What to buy in Iceland

What should you buy in Iceland?

Iceland is famously expensive! I've been living here for years and I still don't understand why certain products cost three or even four times more than they do in other countries. As an experienced resident though I can offer you some advice on what and what not to buy.

What to buy
Alcohol at duty-free when you land in Keflavík! Buying a beer or glass of wine at a bar in Iceland could set you back 1,200 ISK ($10/£7.50). So if you fancy a cheap night out in Reykjavik take a leaf from the book of Icelanders and start the party wherever you're staying, with some cheap duty-free beer before heading to the bars.

Icelandic souvenirs
I've been buying souvenirs for my family and friends for years and if I had to pick one thing that people love the most it's the Icelandic woollen goods; especially the thick socks, which you can find for sale in most of the souvenirs shops, the larger supermarkets and even some petrol stations.
What not to buy!

Anything you can get at home for less!

Bottled water: one of the best things about Iceland is its tap water. While the hot water may smell a little of sulphur, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the cold water, which is pure spring water on tap. Don't waste money bottled water. Fill up a flask from the cold tap and take it with you.

Chocolate at duty-free: unless it's Omnom (an amazing Icelandic brand) which can be found for sale at significantly lower prices at duty-free, buy your chocolate at the supermarket. For example, a 365g Toblerone bar costs 999 ISK ($8.40/£6.40) at duty-free but around 425 ISK ($3.50/£2.70) at the cheapest supermarket (Bónus). You'll also find that much of the Icelandic brand chocolate such as Hraun by Góa has been repackaged for tourists in fancier boxes and much higher prices in duty-free. You can find the same treats in less fancy packaging in supermarkets for much less.

A tip for eating out!
Do try out the restaurants! Icelandic food is fabulous! But do it at lunchtime. The prices between the lunch and dinner menus at most restaurants differ significantly with the same dish at dinner costing up to almost 50% more. The fish of the day can be found in most places for around 2,000 ISK ($17/£13).

To experience all above you might be interested in a private tour in and around Iceland, even on a super jeep tour to the highlands! 
Here you can claim your private tour itinerary.


Lisa Shannen