Reykjavík Shopping Tips by Regina1965 Top 5 Page for this destination
Reykjavík Shopping: 69 reviews and 175 photos
The sweater-blanket and me :)
I love Icelandic design. When I guide foreign visitors through my home-town, Reykjavík, I have been showing them "this attraction and that attraction", which I find to be very important for Reykjavík´s history, but I always end up "losing" them into the Icelandic design stores. Not that I blame them and of course I end up joining them as well ;)
Most frequently I do my shopping on-line at the Reykjavík Corner Store, where you can find a collection of works by emerging Icelandic designers.
What to buy: There you can find such beautiful lava candles and lamps made out of Icelandic driftwood, with drawings of different whale species. And tea towels and cushions with the traditional print, puffins, Northern lights and whales etc.
I own a product, which I got from Reykjavík Corner Store. It is called the sweater blanket and was made by two Icelandic women, Inga and Stína, one of which is a stewardess. She noticed how the passengers were trying to get warm under the thin blankets provided by the airlines and came up with this wonderful idea of combining a woollen sweater and a blanket. It is closed at the bottom and has a hoot. If you roll it up you can use it as a pillow. Such a good idea. I use the sweater blanket in front of the telly and when I sit outside on a chilly night (most Icelandic nights are chilly) and when I am travelling.
Four of the photos I add belong to the Reykjavík Corner Store and are the only photos on my VT profile which aren´t mine. I didn´t feel like going into design stores and taking photos of their design. They really frown on that, saying that many of their ideas get stolen
What to pay: Icelandic design is a bit expensive.
Theme: Local Craft
Bónus is our discount grocery store and very much appreciated as such as food here is very expensive. The first Bónus store was opened in 1989 by a father and son and at first people were reluctant buying there, but now it has become one of the most popular grocery stores in Iceland with 26 stores around the country and ca 850 employees. We are very thankful for this store as the difference in prices for the same item is vast. In 2009 after the financial crisis hit Iceland very hard these stores came into the possession of the state owned banks. The Competition surveillance has ordered the bank to sell Bónus, Hagkaup and 10-11 seperately as these chains rule 50% of market share in Iceland.
The supermarket is based on no frills to keep the cost down, so don't go there if you want some luxury, I add a tip on other stores, where you can get a much wider variety, but expect to pay much more. They keep the milk and meat in a cooler area, you go in there and chose your food, the rest of the store is heated.
The best time to shop in Bónus is shortly after they open at 11:00, the worst time to shop is during the rush-hour on Friday-afternoons. In all grocery stores in Iceland you pay for the plastic bag ca 20 ISK, the money is used for good cause, f.ex. planting more trees in Iceland, but all profit from Bónus bags (20 ISK) is used for buying equipment for the Childrens' Hospital. You also bag your own grocery in all the grocery stores in Iceland and in Bónus it can be a a bit stressful as the grocery keeps coming quickly and before you have finished bagging it they start serving other customers, so you need to be quick.
The opening hours are Mondays-Thursdays 11-18:30, Fridays 10-19:30, Saturdays 10-18 and Sundays 12-18 in most of the stores, some smaller ones are closed on Sundays though.
In the Great Reykjavík area the Bónus stores are located in:
Kjörgardur on Laugavegur
Hallveigastígur off Laugavegur
Smáratorg in Kópavogur
Smiðjuvegur and Ölduhvarf in Kópavogur,
Kauptún in Garðabær
Tjarnarvellir and Helluhraun in Hafnarfjörður
In other parts of Iceland there are Bónus stores in Ísafjördur, Akureyri, Borgarnes, Akranes, Egilsstadir, Reykjanesbær, Hveragerdi, Selfoss and in Stykkishólmur. If you want to see an exact location for a Bónus store go to símaskrá and type in Bónus, there you get a list of all the stores with a map and a phone number.
Many of the employees in Bónus are Polish, as when the financial boom was here in Iceland until October 2008 a lot of foreign workers came to Iceland and Bónus supermarket employed a lot of Polish people who didn´t speak Icelandic at the time. So there were jokes at that time that before going grocery shopping we would have to learn Polish.
What to buy: Groceries.
What to pay: Much less than in other grocery stores.
Address: 16 Bónus stores in the Great Reykjavík area.
Theme: Discount Store
Krónan is a grocery store - 12 altogether in Iceland (2011), which is closest to Bónus in prices, but with a wider selection in food and an EXCELLENT health-food selection. We are so used to buying groceries in Bónus that we almost go there on auto-pilot, but Krónan is catching on. When Krónan opened for the first time there was a price war between Krónan and Bónus and they were selling groceries for a few krónas, way below the cost of production. Now if Krónan offers discount Bónus offers it for 1 króna cheaper.
