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Hit the town: Queer guide to Reykjavík

By Staff

  • The colours of the rainbow Skólavörðustígur street, downtown Reykjavík, got a make-over this summer in celebration of Reykjavík Pride Festival. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Roald Viðar Eyvindsson, the editor in chief of Gayiceland.is, a news website reporting on issues relevant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in Iceland, reveals where to find Reykjavík’s best queer bars, clubs, and events. 

Best bar:
“Looking for a cosy bar in the city centre that has a variety of good drinks on offer and is full of interesting people? Then you should definitely head to Kaldi (Laugavegur 2b), best known for its great range of beers on tap and friendly atmosphere. Boston (Laugavegur 28b) is also quite nice and so is the legendary Kaffibarinn (Bergstaðastræti 1).”

kaldibar_-_george_leite.jpg

Kaldi bar. Photo/George Leite

 

Best club:
“Now, that’s a tricky one. Kiki is the official queer club of Iceland, and the place to visit if you want dance your tush off. It's also a good place to hook up with someone, if that’s what you're looking for. Just make sure not to show up too early as Icelanders are notoriously late when it comes to clubbing. Guests won’t show up until 1am - at the earliest. But seeing that Icelanders generally don’t give a rats ass weather you’re queer or not, you have a lot of other nice clubs to choose from; try Húrra, B5 or Austur! “

Kíkí queer bar

Photo/Kíkí 

 

Café:
Mokka kaffi (Skólavörðustígur 3a) is the city's oldest café and hasn't changed since its inception in 1957. The coffee is good, but the waffles and hot chocolate are even better!”

Mokka kaffi

Mokka Kaffi. Photo/Mokka

 

Where to stay:
“Most hotels and hostels in Iceland are queer friendly, leaving you with options galore. However, some guesthouses aim specifically at a queer clientele, such as Alfred's Apartments (on Vitastígur). Others welcome queer guests with open arms, for example Rey Apartments (between the famous main street Laugavegur and trendy Skólavörðustígur).

Alfred's Apartments

Photo/Alfred's Apartments

 

Museums:
“Go visit the gallery of Samtökin '78, the national queer organization, at Suðurgata 3, in Reykjavík. It's the first and only gallery in Iceland focusing on queer art, with the aim of promoting queer art and making it more visible to the general public. So far the exhibitions have been great.
“Pay the sculpture garden behind the Einar Jónsson Art Museum, on Eiríksgata, a visit.
“Visit the Living Art Museum's Núllið ('Public Toilet Zero'), located at the bottom of Bankastræti. Yes, there are art exhibitions held in the unlikeliest places in Iceland, even public toilets!”
“The Reykjavík City Library also offers interesting walking tours around the city that focus on queer literature.”

 

A photo posted by Iceland Mag (@icelandmag) on

 

Places of interest:
Bíó Paradís, the art/indie movie theatre of Iceland, is a cosy place to drop in at. It shows movies you won't find in other cinemas in Iceland.”

 

Events:
“There are so many fantastic events one can attend: The weekly Men’s Coffee Meeting at Iða Café every Tuesday evening, the annual Bears on Ice event – Iceland’s first ever bear event which welcomes international guests and artists to mingle with locals, the special girl’s Nights at Kiki Queer Club called Lez-B-Honest, Rainbow Reykjavík – Iceland’s annual Winter Pride Festival (taking place on 11-14 February 2016), Drag-súgur is a new drag-cabaret taking place at Gaukurinn each month, the annual drag competition, and, of course, the magnificent Reykjavík Pride Festival taking place in August each year.
“Additional events, organised by various groups, companies and organisations such as Samtökin ´78, Trans Iceland, Intersex Iceland, BDSM Iceland, HIV Iceland, Q - the Queer Student Organization, Non-Binary Iceland, Pink Iceland, Styrmir sports club, Hin - Hinsegin Norðurland, and the Reykjavík Queer Choir, take place all over the country, all year around.

Gay Pride, gleðiganga, parade,

The Gay Pride parade in 2014. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

 

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