Much like exploring the country, shopping in Iceland is a journey that may well leave you with a very full suitcase when you head home. Think traditional wool handknits, luxury Scandinavian designer goods, records and books, and striking Icelandic art. Reykjavik’s Laugavegur Street (supposedly the coolest street in Iceland) is home to a vibrant array of shops and boutiques, each offering one-of-a-kind shopping experiences. With local fashion designers, artisanal craft boutiques and bustling cafes lining the street, you won’t find it hard to drop a few Króna on anything from handcrafted clothes to delicious freshly baked rye bread. But the true magic of shopping in Iceland lies in the country's natural wonders. As you venture out into the countryside, you'll come across charming small towns and villages, home to quaint shops and markets selling handmade goods and traditional Icelandic delicacies.

Shopping Etiquette and Advice

Generally, shops in Iceland are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and from 10am until 2/3/4pm on Saturdays. Bakeries open daily and supermarkets are usually open from 8am to 11pm, seven days a week. It’s good to be aware of the pricing for daily items, as this can help you gauge the overall costing here:


  • Coffee: 400 kr (£2.30)
  • Bottle of water: 300 kr (£1.70)
  • Large beer: 1,000 kr (£5.80)
  • Soft drink: 350 kr (£2)


Tipping in Iceland is not a common practice, so while it’s always welcome, it won’t be expected in most situations. However, if you receive exceptional service at a restaurant or bar, it is not uncommon to leave a small tip as a gesture of appreciation. This is typically around 10% of the total bill or a couple of extra Króna. This also goes for tour guides, drivers, porters and hotel attendants; a tip is never expected, but if you feel that they went above and beyond to provide an exceptional experience, you may choose to tip as a way of saying thank you.

There are a few tips and tricks that we’d recommend following when grabbing your groceries in an Icelandic supermarket:


  • Iceland is expensive. There are cheaper supermarkets and shops to make shopping in Iceland a little more affordable
  • Google translate is your friend. In smaller or independent shops, most of the labels will be in Icelandic, so a translator app will come in very handy
  • Bring a bag with you or pay a few Króna for a paper bag, as Iceland is very sustainability focused and have ditched the use of plastic bags
  • Read the labels on meat packaging very carefully. Icelandic people aren’t afraid of chowing down on foal or reindeer steaks
  • You can only buy beer with an alcohol percentage of under 2.25%, so seek out the nearest Vinbudin (state-run liquor shop) if you fancy something stronger
  • Cash isn’t accepted at supermarket self-checkouts


Best Souvenirs

Iceland is brimming with culture and traditions, as well as breathtaking nature and intriguing cuisine, so it isn’t short of a cracking souvenir or two. Many travellers fall into the trap of buying keepsakes that are overpriced or unreflective of Iceland, whether it be a stuffed polar bear (an animal that doesn’t even call Iceland home) or a cheap look-alike Icelandic sweatshirt, so here are a few souvenirs that we reckon are worth the hype:


  • You can’t go wrong with a traditional Icelandic lopapeysas (wool jumper) to keep you warm from the often bitter breeze. Bright and bold or cosy and neutral, a warm wooly purchase is a must in Iceland
  • The ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ is also known for its natural healing properties, so a refreshing silica mud face mask or body scrub is a lovely way to clear your skin once home
  • Omnom chocolate is a must for sweet-toothed travellers. The artisan chocolate - made in the heart of the country’s capital - comes in all kinds of funky flavours, including licorice and raspberry, sea salted toffee, black n’ burnt barley, and of course milk chocolate for those who fancy something simpler
  • This last one is not for the faint hearted. Brennivín is an Icelandic schnapps that has been aptly nicknamed ‘black death’ by the country’s residents. As Iceland’s signature alcohol, it makes for a great treat to take home
Contact one of our Iceland specialists