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  • Writer's pictureSam Barris

Iceland: Rainbow Street

Needing to eat, shop, laugh? You got it.

One day while walking around downtown Reykjavík, my wife, Julie, and I came across a beautifully painted street. It was colored to resemble a rainbow, which we thought was pretty cool, and for some reason it makes you smile as soon as you see it. When walking down the street, even though it was winter at that time, you can feel the cheerful energy warming you up.

Beautifully colored street in downtown Reykjavík.

Centrally located at Skólavörðustígur 101 (which translates to School Guard Path 101) in Reykjavík, no matter where you stay in the city this street is within walking distance. It was painted like a rainbow in 2015 to celebrate Iceland’s annual Gay Pride festival and its acceptance of the LGBTQ community. When we visited in 2020 it was charming as ever.

A funny thing happened while we were there. I had bought a pair of convertible, flip top mittens from Etsy before the trip so I can keep my hands warm but still access my fingers to take pictures and use my phone. To my surprise, Holy Cow, a clothing store right at the corner of Rainbow Street, had the exact same mittens! Coincidence? Glitch in the matrix? Oh well, maybe they aren’t as handmade as I thought.

A unique shop for winter accessories.

Speaking of clothing stores, there are plenty of shops around Rainbow Street to check out. No matter the mood, there should be something for everyone; jewelry, Icelandic wool sweaters, Christmas decorations, gift shops and even art galleries. Your bigger problem will be figuring out how to carry all your newly purchased goodies!

Hungry after all that shopping? There are so many restaurants nearby serving all different kinds of cuisine, from traditional Icelandic to multiple eastern varieties (Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese) and western varieties (American, Danish, Italian and Mexican). You can find something for even the pickiest of eaters.

Maybe you are more in a snacking vibe. There is an ice cream and crepe shop located right on the street and it’s only a five minute walk to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (Best Hotdogs In Town, they really are!) that we mentioned in our Tjörnin article. There are also numerous bars and cafes to wet your whistle.

So next time you are in Iceland make sure to stop by Rainbow Street and absorb its colorful atmosphere. It’s a great place to hang out, shop and eat in the heart of downtown Reykjavík.

A Few Tips:

  • Bring a camera, you will want to snap a few photos of this happy street.

  • Hungry? There are plenty of restaurants nearby, with 101 Reykjavik Street Food being particularly popular.

  • Keep an eye out for murals painted around the city. They are amazing works of street art!

Have you been to the Rainbow Street? Share your comments with us.


Sam Barris

Columnist | Gaming & Tech Whiz of Moody Melon Magazine

I am a game developer, technical engineer, an animator and entrepreneur with a forward-thinking mindset to bring cool ideas into existence. In my free time I read lots of news articles. I enjoy using my knowledge of the IT world to give my opinions on various tech-related topics.


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