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Equality and Equal Opportunities​

  • Legal provisions regarding equality and equal opportunities are a major part of Icelandic law. ​
  • Equality for everyone is an important value in Icelandic society. This means that everyone is considered equal; regardless of their gender, age, qualifications, cultural background, origin, disability, religion, gender identity, or sexuality. ​
  • Gender equality has advanced significantly over the past decades. There are significantly more women in the labour market than before and today, the number of women in the labour pool equals that of the men. ​
  • However, certain professions remain primarily staffed by women although the government urges both men and women to seek education in a variety of industries.​
  • An association of women of foreign origins operates in Iceland.​​

Domestic Life

  • Domestic life in Iceland is like that seen in other societies: People go to work or school, come home, cook dinner, take care of homework and chores, or relax. ​
  • Participation in leisure activities is widespread in Iceland, both among children and adults. Many women and men exercise regularly, before or after work. Many are also involved in other social activities, choirs, or volunteer work. ​
  • Couples with children will often divide their time equally between their individual hobbies or exercise regimes and who should drive and pick up the children for their leisure activities. ​


  • People in Iceland will often use Facebook pages or certain websites to buy and sell used items, such as clothing, furniture, toys, equipment, and cars. ​
  • There are also many second-hand markets where clothing, furnishings, and furniture can be bought at bargain prices. Góði hirðirinn is a large second-hand market, and all the profits from items sold there go to support charitable causes. ​
  • The Red Cross manages stores that sell second-hand clothing. ​
  • Kolaportið is open on weekends, a large marketplace in downtown Reykjavík that sells food, and both new and pre-owned items. People can reserve a booth to sell items there.
  • Sorpa is a company that manages several recycling centers in the Reykjavík metropolitan area. There you can take everything that requires recycling or safe desposal.


  • The Red Cross website has a list of free and affordable recreational activities available in the Reykjavík metropolitan area. ​
  • Libraries can be found throughout Iceland. There, people can find books in various languages, particularly children's books. Libraries have cozy nooks for reading and great facilities for children to play and read books.​
  • Some libraries will also have computers, 3D printers, sowing machines, and other services available to guests. ​
  • The libraries will also stage diverse cultural activities.
  • The swimming pools in Iceland are available to all genders. Swimming pools can be found throughout Iceland and there are many located in the Reykjavík metropolitan area. ​
  • Swimming is an affordable and healthy activity. Icelandic pools have hot tubs and steam baths and will often have water slides and toys for children. Going swimming is a major part of Icelandic culture. ​
  • Swimming is a compulsory subject in Icelandic primary schools and swimming pools will sometimes offer swimming lessons for adults. ​
  • Swimming pools have specific changing rooms for men and women. Everyone showers without their swimsuit before entering the pool and in Iceland that is not considered an issue. ​
  • Children can go to the pool by themselves at 10 years old but only if they can swim. Children are always the responsibility of their guardians at the swimming pool. ​
  • There are many playgrounds around the city and in all towns. Playground equipment can also often be found in open areas and some have an outdoor BBQ. ​
  • Hiking is popular and there are many interesting hiking trails and outdoor recreation areas all over the country. In the Greater Reykjavík area, going to Laugardalur, Elliðaárdalur, Heiðmörk and Öskjuhlíð is popular. It's necessary to wear shoes that are suitable for hiking and dress appropriately. ​
  • Bicycle rides are fun in the summer and there are many bicycle paths around Reykjavík. ​
  • Nauthólsvík in Reykjavík has a man-made beach with hot water flowing into the sea. When the weather is nice, it's fun to go on a beach trip there. In fact, some people go sea swimming all year round. ​
  • The Húsdýragarðurinn Zoo & Park (fjölskyldu- og húsdýragarðurinn) is in Laugardalur in Reykjavík. There you can see Icelandic farm animals and a few wild animals. The park also has various playground equipment for children. ​
  • During summer, many people travel around the country or to a summer cottage. You can rent summer cottages from trade unions. ​
  • Town fairs are held in various locations in summer and are fun to visit. On the first day of summer, districts and towns have entertainment events for children. On the Icelandic National Day (June 17) there are great celebrations in all municipalities. In August, Reykjavík celebrates big events like Culture Night and Reykjavík Pride. ​
  • An organisation for native language education for children offer native language classes for children in multiple languages. ​
  • Sunday school for children is operated on Sunday mornings in most churches. Many religious organisations have children's activities. ​
  • Many people go skiing during winter. It is very popular with children to go snow-sledding and slide down slopes. ​
  • The National Theatre (Þjóðleikhúsið) and Reykjavík City Theatre (Borgarleikhúsið) are the biggest professional theatres in Iceland. They offer diverse theatre productions, including for children. In summer, theatre groups for children operate and tour the country. ​
  • Harpa is the national music hall and conference centre and is located by the Reykjavík harbour. Various concerts and opera performances are held there. ​
  • There are many cinemas in Iceland. Children's movies are dubbed in Icelandic but other movies have Icelandic subtitles. ​
  • Iceland has numerous museums with diverse exhibitions. ​
  • Many also go to the shopping centres or the town centre to have a look around. Visiting family and friends is also classic. ​
  • Ice cream drives are a fun tradition, you go for a drive and stop to buy ice cream on the way - also in winter. Cozy nights are nights the family spends together to watch a fun movie or play a board game and have a nice dinner or a treat. ​
  • Facebook is widely used in Iceland to advertise products and events. Fun events for children and adults are listed under "events". ​
  • There are also many groups on Facebook that advertise products and services at an affordable price or for free. Town districts and municipalities also have Facebook groups where people can ask questions and chat about various things in their district or town. ​

Good to Know - Many Things are Electronic

  • In Iceland, you can find information on most things online. ​
  • All companies have a website where you'll find information about opening hours, services and pricing. ​
  • You can also buy tickets to concerts, the cinema and the theatre online and receive an electronic ticket. ​
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