Reykjavík – Iceland’s Amazing Capital City 

Miðborg Reykjavíkur - tekið úr byggingakrana

What is there to see and do in Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík? How many people live there, and how was the city founded? Let’s learn all there is to know about Iceland’s only major settlement, Reykjavík.

Reykjavík is a city like no other on earth. For one thing, most people would not describe it as a city at all – rather, it resembles a pleasant coastal town with landmarks of noteworthiness. Its diminutive population only reinforces this point, as does its lack of urban infrastructure, transport networks, and twisting highways.

Ultimately, Reykjavík is the perfect city for those who long to appreciate the lively epicentre of a nation without subjecting themselves to the incessant noise, lurking danger, and hustle and bustle so apparent in many other capitals around the world. 

Reykjavík skyline
Photo: Golli. Reykjavík from the water.

And, if you might excuse this frankly disruptive personal interjection – as a foreign resident living in Iceland’s capital, I believe wholeheartedly that it is one of the greatest cities on earth, if only for the fact that it defies what is so expected of one. In many ways, if you were to look up the opposite of a city in the dictionary, you may find Reykjavík to be the definition, at least in terms of its gentle ambience and relatively slow pace of life. 

Still, a city is what Reykjavík is. Given this fact, it is obvious that Reykjavík is where most visitors to Iceland will stay, utilising it as a go-to homebase for taking tours and excursions around the country. There are so many hotels, Air BnBs, and hostels to choose from, and at a relatively competitive price, that picking otherwise does not make budgetary sense given the high cost of vacationing in Iceland. 

Basic Facts About Reykjavík 

Photo: Golli. Reykjavík at dusk.

Reykjavík translates to ‘Smoky Bay,’ named because of how its surrounding geothermal areas produce pillars of white steam. While these outpourings are not anywhere near as noticeable to residents today, it must have been quite the surreal sight to the city’s early settlers. 

For anyone interested in observing these geothermal sites that are still in action, there are many locations on the adjacent Reykjanes Peninsula, such as the Martian-like landscape of Gunnuhver hot springs.  

As of 2024, the population of Reykjavík is approximately 139,849 people, meaning that around two-thirds of Iceland’s entire population calls the capital home. If there was any fact that demonstrates just how remote and, ultimately, wild Iceland actually is, it should be this. 

Biker crossing a busy road in Reykjavík.
Photo: Biker crossing a busy road in Reykjavík.

Since 2016, the population of the city has increased around 1.62% each year, but this can be hard to notice given the fact that almost every single tourist who visits Iceland will pass through it at one point or another during their holiday. In fact, its density of people is, almost, tribute to just how popular it is, and is not particularly a reflection of the city if it were left to its own devices. 

But then again, as much is true of any urban centre that so happens to be a beloved tourist destination… 

The Capital area of Reykjavík covers 273 km2 (105 sq mi), and so it is considered Iceland’s only major city. Akureyri is often called ‘Iceland’s Northern Capital City,’ but with a population of only 17,693, it should more accurately be described as a town rather than a major urban settlement. Still, this gorgeous settlement boasts its only cathedral, and a domestic airport should anyone want to hop on a flight between Reykjavík and Akureyri. 

Reykjavík’s connection to nature

 

Reykjavík is considered to be among the cleanest and most environmentally friendly cities on the planet. This comes down not only to how the city’s residents care for their home, but also the simple fact that so much of Iceland’s heat and electricity is geothermally, and hydrothermally, sourced. 

Saying that, Reykjavík is as much of a party city as many other places, so early mornings on a Saturday and Sunday might make you think twice about the idea Reykjavík is particularly clean – but rest easy knowing that whatever litter might be left over from the night before is quickly discarded by local services. 

If one thing can be said for the Icelanders, it is that they are extremely house proud, and they take their relationship with nature very seriously.  

Puffin Iceland
Photo: Golli. Nesting Atlantic Puffins

Speaking of the city’s connection to nature, guests should be aware that whales and puffins can often be seen from the city. Both animals have become bonafide mascots of the country – whether they are aware of it or not – thanks to the great many wildlife tours on offer here. 

One of the most popular spots from which to take whale-watching and bird-watching tours is Old Harbour, a beautiful district marked by its many boats and restaurants. 

Weirdly enough, dogs were banned from Reykjavík until the 1980s; something at odds with how Icelanders view their love of animals. However, the presence of our canine friends is now a staple part of capital life, second only to the many cats seen roaming the streets. 

