While you’re on your unforgettable trip to Iceland, there’s one aspect of your journey that has nothing to do with hot springs, hiking Landmannalaugar, or visiting the Blue Lagoon. Once you’ve experienced everything, you’ll want some Icelandic souvenirs to bring home after vacation. You get to gift that lopapeysa sweater to friends and family or have that fridge magnet to remember your trip by. So Iceland shopping: What is there to know? What are Iceland shop opening hours, and what are the best souvenirs?
We’ll cover all this and more in our ultimate guide to Iceland shopping. From where to go for the best stores, and other information like supermarkets, flea markets, malls, and more. Alright, let’s go shopping in Iceland!
Laugavegur Street: The Best Shopping in Iceland
This shopping street in downtown Reykjavik is the epicenter for shopaholics looking to fill their suitcases and empty their wallets. As Iceland’s mecca of cool, you’ll find some of the best stores in Reykjavik and a showcase of Scandinavian design. We are a country known for art and design, and you can see it on full display.
Iceland Clothing Stores and More
Kiosk is a designer-owned co-op where you can purchase dresses, skirts, tops, pants, accessories, and swimwear. Vintage lovers shouldn’t pass up Spúútnik when browsing the different Iceland clothing stores. If housewares are more your thing, head to Hrím to get a taste of Icelandic design for your home, kitchen, or office. Mál og Menning bookstore is another must, as literature is such an integral part of Icelandic culture.
And of course, the iconic Sandholt Bakery is there whenever you need to recharge with a quick coffee some homemade bread. Then it’s back to shopping till you drop. You’ll find so many great shops of every kind in downtown Reykjavik. Head to Laugavegur, even if it’s just to soak up the atmosphere and window shop.
This well-known thoroughfare is home to the best shopping in Iceland and at night magically transforms into the heart of the city’s nightlife. One of the best things to do other than outdoor activities is to have a night on the town.
You can also find the oldest shop for coffee in Reykjavik, Mokka Kaffi, right around the corner from Laugavegur on Skólavörðustígur street.
Finding a Good Gift Shop or Souvenir Shop
Whenever you visit a foreign country, it’s always best to buy local. As a responsible traveler, it’s the right thing to do as your dollars, euros, pounds, or króna currency will benefit the local economy.
You’ll want to find a good souvenir shop for these high-quality items. If you’re looking for authentic Icelandic souvenirs, I recommend checking out the Nordic Store. They have a great selection of traditional Icelandic lopapeysa wool sweaters, wool blankets and clothing, volcanic jewelry, Viking jewelry, and more.
The Best Place to Buy Sweaters in Iceland
While the wool sweaters at the Nordic Store are handmade, there’s another option to support local businesses. Hands down, the best place to buy sweaters in Iceland is the Handknitting Association of Iceland. This is where you will get quality, handcrafted work that comes with a guarantee of being 100% authentic. There are hundreds of items available (not just sweaters), and the staff is quite helpful.
The items that you purchase here will be more expensive, but you’re paying for quality, craftsmanship, and artisanal work. And remember, you can also get a VAT refund at the airport, so the price will be less.
You might also find lopapeysa at an Icelandic sweater outlet, but if the prices are lower, they might not be the same quality. Look for the mark of the Handknitting Association of Iceland on any wool items you purchase.
Beware The Puffin Store
One Iceland shop to be wary of are these stores you’ll see downtown called Puffin or Lundinn the Puffin. This chain of gift shops is your run-of-the-mill, typical cheap souvenir store in Reykjavik. We can’t really be sure where the products were manufactured, and they also tend to have poor quality.
Of course, not everyone is looking to buy a chic designer top or a handmade Icelandic wool blanket. Some tourists just want a coffee mug with a cute whale on it or a fridge magnet featuring Hallgrímskirkja or Svartifoss. Stuffed puffins and stuffed polar bears are also a great option. If this is your case, then by all means, head to the Puffin.
I don’t have a problem with Puffin (I personally love buying tacky souvenirs), and there’s something for everyone when shopping in Iceland. There are plenty of locally owned and operated stores, and I always encourage visitors to buy local. If you want a genuine Icelandic souvenir, then head to the other places I mentioned.
Music aficionados will have to make the pilgrimage to what’s considered one of the best record shops in the world. What started nearly 15 years ago as a small installation at the Kolaportið flea market has grown into an impressive collection and bricks and mortar store. Both new and used CDs and vinyl copies are available, with over 50,000 items on sale. They've got T-shirts, band-related merchandise, and music of every genre. Come sift through the eclectic selection of B-sides and records of punk, pop, jazz, afrobeat, electronic music, and more.
This is one of the coolest shops in Reykjavík. It should absolutely be on your list of Iceland stores to visit and things to do.
Typical Iceland Shop Opening Hours
Some shops in Iceland open around 9 or 10 am Monday through Friday, but some open as late as 11 am. The standard closing time is around 6 pm, but some places close their doors by 5 pm, and others stay open until 7 pm.
On the weekends you’ll find reduced hours but not by much, especially in the downtown area.
And while stores in Iceland have pretty regular hours, of course, the cafés open earlier. You can get your morning cup of joe as early as 7 or 8 am. Consult the opening hours online of establishment or store you plan to visit.
Iceland Shopping Mall Culture
Like just about everywhere, malls have invaded Iceland. You won’t find any in the city center, but there are a couple that are a 10-15 minute drive outside of Reykjavik. Our main malls are the Kringlan Shopping Mall and Smáralind Shopping Center. Kringlan offers a shuttle service for shoppers that leaves from the city hall’s tourist information center.
Both Kringlan and Smáralind feature tons of well-known brands, movie theaters, restaurants, and more. Kringlan also has a childcare service known as Adventure Land. While you shop, your little one can enjoy the giant castle, ball pit, stage with costumes, books, and toys. Older kids can play at the air hockey table or shoot hoops in the basketball corner.
Other Iceland Stores
At some point during your Iceland vacation, you’ll probably need to stop by the grocery store. It’s quite costly here, and things can add up, so going grocery shopping is one way to cut down on expenses. Head to discount supermarket chains Krónan, Bónus, and Nettó to stock up and snacks, staples, and other foodstuffs.
And while not technically a store, there is a flea market in Reykjavik.
The Reykjavik Flea Market
Kolaportitð flea market has pretty much anything you can name. From candy to clothing to antiques and even children’s toys. You’ll find it near the old harbor, and it’s great for taking a stroll past Harpa Concert Hall. Head there on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm to sift through their wares.
Farmer’s Markets in Reykjavik
Reykjavik doesn’t have any farmer’s markets that I’m aware of, but the closest thing is Frú Lauga (Mrs. Lauga). This is a type of grocery store with high-quality fruits and vegetables that receives new products every day. It’s more like a gourmet food store, with both Icelandic and international products. Be sure to stop by the kombucha bar.
Note that Farmer’s Market is also the name of a popular clothing store, so be careful not to mix the two up. They sell traditional items like sweaters, blankets, mittens, and hats.
The Ultimate Guide to Iceland Shopping
This should give you everything you need to know about shopping in Iceland. Whether you’re hoping to come back with a handmade lopapeysa traditional Icelandic sweater or just a few postcards, there’s something for everyone. When you decide to shop in Reykjavik, there’s no doubt you’ll find what you’re looking for. Let us know if you have any questions and happy shopping!