Looking for something special or just a fun and quirky shopping excursion? Then check out the following recommendations.
12 Tónar – Record Store (Skólavörðustígur 15, 101 Reykjavík)
A record label and a record shop in Skólavörðustígur, they break the scale when it comes to customer satisfaction. A visit to 12 Tónar for a treat is the average Reykjavík hipster‘s favourite pastime and if you‘re feeling needy just go with whatever they recommend. Wander around the upper floor aimlessly until someone offers you an espresso and some pointers, usually after a little chat about the weather and then bring your goodies downstairs to get a feel for the jewel they just handed you. This is an old-fashioned record store with real soul that always has the freshest selection of music, be it classical, contemporary or just plain old edgy.
Bókin – Antique Bookstore (Klapparstígur 25-27, 101 Reykjavík)
This one is a bit tricky since this isn‘t your average run-of-the-mill bookstore. Don’t expect chairs, coffee, magazines or wifi and since you‘re reading this in English you probably don‘t understand a word of Icelandic. They do have a foreign language section but that simply is not the point. A trip to this antique bookstore is more of a cultural experience. Wander around and drink in the smell of old, torn pages and check out the nerds lurking in the Autobio-section. Odds are you’ll leave with a gem of a book that just insisted you take it home with you.
Image copyrights Atli Harðarson: https://flic.kr/p/4ufbTz
Kolaportið – Flea Market (Tryggvagata 19, 101 Reykjavík)
This indoor flea market like every flea market in the world is quite busy, dirty and to be honest with you, it really stinks. That however is not because something went terribly wrong with the cleaning crew, but because of all the lovely traditional Icelandic cuisine you can buy in the food section. Get your fermented shark, dried fish and singed sheep heads here and while you’re at it get a nice pair of prescription glasses, a fur coat and your copy of the Quran. We also recommend the chocolate and liquorish stall where you can buy this precious combo by the pound. You’ll be grateful after you’ve downed the shark.
Aftur – Fashion (Laugavegur 39, 101 Reykjavík)
For you fashionistas out there this is a particularly loved Icelandic clothing label and fashion store. The name is Icelandic for “Again” and their tagline “Recycle or Die” pretty much says it all. Each garment is handmade and unique, sewn from recycled fabrics. The result is a stunning piece of art which Icelandic queens ages 15-95 wear like a crown. Before you choke on the price tag, keep in mind the unbelievable hours of work that went into each item and the fact that all this work was actually done by an Icelandic grownup.