Founded by Italian designer and upholster Fabio Del Percio, Hver Design expresses stories and nature through furniture and fabric. Among their other endeavours, Hver Design has been working in collaboration with 7factory since 2010 as part of the ‘Sound of Iceland’ project. The project is focused on creating fabric material with the design of a sound wave(waveform) that corresponds to a specific recording from Icelandic nature, waves on the shore or animal noises for instance. You can look up each specific design to find the recording that inspired it on their website. They also offer coffee and cookies at the studio.

Glætan – Bókakaffi is a great café with a domestic feel. It’s somehow always a convenient choice for whatever you’re doing when you come across it. I am always happy to step into this comfort zone and simmer down with an excellent cup of espresso and one of the books in their selection. Glætan, roughly translated, means a tiny ray of light – this is surprisingly fitting. AJ

A record label as well as a store, all the best new Icelandic music on CDs or live on Fridays at 5 PM.

The geothermal seawater spa The Blue Lagoon is a world famous healing spot as the water is rich with silica and sulfur that are extremely good for the skin. The natural skin care products produced from the healing minerals are sold at the downtown Blue Lagoon shop.

A lovely gallery/gift shop run by ten artists and designers where they sell their products.

A great source for all kinds of reading material, with restaurants on the second floor.

Eymundsson is a chain with several outlets but the one on Skólavörðustígur is the best in town. Housed on the ground floor of what was once a Spron Credit Union, the building has a solid 60’s institutional feeling—cozy if that’s your bag.  The premises are equipped with a coffee shop, tables and sofas to lounge in and the all-glass exterior lets in a lot of light, which is good for reading real books, not facebooks. This Eymundsson also regularly hosts book readings, signings and other small events such as concerts and art exhibitions, organized in a pleasantly spontaneous and laid back way.

Mál og Menning bookstore is a Reykjavík essential if there ever was one. It occupies three levels at Laugavegur, and sells stationary, children’s games, foreign newspapers, Icelandic books, CDs, postcards and souvenirs. You’ll find the always-buzzing café and the foreign book section on the top floor. 

The legendary Smekkleysa (Bad Taste) label has been a key player in the Icelandic music scene since the eighties, releasing milestone records by the Sugarcubes, Sigur Rós and countless others. Their Laugavegur record store is an excellent resource for stocking up on hard to find Icelandic music items, as well as cutting edge international releases.

One of the best secondhand shops in the country, with recycled clothes at a range of prices.

The large tourist shop The Viking sells all sorts of souvenirs and neat gift items to bring back home. The selection includes postcards, outdoor clothing, teddy bears, maps, books, woollen sweaters and plastic Viking helmets as well as Viking statues and shot glasses.

One of a few second hand shops that have popped up in recent year, Gyllti Kötturinn also offers some pieces by locals.