A Guide To Creative Souvenirs In Iceland

A Guide To Creative Souvenirs In Iceland

Angie Diamantopoulou Author

Text by: Angie Diamantopoulou

Coming to Iceland is an unforgettable experience. However, you might want to get some souvenirs, just to make sure that you hold the memories forever! Or maybe you want to bring a little piece of Iceland back to your loved ones!

I'm sure it won't be surprising to you to hear that most souvenir stores in Reykjavik -and in the whole of Iceland -are tourist traps. It's the same in every country; souvenirs are the easiest way for shopkeepers to empty the tourists' wallets.

Here in Wake Up, we don't think that's fair. So, I have created this guide for you, which will show you all the best places to buy creative, authentic Icelandic souvenirs that are worth their prices!

Before we get into our guide of creative Icelandic souvenirs, let's take a look at what you can find in this blog:

  • what souvenirs can you find in Iceland?
  • what are some creative souvenirs you can buy in Iceland?
  • are there any authentic Icelandic, local products you can buy as souvenirs in Iceland?
  • where can you find creative souvenirs in Iceland?
  • what are the prices for souvenirs in Iceland?
  • some tips from a local!

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souvenirs in iceland

souvenirs in iceland

​Iceland is full of souvenir stores. Especially downtown Reykjavik is saturated with them. Walking down Laugavegur, you will find countless stores selling stuffed puffins, viking hats and rune key chains

As you would expect, all those souvenirs are mass-produced in other countries​ and imported to Iceland. Then shop owners mark up their prices, and thus make a massive profit. Meanwhile, what tourists get is not worth even half of its price

​I don't think there is anything wrong with an adorable little puffin or a fun viking hat. However, if you want some more creative souvenirs from Iceland, which are locally produced, then keep reading this guide!


​creative souvenirs and local products in iceland

​Iceland has a big creative community. Virtually everyone has a side project as an artist in Iceland, and many of them sell their amazing handmade products. Therefore, maybe instead of going to souvenir stores, you'd rather get some Icelandic art!

So, what are some creative souvenirs you can get on your trip to Iceland? Without any further ado, let's see all the best local products and where you can find them!

1. JEWELRY

​Many Icelandic designers specialize in jewelry. Walking in downtown Reykjavik, you are bound to find a boutique that sells jewelry designed and crafted by an Icelandic artist!

The jewelry is often inspired by the Icelandic nature. Many designers draw inspiration from the landscape, especially the Icelandic mountains and volcanoes. In fact, you will find a lot of jewelry that incorporate lava rocks in their design!

Orrifinn rings as creative souvenirs

Rings from Orrifinn

You can visit Orrifinn in ​Skólavördustígur for some eye-catching jewelry designed by Iceland's very own Helga Friðriksdóttir and Orri Finnbogason. Many of their designs are extremely intricate and delicate, but they also have chunkier options for those of you who want to make a fashion statement! A personal favorite? Their gold and silver bracelets with the braid design!

Aurum ring as creative souvenirs

Ring from Aurum

Alternatively, you can visit Aurum in ​Bankastræti. Aurum has been an Icelandic staple for many years, and is one of the most popular jewelry stores in town. If you are looking for a simple, elegant and timeless hand-crafted item, this is definitely the place for you!

​If you are looking for lava jewelry, then check out Skartgripir & Úr in Bankastræti. They carry the Piece of Iceland line, which is made of silver and lava stones

Prices:

 Prices for jewelry vary. However, keep in mind that most of these are handmade and use materials of high quality. You can expect real Icelandic jewelry to be quite pricey, so if you want to treat yourself or a loved one to a piece, I would suggest that you visit a few different stores downtown before committing to a piece.​

2. WOOL PRODUCTS

If there is one product that Iceland is famous for, that is the wool. There is an abundance of sheep in Iceland (you will probably see some of them by the roads in the summer!), and their wool is incredibly soft and warm!

One of the most popular wool products is, of course, the Icelandic wool sweater, or as we call it, the lopapeysa.​ According to Icelanders, you should only get a lopapeysa from your grandma, but for those of you who don't have access to an Icelandic grandma, I have some stores to suggest!

Affordable and modern:
Farmers and Friends wool products as creative souvenirs

Farmers and Friends store

For a brand new lopapeysa or other wool products that won't cost you an arm and a leg, head over to Farmers and Friends in Laugavegur. They carry the Farmers Market line of products, and you can find a wide range of wool items with a modern, sleek design.​

Keep in mind, though, that in Farmers and Friends or any other store that sells these products, you will only find mass-produced and often imported clothes and accessories.

Authentic and handmade:​
handknitting association of iceland

Hand-knitting Association of Iceland

For the authentic Icelandic items, I suggest that you either visit the Hand-knitting Association of Iceland​ or you do some research on independent knitters.

By buying a product from the Hand-knitting Association of Iceland, you will support both the Icelandic knitting traditions and the local knitters! If you are a knitter yourself, you can also get some real Icelandic wool to make your own creations!

