Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Local Recommendations

Best of Reykjavik May 30 - June 6

By Staff

  • Photo inspired by performance piece Piano Transplants (1968-2005) by Anneu Lockwood. The photo is a part of a Reykjavík Arts Festival exhibition that opens in the National Gallery of Iceland May 29. Photo/Rafael Pinho

This is the Reykjavík section of Best of Iceland This Week, the only Icelandic guide of its kind. New every week.


Reykjavík Arts Festival
Reykjavik Arts Festival (Listhátíð Reykjavíkur) is in its second week and is the far biggest event this week in the capital area. The festival has been held annually in May since 2004, but started back in 1970 and is one of Northern Europe’s oldest and most respected arts festivals.
Extending its reach out of the city and into the suburbs and even as far as Snæfellsnes Peninsula, giving everyone a chance, regardless of location, to be a part of the event. Two events are below and the whole schedule is here.

RVK ARTS: When the truth is a lie
Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland. All three islands have their own history, their own folklores, and even while they’re all located in the North Atlantic, there are a number of misconceptions that are passed on between generations as truths. Fantasar is a theatre show based on ideas, misconceptions, and a false sense of identity within the three island nations. Stories will be re-told, facts will be fiction. Shown at the old harbour in the centre of the capital.
Until June 5

RVK ARTS:  Present time Icelandic Sagas
Historically, the Icelandic Sagas tell the tales of Vikings and settlers in Iceland that harvested the land, fought until death, and travelled far distances by boat to explore the new world. The present time Sagas, performed by puppets of all shapes and sizes, focus on the poor man who lost everything during the economic crash and dreams of justice. The show premiered in New York last year and received the Drama Desk Award for exceptional use of the puppet-medium.
Two shows only. June 5 and June 6.


The annual Box-Car rally in Reykjavík on June 1st
Box-Car rally is a recent development in the history of Icelandic vehicle-sports, but actual rally has been practiced in Iceland since 1975. On Sunday you get the chance to observe the annual Box-Car rally in Reykjavik at the Reykjavik Petting Zoo and Family Park. The competition is split into four different classes based on age, and the winners from each class get an award. There’s also an award for the best looking Box-Car. It’s the kind of entertainment you only see in children’s movies – except now it’s live in Reykjavik! 

Festival of the Sea
The first Sunday in June is annually celebrated in Iceland to honor fishermen, their work, and those who have lost their lives at sea. Reykjavík does this a little differently, and uses the weekend to celebrate the sea in its entirety. The celebrations serve as a reminder of how important the sea and sailors are to Iceland’s history, its economy, and its people and culture. A fun-packed schedule for the whole family is in effect both days at Grandagarður, Reykjavik’s West Harbour. 

Folklore, ghost stories, and Icelandic literature
The Reykjavik City Library host free literary walking tours every Thursday in June, July, and August. Icelandic crime fiction and ghost stories will be introduced to walkers at various stops throughout the city. Easy walking pace makes this both a fun and interesting way to get to know the literature behind the culture of Iceland.
For more information click here

A story from the Icelandic Saga’s on stage in Reykjavik
The history of Iceland as according to the Saga’s is quite a bloody one. The story of Gísli Súrsson is no exception to that rule.
The saga of Gísli Súrsson is one of the Sagas of Icelanders and tells the story of Gísli, a tragic hero who must kill one of his brothers-in-law to avenge another brother-in-law.
Starting this evening, actor Elfar Logi Hannesson, will be performing the story of Gísli at Gamla Bíó theatre in Reykjavík. He told that he’ll be doing a total of seven shows in English until June 15th. This is not the first time Elfar puts on a show centered around Icelandic outlaws, but last year he put on a show focusing on Fjalla-Eyvindur (e. Eyvindur of the Mountains) who lived in exile with his wife in the 17th Century. The show featuring Gísli premiered back in 2005, but Elfar has never before performed in the city for the public – only to select private groups. The show tonight will be his 264th, so perhaps it was time that Gísli got to spend some time in the city.
For tickets and more information, click here.

Tuesday Jazz at Kex Hostel
Kex Jazz is a zazz concert series on Kex Hostel every Tuesday. Some of Iceland's best jazz mussicians are regulars. Starts at 20.30 and admission is free of charge. Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík.

Related content

Editor's Picks