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What to Wear in Iceland in Spring

Spring in Iceland is like spring in much of Europe and North America. Teasing warm days are interspersed with frigid wintry ones as the temperatures slowly rise. March sees the most precipitation, which then tapers off until fall. Lows range from 1-7°C with highs from 3-10°C (a wild swing from about 30°F to 50°F). Because of these large fluctuations in weather, it can be difficult to cover all your bases when packing for a trip to Iceland in spring.

If you’re coming earlier in the season, expect temps on the colder, wetter end, while if you visit closer to summer you’ll find warmer, drier days. The best way to be prepared for anything is…well, to be prepared for anything. Bring layers so you can dress according to the weather on a given day.

For outdoor activities, you’ll need thermal long-underwear (a shirt and pants), a layer of fleece on top, and then waterproof pants and jacket. Earlier in the season, you’ll need a scarf, hat and gloves (which are also worth bringing closer to summer if you come from a warmer climate), and several wool sweaters.  Sturdy, waterproof boots will prove invaluable, as will a bathing suit (which may surprise you) as public pools in Iceland are heated and open all year round.

In Reykjavik, you’ll find locals sporting anything from  jeans with boots to short, summery dresses with open-toed heels. On weekend nights, men can generally be found in slacks and a sport coat or dark jeans and a nice shirt. Most Reykjavik clubs have free coat check services, so don’t worry about wearing your heavy coat to the bar. And do not forget an umbrella. March is one of the rainiest months of the year in Iceland, and if you visit in spring you’re sure to experiences at least a few showers.

Photo by ashe-villain