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The Hipster's Guide to Reykjavík

|September 15, 2017
Anthropologist, social media guru, Icelandic nature and food enthusiast.

The ultimate guide to the Hipster heaven Reykjavík. Where do the local hipsters eat, shop and do? Get local hipster advice on how to enjoy Reykjavík.

What are the local hipsters of Reykjavík doing in their buzzing and constantly intersting city? Here you have all the answers. Go off the beaten track, hang with locals!

What to do

Tjarnarbíó + Tjarnarbarinn

Tjarnarbio theatre

This charming little venue is located in a beautiful historic building in central Reykjavík. The have extremely interesting shows, stand ups, dancing shows and many are multilingual. You can see the variety on their website

Tjarnarbarinn lunch

Photo from Tjarnarbarinn Facebook page

Then they have the cutest little café/bar, open during the day (10 am to 4 pm) for a nice lunch and again during the evening to grab a drink with the show and my favorite part about it: You can take the drink with you inside, glass and all (this is uncommon in Iceland, you usually have to switch to plastic which makes it a whole lot less delicious)

Tjarnargata 12, 101 Reykjavík

Bíó Paradís

Bíó paradís is a movie theatre on the buzzing Hverfisgata. It’s where all the most interesting movies are shown. This is not where you go to see the new Adam Sandler comedy, this is where you go to have an eye open experience through an amazing France/ Indian film that will leave you thinking about the meaning of life. Plus their popcorn is simply better.

You can see their options on the Bíó Paradís website or just stop by to look at their outdoor posters.

Hverfisgata 54, 101 Reykjavík

Swimming pool – Vesturbæjarlaugin

Swimming Pool in Reykjavik

You have probably already heard about the swimming pools in Iceland. They are everywhere and we love them but Laugardalslaugin is for me, getting to be too cramped with only tourists. For a more local feel go to Vesturbæjarlaug, you can grab a coffee at Kaffihús Vesturbæjar when you are done. All the cool kids are doing it!

Hofsvallagata 107, 107 Reykjavík
Opening hours:
Monday-Thursday 6:30 am – 10 pm
Friday 6:30 am – 8 pm
Saturday-Sunday 9 am to 6 pm

Marshall húsið

Marshall house in Reykjavik

The Marshall house just opened up in 2017 and houses the Contemporary art museum, Gallerí Kling og Band and the studio of the famous Ólafur Elíasson. On the first floor, you will also find a fantastic restaurant and bar with great cocktails and coffee. The look of the place is exquisite and hard to believe it once hosted a herring factory. The reason for the name “Marshall house” comes from the fact that the house was built with funds provided by the US after the second world war. These funds are linked with George Marshall a general and later the minister of external affairs. This place is one for the food and contemporary art lovers!


Photo from Marshall húsið Facebook page

Grandagarður, 101 Reykjavík
Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday 12 am to 6 pm
Thursday 12 am to 9 pm
Monday closed

Where to stay

Kex Hostel

Kex hostel

Photos from Kex hostel Facebook page

The Kex hostel is housed in an old biscuit factory in downtown Reykjavik and rightfully named Kex meaning biscuit in Icelandic. It’s furnished with salvaged materials and old objects found in various places with an industrial look overall. They can host up to 142 guests and their café and bar/lounge is fantastic. Their Icelandic beer selection is fantastic!

They also have a heated outdoor patio, tourist information desk, laundry room, old school gym, guest kitchens, meeting room, free Wi-Fi, and my favorite thing about them they host A LOT of concerts and pop-up flea markets. Their burger is great and staff super friendly!

Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík

Loft Hostel

Loft hostel

Photo from Loft hostel Facebook page

Simple, clean, amazing location and cool staff. This place also has a great bar/ located on the top floor giving you epic views over the busy Laugavegur street. They have an outdoor balcony with blankets and indoor cozy sitting area. They always have something going on each week, Sunday yoga, Tuesday water coloring or concerts on the weekends. This place is fantastic!

Bankastræti 7, 101 Reykjavík

Where to shop


Everyone’s go-to second-hand store. Been in the business for very long and have stores now in two locations. Their only downside is that they can be pretty pricey but they offer everything and kind of pick according to what is in at the moment as well. Here you can surely glam yourself up or get a wool sweater for a lower price. They are my go-to for everything vintage!

They also have a super cool Instagram account, be sure to check them out.

