KEF). Safe luggage storage at the Blue Lagoon. Storage cost is 3 EUR (500 ISK) per bag.
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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ICELAND
The National Gallery of Iceland has come a long way from its origins. To begin with, the collection consisted of donated artwork, mainly by Danish artists. Today the museum stands at Frikirkjuvegur in central Reykjavik, displaying both Icelandic and International art.
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.
Laufásvegur 12, Reykjavik 515-9600 | www.listasafn.is Hours: Daily 11-17, Closed Mon
Suðurgata 41, Reykjavik 530-2200 www.nationalmuseum.is Hours: Daily 11-17, Closed Mon.
Hverfisgata 15, Reykjavik 545-1400 | www.thjodmenning.is Hours: Daily 11-17
ASÍ ART MUSEUM
FREE ENTRY This museum was founded in 1961 when industrialist and book publisher Ragnar Jónsson donated his personal art collection to the museum, which consisted of paintings by Iceland’s most renowned painters. His wish was to establish an art museum that would bring art to the working class.
From the time of the earliest settlers, history is brought to life in a unique and exciting way. The Saga Museum intimately recreates key moments in Icelandic history, moments that have determined the fate of our people and which give a compelling view into how Icelanders have lived for more than a millenium.
VÍKIN MARITIME MUSEUM
Freyjugata 41, Reykjavik 511-5353 | www.listasafnasi.is Hours: Daily 13-17, Closed Mon
Perlan, Reykjavik 511-1517 | www.sagamuseum.is Hours: Daily 10-18
THE LIVING ART MUSEUM
GERÐUBERG CULTURAL CENTER
FREE ENTRY The museum is an active exhibition space in central Reykjavik that has organized many exciting exhibitions throughout the years. They put an emphasis on introducing young Icelandic artists, as well as showcasing work done by better known Icelandic and foreign artists.
An all-round cultural centre run by the City of Reykjavik, offering a varied programme of cultural events for people of all ages. Its aim is to be a venue of ambitious and high-quality cultural activities of all types and a place where good ideas and new creative ventures can find expression.
Skúlagata 28, Reykjavik 551-4350 | www.nylo.is Hours: Daily 12-17, Closed Mon
Gerðuberg 3-5, Reykjavik 575-7700 | www.gerduberg.is Hours: Mon-Fri 11-17, Sat & Sun 13-16
Hamraborg 4, Kópavogur 570-0440 | www.gerdarsafn.is Hours: Daily 11-17, Closed Mon
A unique venue dedicated to Icelandic history and cultural heritage. In the building there are facilities for exhibitions, meetings, gatherings, lectures, artistic events, public ceremonies and other occasions. On the ground floor you will find a restaurant and a souvenir shop.
It is impossible to truly get to know Iceland without getting to know its fishing history. The museum’s main exhibitions illustrate the development from rowing boats to modern trawlers and the history of trading vessels and routes and the construction of Reykjavik harbour. Grandagarður 8, Reykjavik 517-9400 | maritimemuseum.is Hours: Daily 11-17.
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F R E E E N T RY D e d i c a t e d t o the memory of the sculptor and stainedglass artist Gerður Helgadóttir. Her works constitute the most important part of t h e m u s e u m ’s co l l e c t i o n . A progressive art museum collecting a n d ex h i b i t i n g m o d e r n a n d contemporary art. It is situated in Kópavogur, a town immediately south of Reykjavik.
THE CULTURE HOUSE
ART & CULTURE
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ICELAND
ART & CULTURE
REYKJAVIK ART GALLERY The Gallery is an exhibition space for showcasing and selling art by working artists in nine spaces. It has been a venue for many exciting exhibitions and the gallery’s goal is to introduce Icelandic art, both to locals and travellers. Skúlagata 30, Reykjavik 564-2012 | reykjavikartgallery.is Hours: Mon-Fri 10-18 & Sun 13-17
GLJÚFRASTEINN LAXNESS MUSEUM
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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.
