In Iceland the rights and views of LGBTQ+ people and communities are generally progressive, although there is certainly room for improvement. The scene is lively although most agree there are never too many queer events! We have listed some of our favourite queer owned and run places in Reykjavík and the Icelandic countryside (where the list is ever-growing). Finally we listed some of the LGBTQ+ organisations and events that we love!
Queer owned or run companies in Iceland we recommend
Reykjavík and surroundings
Kiki is THE queer bar in Reykjavík. The bar/club is home to the queer party scene offering great music, dancing, weekely drag-shows and other LGBTQ+ artists and showcases! The house is painted as the rainbow with various pride flags in the windows so it should be easy to find!
This colourful cafe is hard to miss as you walk down Skólavörðustígur, situated in a bright-orange house with decor that looks more like a museum than café. Stop by for their world-famous cheesecake or some hot chocolate.
A Danish ´smorrebrod' restaurant that has played an integral part in the Reykjavík centre for a long time. This charming restaurant offers nordic cuisine at its best with a homey and welcoming atmosphere.
Very cosy book-café in the heart of Reykjavík, it is close to the Reykjavík Art Museum making it a perfect post-show stop.
Gelato doesn’t get better than this! Offering new flavours every day in two locations, Italian gelato made by Italians. They also offer online ordering and pickup at store and a party service where you can order a gelato wagon!
French delicatessen in the Reykjavík centre. They offer french products like patés, oils, honey, marmalades, candles and more.
Vegan sweets maker and baker! From small treats to large cakes, this service can assist you with anything sweet and sugary.
An all vegan and queer owned cake maker. The cakes can be specially ordered for any occasion or you can pick one up at Veganbúðin or Melabúðin. If you only want a taste, try your luck at Luna Flórens where they serve by the slice along with some delicious cocktails.
This icecream, cake and coffee shop offers up everything sweet, hence their name translating to “The Sweet House”. They are the first establishment to offer Thai ice cream rolls or “stir-fried” ice cream.
Very cozy coffee shop with homemade baked goods in Hafnarfjörður. They also serve delicious food in their plant filled space.
This sushi restaurant with a train-system with two locations is exactly what you need for a casual night of sushi and white-wine. Sushi travels on a line on the dining tables and you pick out whatever you want!
Cute little flower and gift shop on the city’s main street. You can find the perfect gift or arranged flower for any occasion.
Ofsi provides an opportunity for glamour whilst also supporting an education program to prevent gender-based violence. OFSI sells glitters of many different kinds, they are all biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free.
The front space of Pink Iceland’s office houses the main CBD store in Iceland: Æsir CBD. Pink Iceland’s social world was put into hibernation during this global pandemic and that’s when Æsir CBD was born - it’s Pink Iceland’s Covid baby.
The hair salon is not only queer owned but also environmentally certified. They place an emphasis on respect towards nature and people, however and whoever they may be. They only use sustainable and environmental products.
Hair salon in three locations, two in Reykjavík and one in Akureyri. They have various different hair stylists working for them that can offer an array of services. Modus also sells hair products from brands such as REF Stockholm, Paul Mitchell, Zenz organic and more.
South of Iceland
From the same owners of Jómfrúin, this Hveragerði based restaurant offers the danish smorrebrod along with other courses all based around Icelandic ingredients. This place is a great stop along the south coast.
West of Iceland
Food truck based on the westfjords, the truck is often parked in Ísafjörður but travels around in the summer. The menu offers sushi along with other warm plates.
East of Iceland
Family-owned hotel in Neskaupsstaður with apartments and rooms. Every room comes with spectacular fjord views. The establishment has a restaurant on-site called Kaupfélagsbarinn.
This bar and pizzeria/restaurant is under the same ownership as Hildibrand, this restaurant is only open in the summertime. The room is also available for rent for events, weddings or concerts. The venue has a beautiful deck that overlooks the fjord.
North of Iceland
A sustainable eco-store selling everything from cleaning products to vitamins. Located in Akureyri in the north of Iceland. The store emphasizes environmental and cruelty-free products. There is a top-up service where one can bring a container and fill it with soap, shampoos, cleaning products and other to avoid buying and using plastic.
Located just next to Vistvæna búðin, Brauðgerðarhús Akureyrar is a bakery that mainly makes sourdough bread. They often have many vegan options as well!
Queer events and happenings
Samtökin ‘78 is a queer interest and activism association that has existed in Iceland since 1978, giving it its name. The association often hosts events and offer services such as consultations, education and much more.
Reykjavík Pride is hosted annually in the first or second week of August. The festival lasts for a week and the crown-jewel is of course the Pride Parade hosted on the Saturday. During the week queerness overtakes Reykjavík and events and pop-ups occur all over town. Don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate the most colorful week of the year in Reykjavík!
Rainbow Reykjavik Winter Pride
Pink Iceland hosts the annual Winter Pride, this was established because only one pride each year just isn’t enough! Winter pride aims to inject a little color into the greyest and coldest season.
This men-only event is hosted annually in Iceland; it involves great parties, sightseeing and community creation. Reykjavík Bear held its first annual Bear festival in 2021 after having to cancel the event in 2020 due to unforeseen circumstances. The festival is hosted by volunteers from the legendary Bears on Ice event which ran for 15 years.
Vera - community for queer women and non-binary people
VERA is a community for queer women and non-binary people they host regular events from hikes to big parties. The aim of VERA is to create a safe space for women and non-binary people and a community where friendships and support can blossom. Follow their facebook and instagram to see upcoming events.
The Hump Day Social is a monthly event for gay men to meet up. The location changes each month. The hope is to create a positive space for gay men to raise a glass with each other. The community has a private group here
Outside the capital area
The different sections of Iceland have their own LGBTQ+ communities and many have begun to celebrate pride in each place. Here are some of the established communities:
North of Iceland - HIN (Hinsegin Norðurland)
West Iceland - Hinsegin Vesturland
East Iceland - Hinsegin Austurland