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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Iceland

Iceland Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Iceland

In Iceland, almost every major attraction has a gift shop selling the best of Icelandic wool sweaters and blankets, along with other items that keep you warm.

In Reykjavík, Laugavegur is the main shopping street while Kringlan and Smáralind are the major shopping malls (both claim to be the largest). The small indoor flea market, Kolaportið (near Icelandic Phallological Museum), held every weekend, is a great place to find knick-knacks.

Icelandic liquor also makes a great gift. Brennivín, a caraway-spiced spirit best served chilled from a small shot glass, is probably the nation's favourite. Icelandic gin is also becoming very popular.

Shopping Note

Visitors can claim VAT from purchases made in Iceland, provided that the minimum amount on one single receipt is over ISK 6,000. If you're going to make a big purchase, ask the retailer for a tax-free form, in which the retailer will sign and attach your original receipt to it.

Shopping hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1800. Shops that cater to tourists tend to open every day, although some may have reduced hours on Sundays.

Nightlife in Iceland

Apart from Reykjavík, nightlife in Iceland is a subdued affair.

In the capital, there are bars and pubs ideal for a pöbbarölt (pub crawl) that can go on into the late hours, especially during the summer months when the city enjoys long daylight hours.

Harpa, Iceland's premier concert hall situated on the Reykjavík waterfront, has a string of programmes year-round to entertain locals and tourists alike. Presently, Harpa has four residents, namely the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Icelandic Opera, Reykjavik Big Band, and Maxímús Músíkús (Iceland's most famous musical mouse and hugely popular among Harpa's youngest guests).

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