Wondering where the cheap drinks are in Reykjavík? This guide will cover everything from the cheapest beer to where to find the best cocktails.

The bar scene in the city has a reputation as being one of the most expensive around the world, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on a night out. This guide will cover everything from the cheapest beer to where to find the best cocktails, helping you get more bang for your buck on your visit to Reykjavík.
What Time is Happy Hour in Reykjavík?
Reykjavík is a city where in most cases, ‘happy hour’ lasts for much longer than an hour. 2–4 hours of drink deals are the most common at bars around the city, where they’ll at the very least discount the beers. Most places also discount wine, and only a select few offer cocktails on happy hour prices. There are also bars that have happy hours for long stretches of time, up to 8 or 9 hours. Happy hour almost always covers the after-work drinking hours.
How Much are Drinks in Reykjavík?
The average cost of drinks in Reykjavík are some of the most expensive in the world. Generally, at any given pub, if you’re after a pint of beer then you can expect to pay between 1000–1200 króna ($8–$10 USD) for the standard Icelandic drafts. For Icelandic craft beers, the price can go up to about 1,600 króna ($13 USD). Wine is generally the same, with a glass costing between 1,000 to 1,500 króna. Cocktails can get expensive, usually costing somewhere between 2,000–2,600 króna ($16–$21 USD). 

Here are the 10 best happy hours in the city, your guide on where to get cheap drinks in Reykjavík.

