Published August 28, 2016
Reykjavík is a relatively small city, but even so, sometimes you need a bit of local advice to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a good people-watching spot, somewhere to see some contemporary art, or the best place to catch an Icelandic movie. Don’t worry, friends—we’ve got you covered via our Best of Reykjavík 2016 series. Here are some of our favourite spots in Reykjavík, for all kinds of super-fun days and nights out. Enjoy! And if you try our list, you can let us know what you thought of the selections via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best People-Watching Spot
This concrete-heavy fishing harbour area has been up-and-coming of late, evolving into a bustling neighbourhood of musician’s practice rooms, startup offices, cafes, shops and galleries. You can mill around, taking in the scenery of the harbour; get an ice-cream at Valdís, have a delicious meal at Matur og Drykkur or Coocoo’s Nest, visit the Steinunn boutique, or walk out to the man-made land artwork at the end of the docks. And you’ll see a lot of street life while you’re at it.
Runner Up: Prikið
The oldest diner in Reykjavík is a perfect place to enjoy a beer or coffee, order one of their trademark burgers, and engage in an entertaining bout of people watching. Whether you’re lucky and get a downstairs booth, or you get a window seat upstairs, pretty much everyone passes by here sooner or later.
Runner Up: Austurvöllur
The scene of the famous Panama Papers protests earlier this year, Austurvöllur is Reykjavík’s parliament square. Whether you decide to perch on a bench, sit outside at one of the many cafe-bars lining the square, or have a picnic, you’ll see pretty much all of Icelandic society passing by.
2014: Second Floor Window Seats, Eymundsson on Austurstræti
2013: Booths at Hressó
Read more of our Best of 2016 lists here.