A souvenir is a good way to remember your stay in Iceland. In tourist shops around the country, you can find a lot of cheap souvenirs that are not produced in Iceland. If you’re looking for authentic souvenirs, let us tell you where to find the best homemade Icelandic souvenirs.
You will find a surprising amount of Icelandic ceramic galleries in downtown Reykjavík. Just walk down Skólavörðustígur from Hallgrímskirkja church and stop by galleries along the way. Whether you’re looking for a gift for someone back home, or special handmade memorabilia for yourself, you will be sure to find something to your liking. Browse through a wide selection of pots, dishes, cups, and bowls, all made with Icelandic clay. Kirsuberjatréð, Kogga Caramics and Kaolin are just a few of the galleries around.
In Mosfellsbær, a town just outside of Reykjavík, you will find the workshop of Iceland’s only professional knifemaker, Palli Kristjánsson. He uses natural materials that were also available in Iceland in the age of settlement: wood, hooves, antlers, Icelandic stone, bones and ivory from beached whales. With these materials he creates decorated knives. In his shop, you will find a lot of different styles and types – from kitchen knives to longblade daggers – so it’s easy to find just the knife you’re looking for, and you can be sure that no two knives will be the same.
Icelandic sheep have fleeces that are divided into two layers. The upper layer is made up from long and coarse hairs, and the lower layer has shorter and softer hairs. Lopi, Icelandic wool, is made with both layers, resulting in a material that is both light and warm, and durable and waterproof. Sweaters made with Icelandic wool, lopapeysa, are worn by almost all Icelanders, and they are also popular souvenirs. They come in all kinds of colours, styles, and sizes, but they all have a decorative pattern around neck and shoulders, and sometimes also around the wrists.
Iceland is a paradise for photographers, so why not bring a print of your favourite Icelandic landscape for your friends or family? There are plenty of photo galleries in downtown Reykjavík to choose from. If you like something more personal, dress up like a Viking and get your portrait taken. MINK studio has everything for a Viking photoshoot – clothes, weapons, helmets and a driftwood background. Let your inner Viking come out during a 45-minute photoshoot for a cool memento after you’ve returned home.
Lava jewellery is popular in Iceland. You can find lava jewellery in tourist shops all around town. Even though earrings, rings and necklaces with lava look cool, a lot of them are not made with Icelandic lava, as this is often too soft for crafts. Even though this jewellery is homemade, it might not be as authentic as you think, so check with the merchant if Icelandic lava is used. You can also go for silver or gold jewellery inspired by Icelandic nature, by birds, flowers, or landscapes. Icelandic design jewellery is a beautiful keepsake.