Icelandic Culture
Practical info
19 September 2019

How is the nightlife in Iceland?

Iceland is known for its nightlife, but there are a few things you need to know before heading out on the town on a Monday night, for example.
 
audience at a concert

The basics about Iceland's nightlife

The opening hours bars on Sundays-Thursdays is only to 1:00 AM. Icelanders generally don't go out drinking and partying on weekdays, except maybe Thursdays. The opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays is between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM, depending on the location. The vast majority are open to three and five during weekends.
 
Another thing you need to know is that Icelanders don't really do clubs or pubs. We have a hybrid of sorts, but that means it can be difficult to find a place to dance. Most places have a small dance floor though and either a DJ or a troubadour playing.
 
Alcohol is expensive in Iceland. So expensive that most people buy booze from the liqueur store and drink at home before going downtown, which is the reason why people are drinking and partying until the wee hours of the morning.
 
If you don't want to start your partying in your hotel room, most bars have a happy hour. The length of it differs between bars, so it is good to download the Appy hour app, which caters to your every happy hour need.
 
drinks

Are there any differences between the bars?

Sure, there are but not vast differences. We have a few bars named after countries, which try to mimic the drinking-spirit of that country but in the end, it's just people drinking and having fun.
 
Íslenski barinn plays only Icelandic music. Pablo Disco-bar is more in the salsa genre while The Drunk Rabbit, Irishman Pub and Dubliners are all about that Irish feel. If you want more of an American feel, head on over to American Pub but if that's too much for you, you can go to the English Pub which is next door.
 
If you want to listen to electronic or hip hop music, we recommend Paloma or Prikið. Metal-heads can head on over to Gaukurinn, which incidentally is also the best place to catch a drag show hosted by Dragsúgur.
 
Gaukurinn is a completely inclusive place where everyone is welcome, but if you want to go to an LGBTQI+ bar, we have Kiki and Curious.
 
Apart from troubadours, who are common in Den Danske Kro, Íslenski barinn, and the Irishman Pub, Húrra has regular live shows, as well as Gaukurinn.
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