No adventure in Iceland is complete without bringing back your very own Icelandic souvenirs, but which to get? For many, the perfect souvenir needs to be something that you can bring home and enjoy, and it needs to be something that you can only get in Iceland. Whether you looking for an Iceland gift for a friend or family member or one for yourself, here are my favorite Icelandic souvenirs from my time in Iceland to help you get ideas before you go, plus where to find Icelandic souvenirs online if you’re already home from your trip.
Iceland Wool Products…Cozy and Durable!
Iceland is famous for its sheep, and for the super cozy wool products that Icelanders make with them. During my trip, I realized that I’d left gloves off my packing list even though I was visiting in October. This was a huge problem since it was much colder than I expected! Luckily, Iceland’s famous wool souvenirs were a practical solution to my problem.
I picked up these beautiful green wool gloves from the Gullfoss gift shop, and I wore them constantly on my trip. Even better, they were a perfect souvenir to remember Iceland by, since I have continued to use them every winter since.
You can find wool products all over the country in the form of gloves, scarves, hats, and any other winter item you can think of. While they’re pricier than back home, you’ll treasure them always.
The Iconic Iceland Souvenir…The Icelandic Sweater
I purchased wool gloves, but the most iconic wool souvenir is an Icelandic sweater or Lopapeysa. They’re pricey (typically over $150), which is why I decided to wait and pick one up next time. However, that was a mistake! There’s simply nothing as cozy and iconic as an Icelandic sweater with their beautiful geometric designs.
You can find them all over Iceland, especially in the shops in downtown Reykjavik, and they make great gifts for him or her.
Buy Online: If you didn’t pick one up in Iceland, and you regret it as I do, you can buy them online and have them shipped home. Here’s a beautiful Icelandic sweater for him and a sweater for her. You can also purchase a book of Icelandic patterns and knit or crochet one at home with authentic Icelandic wool yarn.
Brennivín so Your Friends Can Get a Taste of Iceland
You can’t go to Iceland without hearing about Brennivín, the famously anti-delicious Icelandic liquor made from grain or potato mash and flavored with caraway. The name Brennivín means “burning wine,” and anyone who’s tried it can tell that this description is more than accurate!
I brought back a few small bottles of Brennivín for gifts for friends and family. While I don’t think any of them enjoyed it in the traditional sense, it was so much fun to hand them out. I think my Dad still has his on a shelf in my parents’ living room. That bottle is in no danger of being drunk any time soon!
I shopped for these at the duty-free store at Keflavik International Airport on the way home for about $7 a bottle. One thing you quickly learn about Iceland is that it’s better to buy your alcohol at the airport than anywhere else, and this also allowed me to avoid having to check the bottles.
Buy Online: If you get home and regret not having bought Brennivín for your home bar, you can buy it online or you can order a Brennevin-themed t-shirt to wear and fondly remember Iceland’s version of aquavit for years to come.
The Perfect Flea Market Find at Kolaportid Flea Market
If you’re looking for a true Iceland shopping experience and you’re in Reykjavik during the weekend, you simply have to make a visit down to the Kolaportid flea market. One of the highlights of my time in the city, it’s also the best place to get Icelandic souvenirs that are budget-friendly.
You’ll find stalls and stalls of used goods to peruse. I found a super chic red purse and two beautiful scarves. Altogether, I spent about $10 USD on all three items. While I’ve lost the scarves, I use the purse all the time to this day. In fact, I wore it out to a club just this past Saturday. Where else can you find the perfect Iceland souvenir for less than the price of an Icelandic beer?
Buy Online: Like any good flea market, you have to go in person to get the goods. So if you’re interested in flea market shopping in Iceland, make sure to set aside some time during the weekend to explore.
Blue Lagoon Beauty Products to Treat Yourself at Home
A trip to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is on most Iceland bucket lists, but did you know they sell beauty products made from the lagoon’s silica mud that you can take home with you? Imagine relaxing in a candlelight bath at home, and reliving your Blue Lagoon experience. The ultimate experience in at-home relaxation.
