What to Wear in Iceland in Winter: A Packing Guide for Women

iceland winter packing guide get your travel on

Is it just us, or does it seem like everyone is planning a trip to visit Iceland this year?

We’re not imagining it. According to one statistic we found, the total number of tourists visiting Iceland this January was a whopping 40% increase over the same month in 2013. And that’s just one winter month, alone! The word’s out on Iceland, folks, and the world is getting hip to everything that country has to offer to tourists, from isolated, stark landscapes to the multiple layers of dense urban centers.

After our recent, February trip to beautiful Iceland, we whole-heartedly encourage you to get your travel on to Iceland as soon as you can! And, in preparation for your trip, we hope to inspire you even more to go, and give you the best information and travel tips we can to help make your Icelandic vacation a success.

Iceland Winter Packing Guide - REYKJAVIK CITY LOOK:

When we started telling our friends that we were traveling to Iceland in the middle of winter, we got a lot of surprised reactions. “Why Iceland? And WHY in the wintertime?!” We’ll be happy to answer those questions in a future post (spoiler-alert: we highly recommend visiting Iceland in the winter!) but in the meantime, we want to help you pack.

Since half of the fun of any trip is anticipating and preparing for it, we’ve made a shopping list for your chilly destination. site headers . angola . Want to know which shoes to pack? How heavy of a coat do you really need? Oh ladies, we’ve got ya covered!

Here are the items you should seriously consider packing:

  • A puffy parka - Bonus points if it’s water-resistant and hooded.
  • Long underwear (tops and bottoms) - If traveling in the winter, you can wear these under your clothes at all times. They do a great job of cutting out the chill and will help you keep comfortable during your tourist activities. city guides . Pro tip: Forever 21 has a TON of cute patterned leggings that give your under layer a dose of fun.
  • Two kinds of boots:
    • Tall, waterproof winter boots (like Sorrel)
    • A pair of stylish-but-comfy city boots for walking around. Make sure they’re roomy enough for thicker socks.
    • Travel guide book
    • Bathing suit for thermal pools
    • A warm hat that fully covers your ears (trust us, those Icelandic winds will get ya!)
    • Wool socks: We actually wore two pairs of socks most days. The regular thin ones went on first and the wool socks went on next. That way, we got a couple of days wear out of the thicker ones.
    • Medium-sized tote bag for exploring the city - Big enough to place your swimming suit and toiletries for your Blue Lagoon trip
    • A cross-body bag, or bag with a shoulder strap, to store all misc. mittens, hats and scarves during restaurant meals and coffee shop stops
    • Warm, fingerless or convertible gloves that allow you to quickly access your camera and phone
    • Water bottle (Money-saving tip: Icelandic tap water is delicious and safe to drink. Bring a reusable water bottle with you to fill up before your daily adventures.)

CLICK HERE to check out our specific recommendations on Amazon! 

We wouldn’t bother bringing:

  • High heels (have fun with those in the ice!)
  • An umbrella (chances are, the strong Icelandic winds will tear your umbrella to shreds in minutes, anyway. Opt for a jacket with a hood, instead.)
  • The super-sexy dress you bought for Vegas - While Reykjavik is a European, metropolitan city, we get the vibe that the locals prefer cozy and stylish wool accessories --like this kick-ass scarf we bought there-- to anything you might wear if you were, say, going to appear on an episode of The Jersey Shore.

Iceland Winter Packing Guide - DAY TRIP LOOK:


Overall, when you’re packing for a trip to Reykjavik, keep the following in mind:

  • Keep your style comfortable, yet tailored. You will be in Europe, after all!
  • Colorful, interesting leggings and thick tights
  • Leather details
  • Cute boots
  • Colorful coats
  • Red lipstick, hair in bun
  • Fitted cozy sweaters with geometric patterns / interesting stitching details

And with that, we’ll leave you with some words that a Reykjavik barista said to us: "Now that you have seen Iceland in the Winter, you can come back and truly appreciate Iceland in the Summer."  Well, barista friend, that’s the best idea we’ve ever heard. :)

Happy packing!