Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park said: “When you gotta go, you gotta go.“ He ain‘t wrong! Even while out wandering through a new city, you may have to stop and do your business somewhere. But it can be tough to know where to go! Some cities don‘t have public toilets. Thankfully, Reykjavík has some options that we‘ve mapped out for you here.
What used to be the free public toilet in Reykjavík is now the Icelandic Punk Museum! Thankfully, the city has installed a few stand-alone toilets in different parts of the city. They cost (typically around ISK 200) to use, and you may feel a bit exposed – it is literally a small tower with advertisements and a toilet inside – but it is reliably there if you need it in a pinch. One is located on the edge of Ingólfstorg Square along the street Veltusund. Another is located across Tjörnin pond in the small park Mæðragarður. Just a short walk from there, you can find another stand-alone public toilet in Hljómskála park. Lastly, a public stand-alone sits near Hallgrímskirkja Church, across the street from the restaurant ROK.
A great place to do your business is in city hall, the formidable-looking grey building on the edge of Tjörnin Pond in downtown Reykjavík. Inside you can not only find a fascinating 3-D model of Iceland but also a clean and free public toilet.
Museums and Libraries
The city library is another place where you can go to use the toilet without paying. Most museums will also allow you to use their bathrooms free of charge. However, we highly recommend paying the entry and having a look around! The National Gallery and the National Museum are two centrally-located museums that, if you visit for the toilet, are highly worth your while to see the rest of the buildings and their exhibitions!
Some of the main tourist attractions outside of the city now charge to use the toilets. Typically, the cost is about ISK 200, and you can pay with coins or with a card. The same is true of some frequently visited spots in Reykjavík as well. Harpa concert hall and BSÍ bus terminal are perhaps the most widely known spots with these types of small-fee toilets.
Cafés, Restaurants and Bars
Public spaces in Iceland are generally not very stingy with their bathroom privileges. Most cafés, restaurants and bars have public restrooms—although, we highly recommend buying something and sitting down if you ask to use their services. It‘s only polite! Plus, it‘s a great excuse to try an Icelandic beer, have a coffee to warm yourself up or eat some of Iceland‘s hearty cuisine.