Pack with confidence and avoid baggage fees - clothing tips and packing checklists for your vacation

What to Wear in Iceland

Winter wonderland, in January

Winter wonderland, in January

Akureyri, in July

Akureyri, in July

Horse riding, in July

Horse riding, in July

Reykjavik, in July

Reykjavik, in July

Summer festival in Reykjavik, July

Summer festival in Reykjavik, July

Visiting Icelandic turf houses, July

Visiting Icelandic turf houses, July

Geothermal springs, in August

Geothermal springs, in August

Hiking in August

Hiking in August

Gullfoss waterfall, in September

Gullfoss waterfall, in September

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, September

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, September

Skógafoss waterfall, October

Skógafoss waterfall, October

Geysir Hot Springs, November

Geysir Hot Springs, November





General Packing Tips

  • Iceland is close to the Arctic Circle so it's going to be cool whatever time of year you visit, but perhaps not as freezing cold as you might think.
  • It really is an active visitors' destination, with an enormous choice of outdoor activities.
  • Concentrate on casual outdoor clothing which dries easily - this will see you through for daytime.
  • Smart jeans will work well for evenings out in the bigger towns and cities; the locals tend to be casual and stylish.
  • Remember to pack your swimwear as swimming is a popular activity all year round; most towns and villages have outdoor or indoor swimming pools filled with water from natural hot springs.
  • Dress in layers with warm windproof and waterproof outer layers, and strong waterproof boots.
  • Light waterproofs are best, worn over your warm clothes so you can remove the wet outer layers when sat indoors or in the car.
  • merino wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • Knitwear is very popular, or why not buy it when you arrive? It is expensive but will be very good quality.
  • Reykjavík is the capital city where more than half of Iceland's population lives. Despite being a relatively small capital, it has a reputation for partying with its nightclubs and bars.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Take a pair of dark, well-fitting jeans, dark polo neck sweater and smart coat and you'll fit right in.
  • Maybe add a nice dress if you plan to dine in smarter restaurants - although it's not essential.
  • A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit, as will some simple costume jewelry.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • There are no specific things to bring to your attention, check out our packing list for our suggested capsule wardrobe.

Pack for the Weather

  • The weather is very changeable and you really should pack for all weathers, whatever time of year you visit.
  • From the end of October to the end of March don't expect the temperature to get much above zero centigrade - so pack lovely warm layers, a thick jacket, gloves, warm hat, scarf and warm waterproof boots with soft rubber soles. It's important that you get soft rubber soles because even medium soles get really hard in the freezing cold. Make sure too that they have large spaces between the tracks, or the snow will get stuck in them and make them very slippery.
  • For extra warmth pack some long thermal underwear - you'll be grateful you did.
  • The summer months June, July and August can be sunny and pleasant but never overly hot.
  • Rain is possible at any time, so pack a waterproof jacket or light raincoat depending on the temperature. Remember also you may get wet from the spray when visiting the various waterfalls and springs, even on a nice day; a small travel umbrella could be useful, if only to protect your camera whilst taking photographs.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Iceland

  • For a visit to the Blue Lagoon don't forget your swimwear. You will also need a towel (a microfiber travel towel would be a lightweight choice), and flip flops are a good idea too. You can hire all these things there though, and if you book the premium or luxury tickets then use of a towel, robe and slippers are included. Book online in advance for guaranteed entry and the best prices.
  • When visiting the waterfalls and geysers you will get very wet if you stand too close! Wearing full waterproofs will give you that option, for the full experience or if you want to get some up-close photos.

Other Things To Pack

  • Iceland is a great place in the Fall (September and October) and winter (November, December, January and February) to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, so remember your camera.
  • Everything is expensive to buy, so make sure you pack everything you think you will need.
  • If you tend to buy bottled water, consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle instead - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • A lightweight day sack will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage. And when taking photos at the many waterfalls or at the Blue Lagoon, a waterproof phone case would be useful.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for European voltage (230V).
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Woollen sweaters, blankets and down-filled jackets are popular buys - expensive yes, but they will last for years. Visitors to Iceland can reclaim the VAT from larger purchases when they depart the country too, so keep your receipts.

Last updated 28 April 2016.

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Our Members can download a suggested packing list for Iceland which covers ladies' and men's clothes for all seasons, plus a checklist for must-take items. Sign up or log in below.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions




Bestsellers For Iceland

Cabin Max Fold Away Day Sack

Cabin Max Fold Away Day Sack

Ideal addition to your cabin baggage, to be used in resort

SwimCell Waterproof Phone Case

SwimCell Waterproof Phone Case

Waterproof pouch to protect your phone and valuables

Rogue Leather Money Belt

Rogue Leather Money Belt

Unisex leather belt with concealed money compartment


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