April 24, 2019

What to wear in Iceland

by Águsta Björg Þorsteinsdóttir
Travel tips
What to wear in Iceland

So you’re coming to Iceland! Between arranging your itinerary, scoping out the restaurants and venues on TripAdvisor, and dreaming about possibly seeing the Northern Lights (season depending) you must be wondering, what do I wear in Iceland?

This is a fairly common question asked when people are coming to visit. I suppose the word “Ice” in the name doesn’t help either. When in reality, ICEland is actually green, while Greenland is a country of ice. So don’t let the name fool you!

Though I am currently living and working in Iceland now, I am from Boston, Massachusetts. When I first came to Iceland I was surprised to learn that I didn’t need as many coats and jackets as I thought. I really could have used the extra luggage space.

Here in Iceland, I often wear leggings, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, a winter coat, and a scarf or pashmina of some kind. I keep gloves in my pockets or bag just in case, and I usually wear a hat. I feel fine when I am walking around the city, photographing sites on tours, and even waiting for the bus to come, which is really the worst of it. But like I said, it’s really not that bad. When it is windy, it can feel much colder, but I think that is the case with any other city and country. Basically, don’t let the name fool you. Iceland is a beautiful place with occasionally “chilly” weather that can be managed by a couple of layers. Below is a list of things you can bring, and things you don’t need to bring.

Do bring:

  • A winter jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • A scarf or pashmina
  • Leggings and/or tights
  • Jeans
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • A fleece jacket (or another light jacket or some kind)
  • A waterproof jacket for when it rains
  • Waterproof shoes (Between the snow and the rain, you probably don’t want to ruin a nice pair of Uggs.)

Don’t bring:

More than 2 winter coats, and an umbrella. Seriously. It might be nice to stay dry in the rain, but the wind will completely ruin your umbrella. Just leave it at home, and bring a hat, or a jacket with a hood. I have been here for over 2 months and have not yet experienced any heavy rain that would require an umbrella. Plus, with all the space you’ll save, you can bring back some Icelandic goodies for all of your friends!

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