We get a lot of enquiries from trans, non-binary, genderfluid and/or gender-nonconforming travellers asking whether it is safe to travel around Iceland, what general attitudes prevail and how gendered (or not) general facilities are. Here is a short article we hope can be of assistance <3
Trans rights in Iceland have progressed a lot in the past 10 years. In 2019 a new bill passed allowing transgender people to access health care based on an informed consent model. It also allows people to change their name and gender through the National Registry without a medical diagnosis as used to be the case. People under the age of 18 can change their name and gender with parental consent and have access to trans related health care as needed.
Iceland has always presented itself as a progressive country and many are proud of how LGBTQI+ friendly we are as a country, and social attitudes towards the community are quite accepting and friendly in general. There are still issues of discrimination, misgendering and misconceptions in Iceland, but as Iceland crime rates are low in general there is little serious crime. Living openly as a transgender or non-binary person in Iceland is undoubtedly safer than in many places around the world. In terms of gendered facilities such as swimming pools, especially in the capital area, most will offer private, gender neutral and accessible locker rooms for people to use without any questions asked. Many have found these easier to use rather than traditionally gendered ones, as all people are expected to shower naked before entering local pools. A few pools provide more private showers or even cubicles within the gendered ones that are available to use. Using the binary coded changing rooms is perfectly legal and many actively do it. The most important this is that you do what you're comfortable with. For a list of trans friendly pools and facilities, see here. There are few queer clubs and venues in Reykjavík or Iceland in general for that matter. Reykjavík currently boasts two queer venues: Kiki Queer Bar and Gaukurinn. We recommend checking their social media for the latest goings on. Most other bars and clubs are queer friendly, although there have been issues in the past. As a trans or non-binary traveller, you shouldn’t have to be worried about your safety. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t incidents that can occur, but most places and people will make an effort to make everyone feel welcomed, safe and respected. If you experience misgendering or anything of the sort from hotel staff for or anyone in the travel and hospitality industry it will usually be unintentional and as frustrating it is to have to explain yourself and your pronouns can be it usually resolves the matter. If not, we urge you to reach out to us and we will use our reach and influence to educate and inform the relevant parties. If you have any questions about your stay or want advice about specific places you’re planning to visit, don’t hesitate to get in touch. For further information please visit
Samtökin 78 - Iceland's Queer Organisation
Trans Ísland - Iceland's Trans Organisation / Website is mostly in Icelandic
Trans Ísland FB Page - The FB page will have more english content
On behalf of the Pink Iceland team
Originally written in 2019.
Edits have been made to update the text with relevant information.
Current edition is from November 2023.