Generally Icelanders do a lot of home-partying on New Years Eve, celebrating the last day of the year and going in to the first night of the new year. Many bars are closed for the night, while others host private parties. The places that are open usually open their doors after midnight often between 00:30 and 01:00, although a few now open early in the evening.
Rakettan is a scene-melding super-party, bringing together some of Reykjavík’s favoriteparty DJs, rap’s rising star Joey Christ, and Iceland’s most legendary original 80’s synthpop voice, Herbert Guðmundsson, in an all-out party melting pot like no other.
This all goes down at the relatively snug Loftið, usually a swish cocktail bar for the middle-aged and affluent, but this night will be overrun with a quixotic mixture of rappers, fashionistas, downtown weirdos, sunburned drifters, human fire hydrants, twinks, gypsies, grown men in wedding dresses, a cat from a bodega, puppets in disguise, winos, steam, bear traps, clones, freaks, sneezing, geeks, sherpas, a Jamaican nurse wearing a shower cap, and a couple of you guys: tourist lookers-on trying to blend in*. In short, it’s the best bet for a good night out for the cool set.
The realest club sounds on offer this NYE will be at Palóma, as always, where the top floor will be helmed by DJs BenSöl, Frímann and Rix. In the basement, Pluto’s spiritual leader and Iceland’s most inquisitive DJ Gunni Ewok will be joined by analogue purist Orang Volante for what will surely be a quixotic set for people who get bored by samey sounds. Highly recommended.
If you like your 80’s hits non-stop, visit Pablo Discobar, where the bartenders and doormen wear fur coats so you don’t have to. Local music scene legend Seth Sharp spins the records, the doors open at 18:00, and there’s a cover charge from 15:00 until midnight, but don’t worry! You get a little bubbly inclusive from your furry friend at the bar, so your purse is all gooood.
Local bar Boston is hosting a NYE party with a secret theme, secret lineup, and the secret code to get in is “hi”. Open from 22:00-03:00.
Beautifully 80’s-style venue Súlnasalur at Radison Blu Hotel Saga is hosting a thing where you pay €250 (i.e. don’t expect locals). For that considerable price tag you’ll get food, three glasses of wine, entertainment, and a bonfire tour. Whether the entertainment is the kids from the lobby telling jokes, or a specially curated Spotify playlist, only time will tell.
There’s a huge rap-fest at suburban club Spot, where Herra Hnétusmjör, DJ Egill Spegill, Flóni, Jói P x Króli and Birnir show you what Icelandic rap is all about, while the 18+ door policy will ensure that you’ll also get a first-hand look at how the sweaty drunken teens of Iceland live. It’s probably not much fun if you’re over, say, 23 years old, unless you feel okay being the creepy uncle in the corner.
If you’re in Iceland because you couldn’t afford to go to Tibet, you can go to Natha Yoga Centre and meditate non stop from 21:00-01:05; because why have fun when you can watch your breath for four hours. Be sure to show up at 20:30 at the latest to take part.
If you’re in fact not a party hungry club kid reveler bacchanalian roystering merrymaker (I love Thesaurus.com), but instead a child, either an actual child or just really in touch with your inner child, you can spend the day at the NOVA Ice Rink skating. The rink is open until 22:00, it’s at Ingólfstorg, and you can rent skates.
Icelandic hip-hop’s home turf, the tiny party-bar Prikið, will host Thaison & Gerviandri, who promise special guests. No door charge.
Kaffibarinn and Húrra will be closed.
Or is it?
Other venues are TBA—we’ll add any standouts here.