Gljúfrasteinn, Mosfellsbær 586-8066 | www.gljufrasteinn.is Hours: Daily 10-17, Closed Mon
A virtual simulation of Reykjavík’s history from 1912 to 2013. More of a time machine than a movie theater, the Walk uses four video projectors and 3D motion graphics to take you on a virtual tour through the historical highlights, from the birth of Reykjavík to the modern day in just under 10 minutes.
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 to be if you want to enjoy the best of Icelandic cultural as well as experiencing rich culture of the Nordic countries
Vesturgata 2, Reykjavik reykjavikcenturymuseum.com Hours: 17:30-21:00, book any time for groups of 5+
GALLERY FOLD Iceland’s leading auction house and foremost fine arts dealership. Established in 1990, Gallerí Fold has been in the hands of its current proprietor since 1992. In 1994, they acquired their own premises, where they‘ve enjoyed a period of growth and prosperity. Their 600 m2 building has five exhibition spaces from 30 to 110 m2. Rauðarárstíg 12-14, Reykjavik 551-0400 | www.myndlist.is Hours: Mon-Fri 10-18, Sat 11-14
Sturlugata 5, Reykjavik 551-7030 | www.nordice.is Hours: Daily 12-17, Closed Mon
COLLECTION OF ÁSGRÍMUR JÓNSSON 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. Bergstaðastræti 74, Reykjavík 515-9625 Hours: Tue-Thu 11-14, Sun 13-16.
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 19421950. The original building served Sveinsson as studio and home; behind it he built a crescentshaped structure as a work- and exhibition space.
The Reykjavik Art Museum took possession of its portion of Hafnarhús (Harbour House) in April 2000. Hafnarhús was built in 1932-39 for the offices and warehouses of Reykjavik Harbor and was at that time one of the largest buildings in the country.
Flókagata 24, Reykjavik 517-1290 | www.artmuseum.is Hours: Daily 10-17
Sigtún, Reykjavik 553-2155 | www.artmuseum.is Hours: Daily 10-17.
Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavik 590-1200 | www.artmuseum.is Hours: Daily 10-17, Thu 10-20
SOUVENIR SHOP SH O P O F T HE Y EA R 2 0 1 2
The viking:info Laugavegur 1 · Reykjavík Hafnarstræti 1 - 3 · Reykjavík Hafnarstræti 104 · Akureyri Adalstræti 27 · Ísafjördur e:info@the viking
www.theviking.is TAX FREE
This is Solla, the winner of Best Gourmet Raw Chef and Best Simple Raw Chef in the 2011 and 2012 “Best of Raw” Awards. Come and try out one of her great dishes at her restaurant Gló, Iceland’s most popular health food restaurant operating at three different locations in the great Reykjavik area. Reykjavík: Engjateigur 19 and Laugavegur 20b · Hafnarfjörður: Strandgata 34 · www.glo.is
The place where things are happening these days and there never seems to be a dull moment. It’s where you’ll find the city’s most popular DJ’s, a creative and exciting atmostphere, festive surroundings, suave bartenders, vibrant decor, fresh crowd, amazing wall art and dancing on tables.
Volta is a brand new concert and events venue in central Reykjavik that provides you with everything an excellent bar should have. A cocktail bar, lounge area, dancefloor, smoking room, a stage with a first class Funktion One soundsystem and a state of the art lighting system.
Tryggvagata 22, Reykjavik 571-8180
Tryggvagata 22, Reykjavik www.voltareykjavik.is firstname.lastname@example.org
DEN DANSKE KRO
One of the newest and hottest clubs in Reykjavik these days, mostly attracting young people who want to dance. Electronic music is their main thing during the weekend, but on weekdays they like to play make-out music, Icelandic classics from the 80’s and 90’s and host curiously themedpub quizzes.
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.
There is live music playing every night at Den Danske Kro and sometimes there are live football games, pub quizzes, beer bingo, darts and happy hours. Den Danske Kro is a casual place in the heart of Reykjavik where everyone is welcome.
