Gay Iceland, Reykjavik and more.
For more than a decade, Iceland and its capital city, Reykjavik have been featured in practically every “cool list” on the internet! And while the gay scene is quite small compared to its European neighbours, Iceland offers something uniquely different for the discerning gay visitor.
Reykjavik, the capital of cool, but with a warm welcome.
Iceland’s gay scene is centered around the capital city, Reykjavik. Located in southwestern Iceland, Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital. Locals are warm and friendly and the gay community are open to encounters with foreign visitors. Legally, gay rights in Iceland are considered to be some of the best in the world with rights enshrined in the country’s constitution.
Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s “Gay District”
Laugavegur is the long main shopping street at the heart of gay Reykjavik. Here you will find the small but interesting gay scene at the corner of Klapparstigur. The following venues are popular year round:
- Kiki – totally camp bar with music upstairs and a fun atmosphere.
- Bravo Bar – chill gay-friendly intimate bar with DJ on the decks, pizzas and paninis.
- Gaukurinn – camp drag shows, performances and fun.
- Paloma – busy night club with a gay-friendly mixed crowd. Friendly with a covered terrace.
The city has a diverse dining scene. Some of our favorites include:
- Café Paris – great for breakfast and delicious cakes and pastries in the afternoon.
- Don’t forget to try the traditional Icelandic hot dog at Baejarins Beztu.
- Jómfrúin – home of Danish smørrebrød in Iceland, a gay restaurant offering delicous Danish open sandwiches with meat seafood and vegetables.
- Kol Kitchen and Bar – Classic international dishes are given a comfort food twist with an open kitch offering an intimate dining space with leather couches and warm lighting.
Check the dates for The BI-MONTHLY GAY GOLDEN CIRCLE & SECRET LAGOON is a fabulous day out with fellow LGBTQI+ people, a wonderful guide, spectacular landscapes followed by a couple of drinks and getting to know each other better for those who want at the end of the tour.
Where to stay in Gay Iceland – Reykjavik!
Sleek and modern boutique hotel located in central Reykjavik, next to the Icelandic Opera House. It offers free Wi-Fi, a fitness centre and spa facilities.
Radisson Blu 1919 is in the fashionable 101 District, close to Reykjavík Harbour within walking distance from the main shopping streets and gay bars.
Elegant Art Deco-style Hotel Borg overlooks the historic Asuturvollur Square in central Reykjavik. Laugavegur shopping street is 200m away.
Gay Map of Reykjavik, Iceland
Gay events in Iceland
The entire city of Reykjavik celebrates gay pride in August!
Iceland has some great gay events including the Pink Party in February and a stunning pride parade in mid-August. Reykjavik Bears host a popular event (formerly Bears on Ice) in early September with parties, official dinners and trips to Iceland’s most famous tourist attractions.
When to visit Gay Iceland?
Iceland’s high season is in the Summer from June to August. You will find better rates on hotels in May or September and the weather will still be quite mild. Winter is a completely different experience when you can explore beautiful winter landscapes and the stunning Norther Lights.
Is Iceland expensive?
Iceland is not cheap. Alcohol is quite expensive relative to the rest of Europe. Hotels, food and transport are also pricey. Keep an eye out for the happy hour specials in the gay bars!
Getting Around Reykjavik & Iceland
The best way to see Iceland is to rent a car. It can save you money on expensive taxis and allow you to experience everything the island has to offer.
Keflavik International Airport is a 30 to 40-minute drive from Reykjavík, so plan ahead when arranging your hotel. There are bus services available, as ride shares or taxis can be quite expensive, although they are also available.
What to see in Gay Iceland?
- The Blue Lagoon – no trip can be complete without a visit to these warm waters! Reservations are recommended.
- Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve – Marvel at the Puffin reserve, year round.
- The Northern Lights – Catch a glimpse of these elusive lights. Get a guide to help you plan the best time to visit each year. (typically in October and February)
- Thingvellir National Park – Great for nature lovers and those seeking adventure. Highlights include snorkeling and scuba dive in the lake of the clear waters of the Silfra fissure.
- Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay. This poignant building is a beautiful a memorial to John Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono. With the spectacular light show at night.
- Visit Hallgrimskirkja, the largest Icelandic church and take the lift to the top to see the Reykjavík’s beautiful skyline.
- Bring a swimsuit — Nauthólsvík beach is a human-made, geothermal beach. Warm geothermal water mixes nicely with the chilly sea water making for comfortable swimming.
- Look out for the Phallological Museum, (you can’t miss it, it is on the main shopping street) Their motto “It’s all about dicks!”
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