In Iceland, alcohol isn’t sold in the grocery shops. You can only buy alcohol in the state-owned liquor stores named ÁTVR, usually called ‘Ríkið’. Twelve stores are operated in the capital area and one is located in the city centre. Common opening hours: Mon.–Thu. 11:00–18:00, Fri. 11:00–19:00, Sat. 11:00–18:00.
Address: Austurstræti 10a, 101 Reykjavík / other locations
Vintage shopping can be one of the most thrilling life experiences for fashion lovers out there. Nothing compares to the joy and excitement of rummaging through a treasure trove of retro sunglasses or the pride and satisfaction of excavating the perfect ‘60s designer dress from under a pile of old sweaters. There is a ridiculous number of vintage shopping guides, lists and stories for almost every fashion-conscious city out there. Try typing, “Vintage shops in Paris” into Google. Now replace Paris with New York, Milan, London, Stockholm or Berlin and you’re going to be directed to thousands of different places
A few years ago, industrial designer Pálmi Einarsson looked around at the world and his two young boys and thought to himself: “What state will this planet be in when our kids inherit it?” He then up and left his successful long-term career with an international prosthetics manufacturer and set up Geislar hönnunarhús, where he designs and produces toys and giftware in an as eco-friendly manner as possible. Amongst other things he makes model planes and cars that his sons helped him design. “Kids are so much better at thinking outside the box than the rest of us,” Pálmi says
As you walk up Laugavegur, weaving through all-weather clad tourists as they meander past souvenir shops, artsy cafés and hip boutiques, a hardware store is probably the last thing you would expect to encounter. However, Brynja, a Reykjavík institution, holds its own in the thoroughfare amongst these crowd pleasers. The distinctive red building is impossible to miss with its crisp paint job and sign that spells out “Brynja.” The store’s owner, Brynjólfur H. Björnsson, whose name is derived from the same word, told us that the store’s name invokes Viking armour. Open since 1919, Brynja is most likely the oldest
Even from the outside, Geysir is a barrel full of eye-candy for the window shopper with a sweet tooth for clean Nordic fashion and indulgently soft fur accessories. Though it sits a mere block up from Lundinn on Skólavorðustígur, Geysir feels a long ways away in terms of quality and aesthetics from its tourist trapping counterpart with no bloated display of stuffed puffins or offensively cheap plastic Iceland flags in sight. The interior is equally pleasing, designed by the same creative mind behind other aesthetically applaudable Reykjavík establishments like KEX Hostel and Snaps Restaurant. Its large windows let in the
Best Place to Shop for Touristy Stuff: Geysir Skólavörðustígur 16 There are polar bears and puffins in every other store window in Reykjavík, but is that what you want? Stuffed polar bears and puffins? What are you going to do with them when you get home? THINK ABOUT IT. Instead, why not get something useful? If we were tourists in Iceland, we’d definitely go to Geysir to treat ourselves. In fact, their high-end, durable wares cater almost as much to locals as they do to tourists. So go there to pick up top-notch brands of outdoor-wear and functionally fashionable things
Never underestimate the power of tiny Iceland to capture the world’s attention with financial crashes, volcanic eruptions, and a tourist campaign that went a little too far (here’s hoping no one ever actually renames Iceland “Jump For Joy Land”). Lately, Iceland has been garnering attention for something else too: its blossoming fashion scene. Recognising this in 2010, Gréta Hlö›versdóttir co-founded Reykjavík Concierge, a company specialising in getting tourists acquainted with all facets of Iceland’s burgeoning design scene, from the traditional wool sweaters to the latest fashions and designers. MORE THAN THE NATURE Reykjavík Concierge offers a wide range of design