Bankastræti 5, Reykjavik 552-9600 www.b5.is
Ingólfsstræti 3, Reykjavik 552-0070 www.danski.is
THE ENGLISH PUB
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 and univer sity 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.
Beer enthusiasts, look no further! In a small hole-in-the-wall kind of place just off Ingólfstorg square you will find Micro Bar. Carrying an impressive 140 different kinds of beers from all over the world, this is definitely the go-to place for beer fans.
In the mood for a pint? English Pub offers over 35 brands of beer and Whiskey. Whatever your preference – you will find it here. This is also a great place if you would like to catch some football (soccer). Inside they have 3 big screens and 2 TV’s so that you can catch all the action as it happens.
Smidjustigur 6, Reykjavik 551-4499 www.faktory.is
Hafnarstræti 4, Reykjavik 571-9222
Bergstaðastræti 1, Reykjavik 551-1588 www.kaffibarinn.is
Austurstræti 6, Reykjavik 847-9084 www.facebook.com/ MicroBarIceland
Austurstræti 12, Reykjavik 578-0400 www.facebook.com/enskibarinn
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It may not be the kind of factory you’re used to, but it’s a factory nonetheless. A factory of fun, if you will. Faktory is one of the main concert venues in the city, and there is something happening every night
SHOPPING & STYLE Find more recommendations on whatson.is
ANNA MARÍA DESIGN 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.
GALLERÍ SMÍÐAR OG SKART Gallery Smíðar og Skart offers a wide selection of contemporary Icelandic art. Oil paintings, acrylic paintings, watercolors as well as ceramics and glass art. Over 50 local artists have their work on display in the Gallery.
KOGGA Near the harbour in the middle of old town Reykjavik you’ll find unique ceramic design by the well known ceramics artist Kogga at her self titled gallery. Her work is both functional and sculptural, influenced by the rough nature of Iceland. A piece by Kogga can be found in many Icelandic homes.
Skólavörðustígur 3, Reykjavik 551-0036 www.annamariadesign.is
Skólavörðustígur 16a, Reykjavik 561-4090
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”.
One of Iceland’s major woollen industry shops, the Álafoss store. Situated in old factory premises that for decades were the leading manufacturers and exporters of Icelandic woollens, Álafoss is a company that strives towards offering the newest wares along with the traditional Icelandic wool sweaters
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 43, Reykjavik 551-2850 www.listvinahusid.is
Álafossvegur 23, Mosfellsbær 566-6303 www.alafoss.is
Six energetic women design and create exclusive art, while also running and working in the gallery. The gallery offers gift vouchers, issued by the store or by the Centrum organization that can be redeemed within most shops on Laugarvegur and Skólavörðustígur in downtown Reykjavik.
The Icelandic label BIRNA is built on a strong and individual identity; a style that doesn’t change radically every season but evolves and keeps moving. Combining timeless design with a personal touch, BIRNA creates clothing for confident women who want an individual look that lasts.
Skólavörðustígur 17b, Reykjavik 551-5675 | www.listaselid.is Hours: Mon-Fri 12-18, Sat 11-16
Skólavörðustígur 2, Reykjavik 445-2020 www.birna.net
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.
Vesturgata 5, Reykjavik 552-6036 www.kogga.is
Skólavörðustígur 2. Reykjavik 552-5445 www.MetalDesignReykjavik.is
Bankastræti 7, Reykjavik 533-3800 | www.cintamani.is
Every day from 18:00
All your favorites
Steaks, fish´n chips, burgers, … or take at our sandwiches anda look salads menu with a variety of Icelandic delicacies
Grillhúsið Tryggvagötu - Phone + 354 527 5000 - www.grillhusid.is RR-WO_145x107_0513.indd GH-RCG_145x107_0313.indd1 1
We just love it.
