This article was published on June 16th, 2019
There’s never been a better time for LGBTQ+ travelers to experience Reyjavik and the rest of the unique country that is Iceland. Known as “The Land of Fire and Ice,” Iceland has some of the most stunning geography in the world. It’s one of those rare countries where there’s something for everyone hiding around every corner, from relaxing spas to cultural hotspots, extreme sports to the performing arts. Iceland might have a population of less than half a million, but that doesn’t mean that the country doesn’t have a wealth of diversity. What are the options for LGBTQ travellers when it comes to visiting Iceland? Let’s jump in and find out.
Take a LGBTQ-Friendly Cruise
If you’re thinking about cruising to Iceland, you’ll find that there are plenty of choices. There are several specialized providers that offer LGBTQ-themed cruises, plus a range of different routes and pricing options to suit travelers from all walks of life.
Hop Around Hostels
Looking to travel light and backpack around a few hostels? There are over thirty hostels for you to choose from in Iceland, as well as a range of gay-owned hotels and apartments and a decent mix of properties on Airbnb and other sites.
Take a Dip in Reyjavik’s Saunas
Iceland is famous for its saunas, and there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the sauna followed by a roll in the snow. Reykjavik in particular is home to its fair share of saunas, most notably Vesturbaejarlaug (Hofsvallagata), which is popular among LGBTQ+ tourists and locals alike.
Explore the Nightlife
Iceland’s clubbing scene can rival almost anywhere else, reminiscent of Berlin. However, the clubs here are closer together, making it easy to club hop. Kiki is arguably the most iconic gay club on the island with its rainbow paint job and location on Laugavegur Street, but there are plenty more for you to choose from.
Don’t Miss the Museums and Galleries
Iceland is home to more than its fair share of museums and galleries, including the Iceland Phallological Museum (Hið íslenzka reðasafn), which houses 280 penises from 93 different species of animals. It’s so popular that a nearby co-working space hit the headlines recently because it had to put up a sign saying, “This is not the penis museum.” Whether you’re looking for ancient art or a quirky, once-in-a-lifetime museum experience, Iceland has it all.
Talk with Local Organizations
If you’re still searching for inspiration and want to reach out to a local organization for some extra tips, it can be worth contacting Trans Iceland or The National Queer Organization (Samtökin ‘78). Both organisations help to promote Reykjavik Pride (in August) and they can also point you in the direction of any upcoming events within the community.
Enjoy Iceland to the Fullest
Now that you know the best LGBTQ-friendly options in Iceland, it’s time for you start travel planning. Let these suggestions guide your itinerary, but know that there’s so much more to Iceland than what meets the eye. Use these tips as a starting point as you plan your time in the land of fire and ice.