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Það er opið í Spúútnik básnum í allt kvöld!🎉

A post shared by Spúútnik (@spuutnikreykjavik) on

Kringlan shopping mall
Laugavegur 28b, 101 Reykjavik

Opening hours:
Monday-Friday 10 am to 6 pm
Saturdays 12 am to 6 pm
Sundays closed

Red Cross stores

Photo from Rauðakrossbúðirnar Facebook page

The Red Cross stores are the second famous go-to when buying vintage clothing. Plus buying your stuff there means you are supporting a great cause. Think green buy vintage.
The staff is extremely friendly and this is where you can do a bargain!

Laugavegur 12, 101 Reykjavík
Laugavegur 116, 101 Reykjavík
Skólavörðustígur 12, 101 Reykjavík

Opening hours:
Monday-Friday 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday 12 am to 6 pm
Sunday closed

Where to eat

Nameless pizza

Photo from Hverfisgata 12 Facebook page

No this is not a joke, although the place often goes by the name Hverfisgata 12 which is just the location of the place. They offer everything from brunch to dinner and one floor away is a fantastic bar, Mikeller & Friends bar, Oh lordy it’s some good beer!
Their pizzas quickly became the only thing everyone could talk about when the place opened up and for a grand reason. Go here, treat yourself and have a pizza with toppings you would never have mixed but end up being an amazing blend!

Hverfisgata 12, 101 Reykjavík
Opening hours:
Monday-Thursday 5 pm to 1 am
Friday-Sunday 11:30 am to 1 am

Reykjavík Roasters

Coffee for breakfast

Photo from Reykjavík Roasters Facebook page

Well, actually this is where you go for coffee but they are now working together with Brauð & co. so they have amazing scones, buns and bread as well ask making toast with avocado and delicious Greek yogurt w. Muesli. This is my go-to breakfast place or 4 o’clock coffee and I try to go to the one at Brautarholt, it’s bigger and more on the menu.
This is the perfect hipster hang out place.

Kárastígur 1, 101 Reykjavík
Brautarholt 2, 105 Reykjavík
Opening hours:
Monday-Friday 8 am to 6 pm
Saturday-Sunday 8 am to 5 pm


Vegan meals

THE vegan place, this place only has vegan dishes on the menu and being a non-vegan I was quite impressed. Everything I have had their was amazing and me and my other non-vegan friends go there all the time. The atmosphere is laid back, the staff is great and they often have a live DJ. As you might also be able to tell by their name their vinyl record collection is impressive. A real cool place to hang out at. Especially recommended for brekkie!

Hverfisgata 76, 101 Reykjavík
Opening hours:
Everyday 8 am to 11 pm

Kaffihús Vesturbæjar

Kaffihus Vesturbaejar

Photo from Kaffihús Vesturbæjar Facebook page

This neighborhood is the cutest; Vesturbær. A lot of biking people, old beautiful houses, a great swimming pool and local shops. This local coffee shop/restaurant hasn’t been there for long but surely found a place in the hearts of the people living around. Owned by a few well-known TV reporters this unique place is filled with the most relaxing atmosphere and their kitchen never fails. They change their menu a lot but no worries they know what they are doing.
Their kitchen focuses on lunch and dinner on working days but during the weekends they offer brunch which is perfect after a dip in the pool across the street Vesturbæjarlaug.

Melhagi 20, 107 Reykjavík
Opening hours:
Monday-Friday 8 am to 11 pm
Saturday-Sunday 9 am to 11 pm

Hlemmur Mathöll

This long waited food hall is located in Hlemmur which used to be the bus central station but had slowly turned very shabby and a hangout place for the homeless. They renovated the whole thing and now you walk into a food paradise. Restaurants and shops fought for a spot and I can especially recommend Borðið! There is no limit to their deliciousness – like none! I go there like 3x a week and for a good reason.

Laugavegur 107, 105 Reykjavík
Opening Hours:
Everyday 8 am to 11 pm


Drinking espresso

Photo from Bismút Facebook page

This place just opened up, it’s tiny but it has some GREAT coffee and some excellent art. This is where you should go for a quick coffee before heading out for a day of adventures or just when the energy is finishing. You can admire some art whilst enjoying the coffee as they have a small gallery. Art + espresso bar = great combo!

Hverfisgata 81, 101 Reykjavík
Opening hours:
Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm
Saturday 9 pm to 5 pm
Sunday closed

Bismut cafe bar

Photo from Bismút Facebook page

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