Whether you’re after a unique Icelandic souvenir to take home with you, or just looking to add to your collection, buying records in Reykjavik is a delight. Here’s where to go in the city to get your vinyl fix.
Address: Rauðarárstígur 10
I’ll start with my personal favourite, and the biggest store in Reykjavik. Lucky Records sits right across the road from Hlemmur Mathöll, at the eastern end of Laugavegur. This large record shop has the most extensive collection of all the stores in Reykjavik, and it’s very easy to while away a few hours digging through the crates that hide away rare gems of music from every era. You’ll find all kinds of genres represented here, including an extensive collection of Icelandic artists for those of you who discovered a new band whilst in town. They also frequently host free gigs for local bands, so if there’s one on make sure to hang about and give them a listen.
Address: Klapparstígur 35
A tiny but well-stocked store, every time I’ve been into Reykjavik Record Shop the thing that has struck me most is the amount of hip hop records they can squeeze onto their shelves. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and aside from the hip hop they have a surprisingly varied collection for such a small space. Pop in here for a visit if you’re in town and have a chat with one of the staff members to come away with a record that you can safely say comes highly recommended.
Address: Skólavörðustígur 15
One of the old stalwarts in the city, 12 Tónar has long been a bastion for all things music. A record label as well as a record shop, you’ll find that this store is a beautiful place to hang out for a while and listen to some records. The creative atmosphere of 12 Tónar is spread out over two floors, and it’s here where you’ll bump into members of the local music scene, having a coffee and chatting with the staff. Concerts are held during the warmer summer months as well. Aside from the releases on their own label, they also stock probably the most updated collection of international indie and alternative music.
2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the shop, so make sure to stop by this year and offer your congratulations on their ongoing commitment to growing the culture and music scenes in Reykjavik.
Address: Hverfisgata 76
Kaffi Vinyl is a wonderful place to stop for a bite to eat, the vegan café serving up amazing meals and coffee all day. Walk inside and you’ll instantly be greeted by the warm sounds of vinyl playing over the speakers, often an album you have never heard of. After a coffee or some food, peruse the crates of records lying around the café, on sale for varying prices but generally very cheap for vinyl in Reykjavik.
Address: Laugavegur 64
Another tiny store on the corner of Laugavegur and Vitastígur, this shop is jam packed with vinyls, CDs, DVDs, blu rays, and even cassettes. Specialising in hard rock and metal records, if you’re into those genres you’ll easily find something to your liking in their stock, which covers every surface imaginable in the store. Both new and used on sale, so if you’re looking for a bargain, this is another great spot to visit.
Opening on Saturdays and Sundays is the Reykjavik flea market, full of cheap nick nacks, vintage gems, books, and unique food items. There are a couple of stores that have a lot of vinyl on sale for cheap, so flick through the crates to find yourself an old record that you can’ find in any of the other stores around town.
Address: Laugavegur 35
Another record store/record label combo, this label was founded by Björk and her bandmates the Sugar Cubes, one of Iceland’s biggest musical exports. Bad Taste Records is instantly recognisable along the main drag Laugavegur thanks to its vibrant green colour and is often the first port of call for vinyl lovers in Reykjavik on the lookout for a new indie release. Alongside these you’ll find a great collection of new and old records that span the musical spectrum, from jazz and funk to pop, so it’s likely that you’ll come away from here very happily with a shiny new vinyl in hand.