Reykjavik is a city that’s well known for its nightlife. By day this thriving city has a reputation for being calm but once night comes it becomes something of a boisterous powerhouse, as cafés transform into bars and clubs catering for all tastes and playing every type of music you can imagine from garage to heavy metal. The more raucous spots are supplemented by a slew of craft beer and wine bars where it’s possible to enjoy a more sedate, chilled out experience.
One of the best things about hitting the bars in Reykjavik is that everything can generally be reached on foot without the need for taxis or crowded public transport. Most bars, even the more lively ones, seldom charge an entrance fee and you will rarely see queues.
But with so many fantastic bars available, where do you start and which places should you visit? Well read on for our list of the bars we think should be on everybody’s pub crawl itinerary. However, you should join us on our real pub crawl to discover the hidden gems of Reykjavik nightlife
Slippbarinn can be found inside the Icelandair Marina hotel on Reykjavik’s scenic harbour front. It is a bit of a trendy drinking den but it’s warm and welcoming interior, with a long wooden bar, designer barstools, large windows, and amazing views towards the harbour, make it a great place to start your bar crawl. Being a trendy bar it sells a vast variety of drinks from popular lager brands to an ever-changing cocktail list that will generally suit everybody’s tastes. For those feeling a little peckish the food menu is pretty amazing.
The Micro Bar in Restaurant Reykjavík
This is a little hidden gem buried in the brick-walled basement of Restaurant Reykjavík. It combines cosy surroundings, a ramshackle assortment of tables and chairs, and a bar that has the best selection of artisan beers in the city. On top of this the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.
The Micro Bar serves around a dozen regularly-changing beers on tap, and many scores of bottle beers spanning IPAs, German and Belgian beers, as well as local brews including the amazing Gæðingur from the north of Iceland.
The English Pub
What bar crawl would be complete without a good old English pub. But whilst an English styled pub in Reykjavik may seem like a strange idea, with over 35 types of beer from all around the world, one of the best whisky selections anywhere, and huge screens showcasing every sporting event imaginable, the English Pub is an entertaining and comfortable experience that should be high up your pub crawl itinerary. On top of this local bands play live in the main room every night, and even better, there is a happy hour daily from 4pm-7pm too. And of course no English bar is complete without a dartboard which you will find on the wall of the main bar.
The Lebowski Bar
We saved the strangest bar for last. Who doesn’t want to visit a bar dedicated to The Dude, Jeff Bridge’s personable slacker from the Coen brothers incredibly famous The Big Lebowski film. This unique experience has rugs stuck to the bar, a bowling lane, and diner-style tables. Everywhere you look is inspired by the movie, with memorabilia and photos of the film’s characters lining the walls. The drinks and food, if you’re hungry, are all American themed, with milkshakes, draft beers, and twenty types of Vodka accompanying the burgers, fries and nachos.
Whether you are travelling by yourself, with a partner, with colleagues or friends, and are looking for a night of entertainment, new friends and unique drinks, then the Reykjavik nightlife has something for you.