While Iceland is best known for its spectacular nature, on Fridays, Reykjavík’s culture and nightlife become two of the country’s foremost attractions. As the weekend begins, the capital displays its true colours as a lively and eclectic city with far more to enjoy than at first meets the eye.

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Along Laugavegur and throughout the downtown area, pubs and bars are at capacity, with laughter, music and lively conversation filling the air. Most of these are open until 03:00, with some of the larger clubs such as Paloma and Kiki continuing the party for several more hours.

Live music is one of the most integral parts of Iceland’s culture, and on Friday nights, this facet of the nation’s character is on full display at a range of venues. At Dillon, a whisky bar, you can regularly find rock music and great DJs; Prikið, Reykjavík’s oldest bar, is the centre of the city’s rap and grime scenes, while Húrra showcases all different genres.

See also: Nightlife in Reykjavik

Most Fridays, Gaukurinn usually has metal bands blasting out tunes, but once a month, transforms into a completely different venue by putting on the city’s premiere drag night, Drag-Súgur.

Credit: Giuseppe Milo

Of course, a Friday in Iceland does not need to be spent in a bar. The concert hall of Harpa attracts many guests to its productions as the weekend begins, and caters to a wide range of tastes. It boasts a schedule showcasing dance performances, plays, orchestras, stand-up comedians and international artists and bands.

Film-buffs, meanwhile, can enjoy the screening of a classic movie in a party-like atmosphere at the alternative cinema of Bíó Paradís most Fridays.

Icelanders burst into life at the end of the week, turning Fridays into an energised mixture of culture and nightlife. With something to entertain people from all walks of life, making the most of the wide range of options is a great way to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.

What are your favourite things to do at the weekend? Are there any weekend activities that you would recommend for visitors arriving to Iceland? Make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below. 

About The Author

Richard Chapman

Richard is a British content writer and editor, who has lived between Iceland and the UK for the past five years. He loves reading, watching comedy, travelling and nature, and performs as a drag queen under the pseudonym Wonda Starr.

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