Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s Famous Nightlife

Icelanders are known for their crazy nightlife antics of partying through the night, so when Inga from Tiny Iceland invited us to join her and some friends for a taste of the Saturday night craziness, we were excited to tag along and see what it was all about! The partying really only happens on Friday and Saturday, so don’t expect to go downtown on a Tuesday and find the same nightlife you would on the weekend. Because of the high price of alcohol, most Icelanders will pre-game at someone’s house before going out around midnight to the bars and clubs. And because most bars stay open until 5 a.m., you have plenty of time left to party straight through the midnight sun. There are a wide variety of bars, clubs, restaurants, etc., so you are sure to find something you enjoy.

Because beer was banned in Iceland until March 1, 1989, the drinking in the past mainly revolved around spirits and wine, and most likely a lot of Brennivín as well. Which is why, at some point during your night, you should probably try Brennivín, the famous Icelandic schnapps, affectionately known as “black death”. Brennivín is Iceland’s signature distilled drink and is approximately 80 proof–I bet you can imagine why it got its nickname.

We happened to land in Iceland the same Saturday that Eurovision was being held, and this year, Iceland made it to the finals! Woo! So after an unintentionally extended nap, we went to the Lebowski Bar with Inga for some tasty burgers and drinks and to watch the scoring round of Eurovision. Everyone in the bar was tuned in and cheering for their favorite country, and every time Norway scored, the table next to us with the tiny Norwegian flags, erupted in cheers; although, the overall winner of the night was Denmark.

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Once Eurovision was over, people started heading from their house parties to the bars downtown. A few of Inga’s friends met up with us and the evening began. We stayed at the Lebowski Bar for quite a while–the entire place is a retro style American bar completely modeled after the movie, “The Big Lebowski”, White Russians and all. They have 18 different types of White Russions, so make sure to give one (or them all!) a try while relaxing on the southern-style porch in the back room.

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & Lebowski Bar

Next up, we made our way to Den Danske Kro (The Danish Pub), and we were barely able to walk in because it was so packed! Thankfully, we scored a table from a man who was getting ready to leave–talk about timing. Because Denmark won Eurovision, this place was crazy with celebration, and so much fun! There was an incredibly entertaining band playing live music; they sang great classics throughout the wee hours of the morning, and the entire bar made sure to sing right along with them. At one point Micah and I realized we knew the song that was being sung, but we couldn’t quite figure it out because something was off–we finally realized they were singing an American song but with Icelandic lyrics instead, our brightness sure gave us a laugh!

Den Danske Kro (The Danish Pub), Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & The Danish Pub

Den Danske Kro (The Danish Pub), Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & The Danish Pub

Eventually, we made our way back outside to see the sky still glowing with a tinge of sunlight–it wasn’t quite the midnight sun, but at 3 a.m. it was still surprising to see. We called it an early night according to Iceland standards, but with almost 24 hours of travel the day before; we were wiped! Even though it made it a little difficult to wake up early for the Golden Circle the next morning, we were so glad we got to have a taste of the famous Reykjavik nightlife with some amazing people.

Den Danske Kro (The Danish Pub), Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & The Danish Pub

Den Danske Kro (The Danish Pub), Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & The Danish Pub

Den Danske Kro (The Danish Pub), Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Inga, Tiny Iceland & The Danish Pub

 


20 Comments
  • Evan
    Posted at 18:31h, 10 July Reply

    Glad you had an awesome night with Inga in Reykjavik. We also had a great day and evening exploring the area! Where are you headed for your next adventure?
    Evan recently posted…Marmot Limelight 3My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 08:02h, 18 July Reply

      Thanks! Glad you guys had fun as well! Our next big trip is to Ireland this fall, but until then pretty much just staying close to home and traveling around Florida. What about you?

  • elaine schoch
    Twitter:
    Posted at 00:24h, 11 July Reply

    Sounds like you really got to experience the nightlife in Iceland. (The photos are great!)
    elaine schoch recently posted…Travel Inspiration Series: What Inspired Me To Travel? Failure. (Guest post by Lena Rae Desmond))My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 08:03h, 18 July Reply

      Thanks! It was a lot of fun, especially since we had someone showing us around!

  • Lew
    Twitter:
    Posted at 05:24h, 11 July Reply

    Sounds like quite the night out!
    And very similar to how Norwegians enjoy the weekend. The price of alcohol is prohibitive to too much drinking in bars & clubs. But they don’t drink less here because of it, they, like the Icelanders, party at someone’s house before (forspiel) and after (norspiel)!
    Lew recently posted…I heart NYMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:03h, 24 July Reply

      It was a great night! I can see why people in Norway would have similar habits–everything is so expensive there. Forspiel and norspiel seem like fun too!

  • zof
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:46h, 11 July Reply

    This sounds awesome! I’ve never heard of Iceland as a cool party destination, adding it to my list just now!
    zof recently posted…Berlin Goes ArtsyMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:03h, 24 July Reply

      Great! It was a lot of fun–we really enjoyed it 🙂

  • Bennett - The Further Adventures of Bennett
    Twitter:
    Posted at 01:23h, 12 July Reply

    The designs of these bars are awesome! I definitely want to give them a try – and great stuff on being there for Eurovision – I’m very sad I missed it 🙁

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:04h, 24 July Reply

      Yeah I was glad we got to experience Eurovision–it was fun to see and I had no idea what to expect. The bars and architecture in general was really cool all over the city!

  • Karisa
    Twitter:
    Posted at 02:17h, 12 July Reply

    Iceland looks like a fun place! I especially love to vintage magazines!
    Karisa recently posted…Review: The Mangosteen Boutique Resort & Ayurveda SpaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:05h, 24 July Reply

      It was a lot of fun. I really liked the vintage memorabilia too!

  • Vanessa
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:34h, 12 July Reply

    Love the shout out to the White Russians. On George St, in St. John’s Newfoundland (which claims to have the most bars of any street in the world or something like that), everyone is obsessed with White Russians. There’s Buy 1, Get 1 Free night, 2 for the price of 1 night, Double for the price of a Single night. (Yep, it all works out to just about identical math everytime!)

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:07h, 24 July Reply

      Lol, that’s great they change up the name but it ends up basically the same–pretty good deal either way though! Sounds like a fun place!

  • Kimmy
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:56h, 16 July Reply

    Looks like you went to some fun places. That’s interesting about beer. I can’t stand the stuff, so I’d be alright if they kept it banned. 🙂 Even so, I still wan to go to Iceland after seeing your video.
    Kimmy recently posted…Favorite Animal Encounter Photo CarnivalMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:19h, 24 July Reply

      Yeah I was surprised that the ban was so recent! You might just have to stick with the Brennivin then, lol! It was a fun evening–I hope Iceland keeps growing on you and you enjoy if you go! 🙂 We really loved it there!

  • Adrienne
    Twitter:
    Posted at 22:09h, 27 July Reply

    Iceland looks so cool!
    Adrienne recently posted…The Best Things I Ate in BarcelonaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 22:17h, 29 July Reply

      It really is amazing!! We absolutely loved it 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jennifer Mathis
    Twitter:
    Posted at 16:55h, 22 February Reply

    I will say that I loved Iceland as well. We spent most of our trip hiking, but we did get to check out Skjol which is a bar near Geysir where we pretty much hung out with the owner for hours chatting about living in Iceland. Awesome place!

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