Travelling through Iceland is expensive and thirsty work, especially in the wild northern part of the country. Here's a roundup of all the happy hours in Akureyri, the largest town of northern Iceland, to help you make the most of your time in this Iively little town without breaking the bank.
With a population of just 18,000, capital of the north Akureyri might seem more like a small town than Iceland’s second biggest city. But roll into this town perfectly perched on the edge of one of the longest fjords in the country and you’ll discover that, like Reykjavik, Akureyri punches well above its weight when it comes to things to see and do for such a small place.
Of course, that includes a nice selection of bars to choose from, but prices unfortunately remain catastrophic. Luckily, with this list of the local happy hours we’ve got all your alcohol cravings covered without breaking the bank.
Starting off at 4:00pm, Mulaberg Bistro and Bar has one of the best happy hours in town. Located in the KEA Hotel smack bang in the middle of Akureyri, for 1100kr you can try their cocktail of the day, or just kick back in their after a day’s exploring the countryside with a beer for only 550kr – the cheapest in town.
This popular breakfast and brunch spot chases away the cold northern weather with a cosy café atmosphere perfect for an afternoon drink. Bigger than it looks from the outside, the service here is friendly and quick, and a good all-round choice of place to imbibe.
In what is probably the most striking and beautiful buildings in town, this café offers a relaxed atmosphere in a large space brimming with character. Warm light seemingly spills out of candles and soft lamps perched on every corner, and their laid back happy hour is popular with everybody. If you miss it, try one of their hot chocolates with whipped cream instead.
There’s a concert venue just beneath here called Græni Hatturinn which has live shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, making Bláa Kannan the perfect spot to start your night.
This buzzing backpackers is always full of life, constantly seeing a crowd of tourists, locals and students come through their doors to enjoy a few drinks, food and conversation. Functioning as a hostel as well, the wooded common room/bar is cosy and warm, brims with conversation, and has a few large windows looking out on the main shopping drag in Akureyri for some excellent people watching.
R5 is a beer bar on the main square in Akureyri, but it’s big personality makes it seem as if it belongs in a much larger city like London or New York. Inside you’ll find a vast and daunting selection of beers from around Iceland and the world, knowledgeable staff and a very agreeable happy hour; you’ll probably wind up staying here until well after it’s wrapped up. Let the bartenders guide you with the beers and you can’t go wrong.
This café draws in a young crowd with their comprehensive cocktail list and broad selection of wines. The second longest happy hour in town, it’s a good spot as any to have a few drinks before a northern lights tour, or stay here to kick on into the evening in the upstairs room. Make sure to keep your eyes to the sky inside the bar as well, as their ceiling has some intriguing paintings.
This hole in the wall bar sits across the street from the popular restaurant Rub23, but goes mostly unnoticed by visitors to Akureyri. This is a dire mistake, as the bar holds maybe one of the best kept secrets of the town; an Einstök Brewer’s Lounge upstairs. Get a tasting board of the nationally-cherished Einstök and head up to the warm and comfortable room where beer memorabilia lines the wall, and make sure to check out the map of Iceland with all the craft breweries marked as well.
Most hotels in Akureyri will offer some kind of happy hour at their bar, but the Aurora Bar in the Icelandair Hotel is one of the more popular spots, drawing in people from around town with its modern and comfortable interior.
The best travel recommendations come from locals. Check out these Wanderguides from Iceland by locals sharing their travel tips and hidden gems.