It’s one of Iceland’s greatest paradoxes: how can a country that charges some of the highest prices for alcohol in Europe also support such an eclectic scene of bars and clubs? Put simply, spending vast amounts of money on everyday items is a fact of life in Iceland, a country where import taxes and inflation have caused prices to soar; and even though alcohol prices in real terms have fallen in recent years, a half-litre of beer in Reykjavík will still cost at least double what you’re used to paying at home. Icelanders get round the astronomical cost of booze by drinking at home before hitting the town. Buying beer and wine in the state-run alcohol store, the vínbúð, is the home-grown way of cutting costs.

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