A Brief History of Reykjavík 

Viking Festival Hafnarfjörður

If you were to look at the Reykjavík City Crest, you might notice that it depicts two logs. This symbolises the ancient Norse method of deciding on where to settle. Aside from Irish monks, or Papar, who were said to have lived in a monastery on Papey Island, Ingólfr Arnarson was the first person to have officially discovered Iceland. In fact, it is said that the Irish left Iceland because they did not like the presence of Norse settlers. 

Who was Ingólfr Arnarson?

 

Originally from the Rivedal Valley in West Norway, Ingólfr Arnarson arrived in Iceland in the year 874 AD. He arrived after fleeing from a blood feud that he had become embroiled in. His escape from Norway focused on a mysterious island discovered by fellow Vikings, Garðar Svavarsson and Hrafna-Flóki, some years beforehand. 

Upon spotting land, Ingólfr tossed two wooden logs over the side of his longship, observing where they beached. These logs – or polished wooden poles – were known as Öndvegissúlur (High-Seat Pillars.) So it might seem strange to us today, this method of deciding on where to set-up a permanent farmstead was common practice among the Norsemen at the time. 

Reykjavík statue
Photo: Golli. A statue in Reykjavík

And so it was that Reykjavík’s location was decided upon. You can read more about Ingólfr Arnarson and the settlement of Reykjavík in the Landnámabók, otherwise known as the Book of Settlers.   

If you want to learn more about Reykjavík’s earliest days in a more fun and practical way, then the Settlement Exhibition 871±2 is a fantastic place to visit. This historic site was built around the excavated ruins of one of the first man-made structures ever built in Iceland. And, it can be found right downtown! The ruins date back to somewhere in between 900 – 1000 AD. Ancient and mysterious, they expose details of how Reykjavík’s earliest settlers would have lived and worked.

Since Iceland became a sovereign nation in 1918 – breaking away from Denmark with the Act of the Union – Reykjavík has held the position as the northernmost capital in the world. 

Famous Landmarks in Reykjavík

Hallgrímskirkja lutheran church in Iceland
Photo: Golli. Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík

The columned steeple of Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran Church is the city’s most recognisable landmark, towering over the tin roofs of downtown. While the ground floor of this historic building is free to explore, ascending to its high-level will require an extra fee. You will find this fantastic cultural landmark at the top of Skólavörðustígur – known colloquially as rainbow street – making for fantastic urban photographs right up to its bronze double doors. 

Another of Reykjavík’s more iconic buildings is Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, located on the rocky embankment of Faxaflói Bay. This award-winning structure is a great place to catch any one of the local or international acts to grace its many stages. These include the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Reykjavík’s Big Band, and the Icelandic Opera. 

Photo: Golli. Harpa concert hall.

What are some lesser-known landmarks in Reykjavík?

 

The circular dome of Perlan Museum and Observation Deck is a little way outside of downtown, but is more than worth a visit. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy the Wonders of Iceland exhibition. It includes artificial ice caves and bird cliffs, as well as a cinematic Northern Lights experience. To top it off, you will have access to amazing panoramic views of the capital, and its surrounding nature. That’s right… from the 360 degree viewing platform that sits atop the museum. 

When it comes to famed monuments, stop by the Sun Voyager sculpture, nearby to Harpa Concert Hall. This beautiful and artistic representation of a Viking longship is a truly unique metallic specimen, and provides a brilliant subject for those looking to photograph the table-top prominence of Mount Esja, Reykjavík’s nearest mountain. 

Perlan Öskjuhlíð haust autumn
Photo: Golli. Perlan on Öskjuhlíð

If there was any place to dwell on how Iceland was discovered by courageous sailors braving the unknown ocean, it is the Sun Voyager. 

If you’re hoping to see as many of Reykjavík’s landmarks as possible, your two best options are to take a pleasant walk around the capital, or better yet, hop on a city sightseeing bus tour!

Shopping in Reykjavík

Shopping in Iceland
Photo: Golli. Make sure to plan your budget for shopping!

Reykjavík provides fantastic opportunities for shoppers. Albeit those who are willing to pay more for products than they might do elsewhere. Unfortunately, Reykjavík is an expensive place to visit, let alone enjoy retail therapy. But if you have cash and a predilection to shop, you’ll find a fantastic array of clothes, music, ornaments, and food. 

Laugavegur is the most popular street for shopping in the capital. Strolling along it, you’ll find plenty of establishments to tickle your interest, be they galleries, book shops, or cute cafes. 