You can shop for their beauty products during your Blue Lagoon visit or at the Blue Lagoon store in Reykjavik.
Buy Online: If you’re flying carry-on only, you can buy the products online and have them waiting for you when you return. You can order the Blue Lagoon Iceland Silica Mud Mask, the Algae and Mineral Body Lotion, or even the Rich Rejuvenating Cream.
While there are over six million puffins that call Iceland home throughout the year, they’re no longer in the country by October when I was there. But, I was really hoping to spot some puffins while in Iceland, and I still did. Okay, I didn’t see any real puffins out in the wild, but I saw approximately one billion puffin souvenirs, including this gigantic puffin stuffed animal in the Gullfoss gift shop.
You can find puffin souvenirs all over the country, but I think the Gullfoss gift shop really takes the prize for puffin souvenir inspiration.
The Icelandic Sagas to Keep Learning Icelandic History at Home
This was one of my favorite souvenirs I brought back from my trip was a copy of the Icelandic Sagas. The sagas are as important to the understanding of Icelandic history as Homer is to ancient Greece, and the stories contained here are familiar to modern audiences through works like the television show Vikings. I bought mine from the Settlement Exhibition, but you can also find them in bookshops around the country.
Buy Online: This may be the easiest Icelandic souvenir to pick up once you’re home since you can easily order a copy on Amazon. Or if you’d rather watch some of these stories on television rather than reading it, you can watch the excellent tv show Vikings instead.
Outdoor Gear from 66°North
66°North is an Icelandic company that has been making clothes to face the harsh North Atlantic weather since 1926. The started out making clothes for fishermen whose survival depended on their clothing standing up to Iceland’s harsh climate. Now they’re synonymous with beautiful outdoor gear. No one who’s been to Iceland has escaped without seeing their gorgeous ads plastered everywhere. Think Iceland’s answer to The North Face. Except they were here first.
They have nine stores throughout the country, with most of their locations centered in Reykjavik and Akureyri.
Harðfiskur from a Ring Road Gas Station
While a few of my Icelandic gifts for family were on the pricey side, this was by far the least expensive one. And my brother got a serious kick out of it. While exploring Iceland’s Ring Road, we stopped in a gas station that had a massive selection of Harðfiskur, or dried fish packaged almost like gummy bears. My feeling was that if Harðfiskur is to an Icelandic road trip what beef jerkey or slim jims are to an American one: disgusting but absolutely necessary.
You can find these everywhere, from the supermarkets to the flea markets. Or do what I did and buy it at a gas station.
Buy Online: You really can buy almost anything you want online, and hardfiskur is no exception. Although it’s significantly cheaper if you buy it while still in the country!
Since the country was founded by Vikings, any Viking souvenirs you choose are sure to remind you of your time here. You can find fun kitchy ones, historic replicas, or even replica viking jewelry. I gave my brother a letter opener shaped like a viking sword. That was interesting to explain to security at JFK airport!
You can find viking souvenirs literally everywhere, but some of my favorites were in the museum gift shops since they had a selection that was more about historic replicas than simply labeling something as “viking” for the sake of it.
5 Things to Bring With You to Iceland
- The Lonely Planet Iceland guidebook or the Rick Steves Iceland guidebook for your trip. It can be kind of a pain to find the major guidebooks once you land, or you’ll find them overpriced. I always like to pick mine up ahead of time.
- Tech-friendly gloves like these and warm wool socks to keep your fingers and toes toasty. Iceland gets cold!
- A Camera since Iceland is super photogenic. I used a mix of my Nikon D810 and my Samsung8 smartphone.
- Sunscreen since you’ll be outside a lot more than back home.
- Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any hiking or outdoor activities in Iceland.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities. Even in Reykjavik, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.
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Have you visited Iceland or are you planning an upcoming trip? Leave your best Icelandic souvenir and Iceland shopping tips or any trip-planning questions below!
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