Reykjavík is an expensive city, so we don‘t blame you for looking for some bargains. A second-hand store is a great place to find an affordable outfit, a vintage shirt, some used books, or even a necessary piece of furniture. In this article, we will lay out the best second-hand stores the city has to offer.
Vintage clothing: Wasteland
Wasteland may be a little on the pricey side for used clothing, but the store has a huge selection of quality vintage items, from dresses to 90‘s-era-flannels to a hip set of vintage luggage. They have it all. You can spend a lot of time looking through the racks, and if you‘re an old chunk of coal like myself, it makes you feel cool until you exit the store and it is back to reality!
Furniture: Góði hirðirinn
Translated as The Good Shepherd, this is the best place in the city to find an affordable set of chairs, a used recliner, or a set of shelves. The prices are extremely affordable. They now have two locations. The old spot near Skeifan still contains the more practical stuff. The new location on Hverfisgata has some fancier-looking items with more of a vintage feel. Either way, you can usually find what you are looking for at The Good Shepherd.
Strollers, toys, onesies, you name it – Barnaloppan has it. This is the best place to get quality used clothing and toys for babies and children. It is set up almost like a consignment shop so that parents make some extra money from the pyjamas their children wore once they got too big. They also have bikes, strollers, car seats and other practical items you might need or want for your kids.
General Clothing: Fatamarkaðurinn
If you are looking to save some money and want practical clothing rather than vintage, a good place to start is Fatamarkaðurinn on Laugavegur 126 (by Hlemmur bus station and food hall). Tourists have been delighted to find Iceland‘s signature wool sweater, the lopapeysa, slightly used but half of what a new one would cost. While the styles may be trendy, the prices are affordable. If you find yourself in need of a coat, boots, or some other necessary item, this is a great place to start looking. If you can‘t find what you are looking for, check out one of the other great second-hand stores, Verzlanahöllin.
Used Books: Bókin Books
There are plenty of bookstores in Iceland, but surprisingly few used bookstores. Bókin is perhaps the most famous, not least because there is a corner dedicated to chess prodigy Bobby Fischer, who used to sit and look through the selection while he lived in Iceland. It is what every used bookstore should be: messy, cluttered, and filled with hidden gems. While the store has a selection of books in English and other languages, the majority of its stock is Icelandic. Nearby is Bókakjallarinn, which sometimes has more used books in English.
Charity shop: Rauði Krossinn (The Red Cross)
Scattered throughout Reykjavík are several Red Cross thrift stores. Like in many places, The Red Cross helps Icelanders in times of crisis. As recently as 2020, the organisation raised nearly 4 million ISK to aid those affected by the devastating landslides in Seyðisfjörður in North East Iceland. The source of most of their income is their second-hand stores. You can find clothing, shoes, and other odds and ends at one of their 14 locations around Iceland.
Reykjavík‘s famous flea market, Kolaportið, is home to all kinds of used items. If you are looking for a missing television cable, an old movie, or a cheap guitar, check out one of the many booths lining the walls in Kolaportið. You can find some affordable lopapeysur in some booths, or, if you are feeling creative, you can stock up on old postcards from the last century. The market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11-17.