All of Reykjavik's nightlife centers on the main street, Laugavegur, and the roads leading off it. The cafes and bars in Reykjavik tend to have a Jekyll and Hyde character - serving beer and coffee throughout the day, before transforming into buzzing drinking and dancing venues in the evening. The "runtur" is a way of finding the most 'hip' bar, with the length of the queues to get in acting as good indications of their 'hipness'.

Opening times for the majority of cafe-bars are Sunday to Thursday 10.00 to 01.00 and Friday and Saturday 10.00 to 03.00. Nightclubs close around 04.00 or 05.00 and the dress code is strictly spruce. Alcohol is available from licensed bars, restaurants and "afengisbud" shops. The minimum drinking age is 20 years.


A stylish upscale bar located on the ground floor of Hotel 101. Perfect for coctails before venturing out on the town. Good bar menu.


A trendy lounge-style bistro bar with a Scandinavian focus on the menu. Enormous Philippe Stark lamp shades and giant leather sofas, light meals and extensive drinks list.


The only real gay bar in Iceland. The scene is not segregated so expect lesbians and gay men to party together along with straight friends who love to dance. Good DJs and relaxed athmosphere, but be warned, the fun does not start until late and lasts until early in the morning.


Located by Austurvollur square, right in the very heart of Reykjavik. Offers typical Icelandic food, although with a twist, for a very good price. If you are brave enough you can tast the fermented shark, minke whale, salted cod, puffin and reindeer. The beer mugs are frosen, the music and the cusine Icelandic.


At the Laundromat café you can do your laundry while having a beer or excellent coffee. This friendly café prides itself on its tasty brunch, Sunday pot roasts, coffee bevarages, 5000 books, board games and up-to-date newspapers and magasines.


Is frequented by artists and actors. It is a gallery with regular exhibitions. One of the few bars in Reykjavík where there is no music!


A friendly café/bar in the heart of Reykjavík.The athmosphere is laid back and cosy. During the day: excellent coffee and buns. During night: beer and wine.


Relaxed bar which takes pride in excellent wine selection. Popular with age group 30+.

GAUKUR A STONG (Tryggvagata 22)

The Oldest Pub and live venue in Reykjavik and is still one of the most popular, with live music every night. It is advisable to arrive early to avoid the queues and also to be prepared for some dubious Icelandic heavy rock, which often bashes in among the more interesting local talent.

ESJA BAR (Corner of Austurstraeti and Posthusstraeti)

A classy bar with a small dance floor. For great cocktails, talk and fun, this is the place!

KAFFIBARINN (Bergstadastraeti 1)

Whether British pop star Damon Albarn is still a part-owner or not, is still a meeting place of the city's media set and has a certain cache, as evidenced by the frequent queues to get in. Reykjavik's celebs head to Sir Terence Conran's

CAFE DE PARIS (The other corner of Austurstraeti/Posthusstraeti)

As the name suggests, Café Paris has an international feel. After sipping on an espresso and chatting with friends, you forget you’re in Iceland. Then you walk outside.

TORVALDSEN (Austurvollur)

A posh, yet relaxed bistro-bar located in the heart of Reykjavik. On weekends it becomes one of the hottest nightclubs in town, popular with the crowd aged 30+. The versatile menu offers creative Asian-fusion dishes. Good selection of coffee, quality wines and cocktails.