It’s January, the cool heart of Winter. While looking at the “bright side of things” might be out of the question, Reykjavík certainly has no shortage of cosiness through the dark days. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite ways to warm up and keep the blood pumping.
Best Place To Buy A Wool Sweater
Handprjónasambandið is the Hand Knitting Society of Iceland. It’s stock comes from dozens of contributors from around the country, who make traditional knitted clothing for locals and tourists alike. It’s hard to walk into this place and not stay for a long time. There are so many choices. It’s stocked wall to wall with knitted sweaters and garments in all the colours and patterns you could imagine. The best tactic is to treat it like the wand shop in Harry Potter and let the sweater choose you.
Best Place To See A Movie
Winner: Bíó Paradís
This independent cinema on Hverfisgata is a palace for indie-film fans. They run a great programme of arthouse cinema from all around the world, as well as showing Icelandic films on rotation during the summer, with English subtitles. They sometimes show retro sci-fi and horror movies, whether cult B-movies or well-known classics. There’s an art gallery, a cafe, and some comfy sofas to hang out and drink coffee. Bíó Paradís, you’re doin’ it right: we salute you.
Best Record Store
Winner: Reykjavík Record Shop
Reykjavík Record Shop is capitalising on the current boom in vinyl sales. With a focus on new releases, indie-rock and alternative music, it’s frequented by hipsters and old-timers with an eye on up-and-coming acts. You can spend an hour thumbing through the catalogue or just pop in to grab something for an upcoming party. It’s amazing, given the state of the music industry, that these places are still making a go of it. So if you love vinyl, get out there and support your local indie store!
Winner: Coocoo’s Nest
Do not fly by or over this great spot located in the Grandi harbour area. It has a selection of vegetarian and vegan options and the brunch is one of the must-try meals in Reykjavík. Brunch is served Friday to Sunday from 11:00 until 16:00. We recommend getting there early and making a day out of the up and coming Grandi area. It has a picturesque old harbour, and the walk will help with your hangover.
Best Place To Go With A Group of Friends
Winner: Tapas barinn
Tapas barinn makes group dining fun, easy and intimate. You can choose from a wide selection of small dishes, including some Icelandic standard fare, served tapas style. It’s the perfect place for mixing locals and tourists in one big group. Locals have tried all the usual stuff and want something exciting; tourists want to try Icelandic classic dishes like puffin, whale and langoustine. Call ahead to make sure they have a table for you and your crew.