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Shopping at the Kolaportið Weekend Market

kolaportidIf there’s one souvenir that embodies Iceland, it’s the lopapeysa – a traditional Icelandic sweater with a distinctive pattern. These sweaters are made by hand with sheep’s wool and incredibly warm. They can also be incredibly expensive, going for over 30,000 ISK in the stores that line Laugavegur street, Reykjavik’s main shopping drag.

For a cheaper (but still high-quality) version, head to the Kolaportið flea market.

Though there are many other things you may find worth buying at the market – knick knacks, used books, DVDs, vintage clothes and shoes, Icelandic delicacies – the best deals are to be had on the lopapeysas. Here you can find them for as low as 15,000 ISK, along with woolen hats, mittens and scarves for a steal.

Browse the stalls and try on as many as it takes until you find your perfect pattern and fit. You can try to haggle, but most prices are pretty firm and already represent a large discount from what you would pay in other stores.

The Kolaportið is only open on weekends. Most vendors don’t take cash; there is an ATM located inside the market. You won’t be able to get the tax back on your purchase, but generally you’ll save enough that it doesn’t matter.

Photo by Luc Van Braekel