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Camping Out Reykjavik Pride

Camping Out Reykjavik Pride

Published: 1. July 2017
By: Michael Ryan

Iceland is pretty famous for equal rights, LGBTQA support, and gay history. It is the land of waterfalls, rainbows, and elves after all. There haven't been any unicorn sightings, but there's plenty of stunningly beautiful regular horses. Lonely planet has even deemed it one of the most gay-friendly travel destinations in the world.



credit: adobe stock

Reykjavik has been celebrating Pride since 1999 and over 150,000 people attend annually. That isn't much compared to NYC Pride, San Francisco Pride, or World Pride, but its huge per capita. Remember, Iceland is only a tiny island nation of about 330,000 citizens. Counting the international visitors, the attendees equal about half the country. Could you imagine what London LGBT Pride would look like if half of the UK showed up?

credit: icelandmonitor.is

This little sleeper town certainly knows how to celebrate though. Rainbow floods the city for the entire week, with a painted walkway changing location each year. Previously the steps at MR and one of Reykjavík's most well known streets, Skólavörðustígur, were painted.

credit: northbound.is

This year, Reykjavík Pride is set to be bigger than ever. In 2010, the mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr attended in drag, and then his successor Dagur B. Eggertsson followed suit. Yep. The mayors. In. Drag.

credit: guide to iceland

Eggertsson also started the 2016 Pride festival by painting the steps of MR, the Reykjavík Junior College. That was all fun until current President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson attended the event making him the first elected president in the world to participate in a pride festival. He's openly supported the rights of the marginalized prior to even taking office.

credit: Iceland Review

Last year's parade also featured Icelandic pop singer Páll Óskar's float, a massive sequin coated unicorn. If you've ever followed cult blogs about Iceland's Eurovision competitors, you'll know he's essentially Santa Claus on Gay Christmas.

credit: palloskar.is

This year's Pride schedule is still being finished, but you can find most all the information about Hinsegin dagar on their website here.

One of the best ways to join the party is by staying right in the center of it. The best spot to camp overnight in the city is Reykjavík Campsite, near Laugardagslaug pool. From there, you can take your van right to the center of downtown and find a parking spot, free on the weekends.

credit: reykjavikcampsite.is

Certain roads will be closed along the parade route, but your best bet is right near the beginning of the parade and BSI bus terminal. After that, the city is your oyster and you'll be right in the heart of Reykajvík Pride.

credit: Hinsegin dagar

There's a few must-see Pride locations including:

Samtökin 78 Community Center, the hub of the Hinsegin dagar team and a huge mural of a magically Bowie inspired unicorn.

credit: Samtökin 78

Kiki Queer Bar, the only place to dance to Robin late on a Saturday night with a gin & tonic

credit: drink advisor

and Bravó, right below it.

The Reykjavík Rainbow Museum, a new project inside Harpa showcasing the beauty of nature's most fabulous phenomenon.

credit: reykjavik rainbow museum

Then, be sure to tout your patronage to these gay owned Icelandic businesses:

Iða Zimsen, a lesbian-owned cafe with a great selection of books and crafts to pair with their decked out menu.

Credit: Ida Zimsen

Café Babalú, a gay-owned café on Skólavörðustígur with great hot chocolate and traditional soups.

credit: catnaps in transit

Gaukurinn, the best place to go out for the night featuring Drag Súgur performances and gender neutral bathrooms.

credit: trip advisor

Jómfrúin, nordic style sandwiches right in the heart of downtown

Credit: Jomfruin

Pink Iceland, an LGBTQ+ travel agency that can definitely help you plan a wedding in Iceland

Credit: Snoop Around

*Bonus Points*: Once you're done with Reykjavík Pride, take your campervan up to Seyðisfjörður, a small village in the east of Iceland, and check out their rainbow road.

credit: Imgrum

Ready to camp out gay and Happy at Reykjavík Pride 2017?



Some of Michael's other posts include:

Fermented Shark

The Secret Lagoon

Camping the Golden Circle

Credit: Adobe Stock

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan is a Happy Writer. Born and raised in New York, he relocated to Iceland in 2016 to chase some funny lights in the sky and meet a few "hidden people." He still hasn't found any, but is determined to circle every stone until he does. When he's not on an adventure, you can find him eating tons of craft chocolate and drinking espresso in a comfy chair somewhere in Reykjavik.

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