| Shopping in Reykjavik - Shopping in Iceland
Reykjavik may not sound as a likely place to shop for high fashion items or
designer wear but the fact is that there is quite a good selection of high-quality
fashion clothing and other exciting merchandise, from both sides of the
Atlantic, to be found there. The standard of living is very high in Iceland
and people want quality and are very fashion-conscious. There may even be
some products that have not yet been introduced elsewhere, as some big
manufacturers use the small but demanding Icelandic market for testing their
new products. Look for world-known designer labels in clothing, shoes,
giftware and spectacles, among other things.
Iceland has a reputation for being expensive but the prices of these goods
are quite comparable with New York – or, in the case of designer wear, often
more reasonable. Overhead costs are not so high and the markup is usually
considerably lower than in NY. And then there is the tax-free refund for
tourists, which is approximately 15% of the price, minimum purchase 4,000
ISK (around $50) on one sales slip, although individual items do not have to
to amount to the minimum figure. Price tags in Iceland always include the
sales tax. There are three main shopping areas: Besides downtown Reykjavík,
there are two major shopping malls, Kringlan and Smaralind.
Downtown Reykjavik, which includes the old city center, Laugavegur and the
surrounding streets, has many top stores within a short walking distance of
each other. The atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant and the geographical
surroundings are beautiful.
Laugavegur is Reykjavik’s main shopping street and the starting point,
if you want to make your way westward, towards the old city center, is the
bus station at Hlemmur.
Fashion stores in Reykjavik - fashion stores in Iceland
There are several fashion stores along the way, like Gallery Sautjan, which
has a very good selection of fashionwear for both men, women and teens,
including several very well known designer labels such as Calvin Klein. GK
is a very stylish fashion boutique for men (there is a women’s shop too at
the Kringlan mall).
Along the way, there are many small stores and boutiques that sell, among
other things, cosmetics, accessories, lingerie, leather goods, books, CDs
and much more. MM is a well-stocked centrally located bookstore that has a
good selection of books and magazines in English. Penninn Eymundsson, in the
old city center, is another good bookstore. Further down the street (which
becomes Bankastræti as it nears the old city center) there are several
classy stores, including Sævar Karl, a gracefully designed store that
includes an art gallery.
The old city center is atmospheric and relaxed. Many excellent cafes, bars
and restaurants are located there and there are also many shops, including
stores specializing in traditional souvenirs and stocking a good selection
of merchandise, including crafts, replicas of Viking artifacts, ceramics,
jewelry, playing cards, books, calendars, sheepskin products - and Iceland's
famous wool products.
If you are looking for a bargain in art or a special souvenier, you should
browse the stores and galleries on Skolavordustigur, a side street that runs
up from Laugavegur and ends at the towering Hallgrimskirkja church. It is a
charming street that has several art galleries and craft shops that carry
unique and beautiful locally made things at very reasonable prices. There
are also jewelry designers, a furrier and some gourmet stores, including
Ostabúðin, where you can sample some local delicacies like smoked goose
breast or marinated puffin.
Shopping hours in Reykjavik - shopping hours in Iceland
Downtown opening hours may vary but generally stores are open from 10-6 on
weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays. Some stores stay open longer on Saturdays
and most downtown stores are open until 6 on the first Saturday of each
Malls in Reykjavik - Malls in Iceland
There are two large centrally located shopping malls in the Reykjavík area.
One of them, Kringlan, is located within walking distance of several of the
city's main hotels. Both of these shopping malls are easily accessible by
bus from the old city center and have ample free parking.
Smaralind the shopping mall
Smaralind, a new and popular shopping mall that opened in November 2000, is
located somewhat farther from downtown Reykjavik, in the adjoining town of
Kopavogur. It also features a large number of stores, including several
British chains like Debenhams, Top Shop and Miss Selfridges.
Smaralind opening hours are generally 11-7 on weekdays, 11-6 on Saturdays
and 1-6 on Sundays. Some of the restaurants in the malls stay open longer.
Fashion stores in Iceland generally have clearance sales twice a year,
usually in January and in July, although there may be sales and bargains at
other times as well. Bargain hunters might also like to visit Reykjavik's
only indoor flea market, Kolaportid. There are many permanent stands
but also lots of garage sale stands. Some great bargains can be found there
and there is a selection of Icelandic woolen goods. There is also a
food section that has some of the more pungent Icelandic delicacies,
like dried fish, cured (or rotten, depending on your point of wiew) shark,
pickled herring and more. Kolaportid is usually only open weekends from
Kringlan the shopping mall
Kringlan has around 130 shops, restaurants and services to offer and the
selection of goods is very diverse. There is a wide range of specialty
stores, many of them featuring internationally known designers like Karen
Millen, DKNY and Boss. There are also stores offering jewels, accessories,
shoes, leather goods, porcelain goods, toys, etc. There are also stores
featuring souvenirs and Icelandic specialties.
Opening hours for Kringlan stores and shops are generally 10-6:30 Monday
through Wednesday, 10-9 on Thursdays, 10-7 on Fridays, 10-6 on Saturdays and
1-5 on Sundays.
Foreign currencies can be exchanged in all banks. Banks in Iceland are
generally open on weekdays from 09:15 - 16:00. The following branches are
open outside regular banking hours: Landsbanki at Keflavík Airport open
daily around the clock. The Change Group, Bankastræti 2, 101 Reykjavík. Open
daily May-Sep, 08:30- 20:00 and 09:00-17:00 during winter. The Change Group,
Austurstræti 20, 101 Reykjavík open daily 09:00-23:00 May-Sep, 11:30-19:30
during winter, closed Mondays. Change Group is representative of Western
Union - fast delivery of money. Most hotels provide their guests with
exchangeservice should the need occur.
Credit cards: EUROCARD/Mastercard and Visa are commonly accepted.
Other cards can be used in some places.
Cash can be obtained at every bank branch (over 170) throughout the country,
as well as in all ATMs. EUROCARD/Mastercard credit cards are widely accepted
by retail and service outlets throughout Iceland. EUROCARD Iceland, Armuli
28-30, 108 Reykjavik. Tel: 550-1500, fax: 550-1515.
Cash advance services are available to Visa cardholders in over 170 banks
and savings banks branches as well as all ATM's throughout Iceland including
Leifur Eiriksson International Air Terminal Keflavik. International Visa
cards are widely accepted as payment with almost every retail and service
outlet in Iceland. An increasing number of merchants is equipped to accept
either traditional Visa cards as well as electronic only (VISA Electron)
cards. Visa-Island, Alfabakki 16, 109 Reykjavk. Tel: 354-525-2000, Fax:
354-525-2020. Debit cards: Electron, Maestro and edc debit cards are
increasingly being accepted by merchants. Cash can be obtained against these
cards in all banks and savings banks ATM's, as well as against Cirrus and
eurocheque ATM-only cards.
Read about your Tax free
in Iceland (Iceland Refund)