A laptop in Reykjavik is like a guitar-case on the continent: it doesn’t matter what you’re doing with it, just carrying one around increases your chances of getting lucky.
Imagine using your computer in a pub back home; everybody would look at you like you’re barmy… before turning back to the television that’s blaring away in the corner, that is. Nearly all bars in Reykjavik are TV-free, thankfully, but what’s even better is that being a nerd is actually considered cool in Iceland, and you can surf the net in the pub without anybody thinking any the less of you for it.
Most bars offer free WiFi: just pull your computer out of your backpack and click to connect to the network. But make sure it’s the right brand of computer; Icelanders are generally trendier than most other nationalities, spending more money on over-priced hardware than anybody else, per capita. Of course, if you don’t own a Mac, you can always paint your PC white and slap an apple-shaped sticker on it — which would probably go down well in bars like Kaffibarinn where D.I.Y. fashion always wins you extra cool points.
Careful though, a few bars only offer net access at a price, but these places are money-grabbing tourist-traps which you hopefully wouldn’t be seen dead in anyway. On the other end of the scale, bars like b5 on Bankastræti not only offer free WiFi but will loan you a fancy MacBook to go with it, too. They don’t even charge — you just have to leave some ID behind the bar as insurance.
And remember, nobody has to know you’re just poking people on Facebook all day — scratch your head enough and we’ll all think you’re writing that award-winning first novel.
Other favourite nerding-dens include Babalu on Skólavörðustígur, Prikið on Bankastræti, and Hresso down on Austurstræti 20. If you’re not sure if a bar offers free WiFi, just ask. If the answer’s no, there are plenty of other places that do.