Reykjavík is a city that’s known for its nightlife, and with a burgeoning beer culture, there are plenty of great options if you’re looking for a drinking establishments with a great vibe. Here’s a selection of the 10 best bars in the city, in terms of quality drinks and atmosphere, where visitors are sure to have a great time.
Located in the Reykjavik Marina Hotel next to the Old Harbour area, Slippbarinn is considered Iceland’s first cocktail bar. With a tasty array of unique cocktails on the menu, such as The Metamorphosis which involves a mix of gin and Yunnan tea, prepare to be amazed.
Meal service:Late Night
Snaps is a French-Icelandic establishment, offering a cosy atmosphere with low-lighting, hanging plants and large windows, is one of the most memorable in Reykjavik. If you want a quiet evening with friends, in a sleek, cool environment, go here and check out the gin and tonic menu.
Snaps Bistro-Bar, Þórsgata 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 511 6677
Kex Hostel, a former biscuit factory overlooking the beautiful Mount Esja, offers a great selection of Icelandic beers on tap as well as tempting bar snacks such as dates wrapped in bacon. Enjoy mingling with guests at the hostel and locals as well, in the vintage décor of the lounge and bar area. Go on a Tuesday evening and enjoy a free concert with local jazz musicians.
Kex Hostel, Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 561 6060
Atmosphere:Boutique, Quirky, Relaxed
Relocated from its former place on Austurstræti, Microbar now sits in the cosy, low-lit basement of Restaurant Reykjavik. Enjoy an incredible selection of local microbrews as well as imports mostly from Europe. Try the 10 beer sampler with a friend to get a wide variety of flavours and quality beers.
Micro Bar, Vesturgata 2, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 865 8389
Hotel Holt Gallery Bar
With framed sketches on the walls of Iceland’s most beloved painter, Jóhannes Kjarval, as well as many other respected landscape painters, the legendary Hotel Holt’s Gallery Bar packs quite the ambiance. The drink selection is of the classic variety, offering beer, wine, and cocktails, pairing well with the equally classic cushy red leather chairs and fireplace.
Located on the second floor with huge windows overlooking the busy walking street below and perfectly worn brown leather sofas, Loftið offers a lot in ambiance. Come for the whiskey selection and tailored feeling of the place. You must be 25 years old to enter, as well as adhere to a dress code of ‘neat and classy’.
Loftið, Austurstraeti 9, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 551 9400
Kaldi Bar, which just opened a Beer Spa, the first of its kind in Iceland, was also the first microbrewery in Iceland. Prepared in the centuries-old Czech method, Kaldi brews are given the Icelandic twist of using natural spring water from Sólarfjall mountain in the north. Enjoy this small bar downtown with a great variety of drinks and warm atmosphere.
Kaldi Bar, Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 844 0606
Mikkeller & Friends
This small bar is located upstairs from an excellent pizza restaurant known just by its address, Hverfisgata 12. The interior was designed by a renowned film set designer who has chosen a circus and theatrics theme for this bar which is set in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Reykjavik, built in 1910. Mikkeller & Friends offers 20 different beers on tap from the Danish Mikkeller brewery, To Øl, and other top-quality breweries.
Hverfisgata 12, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 437 0203
Húrra is also a popular music venue and usually has an event happening every night of the week. This artsy bar is a favourite for students and locals, especially in the early hours of the morning. While the drinks are nothing out of the ordinary, with a few local beers on tap and simple cocktails available, you can’t beat the dancefloor. Free jazz improv concerts every Monday evening.
With so many types of beer on offer, and knowledgeable staff to help guide you, Skúli is definitely a craft beer lover’s paradise. With its low lighting and relaxed ambiance, you can’t go wrong. It is named after the Reykjavik sheriff, Skúli Magnússon who died in 1794, and whose statue stands in the courtyard outside.
Skúli Craftbar, Aðalstræti 9, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 519 6455