Aðalstræti 2 | 101 Reykjavík | Tel: +354 517 4300 | www.geysirbistro.is
22.5.2013 19.3.2013 15:25 16:41
SHOPPING & STYLE
With its wide open spaces and beautiful treasures displayed in glass casting, Gullkúnst Helgu feels more like a gallery than a jewelry shop. Located on central Laugavegur, Reykjavik´s busiest shopping street, this family owned shop is not to be missed.
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, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel, Movado, Swiss Military and more.
Natural light floods the wooden floors and the fresh white walls of this stunning design hub and retail outlet, which already attracts some of Iceland´s top talents. More than 70 designers are contributing to a huge selection of products that include children’s puzzles, fish skin lamps and exquisite jewellery.
Laugavegur 13, Reykjavik 561-6660 www.gullkunst.is
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Aðalstræti 10, Reykjavik 517-7797 www.kraum.is
At Studio Stafn you will be able to look at art, purchase art and have your art framed! Great works and historical paintings by Iceland’s most famous artists could become all yours if you pay them a visit. If you’re not looking to buy art, at least stop by and take a look.
A wonderful little workshop, where Hildur Hafstein creates her handmade Icelandic jewelry line, KORA. Inspired by different elements, such as Buddhism and the flower power, a visit to Hildur Hafstein will be a pleasant experience. Although the store is technically on Laugavegur, you walk in from Klapparstígur!
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.
Ingólfsstræti 6, Reykjavik 552-4700 www.studiostafn.is
Laugavegur 15, Reykjavik 511-1900 www.michelsen.is
THE HANDKNITTING ASSOCIATION OF ICELAND R e n ow n e d f o r i t s exce l l e n t 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 manufactures. Skólavörðustígur 19, Reykjavik 552-1890 | www.handknit.is
Laugavegur 20b, Reykjavik 771-1177 www.HildurHafstein.is
EPAL Their main goal has been to i n c re a s e I ce l a n d e r s i n te re st 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. Skeifan 6, & Harpa Reykjavik Keflavík Airport 568-7740 | www.epal.is
Skólavörðustíg 16, Reykjavík 519-6000 www.geysir.com
ANDERSEN AND LAUTH Based on quality and traditional craftsmanship it is a contemporary collection with strong roots in the vibrant Reykjavik art and music scene. Andersen & Lauth create their collections with passion and put their heart and soul into every piece of design. Laugavegur 7, Reykjavik 552-6067 | andersenlauth.com
SKÓLAVÖRÐUSTÍGUR 14 - 101 REYKJAVÍK - TEL: +354 571 1100
FOOD & DRINK
THE LOBSTER HOUSE
Lobster dishes are the main focus on the menu but there is a lot more to choose from. The starters are fresh and exciting, for example the whale tataki with ginger jelly, soya and sesam vinagrette, and the carpaccio of horse with lobster, wild mushrooms and foie gras.
Is a centrally located and affordable restaurant that boasts an extensive international menu with an emphasis on Tex-Mex, Italian, Indian and many light meal options. During the weekend Vegamót transforms into a bar with refreshing cocktails, a wide selection of beers and popular DJ’s playing well into the night.
Just last year they celebrated their 50th anniversary. From the very beginning, Grillid has been regarded as one of the best restaurants in Iceland. If you want fine dining, perfectly executed food, professional service and excellent wines with a spectacular view over the city, you have come to the right place.
Vegamótastígur 4, Reykjavik 511-3040 | www.vegamot.is
Radisson BLU Hotel, Reykjavik 525-9960 | www.grillid.is
HAMBORGARABÚLLAN – BURGER JOINT
Amtmannsstígur 1, Reykjavik 561-3303 www.humarhusid.is
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An excellent Indian restaurant, focusing on quality take-away, with the option of eating in. This means that while it‘s technically “fast food”, it’s definitely of restaurant q u a l i t y. Th e m e n u i n c l u d e s everything you could expect from an Indian restaurant, with the Chicken Tandoori being especially recommended.
