Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Local Recommendations

5 popular down-town hotel bars

By Sara McMahon

  • Kex Hostel. Hotel bars are a great place for locals and our foreign guests to meet, rub shoulders, and touch glasses. Photo/Kex 

With the tourism industry on the rise in Iceland, real estate developers have shown a keen interest in building hotels in central Reykjavík. This development has had its fair share of criticism, but it also has a lot of merits— like all the interesting hotel bars that have opened down-town, where locals and our foreign guests have the opportunity to meet, rub shoulders, and touch glasses. Here is Iceland Magazine’s list of the most popular hotel bars in down-town Reykjavík.


1) Kexið is what you could call the epitome of quirky hipsterism. Situated in what used to be a cookie factory—with a fantastic view of the bay—the bar offers tasty craft beers on draft and bistro-style food in case you get peckish.
Crowd: Members of the city council, hostel guests and hipsters.
A little tip: Kexið has a large outdoor patio and a little park out back, which are worth a visit during summer.
Happy hour: No.

2) Slippbarinn is situated in the Hotel Marina and overlooks the harbour. It´s a popular place for aperitifs and easily accommodates large groups. When it comes to the décor, Scandinavian design was clearly the inspiration for the bar; it’s simple yet colourful and functional.
Crowd: Local and international.
A little tip: Try one of their gin cocktails.
Happy hour: Every day between 4 pm and 6 pm. Beer 500 kr. Wine 500 kr.

3) Micro Bar is situated inside the City Centre Hotel on Austurstræti Street. It’s a small space, decorated with artwork by cartoonist and artist Hugleikur Dagsson. It has a great selection of local and international microbrews for beer connoisseurs to enjoy, and the staff is friendly and chatty.
Crowd: Popular with tourists and beer connoisseurs.
A little tip: Ask the bartender to recommend you a beer. They know what they’re talking about.
Happy hour: Every day between 5 pm and 8 pm. Beer 500 kr.

4) Loft is situated in Loft Hostel, the latest addition to Reykjavík‘s hostel flora. It’s nice and spacious and the roof terrace has an amazing view over the city centre.
Crowd: Pretty much anyone and everyone. 
A little tip: This place is perfect for larger groups or people with children.
Happy hour: Between 4 pm and 8 pm. Beer 500 kr.

5) Bunk Bar is situated inside the Reykjavík Backpackers hostel on Laugavegur shopping street. Designed like a mountain hut, complete with wooden walls and a wild boar‘s head. Bunk Bar has a great selection of beers and tequila.
Crowd: A mix between hostel guests and locals.
A little tip:  They serve great nachos for munching while enjoying your beer.
Happy hour: Every day between 4 pm and 8 pm. Beer 495 kr. Wine 700 kr.

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