Reykjavik is a lovely city with a cosy, small town vibe, colourful houses galore and stunning sea front views. Reykjavik also has a booming street art scene. Being quite a walkable city, you’ll see plenty of murals and smaller illustrations and tags walking around during your time here. I love searching for street art d in a place like Iceland, that’s not exactly cheap, it makes a great budget activity to save those pennies!
I’ve put together 15 of my favourite murals and a few smaller pieces I found on my explorations. Try and spot them all when you visit; and don’t be afraid to look down alleyways and corners; a lot of them are hiding on the sides of residential houses or parking lots.
This mural by Icelandic artist Selur One can be found in the side of the Hrim store on Laugavegur 25. brightly coloured triangles start around the shop’s entrance and lead you round to a side street, where you can see the wall in it’s full glory. I love the colours and the detailed accent line patterns. I tried my best to get myself in a shot with it but sadly I couldn’t seem to get my self timer (and the weather) to play ball.
It goes without saying to include such a striking piece by artist D Face in a roundup of Reykjavík’s street art. I love the pop art/comic book style of it. This was created in 2015 as part of the Wall Poetry project. It was a collaboration between Iceland Airwaves, an annual music festival held in Reykjavik, and Urban Nation Berlin, an international art institution that paired street artists with musical artists. D Face was paired with Agent Fresco’s “Wait for Me” and the Laxdaela Saga. Read more about the music and it’s history in this article on thestreetisthecanvas.
Three Little Birds
This chirpy little piece (geddit) is in an alleyway on Frakkastígur on just across from the big cat piece. I can’t find much information on the artist, but love the fuzzy effect and the realism in the birds’ eyes. They look so cute.
This street in Downtown Reykjavik was decked out in rainbows this August for Reykjavik Pride. In previous years citizens have come together to hand paint the road, which was then removed at the end of Pride, but this year it has become a permanent feature. It really brightens up the streets in grey winter and celebrates diversity in the city. You can find this street mural on the lower part of Skólavörðustígur. At the top end of the street is the prominent architecture of the Hallgrimskirkja church, a must visit for the best views of Reykjavik.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Comes to Iceland
This one is for fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race! As a recent convert to the show and having binge watched several seasons in a few months, I was so excited to see it followed me to Iceland! This Mural, also by Selur One, was commissioned by Pink Iceland in appreciation of Deftox, one of the most memorable queens from season 5. I enjoyed this article about the growing drag culture in Iceland.
The way this was painted feels very childlike and joyful to me. It reminds me of a patchwork quilt with the combination of different colours and patterns. This was painted by artist Maeja Sif Danielsdottir, and can be found in between Hallgrimskirkja church and Braud & Co bakery, opposite Drekkin on Njálsgata 23.
Why not combine your cultural street art adventure with some hot coffee and a cinnamon roll? This trippy storefront artwork belongs to Braud & Co., a highly rated bakery and coffee shop recommended by locals, and just down the street from Halsgrimkirja on Frakkastígur.
This pretty wild thing can be found just across the street from Braud & Co, Frakkastígur on the side of a house, ready to prowl the streets of Reykjavík. I love the combination of colours and the 3D effect created by the swirly patterns.
Under the Sea
This underwater scene on Lauveger was painted by Raffaella Brizuela Sigurdardottir. Asides from the artist’s name, there isn’t much written about this piece online, but it’s certainly very eye catching and presumably nods to the country’s historical and economical reliance on fishing and the ocean.
Follow the Rainbow Brick Road
This charming chalk like street mural belongs (and leads the way) to Skumaskot, a home & design. Writing alongside this cute piece, that trails all the way down the street, reads #skumaskot and #follow the snake.
Mother Knows Best
This optical illusion-esque mural is also part of the 2015 Wall Poetry project, pairing street artists with musical artists to create an artwork based on a song. This was created by Caratoes and inspired by Ylja’s song, Óður til Móður’ (‘Ode to Mother’). You can find this on Laugavegur, opposite Kiki Bar.
5 a Day
This fruity piece by artist Qwik brings a cute, illustrated vibe to the Reykjavik street art scene.
This one, again by Selur One, is really beautiful to me. I love the colour scheme and the intricacy of the swirly line patterned sky and mountains. Keep your eyes peeled whilst walking down Lauveger, this mural is down a side street in a residential enclave.
Let’s Have a Kiki
This rainbow art based on the pride flag can be found adorning the walls of Kiki, an LGBTQ+ bar on Lauveger 22 (yes, it’s a very long street). Starting in the typical flag formation, the rainbow branches out into a flickering flame-like motif, which will certainly catch your eye as you’re strolling down the street. It’s also directly opposite another large scale mural that I mentioned earlier, ‘Ode to Mother’.
Ode to the Ocean
I can’t find out much about this piece, across the road opposite Harpa Concert Hall. The blue/green colour scheme, it’s location by the water and the fishy-like shapes indicate markers of Iceland’s fishing industry.
Some Little Pieces
That’s it for the amazing murals and large scale street art that I discovered whilst wondering around Reykjavik, but here are some smaller illustrations and tags and made me smile.
For a bit more history about street art in the city, checkout this article on Guide to Iceland
For a handy map of murals around the city, including some that I’ve featured and more, visit this page.
Thank you for Reading!
I hope you enjoyed this post; if you did, don’t forget to pin it, share it or leave me a comment! I’d love to hear what you liked, if you’ve tried it yourself or if you’d like to see more posts like this.If you liked this, you may like my posts about street art in Gdańsk, Iceland in winter and saving money in Iceland.