Saturday throughout the whole day, and into the night, Iceland’s capital city is going to come alive when this year’s Reykjavik Culture Night officially kicks off. If you are from here, you know it’s going to be a blast. But if you happen to be in the city for your first time this weekend, you are in for a treat. Let’s take a look at what activities Reykjavik has in store for the veterans and novices alike on Saturday.
One of the greatest aspects of the Reykjavik Culture Night is that there is something for everyone. The festival begins around 8 AM and coincides with the start of the 35th Islandsbanki Reykjavik Marathon. The race is visually stunning as it takes racers through downtown Reykjavik and outlying areas. This year around 1,000 runners are taking on the marathon, with double that number for the half-marathon. But, with the crack of the proverbial gun, the marathon signifies the beginning of the activity-filled Culture Night. We have compiled a brief look at some of the highlighted events during this special day.
For the Athletic
For fitness fanatics who are sad they didn’t know about the marathon (I personally shed no tears for you as I sit on my butt doing nothing), fear not! If you really need to log those miles, you can sign up for the Reykjavik Fun Run or the Reykjavik Marathon. These are part of the same race and there are five different course distances that you can sign up for, so you can take it easy if you are out of shape (cough, cough, totally not like me).
The Fun Run will take you throughout the downtown area, leading you past the city hall and the Reykjavik pond. The event starts at 12:15h and ends at 13:15h. A relaxing hour-long jog will give you a shot of energy to propel you into the rest of the night. Grab a beer and hot dog after, but also remember to hydrate.
You can register for the different races here.
Reykjavik For Families
If you have the kiddos with you, and you are looking for something to captivate their attention, and open their minds, make sure to take them to the Harpa Concert Hall. This ultra-modern building is one of the most iconic and striking buildings in Reykjavik. Nestled right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, this building is sure to spark a creative flame in your kids.
There are going to be Icelandic cultural events here all day, and this year they have a ton of family-themed concerts. Admission is free, so no worries about having to pull out your wallet. The music will pour out of Reykjavik’s premiere concert hall for the majority of the day. If your kids have never visited Harpa, they are in for a surprise.
For Photographers and Art Lovers
If you don’t have to cater to the kids, and enjoy environmental studies and art, you should make your way to the Reykjavik Museum of Photography. Starting at 13:00h and running until 22:00h Olaf Otto Becker’s powerful and evocative photographs of climate change will be on display. His work hits a particularly personal chord with Icelanders because his photos highlight the very noticeable, and disastrous, effects of climate change in the Arctic. This exhibition is both haunting and stunning. If you appreciate photography, art, or the environment, this event is perfect for you.
For The Malt Aficionado
Now that you have checked off art, music, and exercise you deserve a beer. I am tired just thinking about your busy Saturday. If you love beers, hops, or a good time, swing by the pier near Bryggjan Brewery & Bistro between 13:00h till 19:00h to celebrate the Independent Craft Brewers of Iceland’s first Beer Festival. Eleven different breweries will be a part of the inaugural Icelandic Beer Festival, and we all know how good (and strong) our beer is. I am giddy with excitement. Make sure you are hydrating while here, and maybe grab some food. If you want to try a sample of each brewery’s beer you can purchase a punch card from the vendors. This punch card will allow you to try samples, and with its purchase, you receive a free festival branded glass. Two excellent Icelandic souvenirs for the price of one!
Fireworks and Closing of Reykjavik Culture Night
Like every Reykjavik Culture Night, the festival will culminate with a dazzling fireworks display. The list of above is but a fraction of the events taking place tomorrow. The official slogan of this festival translates to, “come on in.” It is supposed to highlight our traditional good manners. I couldn’t think of a better slogan for the 35th Annual Reykjavik Culture Night. When you walk down the streets it feels like the entire country of Iceland is opening her arms and warmly welcoming you inside for a homemade meal. Comment below to let us know favorite event at Reykjavik’s culture night. See you guys tomorrow.