The opening hours of most of the stores is from 11-19 o' clock, but it varies a bit between stores. The location of Krónan in the Great Reykjavík is:
Hvaleyrarbraut in Hafnarfjörður
Reykjavíkurvegur in Hafnarfjörður
Outside of Reykjavík there is a Króna in:
What to buy: Groceries, food and drink.
What to pay: Very similar to Bónus, although Bónus prides itself in always having the best prices, which they actually do in most cases.
Address: 5 stores in the Great Reykjavík area.
Other Contact: email@example.com
Theme: Food and Drink
10-11 the sign.
10-11 (pronounced "tíuellefu") is a chain of grocery-stores and used to be owned by the same owners as Bónus and Hagkaup. This is the most expensive chain and most of their stores are open 24/7. All together there are 24 stores around Iceland, 19 of them are in the Great Reykjavík area scattered all around Reykjavík and the Great Reykjavík area. I rarely go there as they are very expensive, but if you need to buy something at night then it is good to know that something is open.
The 10-11 stores in the Great Reykjavík area are located in:
Arnarbakki (open 8-24)
Eggertsgata (open 7-24)
Laugavegur 116 (open 9-24)
Grensásvegur (open 8-24)
Hjallabrekka and Dalvegur in Kópavogur
Staðarberg and Melabraut in Hafnarfjörður. Also in Fjörður (open 9-24)
Outside of Reykjavík 10-11 is located in:
Akureyri - center
Keflavík - Hafnargata 55
Keflavík airport - Inspired by Iceland (open when there is a flight). And 10-11 arrivals which is open 24/7.
What to buy: Groceries, food and drink.
What to pay: Much more than in Bónus and a little more than in Hagkaup.
Address: 20 stores in the Great Reykjavík area.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Theme: Food and Drink
The entrance to Gyllti kötturinn.
Gyllti kötturinn (The golden cat) is a really popular vintage boutique for both men and women with a great selection of vintage clothes. It is on 2 floors and has elegant interiors as one can see from the photos. The staff is very friendly and make you feel really welcome. I have bought an exquisite white rabbit fur-coat there for a great price and in the winter time they have a great selection of fur-coats and jackets (which we all need here in Iceland during the winter). There are at least 10 other vintage clothes stores in Reykjavík, but Gyllti kötturinn has this special touch.
What to buy: All of the vintage clothes are handpicked and very unique. They also sell clothes from the POP London and their own design "Golden cat". They are open Mondays-Thursdays from 11-18 and on Fridays from 11-19 and Saturdays from 11-17.
Address: Austurstræti 8, 101 Reykjavík
Directions: If you walk from the Lækjartorg bus terminal, instead of walking up Laugavegur you walk west Austurstræti, almost to the end of Ingólfstorg (the square of Ingólfur) and on the left hand side is Gyllti kötturinn.
Theme: Women's Clothes
Smáralind - on the first floor.
Smáralind Mall is one of two malls in the Great Reykjavík area, this mall belongs to Kópavogur. It is on 3 floors and has got a cinema, restaurants and cafés, more than 80 shops and The Wintergarden where a lot of happenings take place, shows, concerts and exhibitions. The Wintergarden closed down in October 2011 and an amuzement park will open up there in November 2011.
As a foreign visitor at Smáralind you can get up to 15% tax refund. Just remember to ask for a
Tax Free Cheque in each store and you will get your Cash Refund instantly at the Service Desk in Smáralind!
Across the street from Smáralind is the only "scy-scraper" in Iceland :) You can see a photo of it in my Reykjavík-travelouge.
Under construction is The North Tower which was supposed to be 15 storeys' high and to be connected to Smáralind. Due to the crisis the construction work was stopped - hopefully temporarily.
What to buy: Amongst the stores in Smáralind are Benetton, Zara, Debenhams, Hugo Boss, Body Shop, Oasis, Coast, Tous, Karen Millen, Levi’s, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Bianco, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Vila, Exit, Joe Boxer, Warehouse and Dressman. Some of these stores have closed down due to the crisis.
There are also jewellers, 66° North, Eymundsson bookstore, Hagkaup supermarket, banks, a big bakery, liquer store (Vínbúðin), a shoemaker, cosmetic stores and Síminn and Vodafone phone-companies to name some.
Address: Hagasmári 1, 201 Kópavogur
Directions: Bus 2 from Hlemmur to Smáralind, walk 30 metres.
Other Contact: email@example.com
Theme: Department Store
The Hagkaup sign.
