Bargain-hunting is always a fun activity, and Reykjavík is thrift shop heaven! Not only is secondhand shopping often cheaper, it is also a more sustainable way to shop! Most of the secondhand shops are on walking distance from each other, and there is a great one on driving distance from the centre. Whether you’re looking for books, clothes, CDs or jewellery, you will be sure to find hidden treasures at these places!
Best secondhand clothes shop
Downtown Reykjavík has the best secondhand clothes stores! Firstly, there are the Red Cross stores. The Red Cross collects clothing, which is sold in their shops or donated free of charge to those in need. Their stores are located at Laugavegur 12, Laugavegur 116 and in the shopping mall at Mjódd. These shops are probably the best for those looking for true hidden gems, and supporting a good cause at the same time!
For a more trendy collection, head to Spúútnik, located at Laugavegur 28 and Laugavegur 118 (Spúútnik Fatamarkaður). These shops definitely have a more hipster feel to them, ensuring you will find fashionable vintage items! They have some good deals with their kilo sales, so definitely check those out! Vintage shop Gyllti Kötturinn, located at Austurstræti 8-10, has slightly higher prices and the owners put a lot of care in selecting the right items to sell. As they describe it, it’s the perfect place for “all those who are looking for a special unique piece to feel original with, along with a sense of belonging and past memories.”
Best secondhand bookshop
Strolling through a secondhand bookshop can be a very relaxing experience. Walking through small aisles filled with old books (with that old book smell!) just invites you to take your time, linger, and find some new treasures to read during your stay. If you’re looking for this experience, go to Bókin on the corner of Klapparstígur and Hverfisgata. Thousands of books are stacked there, waiting to be picked up and read after many years! You can easily spend a couple of hours inside this store!
Also check out Bókakjallarinn, hidden in an alleyway just off main street Laugavegur. The publishing house and printing company Bókamiðstöðin used to be housed here. They had to close down in the early nineties, and since 2010 the building has been used as a secondhand bookstore. Some of the old machinery is still showcased at the back of the shop!
Best secondhand record shop
Lucky Records on Rauðarárstígur is the place to be if you enjoy flipping through one record crate after another! It’s Iceland’s biggest record store, and sells both new and used CDs and vinyl records. They sell all genres and have a comprehensive Icelandic collection. They also sell posters, T-shirts and DVDs, and organise live concerts in the shop on a regular basis. They have free Wi-Fi and coffee for customers! The perfect place to wind down for a while.
Best shop for basically everything else
There are two locations in Reykjavík that sell a rad mishmash of everything just mentioned! The first is flea market Kolaportið, only open during weekends. There you will find a great selection of secondhand books, CDs and vinyl records, clothing, jewellery and souvenirs. But beware, not everything you find is secondhand! Secondhand things are sold alongside brand-new stuff. It’s the best place to find good deals!
And we saved the best for last, Góði hirðirinn! Even though it’s main branch is located a bit out of the downtown area, real thrift shop fans should not miss it! It’s worth a visit if you like to browse through clothes, curtains, board games, books, furniture, toys, jewellery, electronics and bicycles! In 2020, Góði hirðirinn opened a second branch, which is located downtown on Hverfisgata. The downtown branch is smaller and focuses on design products such as teak furniture and used books.