If you’re wondering what souvenirs from Iceland you should bring back home with you besides a generic keychain or fridge magnet, then we’ve got you covered with this list of fourteen authentic Iceland souvenirs.
From beautiful Icelandic sweaters and handcrafted lava jewellery to pure Icelandic alcohol and mineral-rich sea salt, you’re sure to find something you want to buy and take home with you.
Mistakes Tourists Make When Buying Souvenirs From Iceland
One of the major mistakes tourists make when buying souvenirs from Iceland is only going to “Puffin Shops”. This is the nickname Icelanders give to the shops that are exclusively tailored to tourists visiting Iceland.
From snowglobes and keyrings to Viking helmets and puffin branded accessories, these souvenir boutiques claim to sell authentic Icelandic products. But they’re actually selling mass-produced products from China.
Puffin shops are ridiculously popular with tourists but we recommend avoiding them unless you really do only want a generic souvenir from Iceland.
14 Authentic Souvenirs From Iceland
So instead of going to puffin shops, you should make it your mission to find authentic Icelandic souvenirs like the ones listed below. Which one will be first on your shopping list?
1. Lopapeysa – Icelandic Wool Sweaters
Authentic Icelandic wool sweaters are called lopapeysa. They’re one of the most sought after souvenirs from Iceland and one of the best products to buy in Iceland.
They’re stylish, warm and an integral part of the Icelandic culture with pretty much every local owning at least one of them. The style of the sweater is unique to Iceland so you’ll be able to spot them easily in shops.
You need to be careful where you buy your lopapeysa from! Some companies outsource production of them to China, which means that beautiful sweater you’ve fallen in love with might not be authentic and is probably overpriced.
You’ll increase your chances of getting the best quality lopapeysa for the best price by heading to the Kolaportið Flea Market, Thorvaldsen’s Bazaar or when buying direct from the Handknitting Association of Iceland.
Either way, when looking for lopapeysa, check the label to see if it was made in Iceland to ensure you’re getting the real deal.
2. Omnom Chocolate
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Omnom is an artisanal bean to bar chocolate made in Reykjavik. The brand was founded by chef Kjartan Gíslason and fisherman captain Óskar Þórðarson in 2013.
Although there is only a small collection of this delicious Icelandic souvenir, you can find interesting combinations of flavours like lakkrís (liquorice) and sea salt or burnt barley and white chocolate.
Safe to say Omnom are going for something truly unique with this artisanal chocolate.
Where to buy Omnom chocolate
In Iceland, you’ll be able to find Omnom chocolate within most grocery stores and boutique food shops, as well as at the airport. Given its quality and price tag, Omnom chocolate is one of the best products to buy in Iceland duty free.
Either way, you’ll have no trouble spotting the displays of colourful packaging and their iconic wolf logo from across whatever shop you’re in.
3. Icelandic Music Records
There is a lot of musical talent within Iceland.
Whether you like classical music from the Iceland Symphony Orchestra or popular hits by The Sugarcubes, Björk or Of Monsters and Men, there’s a lot of choice when it comes to buying Icelandic music records and CDs.
If you love some of this music and want to bring it home with you as a souvenir then be sure to include some time in your Iceland itinerary to browse within a local music shop.
Where to buy Icelandic music records
Although there are a few music shops to choose from, we’d recommend heading to 12 Tónar in Reykjavik (Skólavörðustíg 15).
This music shop has been awarded the title of ‘Shop of the Year’ by the city of Reykjavik and is also an independent record label.
So while you’ll be able to find popular Icelandic music records in their store, you may also discover emerging musical talent well worth listening to.
4. Chocolate-Covered Liquorice
Liquorice is an acquired taste – but Iceland is obsessed with it! And a popular souvenir from Iceland is chocolate-covered liquorice.
We’ve already seen above that Omnom have an artisanal version of chocolate and liquorice combined together.
Where to buy chocolate covered liquorice in Iceland
Just like finding Omnom chocolate, you’ll be able to find chocolate-covered liquorice in grocery stores and food shops throughout Iceland, as well as at the airport.
Just look for the words Lakkrís and Súkkulaði together and you will have found the right thing.
5. Icelandic Jewellery
There is some truly beautiful handcrafted jewellery you can buy in Iceland as a souvenir or even as an authentic gift from Iceland.
There are a few shops selling stunning silver pieces but Aurum in Reykjavik (Bankastræti 4) has taken Icelandic jewellery to the next level.
You can also find some beautiful jewellery at the National Museum of Iceland. Although the museum displays items from local jewellery designers, they also sell a range of replica pieces based on historic jewellery that has been found in Iceland.
Where to buy Icelandic jewellery
As mentioned, Aurum in Reykjavik sells stunning authentic jewellery and the National Museum of Iceland sells interesting replica jewellery with a story. You can also often find some interesting vintage pieces at the Kolaportið Flea Market.
Particularly with lava jewellery, the most authentic pieces use rough rock rather than polished rock. If it’s polished, it’s probably lava rock imported from elsewhere rather than authentic Icelandic rock. You can always ask a shop clerk if you’re ever unsure.
6. Brennivín Icelandic Schnapps
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Brennivín was founded in 1935 when prohibition in Iceland was partially lifted. It’s a type of schnapps liquor and is often considered to be Iceland’s signature alcohol.
