Reykjavík is the capital and the biggest city of Iceland. It is located in the southwest section of the country, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. The city covers an area of 274.5 km², but it only has a population of about 200,000. The city center is relatively small and is characterized by colorful and eclectic houses, superb shopping, dining, and drinking.
Iceland's cultural center and one of its premier tourist destinations is Reykjavik. All the cultural trappings of a 21st-century European city can be found here: cozy cafes, upscale restaurants, state-of-the-art geothermal pools, as well as world class museums and galleries. Add all these to a backdrop of azure ocean, snow-capped mountains, and spectacular volcanic surroundings, and you'll likely concur that it is a city like no other.
Iceland is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world. Crime in the capital Reykjavik is almost non-existent and there are no safety and security issues concerning thieves, drugs, or homeless people.
The only area in the city that single females should refrain from visiting at night is Austurvöllur Park because it is a popular place for boozers and drunkards. In addition, avoid the brawls that occasionally break out among intoxicated partiers in bars, particularly on weekends.
Based on recent statistics, rape is reported twice as often in other Nordic countries, and there have been a couple of instances of violence involving paupers in the area, around the Hlemmur bus station. Still, even with some minor issues, Reykjavík is a lot safer when compared to other western cities, and definitely safer than the capital cities of other countries. Most people are incredibly hospitable and police officers are also friendly and very helpful. If you want safety in a tourist hotspot, Reykjavik is a perfect place.
The city does not have a red light district, so it is a bit difficult to find strip clubs or other forms of adult entertainment. Iceland outlawed striptease in March 2010, so it is now a criminal offence for any business to make money from the nudity of its workers.
Another mostly legal aspect of prostitution in Reykjavík is to contact an escort agency. You only pay for a sexy lady to accompany you around and not for sex. This is mostly legal because the girl is not a hooker. However, for a little extra cash, many of them offer high-class sex. The most important to remember is that whatever you do, prioritize your health and use condoms. Iceland holds the unenviable record for the most number of people in Europe with chlamydia.
Street prostitution is non-existent in Reykjavik but hookers' photos as escorts can be found online in various internet sites. You may find free prostitutes living close to the city. These are girls who don’t want to get paid for sex. These girls maybe desperate housewives or young singles who simply want to have fun. Others just really love to have sex or to do some other things with strangers. You may also try bars and clubs that operate deep into the night, for instance, the Vegas Exotic Night Club and the NasiKaffibarrin.
Reykjavik is packed with tourists looking to have a great time and party the nights away. You won’t get bored in this bustling city. However, there is a small catch in that strip clubs have been banned, but don’t freak out as the neighboring cities have yet to follow suit.
Iceland is the only European country to enforce a strip club ban. There were about 15 strip clubs operating in the country in the late 1990s and early 2000s; most of them were located in and around Reykjavík. Back then, stripping was a multi-million-dollar business. Nude dancing was regulated and stripping was deemed illegal. However, some clubs were given a legal exemption, so they can feature striptease. Such exemptions were revoked when the ban took effect on July 31, 2010, and all the strip clubs across Iceland closed.
A handful of "champagne clubs" later opened at an old strip club district. These clubs have a private area in the back where patrons can have a private time with a female worker. In 2015, a campaign against the clubs was launched by a women's crisis center called Stígamó. It accused the clubs of prostitution and trafficking. The police conducted a raid and majority of the clubs were closed. Today, three clubs remain and none of them can be considered a strip joint. The clubs operate from establishments with fixed addresses and distinct signs which mean police can easily keep an eye on them.
Paying for sex is illegal in Reykjavik and throughout Iceland. In April 2009, the Icelandic Parliament passed a new legislation that made paying for sex illegal. The law indicates that the client is guilty of a criminal offence, while the prostitute is spared. However, prostitutes become guilty of a crime if they are found working together as this constitutes operating a brothel.
Anyone guilty of engaging in prostitution for own upkeep will be subject to imprisonment for up to two years. In addition, anyone who offers, requests or mediates for sex with another person in exchange for money through a public advertisement is to be published with penalties or jail term of up to six months.
There is a new bill before the Icelandic Parliament which aims to amend the General Penal Code in cases involving child prostitution, pornography and trafficking, so the statute of limitation can only commence when the child has turned 18 years old, regardless of his/her age when the violation occurred.
Specific Laws for Gays
The rights of the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Iceland are dynamic and very progressive. A minority government took office in February 2009; it was led by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who is known as the world’s first openly lesbian head of state in modern times. On June 11, 2010, the parliament amended the marriage law and made same-sex marriage legal. The law took effect roughly two weeks later. In addition, same-sex couples have enjoyed equal access to adoption and in vitro fertilization (IVF) since 2006.
Whether you visit Reykjavik in winter when it only sees a few hours of daylight, or in the summer with 24 hours of sunlight, you will surely be treated to a vibrant nightlife.
If you happen to be in the city on a weekend, make sure you take a long nap and drink lots of water and afternoon coffee in preparation for the rúntur, the weekly pub crawl when party goers make their way to multiple bars and clubs. The revelry reaches its peak between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. This is the time when partiers line up at the hottest bars along Laugavegur to cough up some serious krónur for some of Reykjavik’s notoriously pricey drinks.
Brace yourself for lots of random pushing and shoving inside the bars. In spite of the effects of booze, try to be as level-headed as possible and embrace the idea that bar-hopping is a contact sport. Only then will you be able to enjoy and find it easier to navigate the big crowds. If you’re still up and manage to make it to the wee hours, you’ll be rewarded with something hot and greasy—a hotdog—the city’s beloved post-bar snack.
Iceland is widely regarded as very friendly and open to gay people. The legal status of gays is deemed as one of the best in the world, with individual rights protected by the constitution. Over the past three decades, a lot have been achieved with regards to making gays and lesbians quite visible and this has worked wonders against prejudices. The mere fact that the Reykjavik Gay Pride is the second largest outdoor event in Iceland speaks volumes about the situation.
General Attitude Towards Gays
The general public is as friendly and enlightened as anywhere else in the world, so one can be open about sexual orientation without the worry of being bashed or ostracized. The gay scene in the country is mostly confined to Reykjavík, specifically on Laugavegur Street in the city center, and the local gay and lesbian population can be expected to provide a warm welcome.
Dance Club for Gays
Transsexual prostitution is only offered through the Internet. Thousands of transsexuals across the globe earn a living by acting as webcam models. You can view transsexual live sex shows in Reykjavik as long as you have access to the Internet. Some shemale escorts occasionally come to Iceland for a few days, but there is no tranny scene in the country.