o help you figure out what’s on in Iceland, visit Guide to Iceland’s office within Reykjavík City Hall for information. We also have a list of weekly events and useful venues to look up just below.
Events in Reykjavík can range from intimate music gigs with local and international performers, stand up comedy gigs, symphonic orchestra performances, theatre productions, gallery openings, special movie screenings, cabaret nights and drag-queen shows to some of the biggest festivals that make up the exciting cultural landscape of this exciting city.
We’ve also listed our top 10 festivals all over Iceland, with a wide spectrum of arts and culture.
Finally, at the end of this article, you can find a list of all the different festivals that take place in Iceland, big and small.
Weekly Events in Reykjavik
There are multiple weekly events in Reykjavík that are worth checking out. Jazz lovers have a lot to choose from, the stand-up and theatre improv scene is booming, as well as the cabaret and drag scene. Not to mention the literature, poetry and more classical performances. And if you want to do something more active, such as yoga or give tango or swing dancing a chance, then there are regular beginners classes available for free!
This should give you an idea of what’s on in Reykjavík:
Every Sunday in Reykjavík:
- Sunday Yoga at Loft Hostel. From 12-13. Bring your own mat and show up early! Free entry.
- Tango guided practica at Hressó, from 17:30-20:00. 700 ISK entry.
- Live jazz at Bryggjan Brewery. Every Sunday at 20:00. Free entry.
- Classic cult movie screening at Bíó Paradís, under the name of Black Sundays (Svartir sunnudagar).
Every Monday in Reykjavík:
- Stand up comedy in English at Gaukurinn. Starts at 21:00. Free entry.
- Live jazz at Húrra. Starts at 21:00. Free entry.
- Boardgamonday at Stofan café from 20:00, and at Hlemmur Mathöll from 16:00-21:00. Play boardgames in a cosy atmosphere. Free entry.
- Tango beginners class at Kaffi Sólon (2nd floor). Class from 20-21, milonga afterwards until 23:00. Free entry.
- Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba dance night at Pablo Discobar. These nights happen frequently on Mondays, but occasionally on Thursdays. Best to check their event site to check for times and location. From 19:30. Free entry.
Every Tuesday in Reykjavík:
- Live jazz at Kex Hostel. Every Tuesday at 20:30. Free entry.
- Tango dancing at Hlemmur Square. From 20:30-23:00. Free entry.
- Bach concert at Dómkirkjan church by Ólafur Elíasson. From 20:30-21:00. Free entry.
Every Wednesday in Reykjavík:
- Happy hour and live jazz at Peterson suite. Happy hour(s) from 16:00-01:00, jazz between 21 and 23, open mic. Free entry.
- Lindy Hop dance evenings at Peterson suite. Free entry.
- Improv Iceland. Local theatre improvised shows at Þjóðleikhúskjallarinn between October and May. Mostly in Icelandic, but sometimes in English when there are guest performers. Shows start at 20:00. Entry fee is 1500 ISK. Weekly shows in English in June and July at Tjarnarbíó. For more information visit Improv Iceland.
- Jazz at Múlinn Jazz Club in Harpa most Wednesdays. Look up their schedule in advance. Entry fee: 2000 ISK.
- Salsa dance nights at Oddsson. From 19:30. Free entry.
Every Thursday in Reykjavík:
- Bachata dance night at Hressó. Occasionally these nights are on Mondays instead. Best to check their event site to check for times and location. From 22:00. Free entry.
Every Friday in Reykjavík:
- Tango Milonga at Kramhúsið. Free entry practica from 21-22, and milonga from 22:00-midnight. Entry fee: 1000 ISK to the milonga, but free for people younger than 30.
- Most Fridays at Bíó Paradís there are Friday party screenings at 20:00. Classic fun films with offers at the bar. 1800 ISK entry.
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days of the week, but the schedule is too varied to have the same events each week.
It’s recommended to look up what’s on at Harpa Concert Hall – where you can find multiple festivals, international performers, ballet productions, Iceland’s Symphony Orchestra, stand up comedy and much, much more.
Reykjavík’s main theatres are Þjóðleikhúsið (National Theatre) and Borgarleikhúsið (City Theatre), although you’re more likely to find performances in English at the independent theatres of Tjarnarbíó and IÐNÓ.
Gaukurinn is the home to the Icelandic drag scene Drag-Súgur, with weekly or bi-weekly performances. Reykjavík Kabarett puts up regular performances all over town, and the Reykjavík Poetry Brothel has an event year-quarterly at IÐNÓ.
Bars that often have live music or other entertaining events include Kex Hostel, Húrra, Gaukurinn, Dillon, Bar 11 and Paloma. Other art venues (not bars) that have regular live music events include Mengi, the Nordic House and Hannesarholt.
Also be sure to check the Happy Hours of the various bars in Reykjavík.
Festivals in Iceland: An overview
It comes as a surprise perhaps to many people that Iceland has an abundance of events and festivals each year. With a population of only 330 thousand people the country has a thriving art scene and cultural heritage, besides the locals having a great love for camping and the outdoors.
Besides Reykjavík, pretty much every village in the country throws some sort of a festival or event each year, small or big ones. There are art festivals, music festivals, camping festivals, food festivals, dance festivals, the list goes on and on.