Made from pure Icelandic water and flavoured with caraway, Brennivín has a potent almost vodka-like taste.
Where to buy Brennivín icelandic schnapps
If you’re wondering what to buy in Iceland duty free then alcohol should probably be on your list.
But if don’t buy it in the duty free at the airport, then you’ll need to head to a special off-license run by the government called Vinbudin.
There are well over 50 of these stores dotted around Iceland, so you should be able to find one fairly easily.
7. Reyka Vodka
Reyka Vodka was launched in 2005 and has quickly become a popular Icelandic alcohol souvenir. It’s handmade in Iceland and uses Iceland’s nature to help make it.
For example, its base is arctic spring water and it is distilled through lava rocks. The distillery itself is even powered by geothermal energy from volcanoes underground.
Where to buy Reyka vodka
Just like Brennivín schnapps, if you don’t buy Reyka Vodka in the duty free at the airport, then you’ll need to head to a Vinbudin off-license.
8. Icelandic Artwork
Artwork makes for a beautiful and unique souvenir. When displayed in your home, you’ll always remember where you were when you bought it – and the best pieces always have a story to tell.
Iceland has been at the forefront of the art world for years, so you’ll be able to find plenty of interesting artwork during your trip to take home as a souvenir.
Where to buy Icelandic artwork
Both sell original artwork and prints by local Icelandic artists so you’re sure to find something you like.
9. Blue Lagoon Skin Care Products
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If you want to take the lush feeling of the Blue Lagoon home with you then their lavish skin care products are the perfect Icelandic souvenir for you.
From algae and silica face masks to mineral facial cleansers, posh body oils and even bath salt made from geothermal minerals, you have a lot of choice.
Although Blue Lagoon products don’t come cheap, they’re worth the splurge if you like decadent beauty products or just really want to treat someone you love back home with an authentic gift from Iceland.
Where to buy Blue Lagoon skin care products
You can of course buy the products at the Blue Lagoon itself if you’re already going there.
But you can also buy Blue Lagoon products at the airport, in the Blue Lagoon shop in Reykjavik (Laugavegur 15) or online.
10. Icelandic Sea Salt
Icelanders have been making mineral-rich sea salt with geothermal energy since as far back as the 17th century.
By heating arctic sea water and water from Iceland’s hot springs together, the result is crisp and crunchy gourmet sea salt.
Where to buy Icelandic sea salt
You’ll be able to find authentic Icelandic sea salt in most grocery stores and gourmet food shops in Iceland, as well as online and at the airport.
11. Icelandic Lava Rock
Iceland is an island formed by volcanoes, which is how its famous black sand beaches could be created. And with it comes a natural souvenir: Icelandic lava rock.
As we’ve seen above, local designers are using lava rock to make beautiful and interesting jewellery. But did you know that you can also take home a piece of Icelandic lava rock?
We’re not suggesting you go around pocketing lava rock though. If every visitor to Iceland did this then there wouldn’t be anything left! Instead…
Where to get Icelandic lava rock
Head to the Icelandic Lava Show in Vík where you can see the staff recreate a volcanic eruption as both an educational and thrilling experience. And at the end, you’ll be given your very own piece of lava rock to take home with you!
12. Vintage Icelandic Souvenirs
Whether you’re on the hunt for preowned lopapeysa sweaters, vintage jewellery, used books or otherwise, you can find loads of stuff at the Kolaportið Flea Market in Reykjavik (Tryggvagötu 19).
You can even buy Icelandic delicacies like dried fish and fermented shark there.
Simply have fun rummaging the stalls and be sure to bring home lots of vintage Icelandic souvenirs!
13. Books About Iceland
Iceland is home to a number of popular writers of fiction and non-fiction, as well as the Viking Sagas of days gone by.
In fact, there are so many that we’ve written an entire blog post on books about Iceland, which you can read here.
Although you can buy books about Iceland online, nothing beats bringing back a used copy or new book from a shop in Iceland itself.
Where to buy books about Iceland
For used books, nothing beats the Kolaportið Flea Market (Tryggvagötu 19) or the independent bookshops of Bókavarðan (Klapparstíg 25-27) and Bókakjallarinn (Laugavegur 29b). All of which are in Reykjavik.
As for buying new books, you’ll find a decent selection at the airport.
14. Icelandic Money
Finally, if you simply don’t have enough time in your Iceland itinerary to shop then consider saving some of your Icelandic money as a souvenir instead.
We love saving just one coin or banknote from each place we go. One day, we’ll make some kind of artwork out of it, but for now, we’ve got a little hoard of foreign money sitting inside our memory box.
Buy Icelandic Souvenirs Online
If you’ve come home empty handed or couldn’t find what you were looking for then there are lots of Icelandic souvenirs you can buy online like:
- Lopapeysa (just be careful you’re not buying something inauthentic; ICEWEAR is a good quality brand to try)
- Omnom Chocolate
- Chocolate-Covered Liquorice
- Blue Lagoon Skin Care Products
- Icelandic Jewellery
- Reyka Vodka
- Icelandic Sea Salt
- Books About Iceland
What souvenirs from Iceland are you most excited to buy? Personally, I’ve got my heart set on the beautiful Icelandic lava jewellery from Aurum!
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