Despite this now being Reykjavík’s most well-trodden street, Laugavegur was not always so attractive to visitors. In fact, it translates to hot spring road. Locals used to wash their clothes in a trickling geothermal stream that ran directly where people walk today. 

A man reading in a book shop corner.
Photo: Golli. A man reading in a book shop corner.

You’re sure to notice the many souvenir shops around the city. Locals know these as Puffin Shops. On the other hand, guests see them as perfect places to grab an I <3 RYK t-shirt, or perhaps, a keyring or mug emblazoned with Hallgrimskirkja or the city’s crest. Whatever you choose for a memento of your stay, you will be spoiled for choice. The right souvenir shop for you is right around the corner. 

Are there good clothing stores in Reykjavík?

 

Icelanders also happen to be fashion-conscious people. But with the relatively high price of clothing items, and a lack of variety, second-hand shops are the obvious choice. 

Places like Spúútnik and Fatamarkaðurinn second-hand market offer a diverse mix of attire, much of which is inspired by the funky psychedelia of the sixties and seventies. So, make sure to stand out against Iceland’s landscapes by dressing your special for holiday photos 

Lucky Records in Reykjavík music
Photo: Golli. Lucky Records in Reykjavík

What music stores are in Reykjavík?

 

Also, the Icelandic people love their music. You will find many record stores across the city, including the likes of 12 Tónar, Smekkleysa, and Lucky Records. Browsing their collections of new and vintage music is the perfect way to spend some time in the city. It provides you with a great opportunity to gain a deeper insight into local artists. 

It’s also cool to know that many of these record stores also moonlight as indie record labels. Thus, visiting gets you even closer to the musical talent that Iceland is known for. Look out for small-scale concerts regularly held at these locales during your visit. 

Restaurants and Bars in Reykjavík 

Cocktails in the making at Tipsy, Reykjavík.
Photo: Golli. Cocktails in the making at Tipsy, Reykjavík.

Foodies will find so much to love about Reykjavík that their stomachs might demand they never leave.

Not only are there plenty of spots that dedicate themselves completely to authentically Icelandic dishes – like the scrumptious plokkari (potatoes and white fish) or, of course, roasted lamb – but there are countless other restaurants and takeaways focused on their own takes on international food, be it Thai or Italian.

What are Reykjavík’s best known foods?

 

This article would be remiss not to mention the most famous spots to sample the best Iceland has to offer. 

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is the one-stop you need to pay attention to regarding Icelandic hot dogs. Their sausages are made of a mix of lamb, beef and pork. The meat is topped off with fried onions and a generous slathering of mustard, ketchup, and remoulade.

More adventurous travellers may want to try the famous – or, in fact, infamous – Hakarl, or Icelandic Shark. 

(If you’re planning on putting yourself through this culinary ordeal, expect a rapid and severe taste of ammonia. Hopefully, the awed and giggly cheers from those around you make biting down worth the effort!)

Two people eating ice cream in the snow.
Photo: Golli. Two people eating ice cream in the snow.

Does Reykjavík have a fun nightlife?

 

Enjoying alcoholic delights is as diverse and entertaining as the food on offer in Reykjavík. Different establishments offer different types of scenes. Depending on your mood, you might find yourself sampling delicious whiskies in the city’s rock joints. Or enjoying sunset from one of the classier rooftop bars. 

Might you be more inclined to the former, the likes of Dillon Whiskey Bar or Gaukurinn Drag Bar are your bet. More sophisticated sippers might prefer SKY Bar or Petersen svítan. 

Despite the great variety of bars and restaurants on offer, guests might find the city lacking in the large-scale chains that are accustomed to at home. For example, neither Starbucks nor McDonalds operates in Iceland, though local alternatives fill the gap – like Te & Kaffi cafe for coffee, and Aktu Taktu or Metro for burgers. 

Art and Culture in Reykjavík 

A nighttime pool party in Iceland
Photo: Golli. Not all parties happen at the bar!

Icelanders – or, more particularly, Reykjavík residents – are a creative, somewhat absurd, and wildly experimental bunch. Unafraid to push the boundaries in whatever arena they choose, be it cuisine, fashion, music, or art. 

This will likely be obvious walking through Reykjavík. Many walls and houses are painted with stunning murals that add welcome and eccentric colour to an otherwise grey cityscape. 

With that in mind, art-lovers will find many eclectic galleries, exhibitions, and vibrant stores throughout the capital. Here, they can appreciate Iceland’s contributions to the creative scene. 

