10 Bars In Reykjavík For The Ultimate Nightlife Experience

Hit up Reykjavík bars for craft beer, cocktails, and cool vibes all night long.

Known for its boisterous nightlife, Reykjavík is home to a variety of bars and clubs that keep the party going well into the early hours. Luckily, going out at night is very safe in Reykjavík due to its extremely low crime rate. Many cafes turn into bars once the evening hits, so don’t be surprised if the place you got breakfast at is bursting with dancing locals and live music once the sun goes down. For an unparalleled night out, check out the 10 best bars in Reykjavík.

Slippbarinn

Mýrargata 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

best bars in Reykjavík
FACEBOOK Slippbarinn

Slippbarinn opened in 2012, making it the first cocktail bar in Iceland. It’s located inside Icelandair Marina Hotel, with vintage style decor and themed cocktails such as The Incredible Hulk with a pistachio, honey, and chocolate flavor combination. There are 2 happy hours per day and the drink menu changes according to the season. You’ll also find a small snack menu including charcuterie if you get hungry while you sip.

Skúli Craft Bar

Aðalstræti 9, 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

best bars in Reykjavík A glass of Cuvée Saint-Gilloise
A glass of Cuvée Saint-Gilloise. Photo by skulicraftbar on Instagram

Located in Old Town, Skúli Craft Bar boasts a chill atmosphere amidst brick walls, wooden tables, and unique artwork. This is where you’ll find some of the best craft beer in Iceland, with an overwhelming selection of over 130 different brews on the menu. Luckily, tasting glasses are available if you aren’t sure what to get. Make sure to check out the Pac-Man arcade game in the corner for some 80s nostalgia before you leave.

Gaukurinn

Tryggvagata 22, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Krownest playing live at Gaukurinn
Krownest playing live at Gaukurinn. Photo by jen.ny.re on Instagram

Gaukurinn is a dive bar beloved by locals for its alternative vibes and great music. Many of the country’s most famous musicians started out playing here, so it’s a great place to check out up and coming Icelandic artists. The bar opened in 1983 and was the first place to serve draft beer after it was legalized in Iceland. Gaukurinn also hosts drag shows, stand-up comedy, movie nights, karaoke, and open mics so there’s always something new to enjoy.

Prikið

Bankastræti 12, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

best bars in Reykjavík Úlfur playing live at Prikið
Úlfur playing live at Prikið. Photo by art_ode_de_la_vie on Instagram

Prikið holds the title of oldest coffee shop in Reykjavík, having opened in 1951. This seemingly modest establishment is more than meets the eye, however. After operating as a cafe all day, Prikið transitions into a lively party spot with a diverse crowd and live DJ sets on the weekends. The dive bar serves some of the most bang for your buck beer in Reykjavík, a city known for its steep alcohol prices. You can even come back for breakfast the morning after to replenish the calories you burnt dancing the night away.

Den Danske Kro

Ingólfsstræti 3, 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

best bars in Reykjavík A glass of Tuborg Classic
A glass of Tuborg Classic. Photo by dendanskekro on Instagram

If you prefer the low-key vibe, check out Den Danske Kro, a Danish themed pub downtown with live music and board game nights. The casual setting (and outdoor seating) can be a breath of fresh air among the rowdier clubs in the area. Den Danske Kro opens a bit earlier than other bars at 2 PM, so you can get started well before the nightlife crowd rolls in.

Húrra

Tryggvagata 22 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Blóðmör playing live at Húrra
Blóðmör playing live at Húrra. Photo by jen.ny.re on Instagram

Located by the old harbor, Húrra was the first concert venue in Reykjavík in the 80s. It’s still host to many live music events today from DJ sets to jazz band concerts. Even when the music isn’t live, it stands apart from the usual pop playlists playing in other clubs. Húrra is for the hip and grungy crowd looking to try local beer and experience Icelandic nightlife authentically.

Kaffibarinn

Bergstaðastræti, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

The Kaffibarinn sign best bars in Reykjavík
The Kaffibarinn sign. Photo by fantastic_bars on Instagram

Kaffibarinn functions as a cafe during the day and transitions into one of the most famous bars in the city once evening hits. It was the first microbrewery in the country and really helped create the bar scene Reykjavík is known for today. You’ll know you’ve found the place when you see the London Underground sign outside, a nod to the establishment’s part-owner, Damon Albarn of the British rock band Blur. Stay on the first floor for the dance floor and bar, or head up to the second floor for a quieter lounge atmosphere. Either way, be ready to party when you come to Kaffibarinn.

Kaldi Bar

Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

A beer at Kaldi Bar best bars in Reykjavík
A beer at Kaldi Bar. Photo by kaldibarrvk on Instagram

If you’re looking for a certified local favorite, Kaldi Bar is the place to go. The intimate space stands apart from the wilder clubs in Reykjavík with its comfy couches, laid back atmosphere, and distinct lack of loud music. Enjoy Czech style beer from the Kaldi brewery with some pub food and bar snacks while local students take to the piano open for anyone to play.

Dillon Whiskey Bar

Laugavegur 30, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

The exterior of Dillon Whiskey Bar
The exterior of Dillon Whiskey Bar. Photo by danieljameswriter on Instagram

Casual meets classy in the locally beloved Dillon Whiskey Bar. Here, you’ll find 170 kinds of whiskey from all around the world and an impressive selection of Icelandic beer. Venture out to the large beer garden if you need some fresh air, or head up to the cozy attic to meet the friendly locals that congregate there.

KEX Bar

Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

The bar at KEX Hostel
The bar at KEX Hostel. Photo by kexhostel on Instagram

Triple threat hostel, bar, and restaurant, KEX is housed inside of an old biscuit factory with a view of the sea. The saloon style bar area serves delicious snacks and the establishment’s very own brewed beer. There’s occasional live jazz and a heated outdoor patio area perfect for colder weather. KEX is quite classy, and definitely not what typically comes to mind when one thinks of hostels. Even the locals love it here, so don’t skip KEX as you make your way through the Reykjavík bar scene.

Meghan St. Pierre

Content Editor Associate

Meghan is a native of South Florida who loves nature and landscape photography. Her favorite travel activities are getting lost in new cities and trying local desserts. She has been to 22 countries, and her favorites have been Sweden and Denmark so far.

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