Independent knitters might be a little harder to find, but they often advertise their services online! Contact them ahead of your journey, and you will get a completely Icelandic, authentic wool sweater!​

Authentic and second-hand:​
Spuutnik lopapeysa

Icelandic wool sweaters at Spuutnik second-hand store in Laugavegur

Another option would be to visit one of Reykjavik's amazing second-hand and vintage stores! You can find authentic wool sweaters​ in all sizes and designs, and well...they will probably be knitted by a grandma!

Prices:

​Once again, prices vary. Stores like Farmers and Friends will certainly be much more affordable than hand-knitted products. However, hand-knitted products are the real deal, and they really are worth their money. They will last you for a lifetime, and they will keep you warm even in the most unfavorable conditions!

If you don't mind buying second-hand, then the vintage stores are your best bet to find authentic wool products at affordable prices.​


Hey there! Do you want to learn more about stores and boutiques in Reykjavik, including second-hand stores? Check out this guide on the best Icelandic stores and boutiques in Reykjavik!


3. FOOD AND ALCOHOL

icelandic candy as creative souvenirs

Alright, maybe Iceland is not famous for its food. Traditional Icelandic food is boiled, bland and bloat-inducing. However, Icelandic people have figured out how to take traditional recipes and give them a modern, delicious twist!

I highly recommend stopping by ​Friðheimar farm while you make your way around the Golden Circle. Apart from their amazing restaurant (try the tomato soup!), they also have a charming little shop, where you can buy all sorts of tomato-based edible, creative souvenirs. From a mouth-watering chicken rub to tomato jam, they have everything!

Another great option for some creative souvenirs is candy! Icelandic people love their candy, especially when they have licorice! I suggest going to Bónus supermarket and trying Thristur and Hraun! And don't forget to stock up at the duty-free before your flight!​

Icelandic alcohol

Last but not least, we have alcohol. Iceland has many delicious types of alcohol, like Opal and the infamous Brennivín!​ You can get tiny bottles at the duty-free, so you can try a lot of different types!

Prices:

Food and candy are probably the most affordable creative souvenirs you can find in Iceland. They typically range from 500 ISK (5 USD) to 2000 ISK (16 USD)​, unless you buy a huge pack!

When it comes to alcohol, I would definitely recommend buying it at the duty-free on your way back home. Alcohol in Iceland is only sold in liquor stores, and they are notoriously expensive! However, the duty-free has the same selection and is much cheaper!​

4. BLUE LAGOON PRODUCTS

Blue Lagoon silica mask

If you want to treat yourself or a loved one to a relaxing spa day at home when you return from your trip to Iceland, then the Blue Lagoon products are for you!

The Blue Lagoon is rich in minerals, such as silica, and algae. Both are very beneficial to the skin, and will deep-cleanse and moisturize it. I definitely recommend the Silica Mask, as it is the most famous Blue Lagoon product! You must have seen people with a white mask on their faces. That's the silica!

For mature skin, I suggest the Algae Mask. For some serious moisture and amazing fragrance, I suggest you get the Body Oil!

Prices:

Blue Lagoon products are quite pricey. A 3.4 fl.oz mask is 9900 ISK (103 USD), while a 3.4 fl.oz of Body Oil is 7900 ISK (82 USD). However, you can't get these products anywhere else in the world!​

5. A TATTOO

Getting a tattoo in Iceland

Feeling a little adventurous? Get a tattoo! Tattoos can be very nice creative souvenirs, and you can keep a reminder of the amazing time you had in Iceland with you forever!

Reykjavik is home to many amazing and talented tattoo artists. Check out the famous Reykjavik Ink​ in Frakkastígur. Their artists are used to "souvenir tattoos", but you can also get some beautiful Icelandic-style tattoos! Another great option is Íslenzka Húðflúrstofan in Ingólfsstræti, especially for some black and white or color realism! For walk-ins, try Irezumi Ink in Laugavegur. They accept walk-ins every day of the week!

Prices:

As with every tattoo shop, prices vary according to the skill of your tattoo artist and the size and intricacy of the design. That said, you can expect similar prices as in any city. As far as souvenirs go, it would be a pretty expensive one, but compared to other tattoos, it would be the same!


some tips from a local

creative souvenirs from Iceland

Dessert sauce with tomato and vanilla from Friðheimar farm

I am a firm believer in researching before purchasing. While you will most likely not find much of a difference between traditional souvenir stores downtown, these more creative options can be cheaper or more expensive, according to where you get them.

As you walk downtown, visit several stores and then go back to your favorites! Not only will you save some money, but you will also make sure you like what you get!

Furthermore, don't be afraid to buy second-hand. Second-hand stores in Reykjavik are filled with large varieties of different products, and many of them are authentic Icelandic creations! Vintage stores are always a budget traveler's best friend!

If you haven't done so already, check out this guide on the best stores and boutiques in Reykjavik, including some second-hand stores!


some final words

So, there you have it! I hope this guide will help you find amazing creative souvenirs to bring back home! Whether you go for the creative souvenirs or the traditional ones, though, I'm sure you'll have a great time!

Are there any creative souvenirs that you think should have made the list? Let me know in the comments! And as always, don't forget to share with fellow travelers looking for something unique!​

Coming to Iceland is an unforgettable experience. However, you might want to get some souvenirs, just to make sure that you hold the memories forever! Or maybe you want to bring a little piece of Iceland back to your loved ones!

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