11 Best Things to Do in Reykjavik at Night: Coolest Nighttime Experiences

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Reykjavik at Night
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Exploring for fun things to do in Reykjavik at night? Here are some of the coolest and most unique Reykjavik night activities and attractions. Ready yourself for an unforgettable night in Reykjavik, Iceland!

Reykjavik is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, where the nights are as lively as the days. From the awe-inspiring Northern Lights painting the sky in vibrant hues to the cozy bars echoing with the warmth of Icelandic hospitality, Reykjavik transforms as the sun sets. It’s a city where every corner has a story, every street a new possibility, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Iceland.

Ready to uncover the most captivating things to do in Reykjavik at night? Whether it’s indulging in the local culinary delights, diving into the vibrant music scene, or simply strolling along the moonlit harbor, Reykjavik’s nights are sure to captivate your heart. Here’s everything you need to know about the best Reykjavik nighttime attractions.

The top places to visit in Reykjavik at night right now

1. Chase the Northern Lights with Reykjavik Excursions

Join Reykjavik Excursions for a magical Northern Lights hunt, one of the top things to do during your European travel. Imagine hopping on a cozy coach, leaving city lights behind, diving into Iceland’s dark, starry night.

Your guide, full of cool facts about the Aurora Borealis, amps up the excitement. Then, in a peaceful spot, the sky bursts into a dance of colors – it’s nature’s most stunning show! Truly, this is an experience of the unique nightlife in Reykjavik!

Reykjavik Excursions knows the drill for the best views. They take you to specific places known for their clear skies and minimal light pollution, enhancing your chances of seeing the Northern Lights. These spots vary based on weather conditions but often include areas outside the city like Þingvellir National Park or along the Reykjanes Peninsula. I’ve seen the Northern Lights twice here on two separate visits, so can confirm that they are great for aurora viewing! Didn’t catch the lights the first time? They’ll take you again for free.

Plus, they provide warm drinks and blankets, making your wait for the lights cozy and comfortable. It’s a perfect blend of adventure and comfort under the Icelandic sky.

Chasing the Northern Lights with Reykjavik Excursions is one of the best things to do in Reykjavik at night.
Join Reykjavik Excursions for a Northern Lights hunt, escaping city lights to explore Iceland’s starry night.

2. Enjoy the Symphony of Sounds at Harpa Concert Hall

Ready to dive into the epicenter of Reykjavik’s music scene? Harpa Concert Hall, a stunning architectural marvel, is more than just a visual treat.

With its geometric glass facade mirroring the city lights and the harbor, Harpa hosts an array of musical events that cater to all tastes. The acoustics here? Simply sublime, ensuring every note strikes a chord in your heart.

This place is buzzing all year. It’s home to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. Love jazz or classical? Múlinn Jazz Club and the Classical Sundays have got you covered. Numerous music festivals and world-famous bands, soloists, dance groups, and theatre companies have performed here since its opening in 2011.

Harpa’s not just for grown-ups. Kids get a kick out of Maximus Musikus, the musical mouse. He’s pretty famous around here.

A visit to Harpa Concert Hall is about immersing yourself in the best Reykjavik nightlife through its rich artistic tapestry.

Image showing Harpa Concert Hall at night

3. Savor the Flavors in Reykjavik with the #1 Reykjavik Food Walk Tour

Let The Reykjavik Food Walk, rated as the #1 food tour in Iceland, guide you in a journey through the heart of the city’s food landscape, featuring iconic stops like Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and Sea Baron.

Your journey begins at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a legendary hot dog stand beloved by both locals and tourists. Here, you’ll savor what many consider the best hot dog in the world. These unique hot dogs, made from a blend of lamb, pork, and beef, are served in a bun with an array of tasty condiments.

Next, the tour takes you to Sea Baron, a cozy harbor-side restaurant famed for its exceptional seafood. Their lobster soup, known for its rich flavor, is a must-try.

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It perfectly showcases Iceland’s expertise in seafood preparation, served with fresh bread and butter, and delicious skewers.

The Reykjavik Food Walk is the perfect local introduction to food and restaurants in Iceland, offering a delightful experience with delicious local cuisines in some of the best places in Reykjavik at night. With a fun, knowledgeable Icelander guide by your side, it surely is an experience you don’t want to miss after your fly to Iceland.

Enjoy Reykjavik's top food tour, The Reykjavik Food Walk, with iconic stops like Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and Sea Baron.
Enjoy Reykjavik’s top food tour, The Reykjavik Food Walk, with iconic stops like Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and Sea Baron.

4. Rejuvenate Your Senses at Sky Lagoon

Looking for a blissful escape just outside Reykjavik? Sky Lagoon is your perfect destination. This geothermal spa, more than just a hot spring, is a haven of serenity and luxury, ideal for unwinding after a day of adventure.

