While enjoying the diverse program that Reykjavík International Film Festival has to offer you can also use the time you have here to discover the city and the many things it has to offer. Reykjavík is the capital of Iceland and houses more than one third of the population of Iceland.The city’s center is where the festival takes place and it is also where you will find most of the museums and restaurants. It is also the oldest part of Reykjavík. All the buses stop at Hlemmur and Lækjatorg and will take you everywhere you’ll need to go.
Grandi and the Harbour
Grandi is one of Reykjavík’s newest and most popular culture point with multiple new restaurants and delicatessen shops carefully chosen to reflect the harbour’s atmosphere. We recommend you visit Bryggjan Brugghús for its good quality beer and good food. After dinner or lunch you can that get some ice cream at Valdís ice cream shop and then top it up with a muffin from the acclaimed Icelandic bakery 17 sortir while taking a stroll through the gorgeous harbour with its fresh sea air. The nearest bus stop is for bus number 14 but it is best to walk and to enjoy the spectacular sea view.
Bæjarins Bestu Pylzur
Bill Clinton ate there and so should you! If you just want to grab a quick bite we recommend you try Icelands most famous hot dogs. It is situated at Tryggvagata 1 and it serves the best hot dogs in Reykjavík. Order one with everything- it’s simply the best!
Situated in Bankastræti it has one of the coziest bar and café atmosphere in downtown Reykjavík. Perfect for a drink after a good film screening and even more perfect for a get to gather to talk about what to see next during RIFF and to plan the next festival trip. There you will also find RIFF’s director series that will be held once a month throughout the year.
Laugavegur & Grjótaþorpið
Start by walking down Laugavegur and enjoy some of the finest boutiques Reykjavík has to offer. There you can also find many cozy cafés and bars. We recommend Café Mokka on Skólavörðustígur. There you can enjoy the best waffles in town and sit at the same table that some of our iconic writers and painters used to sit at and talk about art and literature.
After that we recommend walking down Austurstræti. You can take a turn at Austurvöllur and take a picture in front of the Icelandic parliament, built in 1880 til 1881 and houses one of the oldest parliaments in the world. After that it is crucial to walk in Grjótaþorpið where you’ll find some of the oldest buildings in Reykjavík. Here history was made and some of Icelands finest poets and artists lived in this quarter in Gröndalshús and Unuhús.
Museums in downtown Reykjavík
Reykjavík Art Museum
The Reykjavík Art Museum is one of Icelands biggest museum of contemporary art. Situated at Tryggvagata 17, it hosts different exhibits in each elm. You can be certain you’ll broaden your mind and exxperience everything new that the art world has to offer.
National Gallery of Iceland – Listasafn Íslands
There you can take a look at some of the history of the fine arts of Iceland along with the grand exhibit that usually takes on one Icelandic artist or period in Icelandic art history and puts it in the limelight. Listasafn Ísland is situated at Fríkirkjuvegur 7.
The National History Museum
Next to the University of Iceland at Suðurgata 41 you can take a stroll through Iceland’s national history, experience the life of the Vikings, life in Iceland in the Middle ages all through the 21st century. Bus number 12, 3, 6, 1 and 11 stop near the museum.
The Settlement Exhibition
Experience Reykjavík during the settlement in the 9th century. In this exhibition the curators have made it possible to travel back to the Viking age. You will be able to see Reykjavík in a whole new light and see first hand how it was living in Iceland during this period in ime. This is one of Reykjavík’s most popular museum settled in the heart of Reykjavík at Aðalstræti 16.