Lækjargata 8, Reykjavik 578-3838 | www.hradlestin.is
They offer some of the the finest cuisine there is to find in the whole city. Grilling meat and fish of all kinds Argentinian style using wooden coal is what they do better than any other restaurant and frankly, you won‘t believe your own tastebuds Barónsstígur 11a, Reykjavik 551-9555 www.argentina.is
Since 2004, the Joint has kept it simple, fun and delicious. Sitting right by the Old Harbour, in a small, iconic house, the atmosphere of the Burger Joint is hard to find elsewhere. You can feel the joy of the staff, as they serve you juicy burgers, exploding with great taste. Geirsgata 1, Reykjavik 511-1888 www.bullan.is
A new restaurant in Iceland situated at Odinstorg. Snaps is a classic french bistro using local Icelandic ingredients. The location could not be better. Snaps is literally a few steps away from downtown Reykjavik, close to the National Theatre, The National Gallery of Iceland and the two main shopping streets of Reykjavik”
Situated in a warm, charming old building in the heart of Reykjavik. Caruso is romantic to say the least, and serves top quality Italian- and Icelandic food. The surroundings are beautiful and the atmosphere is enchanting. The restaurant is on three floors, so it‘s ideal for groups, individuals and couples.
A modern and health conscious restaurant and whole food shop which offers a wide range of hot or cold food to eat in or take-out. The selection consists of both vegetarian food and healthy food. No white flour, white sugar, MSG is used in the food.
Óðinstorg, Reykjavik 511-6677 | www.snapsbistro.is
Þingholtsstræti 1, Reykjavik 562-7335 www.caruso.is
Borgartún 24, Reykjavik 585-8700 www.lifandimarkadur.is
AUSTURHRAUN 3 I BANKASTRÆTI 7
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Th er m al sw i m m ing po ols
Hot t ubs and jacuzz i
Sa un as , steamb at hs an d sh ow er s
*Admission January 2013. Price is subject to change e
Reykjavik's Thermal Pools
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Se ve n lo ca t ion s
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Thermal pools a and d baths in Reykjavik a are e a source of health, rrelaxation elaxation and purenes pureness. s. All of the city´s swimming pools have several hot pots with temperatures ranging from 37˚ to 42˚C (98˚–111˚F). The pools are kept at an average temperature of 29˚ C (84˚ F).
Tel: +354 411 5000 • www.spacity.is
A new 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. Tryggvagata 4-6, Reykjavik 561-1111 | www.steik.is
AUSTURINDÍAFJELAGIÐ The spices used to season the food at Austur-Indiafjelagid are imported directly from India and blended on the spot by their team of highly experienced chefs. The Tandoori dishes on the menu must be mentioned, as the chefs have truly mastered the art of Tandoori grilling. Hverfisgata 56, Reykjavik 552-1630 | www.austurindia.is
JÓMFRÚIN 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. Lækjargata 4, Reykjavik 551-0100 | www.jomfruin.is
The main attraction of Osushi is the greatly convenient conveyor belt that runs alongside the seating section, enticing guests with a diverse selection sushi and other delicacies. Each dish has a specific color that represents a certain price so you only pay for what you eat!
Lo c ate d i n t h e o u t s k i r t s o f Oskjuhlid and overlooking the beautiful thermal beach Nautholsvik, Nautholl Bistro is a wonderful restaurant. The environment will make you feel like you’ve gone far away from the hustle of the city, with a fantastic view over the woods and the shoreline.
For the finest in dining, nothing compares to Perlan Restaurant. While your taste buds delight to superb cuisine, you will enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of Reykjavik and beyond as the restaurant gently completes a full rotation every two hours.
Nauthólsvegur 106, Reykjavik 599-6660 | www.nautholl.is
Perlan, Reykjavik 562-0200 www.perlan.is
Lo c a te d i n s i d e L i st h u s i d i n Laugardalur valley in Reykjavik, Glo is Iceland‘s hottest new organic restaurant. The menu consists of vegetarian- and raw food courses, meat dishes, soups and salads. The courses are somewhat modest as they are simple, filling and not flooded with too much spice or ingredients.
