We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Not what the NY Times Said”
Review of 12 Tonar

12 Tonar
Ranked #3 of 81 Shopping in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Not what the NY Times Said”
Reviewed February 27, 2014

The NYT 36 hours Iceland said to stop by here on Friday for live impromptu music jams. Only seems to happen in the summer

Visited February 2014
Thank jenehr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

136 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
rocky river ohio
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“great record store”
Reviewed February 4, 2014

extremely knowledgable and helpful staff did a great job finding music for us to take home as gifts.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank kmac4541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Summit, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Godlike - One of the best in the WORLD”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

I'm a new music junkie. I am a regular at Tunes in Hoboken in New Jersey and have been to a number of CD/Record stores around the world but this one - this one will always have a special place in my heart. I was doing the usual Christmas Orphan routine this 2013, spending time in a city I'd never been to over the holidays. I'd read about this place and zeroed in on it immediately - easy to find down the street from the Church, Hallgrimskirkja. The reason why I was blown away by this place was more than anything else, it brought me back to that place where I first fell in love with music. I'm 52. I can remember one night one summer long ago listening to the song "Dogs" off "Animals" with these big headphones on in a basement - in the dark - with dogs. I can remember first hearing the Beatles alone in my room with headphones on. I was a disc jockey in college and as Captain Kosmos, I was in another world, with my headphones on. And sitting there in that basement, with the headphones on, peacefully, blissfully, timelessly allowed to breath, to be and to allow the music to seep into me, I discovered what's been buried under years of rush and work and run and strive and buy and move on and on. To say it's intimate is not nearly what is special about this place. It's 2 floors of selections, it's a peaceful living-room vibe to the place and it's the accomodating, tres cool staff and so much more. Prices are what they are - $25 to $30 for most but hey, it's PrICELAND, lol The day prices drop, this island will be overrun and lost. Prices did not detract from my experience. Two Austrian teenagers sat nearby doing the same thing I was doing: getting swept away by music. For me it was discovering other bands outside of Sigur Ros and I'm sure other music fans do the same. And to top it all off, the counter dude came down and offered me coffee - free - like it should be. The day I return to this place, I will return to these evenings I spent there. Glorifying and romanticizing what is normal in Iceland? Yes, because the world has forgotten what "normal" and the love of music for music is, all too often. Go. Revere. Relish. Relax. Recharge. Reenergize - and re-be. And all in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet.

Visited December 2013
6 Thank VikeSavoth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
199 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 308 helpful votes
“Great spot to buy some music - and they'll let you listen to it first”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

Finding 12 Tonar was a happy accident. There are at least two 12 Tonar shops in Reykjavik (I saw 2, maybe there are more) the one we shopped at was at Skólavörðustígur 15, 101 Reykjavík.

We wandered in to ask some advice on music. They were helpful with suggestions, then opened a few CDs for us to listen to, so that we could decide on which one we wanted. They have a comfortable couch area for sitting back and relaxing while listening to music.

The guy serving us was interesting to talk to and the shop had a good feeling to it.

There's a table filled with CDs by Icelandic artists.

We went there on our last day in Reykjavik and were wishing that we had more time to spend there. Maybe next time.

Visited November 2013
3 Thank Caanaadaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
597 reviews
164 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
“Great music shop”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

Super cool record store that's cozy and comfortable. As soon as we entered, the guy manning the desk asked us if we needed any help and if we needed a coffee. The store is jammed with all the Icelandic music you could wish for, and I was surprised by the number of LPs they carried. They also had a limited selection of t-shirts, posters, and hats.

We found some CDs that 12 Tonar made available for preview, so after selecting a few, we found several listening stations in the "family room" appointed with squashy sofas and cafe tables. It was so nice to be able to pop in a CD, slip on some high-quality headphones, and sit back on the comfortable couch. I felt like I was in a good friend's house.

The basement contained even more records, and the bathroom is behind the curtain. Fair warning: the shop maintained an air of clutter and organized messiness, just like a good friend's house.

Prices are sky high to records in the USA, but we didn't mind paying for some of the artists we knew we'd never find back home. Definitely make a stop if you have time in Reykjavik!

Visited November 2013
3 Thank aerofaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed 12 Tonar also viewed

Reykjavik, Capital Region
Reykjavik, Capital Region
Reykjavik, Capital Region
Reykjavik, Capital Region

Been to 12 Tonar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing