Brightly colored shopfronts spill into the street and add atmosphere to the sidewalk dining areas and designer stores of Reykjavík’s main downtown shopping strip.
Find an exciting collection of cafés, restaurants, bars and specialty stores on Laugavegur, an arterial street in Reykjavík’s downtown area. Stroll down the partly pedestrianized strip and spend an afternoon checking out Scandinavian designer stores. Stop at a café or bakery and try delicious Icelandic treats, while watching fashion-conscious shoppers go by. In the evening, relax with a drink at one of the Laugavegur bars and clubs.
Translating to “wash road,” Laugavegur was historically the street that led to the hot springs of Laugardalur. Spend a few hours exploring the street and admiring its heritage shopfront façades, many painted in cheerful colors. Some parts of the street are split into bicycle and pedestrian-only sections. Check out the different boutique and designer stores, where you can find Scandinavian-designed gifts, homewares, clothing and gadgets. Chat with storeowners about which Icelandic designers to look for. You can also find department stores selling items at bargain prices.
For a snack, don’t miss a visit to a bakaríið (bakery), where you can grab a sweet snudur spiral pastry or a crispy kleinur diamond-shaped doughnut. Pick up a hotdog from an area kiosk and take a seat on one of the street’s benches. Laugavegur is also a hotspot for restaurants. On a sunny day, pick a spot with outdoor dining. On the weekend, this street becomes energetic with locals and visitors mingling in the bars and nightclubs. Spend an evening sampling locally crafted beers and wines or get out on the dance floor at a club.
You’ll also find several tour operators and the unique Icelandic Phallological Museum. Preview the subject matter before you bring children to this unique museum of male genitalia.
Laugavegur is located in Reykjavík’s downtown district, just south of the waterfront precinct and the Sculpture and Shore Walk. Several buses stop near the street. The picturesque commercial street of Skólavörðustígur intersects the northern end of Laugavegur.
Reach Laugavegur easily from most areas around the city or stay in one of the hotels along the street. Check out the nearby Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center and the Cathedral of Christ the King.