So you’re going to Sónar Reykjavík, that’s great! The festival takes place in Harpa Concert Hall the 18th-20th of February. Roughly 70 Dj’s, artists and bands, Icelandic as well as international, will perform on 5 different stages on 3 days. Sounds amazing. There’s only one problem; the showcases normally start around 8 pm and go on until late. What are you going to do during the day? You might want to explore more of the country than just the insides of the concert hall. Here are some of our suggestions on what to do in Iceland during Sónar.
If you’re looking for a nice afternoon of relaxation, look no further than the Blue Lagoon. Not only will the waters wash away all evidence of last night’s partying, your skin is also going to feel baby smooth. If you don’t have the time, you can also soak in a hot tub of one of Reykjavík’s many thermal pools. If you want to do just as the locals do, stop for some ice cream after you get out of the pool, no matter what the weather is like. Trust us, it might be the best decision of the trip.
Icelanders are very keen on brunch (breakfastlunch). Bryggjan Brugghús, Coocoo’s Nest (try the poached egg!), Bergsson Mathús and Snaps all have amazing brunch menus. Another option is to go to a café and soak in the Reykjavík atmosphere. Reykjavík Roasters, Mokka Kaffi, Kaffifélagið and Stofan have wonderfully good coffee. If it’s a really rough morning, just go for a hangover burger at the Hamburger Joint or Prikið.
Go to some of Reykjavík’s many museums. The Volcano House, for example, shows a documentary on volcanic eruptions in Iceland every hour and has an exhibition of semi-precious stones, minerals, ash and pumice. You’ll know everything there is about the Eyjafjallajökull eruption that stopped all the air traffic in Europe some years ago. If you’re lucky you might even learn the correct pronunciation of Eyjafjallajökull.
Take a walk downtown and check out Icelandic design on the main shopping streets, Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur. Visit Hallgrímskirkja church (you can go up the tower for a great view), stroll along the pond (Tjörnin)and talk to the ducks and swans. If you’d prefer a guided tour, there are bus tours available and a free walking tour as well.
Most of the tours depart early in the morning, which is usually not ideal for festival-goers. But don’t despair; there are some tours that start later in the day. You could go whale watching, explore a lava tube cave, and even go to the Golden Circle. If you like a little bit of beer with your Sónar plans, a brewery tour might be perfect for you, especially if they also promise to explain to you the strange drinking habits of the Icelanders. These tours all last just a few hours and should get you back in time for when the shows start again.
If You Have an Extra Day
If you’re coming to Iceland for Sónar, we recommend taking an extra day or two to discover all the wonders Iceland has to offer. There’s waterfalls to be seen, geysers, glaciers, mountains and so much more. You could go snowmobiling on a glacier, snorkelling in a fissure between tectonic plates or see the Northern Lights by bus, boat or 4×4 Jeep. The possibilities are endless!