Must-see street art, free and in walking distance (for the most part)
Street art in Reykjavík has a lot to offer. From Skólavörðustígur, also known as the Rainbow Street, to numerous murals and graffiti along the shopping street Laugavegur and beyond. Unremarkable buildings, hidden alleyways, and even industrial infrastructure burst with colour here. On one of the (rare) sunny days, we took a stroll to find our favourite street art pieces in the capital.
Dream of the ocean
Laugavegur 159, 105 Reykjavík
If in Hlemmur waiting for a bus, you should be able to spot a peaceful vision of blue and green peeking through the grey just up the road. This stretch of Laugavegur has considerably more noise pollution. Cars consistently zoom past, incessant clanging, blaring, and crashing from nearby construction inevitably manage to drown out your thoughts and irritate you. The piece’s mood is a complete contrast to its surroundings, perhaps intentionally. Cool and calming hues invite you to the ghostly peace to be found beneath the waves. Muffled ringing and nothingness. The artist, Raffaella Brizuela Sigurðardóttir, was inspired by an old Persian story from the Bahá’í Faith as well as Icelandic culture and its relationship to the sea. She capably leads you on a journey of visual escape we highly recommend. AP
Týsgata 8, 101 Reykjavík
At first glance, Arnar Ásgeirsson’s work comes off as eerie and dark. From a distance, the stark contrasts catch your eye, and as you step closer, so much more is revealed. Incredibly minute details, layers of comedy and humour, all wonderfully nonsensical. Arnar embraces chaos and portrays it in a way that draws the viewer in, and makes us feel as comfortable as he is with it. The limited use of colour helps guide our focus to the subjects portrayed. The piece is located on a wall facing a lovely little town square, with plenty of seating areas for you to settle in and enjoy this work of art, which has more than enough to keep you entertained for hours. AP
Birds, birds, birds
Óðinsgata 11, 101 Reykjavík
Birdwatching in the centre of the city might be tricky, but we suggest you come and see the colourful piece on Óðinsgata 11 to prove yourself wrong. The artists—Stefán Óli and Arnór Kári—have become active members of the Reykjavik street art scene in recent years. Many of their works bring nature closer to the city, and this one is no exception. Stefán Óli and Arnór Kári are also the artists behind the giant bird mural in Sundahöfn. Another beautiful piece of street art, but quite a walk from the centre—beware! IZ
Quirky and fun
Bjargarstígur 15, 101 Reykjavík
This vibrant and graphic piece is the result of a collaboration between DABSMYLA—an Australian husband and wife visual art duo and established graffiti artist, Kems. It has been around for ages (since 2016, to be precise), but it continues to brighten up an otherwise slightly grey city on both sunny and gloomy days. It is just a stone’s throw away from the previous bird piece. There’s a bench nearby, so you can sit down, enjoy a takeaway coffee or whatnot, and contemplate art. Just like you would do in a museum! IZ
Check out this map for more street art ideas in the capital area: http://bit.ly/wall-art-reykjavik
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