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The Best Bars in Iceland

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Whether you're searching for a spot to sip a craft beer while watching the Northern Lights or a popular bar that serves up au courant cocktails and electronic music, Iceland has you covered. Reykjavík is, easily, Iceland's most popular city for those who like to pair drinking and dancing, but it also offers plenty of places to perch if you're more in the mood for conversation with locals over a nightcap. One of the city's coolest trends: many of the coffee shops turn into buzzing dance parties during the evening hours. Of course, many of Iceland's most-celebrated restaurants also go to town when it comes to cocktails. Worry not, you'll never go thirsty.
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1-3,, Naustin, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
One of the city’s most venerable underground nightspots, Paloma has a breezy and slightly unpredictable vibe that, combined with a great music policy, makes it a hit with visitors and locals alike. The pub-like upstairs bar usually has a...
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Most of Reykjavík’s bars are unpretentious affairs to say the least, with dress codes being almost unheard of. Almost. Enter Loftið, which serves high-end cocktails in a chic and breezy upstairs lounge. The...
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Mýrargata 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Located down on the harbor and hidden inside the chic Reykjavik Hotel Marina, this vintage-cool bar is run by master mixologists who create dapper cocktails from fresh, local ingredients and house-made syrups. Behind the handsome wooden bar there...
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Vesturgata 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The selection of beers in this artisanal spot is unbeatable, ranging from Icelandic brews like the local Kaldi (available on draft) to international classics such as Tactical Nuclear Penguin from Scotland. The bottled beers are supplemented by up...
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101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Mellow café by day, raucous party bar at weekends, Kaffibarinn is one of Reykjavík’s quintessential nightspots. Marked with a London Underground logo on the outside, it boasts celebrity associations including Blur’s Damon...
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This legendary downtown location has been through a variety of guises, including Harlem and Bakkus, all of them bringing some extra buzz to the city's nightlife in one way or another. Húrra does the same, offering a diverse and generally...
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Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
This craft beer joint set on the high street Laugavegur might be small in terms of size, but it's big in personality. Having grown from the local Kaldi brewery—famous for creating a tasty line of less chemically laden Czech-style beers,...
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Hafnarstræti 96, 600 Akureyri, Iceland
Götubarinn—the name simply means "Street Bar"—is one of Akureyri’s friendliest and most atmospheric local pubs. Located in the heart of the city, it features cozy nooks for intimate conversations, a quirky interior design that includes old street...
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Bankastræti 12, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Rekjavík’s oldest coffee shop, Prikid’s brightly-painted exterior makes it look like it could be an ostentatious Bavarian beer garden. However, the popular pub is perfectly grungy and divey—and surprisingly...
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Laugavegur 24, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
A perfect happy hour spot, Public House’s hip, funky rock-and-roll interior (complete with neon signs, fake animal heads, and chandeliers made from recycled Paiste cymbals) make it look far more raucous than it really is. And sure, the...