A chain of cafés and espresso bars with over 30 years of experience in serving and roasting high-quality coffee. They operate cafés in 8 locations in Iceland, promising a highly knowledgeable staff and a great cup of coffee procured in a responsible and fair way.
At one of the most beautiful spots in the city, in the heart of Reykjavik, you will find Við Tjörnina (By the Pond), an old and cherished seafood restaurant. The restaurant was considered to be quite revolutionary when it first opened over 25 years ago and has been a big part of Iceland‘s culinary culture ever since.
Engjateigur 19, Listhusid, Reykjavik 553-1111 | www.glo.is
Bankastræti 8, Reykjavik 420-2700 www.kaffitar.is/en
Templarasund 3, Reykjavik 551-8666 | www.vidtjornina.is
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Pósthússtræti 14, Reykjavik 561-0562 www.osushi.is
FOOD & DRINK
THE STEAK HOUSE
FOOD & DRINK Find more recommendations on whatson.is
Sjávarbarinn’s main feature is an all-you-can-eat buffet that has received raving reviews and it also offers an à la carte menu at a very competitive price. Join the locals for lunch in a friendly and cheerful atmosphere or enjoy dinner when the chef spruces things up.
This wonderful, small and intimate Italian restaurant is housed in Lækjargata, in the heart of downtown Reykjavik.. The restaurant has gotten excellent reviews from local critics in Iceland´s leading culinary magazine, Gestgjafinn and comes highly recommended for their great food.
A renowned Icelandic restaurant located in a house in central Reykjavik that is one of the oldest houses in the city. It has a rich and interesting history. Laekjarbrekka is a classy and elegant restaurant in every aspect, refined and well respected throughout the years.
Grandagarður 9, Reykjavik 517-3131 www.sjavarbarinn.is
Lækjargata 6b, Reykjavik 578-7200 | www.pisa.is
Bankastræti 2, Reykjavik 551-4430 www.laekjarbrekka.is
A new restaurant/lounge that gives you the best of both worlds Authentic Asian food in a beautiful and stylish environment for a reasonable price, and people are quickly catching on. The skilled chefs working there are very experienced, having worked at some of the best restaurants and hotels in Asia.
A fun restaurant, with the look and feel of an American Diner. Re a s o n a b ly p r ice d , o ffe ri ng 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.
The 1998 comedy film The Big Lebowski by the Coen brothers is not only a film, it has become a lifestyle. With the emergence of the Lebowski Bar in Reykjavik, everyone can now be a part of The Dude‘s peculiar world. The Lebowski bar is everything you want it to be, a bowling themed burger joint, restaurant and bar.
Borgartún 16, Reykjavik 517-0123 | bambusrestaurant.is
ICELANDIC TAPAS HOUSE Over 60 very diverse dishes to choose from and, to make things easier, special offer menus, for example the “Discover Iceland” option where you can sample Icelandic delicacies through a four course meal that includes puffin, langoustine, and Icelandic skyr pizza. Ægisgarður 2, by the old Harbour, Reykjavik 512-8181 | www.tapashusid.is
Tryggvagata 20, Reykjavik 562-3453 www.grillhusid.is
Laugavegur 20a, Reykjavik 552-2300
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.
Harpa is not only home to the Icelandic Opera and the Orchestra, it is also the location of one of Reykjavik‘s newest fine restaurants. The kitchen is in the middle of the room, where the fiery furnace gives the dinner guests a warm welcome. An ideal choice for people who appreciate fine cuisine combined with unique architecture and elegant atmosphere.