Read our full article: What is Icelandic Culture?

Where can you see art in Reykjavík?

Reykjavík Art Museum, for example, covers many such centres of display across the city:  Hafnarhús, by Old Harbour, focuses on modern art, while Kjarvalsstaðir in Klambratún park and Ásmundarsafn shift the focus towards sculpture and experimental contemporary works. 

Hafnarhús art museum
Photo: Golli. Hafnarhús is one of the museums in Reykjavík

On top of these museums, there are many sculptures to be found, including the likes of The Unknown Bureaucrat, located by Lake Tjörnin. 

Another interesting instalment is the Imagine Peace Tower, which is found on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður. Dedicated to the late-Beatle, John Lennon, this powerful spotlight was unveiled by Yoko Ono herself. It brightens up the winter night between October and December every year. 

For those historically inclined, there are also a great variety of museums where you can learn more about Iceland. More than that – about how Reykjavík has developed throughout the centuries.

These include the National Museum of Iceland, which displays countless artefacts related to the country’s cultural history. Then there is Árbær Open Air Museum, where you can appreciate beautifully replicated homes from the Iceland of old. 

Reykjavík Old Harbour
Photo: Golli. Outside of Reykjavík Maritime Museum

What are lesser-known museums in Reykjavík?

 

There are many other options depending on your subject of interest. For example, the Reykjavík Maritime Museum focuses on Iceland’s historic fishing industry, as well as its relationship with the sea in general, while the bizarre but fascinating Icelandic Phallological Museum dedicates exhibition space to the male reproductive organ, boasting an enormous collection of phalluses sourced from animal species across the country. 

Another recommendation would be the Museum of Photography, which has over 6 million photographs in its collection, many of which have perfectly captured how Iceland’s capital city has grown from a tiny Norse settlement into the burgeoning economic and cultural hub it is today. 

In Summary 

Skólavörðustígur Reykjavík pride LGBTQ+
Photo: Golli. A pair snaps a selfie with the Skólavörðustígur rainbow as a backdrop at the 2019 Pride Parade in Reykjavík

As you’ve surely cottoned onto by now, the city of Reykjavík is a special place through and through. 

It is the sort of place that inspires great literature, engaging nights, and breathtaking art. The sort of place where friends are made as easily as memories. Where visitors transcend the typical experiences one has come to expect of a much beloved tourist destination.   

Surrounded by mountainscapes and oceans, this exciting young capital draws is as great for immerseing oneself in nature as it is for others seeking urban delights. 

Popular Flea Market Seeks New Home

Kolaportið

Reykjavík authorities are looking for a new space to house long-time flea market Kolaportið. The popular weekend attraction has been located in the Tollhúsið building in downtown for 30 years, but will soon make way for the Iceland University of the Arts, according to a notice from Reykjavík authorities.

Kolaportið was first opened on April 8, 1989 in the parking garage under the Central Bank of Iceland on Arnarhóll hill in downtown Reykjavík. Its name, which roughly translates to The Coal Yard, is derived from that location and its history. Five years later, the market was moved to Tollhúsið on Tryggvagata, which previously served as the customs office for the downtown harbour.

Search for a new location

The City Executive Council decided Thursday to launch market research for a new location, with the goal of soliciting new ideas and information from interested parties. The city will advertise in the hopes that owners of fitting properties will be encouraged to reach out.

The design studio m / studio_ was tasked with analysing the requirements for a new flea market. The current location is 2,250 square feet, but 1,200 would be considered a small sized space. “We look at examples from abroad and put forward ideas of some Reykjavík locations that could be exciting to pursue and analyse them based on our requirements,” the analysis reads.

Importance of public markets

The analysis goes on to emphasise the importance of public markets for city life, as they are a meeting place for people with different social and cultural backgrounds. They will therefore need to represent the diversity of their society so everyone can have a reason to visit and feel welcome.

Other important factors are the experience of tourists, product diversity that can both be predictable and surprising, low-cost rent for stalls, organisation of various events, good location and an accessible space, which is suitable, memorable, attractive and has a good flow.

Major Changes to Reykjavík Bus Routes

Strætó bus Reykjavík miðborgin umferð fólk

There will be major changes to Reykjavík bus routes in the coming months due to construction at Hlemmur, the main bus terminal in downtown Reykjavík. All bus routes in the area will be temporarily diverted and new end stops will be implemented on each route. When construction is complete, only four bus routes will stop at Hlemmur and there will be no central end stop for Reykjavík bus routes.

