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8 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Local Recommendations

5 spots in Reykjavík where you are most likely to meet a local

By Staff

  • Unwinding The most likely spot to meet a local is at one of Reykjavík's many swimming pools. Photo/Daníel Rúnarsson

With the influx of foreign guests pouring into the country, many of the more popular destinations may seem a bit overcrowded to some of our visitors. For a more “native” experience of Reykjavík, you‘ll have to travel out of the city centre. Here‘s how to do the capital “like a local”.


1. Swimming pools

sundlaug, swimming pool

Photo/Stefán Karlsson

By now, you probably know that Icelanders love their swimming pools. To meet up with locals go for a dip in the early morning or late evenings. Try Árbæjarlaug or Kópavogslaug in Kópavogur for a more “local” feel.  


2. Kaffibarinn bar


Photo/Pjetur Sigurðsson

Kaffibarinn can be quite touristy during high-season, but it’s also a drinking hole that boasts very loyal regulars – see if you can spot them in the crowd.
Where: Bergstaðastræti 1


3. Hljómskálagarðurinn park



You are bound to meet at least a handful of local families in Hljómskálagarðurinn park on a sunny day. Find a good spot near the children’s playground and drink in Icelandic family life.


4. Borgartún street

Borgartún, reykjavík


While not the most scenic street in Reykjavík, Borgartún is swarming with locals who work and live in the area. Have lunch at Te og Kaffi, Kaffitár, Lifandi markaður or Johansen Deli, all located at Borgartún, and you will be surrounded by Icelanders.


5. Smáralind shopping mall

Smáralind, Kópavogur


Located in the Reykjavík suburb of Kópavogur, this massive shopping mall is guaranteed to be flooded with suburbians.
Where: Hagasmári 1, Kópavogur

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