Iceland Travel guide


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Annual Events

Food and Fun: February  - March (date to be confirmed) , 2015
Blending local and international culinary talent with fresh natural ingredients, the Food and Fun festival is a recipe for fun! Collaborating with Reykjavik’s finest restaurants, world-acclaimed chefs prepare special menus consisting of only Icelandic ingredients, regarded as the best in the world by Icelanders. These menus are available to the public at the participating restaurants during the festival, and diners may get a chance to meet the chefs themselves. Finally, on the last day of the festival, the chefs compete to create the most innovative and delicious three-course meal using only Icelandic ingredients.

Reykjavik Fashion Festival:  March (date to be confirmed), 2015
Inspired by elements of nature, Icelandic fashion has taken the world by storm with its unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and cutting edge design. You can see the masterpieces of Iceland’s top fashion talent and young breakout designers on display at the annual Reykjavik Fashion Festival along with live performances by the hottest bands from the Icelandic music scene. 

Reykjavik Art Festival:  May - June (date to be confirmed), 2015
Established in 1970, Iceland's premier cultural festival showcases the best of local and international theatre, dance, visual art and music. Besides the emphasis on Icelandic culture, both past and present, the festival also hosts distinguished artists and performers from around the world. The festival spans several days at the end of May with programs to suit all ages and interests.

National Day: June 17th, 2015 
Commemorating Iceland’s independence from Denmark on June 17, 1944, National Day is one of Iceland’s most popular events of the summer. In Reykjavik, the festivities include something for all ages and interests with a colourful parade, street performances, games for kids and free outdoor music concerts lasting late into the evening.

Innipúkinn Festival: 31st July - August 3rd, 2015
Innipúkinn is a small annual music festival, held in downtown Reykjavík over Iceland’s bank holiday weekend. Past performers have included Cat Power, Blonde Redhead, Mugison, Raveonnettes, Hjálmar, Trabant, Seabear, Jonathan Ritchman, Mínus, Dikta, FM Belfast and many others. Along with the music program, this event also features a music market, pop quiz, BBQs and more.

Reykjavik Gay Pride: August 7th – 9th, 2015
This colourful festival draws tens of thousands of people into Reykjavik every year to show solidarity with the GLBT community and celebrate Iceland’s progressive position on human rights. Along with the opening ceremony party, numerous concerts and dances and other small events throughout the program, the main attraction by far is the energetic, family-friendly parade through the city centre on Saturday afternoon.

Reykjavik Marathon: August 22rd, 2015
Started in 1983, this annual event now attracts over 10,000 participants from Iceland and abroad, with 1k and 3k “fun runs” for children and adults, a 10k race, a half marathon, a 42.2k team relay and the granddaddy of the event—the full marathon. The program starts in the morning usually between 8:00 and 10:00, and races start and finish at Lækjargata in the centre of Reykjavik. Runners also gain free admittance to all of Reykjavik’s thermal baths and swimming pools after the races.

Reykjavik Culture Night: August 22, 2014
Every year, Reykjavik Culture Night draws thousands of people to the streets of Reykjavik to join in the celebration of Iceland’s diverse cultural scene. There are plenty of free events throughout the day, including outdoor concerts, film screenings, art and photography exhibitions, street performances and an impressive fireworks show by the harbour to end the night. The city’s museums also stay open late for this occasion. If you want to celebrate this day like a true Reykjavikite, look for the signs that say “vöfflur” for a free waffle and coffee at the home of local resident!

Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF): September, 2014
Founded in 2004, RIFF has grown into one of the best-kept secrets of the international film festival circuit, drawing over 25,000 guests annually. Along with film workshops, director talks and discussion panels, this multi-day event offers a number of screening venues in downtown Reykjavik to showcase a variety of documentaries, full-length features, shorts, animations and other notable films from Iceland and abroad, including world premieres and award winners from other festivals. The winner of RIFF’s competition is awarded the Golden Puffin at the end of the festival.

Iceland Airwaves:  November 5th - 9th, 2014
In 1999, the first Iceland Airwaves was held in an airplane hangar, as a showcase for local DJs. Since then, this annual festival has exploded onto the international music scene, attracting some of the hottest new bands from the USA, Europe and Iceland to play at various venues in Reykjavík. Called the “hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar” by Rolling Stone magazine, Iceland Airwaves draws thousands of international visitors to sample the sounds of the fresh musical talent, both foreign and domestic, while offering an opportunity for other adventures in Iceland.

New Year‘s Eve: December 31st, 2014 
Icelanders are known for going a bit overboard on this holiday! Shops are generally open until early afternoon while most bars, clubs and music venues are open to the crowds of merrymakers at night. Whereas Icelanders traditionally dine with family on this day, visitors can enjoy dinner at one of Reykjavik’s fine restaurants (RSVP recommended) before joining in the evening celebrations, including huge neighbourhood bonfires held across the city. Then, before midnight, everyone bundles up and heads outside to a good viewing spot, champagne and sparklers in hand, to watch as an unbelievable amount of fireworks is set off to welcome the New Year. Afterwards, the partying continues into the wee hours of the morning. Not surprisingly, January 1st tends to be a quiet day.


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