End stops move to Grandi, Skúlagata, and the University of Iceland

A notice from Reykjavík public bus service operator Strætó outlines the changes to routes due to the construction at Hlemmur. The end stops of routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 16, 17 and 18 will move from Hlemmur to Skúlagata, Grandi and HÍ (University of Iceland).

Route 3 will use Grandi as an end stop. Routes 1, 4, 16, 17 and 18 will temporarily make their final stop in Skúlagata street, a new terminal station in the city. Routes 2 and 6 will temporarily end at the University of Iceland. All of the new routes can be seen in detail on the Strætó website.

Read more about public transport funding in Iceland and Reykjavík’s planned Borgarlína bus rapid transit system.

Parking Fees Rise in Downtown Reykjavík

architecture downtown Reykjavík houses square

Higher parking fees took effect in central Reykjavík this month and have been criticised by some politicians and locals. The city has instituted paid parking on Sundays for the first time and extended the hours when parking is paid on other days.

In the P1 and P2 zones, parking will be paid until 9:00 PM throughout the week. It was previously free after 6:00 PM on weekdays and 4:00 PM on Saturdays. On Sundays, parking will be subject to fees between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM.

Three-hour limit in P1 and P2

Guðbjörg Lilja Erlendsdóttir, Director of Transport at the City of Reykjavík, says this change was implemented to accommodate residents and shop owners in the city centre. “The aim of the fees is that as many people as possible can get parking when they need it. Therefore, in toll zone 1, where there are a lot of shops and services, we are also implementing a maximum time of three hours, and are extending the toll hours in zones 1 and 2. All this is done so that residents and visitors get more parking when they need it,” Guðbjörg told RÚV. It’s important to note that residents within paid parking zones can apply for residential cards, allowing them to park within applicable parking zones for free.

Fee increase to ISK 600 in P1

In the P1 zone, the cost of parking will also increase to ISK 600 [$4.31, €4.11] per hour, from the previous rate of ISK 430 [$2.95, €3.09] per hour. However, parking will now be free in zone P3 on Saturdays. A count revealed that parking spaces were better used on Sundays than Saturdays, so the change may help to better distribute weekend traffic in the city centre.

Independence Party politician Kjartan Magnússon criticised the steep price hike in the P1 zone, which amounts to some 40%. Guðbjörg says there has been relatively little response to the changes overall, however.

Man Recovering After Stabbing in Downtown Reykjavík

police lögreglan

A man in his twenties was stabbed with a knife in downtown Reykjavík yesterday evening behind a building on Austurvöllur square. The man was transported to the National Hospital where he underwent surgery and his condition is “as may be expected,” according to a press release from the capital area police department.

Police were tipped off on the incident between 10:00 and 11:00 PM last night. They went to the scene and made four arrests in relation to the case. Three were released from custody shortly afterwards. The police states that the fourth is “of a young age,” and “housed in the appropriate facilities.” Vísir reported that the injured man had run into Pósthús food hall after the incident, where he received first aid treatment, and walked out to the ambulance himself.

Media coverage of several violent incidents in Iceland this year has many in the public concerned that the rate of violent crime is increasing in the country. However, statistics show that Iceland’s homicide rate has in fact decreased per capita. Many recent crimes have involved young, Icelandic males, however, which Professor of Criminology Helgi Gunnlaugsson believes should be studied. “It’s important to understand what’s going on in their minds, what’s happening in their environment so that they think this is how you solve conflicts or arguments,” he said. “It’s important to look at the ideology. These young Icelandic males think carrying these weapons around is important and they are prepared to use them. We need to study what’s happening with young males that are on the margins of society,” he told Iceland Review last year.

Armed Plain-Clothes Police and Snipers in Reykjavík for Council of Europe Summit

The Council of Europe summit that will be held in Reykjavík, Iceland next month will not only bring European officials to the streets of the capital, but also hundreds of armed police as well as snipers. RÚV reports that around 300 police officers have received special training in the use of firearms in preparation for the event. Some 250 suits have been purchased so that officers can be on duty in plain-clothes during the event.

Armed police officers are a very rare sight in Iceland, as ordinary police officers do not carry firearms on their person. Police vehicles are equipped with a firearm, and special forces do carry firearms on their person, but they are only called out for violent incidents. Such extensive security and law enforcement as is being prepared for the summit has never been seen in Iceland.