Immerse yourself in the mineral-rich waters of Sky Lagoon and feel your stress melt away. The panoramic views of the surrounding landscape add to the visual splendor. But what truly sets Sky Lagoon apart is its unique seven-step ritual. This ritual, designed to refresh both body and mind, includes relaxing in the lagoon, a cold plunge, a session in the sauna with breathtaking views, a cold mist, a Sky Body Scrub, a steam session, and concludes with a refreshing shower.

In addition to this ritual, Sky Lagoon offers a range of treatments and massages, further enhancing your relaxation and well-being. You can also indulge in Icelandic flavors at Sky Café, Smakk Bar, and Sky Bar, where dishes and drinks from local vendors await.

Set against a stunning backdrop, Sky Lagoon offers a peaceful retreat and is undoubtedly one of the coolest things to do in Reykjavik.

Aerial view of Iceland's Sky Lagoon

5. Unleash the Fun at Kaffibarinn

Hit up Kaffibarinn for a taste of Reykjavik’s buzzing nightlife. This hotspot, with its iconic London Underground sign, is where the city’s evening fun comes alive. Known for its lively vibe and cool crowd, it’s a go-to for both locals and tourists.

Featured in the film “101 Reykjavik” and known as a former hangout for musician Damon Albarn, it’s a popular spot for the artsy and university crowd. The music here is eclectic, with the newest electro-house indie tunes and a mix of classic oldies.

The bar is divided into three areas. The ground floor features a dance area and bar, while the second floor offers a cozy sitting lounge. From Sunday to Wednesday, Kaffibarinn has a more café-like atmosphere, but from Thursday through Saturday, it transforms into one of Reykjavik’s hottest bars.

Grab an Icelandic beer or a creative cocktail, and dive into the lively scene.

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Don’t miss their themed nights and special events. Kaffibarinn is your gateway to the best nightlife in Reykjavik, a place where the city’s energy is always high and the nights are unforgettable.

Experience Reykjavik's vibrant nightlife at Kaffibarinn, known for its lively atmosphere and cool crowd.
Experience Reykjavik’s vibrant nightlife at Kaffibarinn, known for its lively atmosphere and cool crowd.

6. Embrace the Calm on a Night Visit to Grótta Lighthouse

Ever thought about where to find peace in Reykjavik after dark? Grótta Lighthouse is your go-to. Situated on the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula, this nature reserve has been a birdwatcher’s paradise since 1974.

Imagine spending a chill evening at Grótta. You’re surrounded by black sands and a rugged coastline, gazing out at the vast Atlantic. On a clear day, you can even spot the Reykjanes and Snæfellsnes Peninsulas. Summer brings a flurry of birdlife, from Arctic Terns to tufted ducks, and keep your eyes peeled for seals along the shore!

Low tide is your chance to walk out to the lighthouse. Come winter, Grótta becomes a prime spot for Northern Lights viewing, thanks to minimal light pollution. And guess what? There’s a geothermally heated pool to keep your toes toasty while you wait for the aurora.

Here, there’s no shortage of things to do. Birdwatching, chasing the Northern Lights, golfing, hiking, biking, surfing – you name it. A night visit to Grótta Lighthouse is a peaceful retreat and one of the coolest nighttime activities in Reykjavik, perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy moments in Iceland.

Grotta Lighthouse under a starry sky

7. Experience the Drama at the National Theatre of Iceland

Heading out in Reykjavik tonight? Make sure the National Theatre of Iceland is on your list. It’s a cultural heartbeat that’s been pumping life into Reykjavik’s arts scene since the ’50s.

Every visit to the NTI is a fresh experience. One night, you’re diving into a new Icelandic play; the next, you’re lost in a timeless classic. The actors? They’re incredible, bringing stories to life with pure passion.

But here’s the cool part: the NTI’s magic spreads far and wide. They tour all over Iceland and even hit up big stages worldwide. Think the Kennedy Center in D.C. or London’s Barbican Centre. Their shows, like “Peer Gynt” in Oslo, are a big deal internationally.

And the collaborations? Top-notch. Directors like Yaël Farber and Benedict Andrews have worked their magic here, adding a global flair to the Icelandic stage.

Situated in downtown Reykjavik, the NTI has a spot for every mood, from the grand Main Stage to the cozy Theatre Cellar Club. Grab a drink, chat about the latest show, or browse through theatre books. It’s one of the unique places in Reykjavik at nighttime you shouldn’t miss.

The National Theatre of Iceland, a cornerstone of Reykjavik's arts scene since the '50s, offers diverse experiences.
The National Theatre of Iceland, a cornerstone of Reykjavik’s arts scene since the ’50s, offers diverse experiences.