Vesturgata 2a, Reykjavik 552-5300 | www.fiskfelagid.is
Harpa, Reykjavik 519-9700 | www.kolabrautin.is
k ey ja
Restaurant for over 30 years
Bankastræti 2 - 101 Reykjavík - Tel. 551 4430 - email@example.com - www.laekjarbrekka.is
PRACTICAL INFORMATION Find more FAQ like this on whatson.is
WHAT ABOUT SHOPPING IN ICELAND AND REYKJAVIK? I LOVE SHOPPING! HELP ME OUT? Sure. There are some areas in Reykjavik better than others for shopping. The city centre as a whole is obviously great, with a great selection of highquality shops and stores. The Laugavegur is the main shopping street. There you’ll find everything you need for shopping, eating, drinking and culturally emerging yourself in the depths of Reykjavik. It’s a particularly nice street to walk on the 23rd of December. Leading up from Laugavegur towards Hallgrímskirkja church, you’ll find Skólavörðustígur – another cool street, populated mostly by neat galleries, workshops and other cool artistic venues. Reykjavik and the Capital Area also have a couple of malls. We have to be honest and acknowledge that they’re not the USA-style megamalls with 500 shops, a sauna and a rollercoaster. But they’re our own and they’re pretty nice. Kringlan and Smáralind are the most prominent ones – offering all the cool stuff one would expect to find in a modern mall. Also, check out our shooping recommendations on pages 58 to 60. There you will find a lot of great stores.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Emergency, Police, ambulance, fire department, medicine.
NATIONAL UNIV ERSITY HOSPITAL 24 HRS SERVICE EMERGENCY WARD » 543-2000 DOCTORS ON DUTY » 1770
DENTAL WARD » 575-0505
HEALTH CENTRE FOR TOURISTS » 510-6500
WHEN ARE STORES OPEN IN ICELAND? Opening hours in Iceland are generally quite liberal. Everything is more or less open on Sundays. You’ll find a selection of grocery stores open 24/7 and most shops open till evening. Especially in the summer.
WHERE CAN I FIND A PHARMACY, AND WHAT‘S THE ICELANDIC WORD FOR IT? It’s around. Look for the internationally recognized cross. The word you’re looking for is “Apótek” – the main brands being Lyfja and Lyf og Heilsa. Quite simple.
WHAT IS THE MAJOR BUS TERMINAL? We call it “The Bus Terminal”. It’s a pretty neat place, very central, very downtown. It’s the home of Reykjavik Excursions and the FlyBus that takes you to and from Keflavik Airport. The terminal is basically between the airport (you really won’t miss the airport… it’s downtown (want to know what’s up with that? Well, we’ve answered that question already!)) and central downtown, but on the other side of the pond. At the bus terminal you’ll find one of the coolest restaurants in Reykjavik. Hugely authentic and Icelandic, they offer singed sheep heads en masse as well as other national delicacies. Lastly – the Bus Terminal will store your luggage if you need – especially handy if you’re doing a couple of day’s tour from Reykjavik.
Viking feast Viking hotel Viking restaurants Viking live entertainment Viking Souveniers For booking and further information: Tel.: 565-1213 www.vikingvillage.is firstname.lastname@example.org Strandgata 55 Hafnarfjordur
Some places have a certain something about them. People just want to be there. And if you are lucky you get to spend some time at one of those places. Atli Bollason shared an apartment at Ingólfsstræti 8a few years ago with two friends. He never knew who would be there or what would happen when he got home. Sometimes it was a café, sometimes a cinema and after the bars closed there would maybe be a line outside. People just showed up. Ingólfsstræti 8 Skál fyrir þér! Léttöl
WOOL SWEATERS, ACCESSORIES, WOOL BLANKETS, TRADITIONAL CRAFTS & MODERN ICELANDIC ART
LAUGAVEGUR 8, REYKJAVÍK ÁLAFOSSVEGUR 23, MOSFELLSBÆR OPEN: MON. - FRI. 9.00 - 18.00 SAT. 9:00 - 16:00
ENJOY THE WARMTH FROM ICELAND!
WORN OUT FOR CENTURIES We o ffer c lo t h i n g & o t h er mer c h a n d i s e t h at r em i nd s u s o f g o o d old Ic el a n d
– V i s i t o u r s t or e s : 101 R e y k j a v í k , A k u r e y r i a n d G e y s i r, H a u k a d a l . w w w. g e y s i r. c om –