Shopping and Eating in Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is one of the largest cities in the country of Iceland.
Shopping in Reykjavik
The only thing that there is no point in buying in Iceland is locally produced articles. Everything else is imported and sold at prices at least as high as in Norway, and the selection is usually no better, on the contrary.
Icelandic wool products such as knitted sweaters, scarves, hats and mittens are among the tourists’ favorite souvenirs, and can be purchased at several outlets in the city center, for example in Laugavegur 64 or the duty free shop at Keflavik Airport.
Skin care products from The Blue Lagoon are also naturally an exclusive Icelandic product and a good gift tip. These can also be found in several shops in the shopping street Bankastræti / Laugavegur [see image first in the article] in the city center.
Laugavegur has a very trendy shoe and clothing store called Kron Kron (can be found in Laugavegur, 101) and is open until 1800 every day except Sundays where it is closed and Fridays which means half an hour longer opening hours.
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland described on Countryaah also has a good number of stylish second-hand clothing stores, just so it is said. Also, it is a great place for music lovers. Here are several real record labels. We recommend Lucky Records on the street Rauðarárstígur (cross street to Laugavegur). Lucky Records in Reykjvaik is open every day of the week.
Other areas in Reykjavik defined by AbbreviationFinder for more exclusive shopping are Skólavörthustígur, which runs north from Hallgrimskirkja. If you prefer shopping centers, head for Kringlan, a few miles east of downtown. Here you will find over 130 shops, bars, restaurants, cinema, library and wine sales. More information on Kringlan’s official website.
In Geirsgata, which runs parallel to the harbor, the Kolaportið flea market is organized every Saturday and Sunday morning, where anyone can bring whatever they want to sell. Here you will find everything strange, most of it is used goods, but it is fun to look through and see if you find a gem.
Don’t forget that you can get the Icelandic VAT refunded at the airport for larger purchases!
Eating in Reykjavik
An island nation naturally has seafood as its specialty, and most restaurants offer fresh fish, oysters, shrimp and lobster dishes.
But meat is not a bad option. Icelandic animals live their entire lives and graze freely in areas without chemicals and toxins. The lamb is thus just as tender as you would expect. Traditionally, the Icelanders did not allow any part of the sheep to go to waste, so you can still serve both brain, eyes, head and testicles.
Local Icelandic dishes
The most ambitious can try the notorious Icelandic dish Hákarl, which in practice is rotten shark meat. The shark contains a poisonous acid when fresh, and this problem solved the Icelanders by burying it for months until the acid rotted away. The meat is then dried and often served on small skewers of spirits. The liquor works best as anesthetic before and after you put the shark meat in your mouth. Good appetite!
As the modern society of Reykjavik has gradually become, you will of course find many ethnic restaurants in the city center. So if sheep brain or rat shark does not tempt you, you can always choose Indian, Mexican, Argentine, Italian – or vegetarian food.
We recommend the following restaurants in Reykjavik:
We start by warning about stiff prices in Reykjavik. Forget the restaurant prices in Norway, in Iceland we are beaten. So take a close look at the menu prices before you book, and feel free to use the many nice bars ‘happy hour’ to save a little on your holiday budget.
The name that is as short and descriptive as possible is restaurant Italia in Laugavegur no. 11. You get good (on proper) pizzas here, baked in a pretty authentic pizza oven. It is expensive compared to what you are used to, but not compared to Iceland in general.
A slightly less expensive variant in the same street is Rossopomodorro (red tomatoes). The address is Laugavegur no. 101. The prices are a bit cheaper, the menu the same, but snapped more popular in the style. Then you get to decide if there is a plus and a minus.
In the street Laugavegur you will find restaurant Meze in number 32. The service here is almost always top notch, and the bar is impeccable. The food is also good. Chicken skewers and other light meals can come in handy if you do not want to spend a “weekly salary” as at other restaurants. This is a restaurant that stands out a bit from the crowd of restaurants on this street.
The former restaurant in the multi-house Perlan has moved with Lækjarbrekka and perhaps created the best restaurant in Reykjavik.
The address is Bankastræti 2 and you enter the most legendary premises in Reykjavik when you dine here. Bon Appetit.
Nightlife in Reykjavik
Although beer was actually banned until 1989 (!), Iceland now produces several types of beer, which are consumed in large quantities on Friday and Saturday nights in downtown Reykjavik. You can buy wine at all bars and restaurants, but it is always expensive and imported. The only type of “wine” produced in Iceland is brandy wine, but this is mostly consumed by tourists or Reykjavik’s most weary and sleepy residents.
The local beer is good but expensive. It’s not without reason that people come when it’s happy hour!
There are countless places to start the party. We suggest KEX hospital (for the slightly younger ones). Find the door at Skulagata 26 and take the stairs up to the bar.
For the slightly older, Kaffebarin is the place. The address is crossed Bergstadastrædi and Laugavegur. The place is near legendary. The way we experience the place is a bar with a popular atmosphere and good drinks and friendly service. NB You don’t go here for cocktails!
Later you just have to stroll Laugavegur up and down bars and again bars.