I celand will likely never get on the map of the greatest shopping destinations for tourists. Indeed, shopping here is considered very expensive and remarkably so considering the low wages within the country.
However, you might want to take a look inside some shops when abroad and at the very least check out prices. The simplest way to do this in Iceland is to visit the two shopping malls of greater Reykjavik area. It might be argued there is a third one in Akureyri but that one is too tiny to count.
Your options include Kringlan shopping mall and Smaralind shopping mall, both of which are tiny in international comparison. But which one should you try? Which one is better?
If dying to shop you might be disappointed to know these two malls are more or less the same. Kringlan is slightly bigger with over 150 shops and restaurants while Smaralind only boasts about 80 shops or so. Roughly 80% of stores in Smaralind are also found in Kringlan which means selection is quite limited. One will be better off visiting Kringlan than Smaralind. The former is also quite near the center of Reykjavik while Smaralind is found in the center of next door neighbor Kopavogur. That´s half an hour away from the center of Reykjavik.
In both malls you will find chain-stores like Jack&Jones, Zara, Body Shop and Dressmann along with lesser known local chains like Hagkaup. Selections of locally made stuff is almost non-existent. For this it´s better to wander about Laugavegur shopping mall.
Prices are the same between both malls and not one is cheaper than the other on average. Both malls have in the past offered free rides from Reykjavik center during summertime. Sales most often start in middle of July in summertime but in wintertime sale time is more irregular. There is no serious Black Friday sale in Iceland and neither do shops offer deep discounts right after Christmas like many do in Europe. Although it is worth keeping in mind most shops in both places do offer tax-free shopping which can amount to serious savings if you buy expensive shit.[ready_google_map id=’98’]