Iceland — Shopping and Leisure
Both Reykjavik and Akureyri are well-set up as regards retail therapy, although Reykjavik as the largest city on the island has the best choice and variety. Gifts such as the famous Icelandic sheep’s wool knitwear in all shapes, sizes, styles, and traditional patterns can be found in specialist shops and Reykjavik’s two malls. The Handknitting Association of Iceland at Skolavordustigur 19 has a great selection. For an unusual reminder of your visit, Icelandic artists and sculptors draw beauty from wood, silk, lava rocks, driftwood, clay, and glass.
For general shopping, the two main hubs in Reykjavik are along Laugarvegur, home to trendy boutiques, jewelry stores, and other fashion outlets. Skolavordustigur is the street to head for if you’re looking for local crafts such as weaving and wood-carving, with traditional Icelandic music and literature found here as well. Kolaportid in a harbor side warehouse is the city’s weekly flea market, crammed with everything from clothes, antiques, and crafts to old books.
Kringlan in the shopping district is Reykjavik’s best mall, set with high-street names such as Zara and Debenhams. Prices are higher than in other Western countries but visiting EU shoppers should remember the 24.5 percent sales tax is refundable. Akureyri’s Grofargil, set just off Kaupangsstraeti Street, is the place for Icelandic art and design. The main shopping street is central Hafnarstraeti, home to souvenir stores, a curiosity shop, and convenience stores, and Gleratorg Mall is just to the north of the downtown district.