All streets around Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, where the summit will take place, will be closed to vehicular traffic May 16 and 17 during the event, though they will be open to pedestrians and cyclists. Drivers can expect delays across a broader area as heads of state will receive police escorts when they are travelling by car. In total, 44 heads of state have confirmed their attendance at the event.

Iceland has around 850 active police officers and most of them will be involved in the summit in one way or another. According to the Ministry of Justice, the cost of law enforcement for the event will be around ISK 1.4 billion [$10.3 million, €9.3 million].

Man Fires Shot in Downtown Reykjavík Bar

Dubliner Irish pub

No one was seriously injured when a shot was fired in a downtown Reykjavík bar yesterday evening. The Reykjavík Capital Area Police Department is still looking for the shooter.

Police received a report around 7:00 PM last night that a man had entered Dubliners Irish pub in downtown Reykjavík and fired a shot inside the establishment. The shot hit a wall by the bar and the man fled the scene immediately. The police dispatched a large team to the scene, including special forces and paramedics.

Though no serious injuries were sustained, two individuals received medical assistance: one for a graze on their head and another who was concerned about their hearing. Police found a weapon near the scene shortly afterwards.

Police encourage the shooter to turn himself in.

10-11 Sign Too Big, Rules City Planning Office

10-11 reykjavík

The City Planning Office of Reykjavík has ruled against the new sign at the 10-11 convenience store’s location at Austurstræti 17.

The new sign in question was deemed to be larger than guidelines allow, in addition to not taking its surroundings into consideration and being a “nuisance” to neighbouring establishments. Several complaints are also stated to have been lodged against the sign.

10-11 reykjavík
The previous sign on Austurstræti – Facebook

The convenience store had a large sign for some years, but it came out in a report on the matter that 10-11 had never applied for the appropriate permit at the time. Now, in the matter of the new LED sign, 10-11 was found to also have neglected the proper application channels.

According to the City Planning Office, signs in downtown Reykjavík should generally consist of single letters, their size limited to four square metres. The new sign, at 32 square metres, far exceeds these regulations.

Guidelines also recommend that signs in this area of downtown “take into account the proportions, look, and feel of the area.”

The City Planning Office of Reykjavík’s decision on the matter can be read here.

 

Masked Man Carrying Fake Firearm Raises Alarm Downtown

Reykjavík pond downtown

Police were dispatched to the Vesturbær neighborhood on the west side of Reykjavík in the early hours of Sunday morning after receiving reports of a masked man carrying a firearm, RÚV reports. Thankfully, the matter was resolved quickly and the weapon in question turned out to be an imitation.

According to police reports, officers, including members of the police’s armed division, were sent to the area to locate the man and ensure public safety at the time the report was made. Eye witnesses reported the presence of six police cars, including two special forces vehicles, blocking routes into the city centre.

See Also: Heightened Police Presence in Reykjavík This Weekend

Just after 1:00 am, a car was stopped in Vesturbær, and a fake firearm was confiscated from its occupant, who was taken into custody.

At time of writing, police were unable to confirm if the man was intending to present the fake firearm as a real weapon. The case will be reviewed over the weekend and state prosecutors will decide how to proceed.

Twenty-Four People Connected to Downtown Knife Attack Released from Custody

police station Hlemmur

Police have released twenty-four people who were being held in connection with the knife attack in downtown Reykjavík last weekend, RÚV reports. Six individuals remain in custody.

A knife attack at the Bankastræti Club nightclub in Reykjavík last weekend left three young men hospitalised, following which, there was a spate of retaliatory crime against the suspects’ families. Petrol bombs were thrown into family members’ homes, windows were broken, and the suspects’ families were also subjected to harassment. Three people have now been arrested for throwing the petrol and smoke bombs.

See Also: Heightened Police Presence in Reykjavík This Weekend

DS Margeir Sveinsson noted that despite the fact that police have released two dozen people connected with the incident, these individuals are still legally considered defendants in the case. “But there’s no need or reason to keep them in custody any longer,” he said. “We’ve managed to determine what happened there and what everyone’s part was. Next step is to process all the data we have, that is, phone data etc. to get a handle on the lead-up [to the event]. But we don’t need to keep people in jail to do that.”

There was initially some fear that the wave of retaliatory crimes would continue, but there was no additional incident on Thursday night, which Margeir said he hoped was a good sign.

“Let’s hope that people will come to their senses and quit this nonsense and that things will calm down a bit.”