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Icelandic Nightlife Tips (or When The Party Gets Started)

It’s almost as complicated as it sounds…

Icelandic Nightlife

Head downtown on a Tuesday night looking for some of that infamous Icelandic party spirit, and you will surely be disappointed. Not a broken bottle or twenty-meter queue in sight.

You see, most locals would consider going out during the week to be a complete waste of time, as they can’t stay up until 5 am and spend the next day hung over as hell, gluing the soles of their dancing shoes back on while trying to remember why they woke up next to a sheep.

You’ll Need The Entire Week

The main reason that Icelandic partiers can survive past the age of 35 is because their excesses are limited to just Friday and Saturday nights. The entire week, however, is needed to gain a full appreciation of the country’s party culture. 

Monday and Tuesday are spent retelling the past weekend’s insanities… first with hints of remorse, and then eventually bragging about how your underwear got eaten by a harbor seal. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are spent planning and preparing for the next weekend’s outings, to have better stories for next Monday and Tuesday. Sunday, of course, is reserved completely for hangover recovery. This cycle is an integral part of the experience, and it adds a sense of pressure to have the time of your life every weekend.

Going out too early

Another common faux pas is going out too early. Visit a club in Reykjavík before 11 pm on a Friday or Saturday night and you may mistake it for your grandparent’s flat. ”Dinner and dancing” does not exist here. Icelanders go to dinner and go out dancing, but between the two there will always be a private party or two to attend.

This pre-party time is a necessary tradition because bar prices are high enough to make Paris Hilton think twice about that fourth appletini. People meet around 9 pm, and won’t think of calling a cab to take them downtown until midnight, or when their stash is dry, whichever comes last. This means most nights out in Iceland don’t end until 3 am (if you’re coming home alone).

So save up some bar money, stay for at least a week, and party like an Icelander. Just keep in mind that sheep tend to snore.

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