Loft Hostel: 16.00–20.00 
How could we not mention the lovely Loft Hostel? This favourite hangout of travellers, locals and expats alike is one of the best places to soak up the Reykjavík vibes over some happy hour drinks. Located right on Laugavegur in the middle of downtown, take the elevator up to the top floor to enjoy the happy hour drink prices here. But that’s not all - the large and bright indoor space regularly hosts karaoke nights, live music gigs, film screenings and more, while if the sun makes one of its rare appearances then you can take your drink outside onto the rooftop terrace where you’ll be afforded some great views over the city. During happy hour both draft beer and the house wine go for 750 króna, helping you reign in that budget. Loft Hostel
Bravó: 11.00–20.00
Bravo takes extreme liberties with the phrase happy hour, stretching their special deals out from 11 in the morning until 8 in the evening, making this one of the longest in the city. The small space is grungy and alternative, the throw pillows and dark wooden interior giving it a bohemian vibe. The staff here are friendly, and large windows look out at the parade of travellers and locals meandering up and down Laugavegur, so it’s a great spot to sit down and have a break during the day and do a spot of people watching. The cheapest beer will set you back 700 króna, while a glass of wine will cost 900 króna: a great spot for penny-pinching backpackers. Bravó Bar
Kaffibarinn: 15.00–20.00
One of the stalwarts of Reykjavík’s nightlife and bar scene, Kaffibarinn simply must be visited on a trip to Reykjavík. You might have seen their iconic sign, designed in the same style as a London Underground sign, hanging on a small red house just off Laugavegur. This unassuming exterior belies the frantic parties that occur here on the weekends, with Reykjavík’s best DJs taking the reins and commanding the tightly packed dancefloor of partygoers. But before that all goes down, it’s a relaxed and laid-back place to enjoy a drink at happy hour, with candle-lit tables and chilled music. Beers start at 750 króna, and on Wednesdays you can get glasses of wine for 700 króna. Kaffibarinn
Sæta Svínið: 15.00–18.00
This gastropub on the corner of Ingólfur Square in the middle of downtown is a popular place whatever the hour. Lunch, dinner, or just drinks, whenever you drop by, you’ll be met with a friendly and casual atmosphere, attentive staff and a wicked-cool interior. Look out for their karaoke parties that take over the basement on Wednesday nights. Happy hour in the afternoon gets you a pint of beer for 645 króna, and wine for 745 króna – one of the cheaper options in the city. Grab a late lunch or early dinner here to make the most of the special deals. Sæta Svínið
Dubliner: 12.00–22.00
Another contender in the competition for longest happy hour in Reykjavík, the Dubliner is a classic Irish pub that has been around in the city for ages now. It’s got all the classic details that come with this type of bar: dark wooden furnishings, Irish regalia and memorabilia on the walls, and plenty of TVs showing live football and rugby matches, all of it smelling as if it’s been marinated in alcohol for a good while now. Slightly dingy but totally fun, the merry crowds here enjoy happy hour for most of the day, where you can pick up a pint of cheap beer for 750 króna. Dubliner
Prikið: 16.00–20:00
The who’s who of Icelandic hip hop and DJs will all play at this unmistakable bar on Laugavegur, a cornerstone of the Icelandic nightlife that gets packed with an alternative crowd on weekends. Join the throngs of people queueing outside to get your best taste of the Icelandic nightlife, but visit during the day and it’s a place transformed: locals enjoy delicious breakfast spreads or some of the city’s pub grub, and a quiet pint or two in the late afternoon at happy hour. Beers are a steal at only 600 króna. This is also the oldest café in Reykjavík, so it’s worth a visit happy hour or not. Prikið
B5: 18.00–22.00
B5 in Reykjavík is about the closest thing to a club you’ll find in Reykjavík during the weekend, but during the week and before the locals start to party, it’s a chilled bar where you can get one of the cheaper happy hours offers. 2 for 1 means that beer is just 500 króna, and there’s often live music to listen along to by acoustic guitar-touting locals. A large dance floor is ringed with comfortable couches and stools, with big windows overlooking Laugavegur. If you’re hungry, Tommi’s Burger Joint is a business that takes up a small area at the back – some of the best burgers in the city. B5
Pablo Discobar: 17:00–18:00
A tropical escape from the cold and blustery Icelandic weather, upon entering Pablo Discobar you’ll be transported far away to South America, as if you’ve just stepping into a jungle of colourful wallpapers covered in tropical plants and birds, glittering disco balls, and a menu of cocktails infused with tequila and mezcal. This is one of the classier places to enjoy a night out in Reykjavík, with a well-dressed crowd dancing the night away to a festive mix of hip hop, soul, RnB and funk. Their happy hour is short, but sweet. Grab a beer for 700 króna, glass of wine for 1,000 króna. This is also one of the few places that has cocktails on happy hour for 1,500 króna.
Lebowski Bar: 16:00–19:00
You might have guessed already: this bar on Laugavegur is modelled after the cult classic film, The Big Lebowski. Inside is a lively atmosphere that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into the movie, the large space taken up by multiple bars, a dining area where you can feast on burgers and milkshakes, and a dance floor at the back for those weekend nights. There’s even a ten-pin bowling alley on the right-side wall. Their Thursday night quizzes are a great way to have some fun, and the playlist of classic rock music turns to exciting DJs playing a range of tunes on Friday and Saturday nights. The best part is that there’s an extensive menu of White Russian cocktails, including a special rotating cocktail of the month. Unfortunately, they’re not on happy hour prices, but you can get a beer or a glass of wine for 750 króna. Lebowski Bar
Íslenski Barinn: 16.00–18.00
A cool pub with a rustic Icelandic aesthetic, ‘The Icelandic Bar’ is another great option for a happy hour drink. Evenings usually see some live music, and the pub is a busy eatery serving up delicious gourmet hot dogs, tasty burgers and more. There’s usually a great mix of people here: from the young group of friends and older Icelanders, to the groups of tourists ducking in for a nice dinner. For those looking to try some fermented shark while in town, they also have that on their menu (it comes with a shot of Brennivín, otherwise known as Icelandic Black Death). Both beer and wine are 700 króna during happy hour. Íslenski Barinn

James Taylor is a travel journalist from Australia who lived in Iceland for three years.

Falling in love with the country, he began to write about his travels for magazines and websites in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A.