Published March 1, 2017
While high prices mean Reykjavík isn’t really thought of as a shopper’s paradise, there are still plenty of great local products you can only get here. Whether you’re hunting for a piece of Icelandic design, searching for hard-to-find vinyl by an Icelandic artist, stocking the fridge of your Airbnb, or hunting down the perfect hand-knitted lópapeysa, this guide will get you on the right track. Most of the winners are located in downtown Reykjavík, but a few are scattered throughout the greater Reykjavík area, giving you a good excuse to get out of the city centre hubbub and do some exploring. Happy shopping!
Downtown Reykjavík has seen a boom in shops offering fancy design products in recent years, perhaps jointly due to a surge in tourism—and the resultant padded billfolds in the pockets of Icelanders. After lots of debate, and despite moving into an unflattering location that’s also a noodle place and booking office, Kraum was re-selected as the best in show with their exclusively Icelandic range of homewares, decorations, clothing, jewellery and knick-knacks. Kraum “has a clear respect for Icelandic design,” said the panel, and there’s a smaller branch at the Museum of Design & Applied Art, should you find yourself in Garðabær.
Hrím is the the go-to for fancy kitchen items, offering a selection of international products with a strong Icelandic presence scattered throughout. “I really love to browse there,” said one panellist. “I don’t even cook much, but when I go there I just feel like I need everything because it’s all so beautiful.”
Skólavörðustígur 12 & other locations
This long-established crafts and design store has been running since 1940, since way before Icelandic design was cool. “I’ve always had a fascination for Rammagerðin,” said one panellist. “It might look like a tourist shop, but it’s been there for seventy or eighty years, so even if it is a tourist shop, it must be a good one.”
2015: Spark Design Space
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2017 magazine, posted worldwide, at gpv.is/buybestof.