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A notoriously expensive destination, Iceland certainly isn’t the best place to shop unless you have been robbed and require a new suitcase of garments (which is rare given that it is one of the safest countries in the world!). In addition, a country that’s covered in lava means a big part of the island is agriculturally unproductive so most food products are imported, which add to the high cost of food. Eating out in a proper restaurant is a costly affair (*gasp*about USD 30 per person for a burger and drink). However with adequate planning, it’s not impossible to check off this bucket list destination while keeping within budget – self catering being the cheapest and most convenient.
1. Grocery stores
Bonus – one of the most popular with best options/location/price especially with budget travellers (https://bonus.is/)
Krónan – slightly more expensive than Bonus but with better quality offerings including organic food stuff (https://kronan.is/)
Nettó – fairly good choice of products but with limited outlets in the city (http://www.netto.is/)
Hagkaup – one of Iceland’s oldest retailers and also my favourite place to shop for groceries with an incredible variety of goods from cosmetics, clothes to food items. It’s more expensive than most grocery stores but most of the outlets are open 24 hours so I guess there is a price to pay for convenience (https://www.hagkaup.is/)
2. Shopping malls
Kringlan – second largest mall in Iceland, conveniently located close to Reykjavik city center. Expect the usual chain stores such as Dressmann, H&M, Jack & Jones, Timberland and many more (http://www.kringlan.is/)
Smáralind – Iceland’s largest and most modern shopping mall spread across three floors located in Kopavogur, about 10 minutes drive from Reykjavik city center. The mall has more than 80 shops and businesses including high street brands such as Topshop, Zara and Vera Moda (https://www.smaralind.is/english/)
3. Outlet stores
66° North – To weather Iceland’s unpredictable weather, check out Iceland’s most popular outdoor brand and a purveyor of premier outdoor clothing with a strong Icelandic heritage. Founded in 1926, it’s also the brand choice for the Icelandic Rescue Teams and Reykjavik Police. Worth visiting its outlet at Faxafen 12, 108 Reykjavik, about 10 minutes drive from Reykjavik city center.
Icewear – Founded in 1972 with a focus on knitwear. It has since grown into a thriving retailer for outdoor enthusiasts on a hunt for competitively priced and functional outdoor garment and gear. Visit its outlet at Faxafen 9, 108 Reykjavik, located across from 66° North outlet store.