A Jet Set Lifestyle: Bar Options in Reykjavik, Iceland

I’ve talked about about the Reykjavik bar scene throughout many previous posts. But I never really gave a breakdown of the different bar options the great city has to offer. This does not cover all of the options and places open and close frequently like in any city so this is a breakdown as of writing (March 2016). Also these places pretty much never have a cover charge. On Friday’s they usually get going around 11 PM or midnight, on weekends about an hour to an hour and a half later than that. Sunday – Thursday they close at 1 while Fridays and Saturdays they are open until 4 AM in the morning. Remember they don’t use “excuse me” and will just shove you out of the way if they want to get by. And don’t try to sneak your drink out like a rookie, just ask for a to go cup if you want to move on to somewhere else!

  • B5 is a club more than a bar. I’ve heard they have a stricter dress code than most of Reykjavik and that ladies you should be in heels. But for me this is all hearsay as I haven’t actually gone there myself. (Heels in winter in a walk able city and I are not friends).
  •  American Bar and English Pub are tourist hot spots. But you can find Icelanders in them, mainly when they want to pick up tourists.  You will find dancing at both. Both are pretty large spots but still will get backed during the weekend nights.
    • English Pub almost always has live music in the form of a 2 or 3 person cover group. Earlier in the night there’s room to dance and with your friends without getting that “club” vibe but as the night wears on the place gets overcrowded. You can find futbol matches on there.
    • American Bar will do live music earlier and switch over to DJs who spin Top 40 hits later in the night on weekends. If you’re looking to hear the current hits this is where to go, but ladies don’t be surprised to have dudes coming up and grinding on you. American bar as a front and back bottle service area like any good american bar will have. So if you’re into that sort of thing. Also things like the Superbowl are played there.

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  • Prikið is the hip-hop spot. A lot of Reykjavik’s hip hop artists will hang out there and the music is all hip hop spanning the decades. The space is 2 floors and though the music pumps through to the second floor is really just for tables and chillin’ out while the 1st floor is packed to the gills.
  • Kofinn has DJs spinning electronic music, small space, not very crowded.
  • Bravó also goes down the electronic path as the night wears on. Be careful of the step as you enter (or exit), it’s gotten me twice (once going in and once going out).
  • Húrra has electronic music, a stage area to dance as well as the dance floor, and most people seem to be rolling face there.
  • Kaffibarinn will had electronic in the front room but it’ll be music free in the back room. This is one of my favorite spots to chill out, back room style as I’m not a club person and usually like to be able to sit and chat (if I’m not dancing) but get there early for seats.
  • Lebowski If you are a fan of the movie you need to check this place out. Also, there’s like 3 rooms and the back one is usually where you can find people dancing. The music isn’t normally the best, but it’s dance-able to some extent.

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  • Bar Ananas is a tiki bar and because of that obviously also has a kitschy feel to it. It always looks like summer in there! It’s nice during those long winter nights. It’s one of my favorite spots to chill out in. They have free wifi too!
  • Kiwi is a gay club. I have not been in myself, so I can not attest to the scene inside.
  • Shooters is the Gentlemen’s Club.
  • Bjarni Fel Sportbar You can find futbol on as well as UFC fights and probably other sports as well, however it’s all that I have seen in my couple of times in there.
  • Hressó in front there’s long booths to sit in and eat. On weekends they have live music up front as well. There’s some small tables and the bar too. If you down to the back room on weekends there’s a DJ and you can hear a lot of dance-able music. So if you want to get your dance on you can give it a shot.
  • Boston Bar it’s pretty divey in there, but they have free wi-fi.
  • Dillon is a rock bar and a whisky bar. The whisky’s are good and the music ranges from rock, hard rock, to the more metal side of things. I myself have nly seen live music there on weekends, I’ve been in once or twice during the week and it was pretty quiet.
  • Skuli Craft Bar if you like craft beers check this one out.
  • Micro Bar also a craft beer spot, though I think I enjoy Skuli better.
  • Dubliner is a total dive bar.
  • Paloma you can find live music in as well. And as most places in Reykjavik the live music is of the harder style because that is what’s quite popular in those Nordic countries.
  • Gaukurinn depending on the night you can find stand up, trivia, karaoke, live music, etc.
  • Danski Barinn Pretty relaxed atmosphere and the wallpaper in the fall by the bathrooms feels like velvet, seriously.
  • Íslenski Barinn I’ve heard has decent food though I haven’t tried it myself. I’ve gone in once and it has a mixture of small tables, booths, and bar seating. Not a place to go if you’re looking to party as it has a more chill vibe from what I’ve noticed.

Have you been to any of these places? What are your thoughts and opinions? Did I leave out your favorite spot? Tell me and the readers about it! Comment below.

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