Since the settlement in the 8th century, Icelanders haven’t really gotten that many foreign visitors. In fact, it wasn’t until 2010, with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, that many people realised Iceland was a country you could visit at all.
Due to that, there might be a few things different in Iceland that people are used to in other places. One of those things is one-laned bridges. Another one is public toilets. As Icelanders know the land, we know when we can stop for the restroom and when not. It’s something we haven’t had to think about.
That is not the case for people who are not from here. You will not find any public toilets outside, for example.
We decided to put together a list of open toilets in the Centre of Reykjavik to make life easier for you.
One place people can use the toilet – without a charge – is at any of the many Reykjavik swimming pools.
The City Centres’ swimming pool is the Sundhöll on Barónsstígur. The swimming pool’s older building was designed by famed architect Guðjón Samúelsson, who also designed Hallgrímskirkja church, the Catholic church and the National Theatre. The newer building opened only a few years ago.
The opening times of the swimming pools are from 07:00 in the morning to 22:00 in the evening.
Harpa Concert Hall
The beautiful concert hall Harpa has a public toilet people can use for a small fee. Harpa is Iceland’s first real concert house and was opened in 2010. It has won many awards for both design and acoustics.
The opening hours of the Concert Hall are generally 10:00-18:00 every day. However, the house is open longer on concert nights. There are also two restaurants in the house, Hnoss and La Primavera, open longer.
Reykjavik City Hall
The city hall by the Pond has toilets everyone can use without a fee. You will also find a massive model of Iceland and an information desk. The City Hall is open every day between 08:30 and 16:00.
Underneath the house is one of the city’s many parking houses.
State and City Museums
State-owned museums generally have open toilets, such as the National Gallery of Iceland, the National Museum of Iceland, and The House of Collections.
Other museums like The Settlement Exhibition, Reykjavik Maritime Museum and the Reykjavik Museum of Photography also have toilets people can use.
The Reykjavik Museum of Photography is in the same house as Reykjavik City Library, which also has toilets.
The national museums are open from 10:00-17:00 every day. Closed on Mondays from October to May.
The Settlement Exhibition and Reykjavik Maritime Museums are open from 10:00-17:00 every day.
The Reykjavik Museum of Photography is open Monday – Thursday 10:00-18:00, Fridays 11:00-18:00, Saturdays and Sundays 13:00-17:00.
The city library is open Monday – Thursday 10:00-19:00, Fridays 11:00-18:00, Saturdays and Sundays 11:00-17:00.
BSÍ Bus Terminal
A few minutes out of the city centre is the BSÍ Bus Terminal. You can get the Flybus which takes you to and from the airport. You can also catch the public bus there to the airport.
In there you will find public toilets you are free to use.
Coffee houses / Restaurants
Most coffee houses and restaurants allow people to come in off the street and use their toilets. A few places, though, ask that only patrons use the restroom. The best thing is to just ask one of the waiters, over 90% of the time, you will get a “yes, no problem”.
Kolaportið Flea Market
The famous flea market is only open during weekends between 11:00 and 17:00, but they have open and free to use toilets available to anyone who needs it.
It is a great place to go people watching or find a fun knick-knack to bring home. There are also designers who sell their stuff there and a small food market.