Akureyri, North Iceland.
If you’re looking for a little something extra when visiting the exquisite town of Akureyri, North Iceland, and the ice waters of the fjord, snow capped mystical mountains, historical museums, traditional restaurants, cultural churches, browse-worthy shops and superb sights haven’t quite fulfilled your hunger on holiday, then fear not. Akureyri has one last, special treat in store for you.
Tucked away down a side street is a quaint tavern called Graeni Hatturinn, or ‘Green Hat’ if you want the literal translation. This wonderful establishment is host to numerous live music events, with artists ranging from small local bands to hugely popular Icelandic artists, and even international stars. Graeni Hatturinn is extremely popular with the locals in Akureyri, and even with inhabitants across the whole of Iceland. If you’re lucky enough to be in town when this establishment is hosting an event, and even more lucky to be holding a ticket, then you’re in for a real treat.
In order to find out whether you’ll be in town for an event, head to the Graeni Hatturinn website to see their upcoming events, or find them on Facebook. Be warned, tickets sell out fast, so don’t leave it down to chance if you are really keen to go. There’s always the opportunity to buy tickets on the door, or wait to see if other punters arriving have a spare ticket they want to sell last minute, however occasions like this are rare, so it’s best to secure a ticket beforehand.
Once inside, you’ll be immersed in a world of timber beamed ceilings, circular, candle-lit tables, a fully stocked arc shaped bar, and a spotlit stage on which many an artist has played. The warmth of the tavern will make you feel welcome and cosy, and the friendly staff will help you choose the best beverage for your evening. Although much of the dialogue is likely to be in Icelandic, the quality of sound and the atmosphere within are absolutely sensational, and you’ll be wrapped up in a whirlwind of excitement, laughter, rhythm and dancing.
If you can enter the Graeni Hatturinn and sit through an event without tapping your finger, clapping your hands, thumping your feet and cheering for more, there’s a possibility you forgot to take your ear warmers off, because there’s no other way you could not be overwhelmed by the overall ambience of the evening. Graeni Hatturinn really is a fantastic place to visit, so be sure to spare a thought for this little-known wonder when preparing your trip.