Hagkaup is one of our most popular supermarkets. It used to be owned by the same owners as Bónus, but is more expensive with a wide selection of food, clothes, shoes, a perfume apartment, toys, books, electronic devices, furniture etc.
It all started with just one store, but now they have expanded and there are 11 Hagkaup supermarkets in Iceland, 7 in the Great Reykjavík area and 4 in other places of Iceland. The pictures I have added here are taken in the Hagkaup supermarket at Holtagarðar. The locations of Hagkaup supermarkets and grocery stores are:
Eiðistorg (grocery store only) (open 24/7)
Garðabær (open 24/7)
Kringlan (shopping center)
Skeifan (open 24/7)
Smáralind (shopping center). This is where the largest Hagkaup supermarket is located.
The opening hours are weekdays and Saturdays from 10-20 and Sundays from 12-20.
What to buy: Food, clothes for women, men and children, shoes, perfume, toys, books, electronic devices, furniture etc.
What to pay: Hagkaup is more expensive than Bónus, but less expensive than some other grocery stores.
Address: 7 Hagkaup supermarkets in the Great Reykjavík area
Directions: The best way is to look up símaskrá and type in Hagkaup, there you get all the phone numbers and a map with locations of the stores.
One of the entrances to Kringlan Mall.
We have got 2 malls in the Great-Reykjavík area, Kringlan and Smáralind. Kringlan was our first mall, it opened in 1987 and expanded in 1999. It is located in what is called the new Reykjavík city center.
There are ca 150 stores in Kringlan, clinics, salons, pharmacies, banks, cinemas, supermarkets, a health-food store, a shoe-maker, Vodafone and Síminn phone-companies, souvenir shops, music-stores, jewellery shops and a lot of fashion-clothes stores.
The opening hours at Kringlan are:
As a foreign visitor at Kringlan you can get up to 15% tax refund. Just remember to ask for a Tax Free Cheque in each store and you will get your Cash Refund instantly at the Service Desk in Kringlan!
What to buy: I had added all the stores in Kringlan here but there have been so many changes since the crisis that it is best to refer to their website. But the supermarkets there are Hagkaup and Bónus.
Restaurants and cafés:
Ben & Jerry´s, Booztbar/Ísbar, Café Bleu, Café Konditori Copenhagen, Café Paris, Café Roma, Domino´s Pizza, Ísbúðin in Hagkaup, Bakery of Jói Fel, Kaffitár, Kringlukráin, NK Kaffi, Rikki Chan, Sbarro, Serrano, Subway.
What to pay: As much as you want ;)
Address: Kringlan 4-12, 103 Reykjavík
Directions: Kringlan is by the intersection of Miklabraut and Kringlumýrarbraut. Buses from Lækjartorg nr. 3 and 6 stop in front of Kringlan. And busses 1, 2 and 4. You can look it up on ja.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Theme: Department Store
The antique-store sign "Fríða frænka"
Fríða frænka is one of my favourite antique stores. You can find almost everything there, most of it coming from Icelandic estates.
It is such fun just browsing there looking for hidden treasures and the store owner Anna Ringsted, who has been behind the counter since the store opened in 1981, makes you feel most welcome. Unfortunately her husband died last year, so this store will be closed down in 2014.
This store is a true gem well worth a visit while strolling down-town.
What to buy: All kinds of antique.
Address: Vesturgata 3, 101 Reykjavík
Directions: Right next to the Tourist information center which is on the corner of Aðalstræti and Vesturgata.
The Nordic Store.
Skólavörðustígur street is the main street down-town for Icelandic designers with both clothes' stores and galleries. The whole street from the beginning to the end (by Hallgrímskirkja church) has got Icelandic designer stores and galleries on both sides of the street.
It is a lovely street with galleries, clothes' stores, tourist shops, jewellers, a big book-store, the old jail, a health-foold store and a gourmet cheese delicatessen store, small quaint cafés, see my tip on Babalú, and stores selling imported shoes and clothes. But mainly there are Icelandic stores there.
It is well worth a visit and it will lead you straight from Laugavegur to Hallgrímskirkja church. It has got this artisty feel to it which I think Laugavegur, our main shopping street, is lacking. And here are no discos or bars so this is a much quieter place than Laugavegur on weekends.
Skólavörðustígur used to be the main road to town before Laugavegur was built.
What to buy: Here you can shop for Icelandic design. Both clothes made by Icelandic designers and bags and boots made from fish-skin, which is turning into a very popular commodity here in Iceland as well as by tourists and a very good idea, I think (even though I am allergic to fish).
Address: Skólavörðustígur, 101 Reykjavík
Directions: From Laugavegur, right above where Laugavegur and Bankastræti meet, turn right on Skólavörðustígur.
Theme: Local Craft
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