Europe's New Shopping Hotspot: Reykjavik (Seriously!)
There is no city I would rather have a layover in than Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. Sure, I love spending longer than a day in the picturesque island country. You need at least three days to do the fjords, the volcanoes, the glaciers. It takes that long for the locals to get comfortable enough around you to regale you with their personal stories about Bjork and the elves that live under their house.
But if you’ve already done the lagoon, or have an aversion to group bathing, you could also happily shop for about five hours, something I highly recommend.
Trust us. “Oh, I just got this at a little shop in Reykjavik,” is a truly excellent #travelbrag.
Most Americans don’t realize that Reykjavik has an incredibly vibrant fashion scene of traditional and up-and-coming designers that, due to tariffs and large shipping fees, you probably won’t find off of the island. In March, the island celebrated the annual Reykjavik Fashion Festival. Unlike New York, Paris, Milan, and London, Iceland’s high-end fashion in incredibly accessible. If you see it on the runway, you can probably buy it down the street at one of the designer shops in the central district.
One of my favorite shops in the world is Ella at 5 Ingolfsstraeti, a store dedicated to the “Slow Fashion,” movement. That is fancy talk for saying that clothes should be made from high quality materials by serious artisans.
(Photo: Jo Piazza)
Shopping in Ella is an experience in female empowerment. When Elinros Lindal and Katrin Maria Karadottir started Ella, out of a suburban garage, a few years ago they were angry that other fashion brands, in Iceland and the rest of the world, kept telling women they weren’t good enough.