We at the Grapevine couldn’t be more excited about the future of Icelandic design. It seems that every year the scene grows exponentially, with more and more artists taking centre stage and shops showcasing the crème de la crème of our little island. To our delight, the pandemic didn’t change a thing—in fact, the competition for our 2021 Best of Reykjavík Shopping awards was particularly fierce. After long discussions with our beloved panel members, we are proud to present our winners. From sustainable ceramics to high-end lopapeysur to obscure Björk b-sides, this country is more than just volcanoes and waterfalls. (No shade to volcanoes and waterfalls, but you can’t wear them or put them on your shelf, right?) So without further ado, here’s your essential guide to shopping in Reykjavík. Enjoy—responsibly, of course.
Eymundsson is a classic bookstore, offering up the newest in Icelandic writing and international titles. It has the rare characteristic of being perfectly curated for both locals and tourists, so if you’re a traveller looking to get an illustrated edition of the Sagas, or a Reykjavík kid hoping to pick up the definitely-going-to-be-released upcoming Kingkiller sequel, this would be the place to find it. Notably, they stock all the English translations of the latest Icelandic novels, so next time you read about a cool book in the Grapevine, head there to pick it up. The café ain’t bad either!
Located within the main building of Háskóli Íslands, the university bookstore runs the gamut from speciality academic texts to classics, new fiction, notebooks and much more. Another plus? The on-site coffee shop serves up what are potentially the fairest priced coffees in town, as does the Háskóli Íslands cafeteria next door.
Forlagið is Iceland’s largest book publisher and at their special bookstore, you can pick up all your favourites—not only from Forlagið, but all the other local publishers as well. We stan a queen that works for the greater good of their industry, don’t we? Yes we do. Also, the bookstore is massive. Seriously. Don’t go in there during a fire.
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2021 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!