Summer has started in Iceland, and people are spending more time outside. With hopefully many sunny days ahead of us this summer, it’s time to explore the best patios in Reykjavík.
Let’s start with patios that have heaters, to make sure you will find a warm spot even when it’s still a bit chilly outside. A popular choice in downtown Reykjavík, is the outdoor seating area of Sæta Svínið. Because of their outside heaters, this patio is popular early in the year. On a sunny day in April, this place can already be booming with life. Kex Hostel has a spacious and well-heated patio, which, for some reason, is usually not that busy. Most people tend to want to hang around inside, perhaps because of all the cool concerts going on. Still, spending some time on their patio is recommended, just order a beer and a burger inside and you’re good to go! Boston on Laugavegur has a large balcony with sofas and tables. What’s more, it’s partly covered, and combined with patio heaters, this place is perfect to visit on sunny and on cloudy days. Plus, it gets cosier when the sun starts to set, so why not take your time and spend an evening there?
What patios get the most sun in Reykjavík? If you’re an avid sunbather, check out Café Paris. They have an excellent, large seating area facing Austurvöllur square which gets sun from noon until early evening. Even though they have lots of tables, this place fills up quickly, so be there on time. Café Babalú is easy to spot, located on Skólavörðurstígur (the road leading up to the church). The quirky, bright orange coffeehouse with a blue door and roof, is a long-time favourite with locals and tourists alike. They have two outside areas, one on the ground floor and one on the top floor. It’s a cosy area, perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee. Loft Hostel on Laugavegur also has a really nice, sunny patio looking over downtown Reykjavík. The balcony is south facing, so you can spend many hours in the sun there, all the while enjoying the relaxed vibe of the hostel.
Patios with a view
For what’s probably the best view of Reykjavík, head to SKÝ Bar, atop CenterHotel Arnarhvoll. From there, you have a view over Harpa Concert Hall and Mt. Esja. The bar has a nice balcony, perfect for enjoying the weather on a quiet day. But if it’s windy, you might want to find a cosy spot inside! Head to Reykjavík’s only rooftop bar, Petersen Svítan, for another dazzling view over the city. The bar is located on top of event venue Gamla Bíó and is perfect for those looking for the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail on a sunny day. Grandi Mathöll, one of Reykjavík’s food halls, has a patio with a great view over the harbour and Harpa Concert Hall. On sunny days, it’s lovely to grab some food and have a bite to eat outside on the waterfront.
Te & Kaffi is a popular Icelandic coffeehouse chain serving tasty coffee and snacks. They have several locations in Reykjavík, and one of them has a super nice hidden patio. This Te & Kaffi is hidden inside bookstore Penninn og Eymundsson on Austurstræti. You find its patio on the third floor, and it’s a lovely spot hidden between the buildings of downtown Reykjavík. Buy a magazine or book inside and take a moment to relax outside. Lebowski bar is a hip burger joint and bar on Laugavegur that’s usually pretty crowded, but only a few people know about their rooftop patio. It’s not very big but it’s a great spot to catch some sun. Jómfrúin at Lækjargata 4 has a large back garden area which is well hidden from the main road. During summer, concerts and events are organised there. Order yourself a Danish open-faced sandwich and aquavit and enjoy a lazy afternoon.