Although Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in Iceland, it has gained in popularity in recent years, especially among young people and in Reykjavík.
Though it’s known by a different name (Hrekkjavaka), it is celebrated much the same as elsewhere, with children dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating, or attending Halloween-themed parties or events. Halloween decorations and costumes are readily available in stores during the Halloween season, and many bars and venues will have special events as well.
Here are some of the spookiest ways to have a good time this year!
Family fun at the Árbær Open Air Museum
Looking for some family fun? Look no further than Árbæajarsafn’s Halloween celebration! This open-air museum is better known for its traditional farmhouses, but on Tuesday, October 31, it will be taken over by mysterious witches and wizards.
Tickets can be purchased on www.tix.is, with three time slots available. Notable attractions include the eerie sorceress and the magnificent fire queen showcasing their talents. The museum will be shrouded in an enchanting atmosphere, with the buildings taking on a terrifying appearance, and in the twilight, one might catch glimpses of past spirits. Please note that children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Sensitive souls are also encouraged to bring a companion for comfort and reassurance. Halloween at Árbær Open Air Museum is not suitable for preschool-age children.
The aim is for visitors to become acquainted with the ancient customs of the holiday, and who knows, they might even encounter the ghosts of the past. The bravest among them can knock on haunted houses with flickering lights and inquire about the dearly departed inhabitants for tricks or treats.
Admission is free for children up to 17 years old and disabled people, while other guests pay 2,220 ISK.
Punk Halloween at Gaukurinn
Reykjavík’s go-to bar for punk and metal is hosting a can’t-miss costume party for the spookiest night of the year! The costume contest starts around 8:00 pm, with an award ceremony around midnight. And one thing to keep in mind: no costume, no entry! The entrance fee is 2000 ISK and DJ FluffyCthulhu will be in charge of the spooky tunes. Check it out here.
A Halloween Classic at Bío Paradís
It’s the spookiest time of year, and beloved indie movie theatre Bíó Paradís is returning with their popular Friday Party screenings. A movie about the spirits of a deceased couple who are harassed by a family that has taken over their home, Beetlejuice is a funny and creepy family movie that’s perfect for getting into the fall mood. Bíó Paradís also has beer and wine on offer, so it’s a great screening for a family outing, or a date night. Takes place this Friday, October 27.
Good 'ol fashioned partying
For those with less interested in family fun, spooky movies, or costume parties, plenty of bars in downtown Reykjavík will be celebrating in the tried-and-true way: dj sets, good vibes, and copious libations. Not all bars will necessarily have special events, but all are guaranteed to have people having a good time!
Some venues to check out for a good Halloween party this year in Reykjavík are:
Kiki Queer Bar, a fixture of the Reykjavík party scene.
American Bar, a reliable favourite for Reykjavík partygoers.
LÚX, a popular bar and nightclub known for its lively atmosphere and pounding music!
Check out our events page for more ideas on how to spend your Halloween in Reykjavík!