8. Indulge in Comfort at Reykjavik’s Cozy Cafés

Experience the warm and inviting atmosphere of Reykjavik’s cafés. Kick off your evening at Café Babalú, a vibrant and cozy retreat in the heart of Reykjavik. Imagine sinking into a comfy chair, surrounded by eclectic décor, with a steaming cup of coffee in hand. Treat yourself to their famous Carrot Cake, a moist and flavorful delight that’s a crowd favorite. Or, if you’re craving something savory, their hearty Chili Con Carne is like a warm hug in a bowl, perfect for Reykjavik’s cool evenings.

Next, make your way to Reykjavik Roasters, a haven for coffee enthusiasts with a cool Nordic twist. Here, coffee is an art form, each cup a masterpiece of rich flavors. Pair your coffee with a freshly baked Cinnamon Bun, the perfect blend of sweet and spice, or a flaky, buttery Croissant that melts in your mouth.

Café Babalú and Reykjavik Roasters are Reykjavik nighttime things to do that offer a taste of the city’s café culture during your stay in Iceland.

Café Babalú interior view

9. Solve the Mystery on a Night at Reykjavik Escape

Ready for an epic night in Reykjavik? Head over to Reykjavik Escape for an adventure you won’t forget. Each room is a unique world of puzzles and challenges.

Picture yourself in ‘The Prison Break’, racing against time to break free, or in ‘The Mafia’, where you navigate the underworld’s secrets. Each room, be it ‘The Scientist’, ‘Bank Heist’, ‘The Dollhouse’, ‘Escobar’, or ‘Happy Hour’, offers a distinct and immersive experience that will test your wits and teamwork.

These rooms aren’t just themed spaces; they’re intricate stories waiting to be unraveled. You’ll find yourself decoding clues, solving puzzles, and unlocking secrets. The adrenaline rush of beating the clock and the satisfaction of solving each challenge is unmatched.

Reykjavik Escape is perfect for groups seeking a thrilling night out or solo adventurers eager to join forces with new friends. It’s more than a game; it’s a brain-teasing, heart-pounding adventure that stands out as one of the top places in Reykjavik after dark. So, rally your team or join a group, and dive into the exhilarating world of escape rooms!

Experience an epic night at Reykjavik Escape, where each room presents unique puzzles and challenges.
Experience an epic night at Reykjavik Escape, where each room presents unique puzzles and challenges. | Image Source: https://www.reykjavikescape.is/

10. Stroll Along the Scenic Reykjavik Harbor at Night

Take a peaceful evening walk along the scenic Reykjavik Harbor. This area, with its beautiful views and tranquil atmosphere, offers a perfect setting to unwind and reflect.

This harbor is brimming with attractions. You’ll find the Reykjavik Maritime Museum here, a must-visit for anyone interested in the country’s maritime past. And let’s not forget the Sun Voyager sculpture, an awe-inspiring steel artwork that’s even more striking under the night sky.

As you wander, consider stopping at Kopar Restaurant for some exquisite seafood, or unwind at Slippbarinn in the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina, known for its creative cocktails and vibrant atmosphere. These European gems provide the perfect setting to relax and enjoy the harbor’s ambiance during your Iceland vacation.

Entry to the harbor area is free, making it an accessible spot for everyone. Taking a leisurely walk, snapping photos of the scenic views, or simply enjoying a quiet moment by the sea? Reykjavik Harbor is one of those unique places to visit in Reykjavik that beautifully blends natural beauty with cultural richness.

Image showing Reykjavik Maritime Museum

11. Discover the Nightlife at Laugavegur Street

Wrap up your night in Reykjavik with a bang on Laugavegur Street, starting at Kiki Queer Bar. This lively spot is all about rainbow vibes and epic parties. It’s the go-to place for anyone looking to dance and embrace their true self. Kiki Queer Bar is famous for its themed nights – from disco to pop hits. The atmosphere? Electric and inclusive, making everyone feel welcome.

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Kiki Queer Bar on Laugavegur Street.
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Kiki Queer Bar on Laugavegur Street.

Just a short walk away is Dillon Whiskey Bar, a haven for whiskey enthusiasts. Imagine a dark, laid-back watering hole with a rustic, cozy vibe. Dillon boasts an impressive selection of over 170 whiskeys, perfect for savoring slowly. Their specialty? A fantastic range of single malts and blends. The bar also hosts live bands and DJ’d music, creating a soulful ambiance.

Strolling down Laugavegur Street, with stops at Kiki and Dillon, you’re in for a night of diverse experiences in one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Whether you’re dancing under colorful lights at Kiki or unwinding with a smooth whiskey at Dillon, this street showcases some of the best places to go in Reykjavikafter dark.

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The top things to do in Reykjavik for all types of travelers
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