What to wear when traveling to Iceland

What to Wear: Iceland Insider Style tips

What to wear in Iceland

We bet one of your first thoughts after booking your flight and adventure itinerary to Iceland is “What to wear?” It’s a legitimate question, particularly because it’s a known fact that Iceland’s weather is constantly changing. More so, one of the very common sayings in Iceland is “Don’t like the weather? Just wait for 5 minutes!”

Yet, Icelanders generally manage to be stylish every day while keeping up with the weather, both in the cities and in the highlands. With that in mind, we asked our in-house style guide, Armina Ilea to share her thoughts and Iceland insider style tips on keeping both warm and fashionable while traveling to Iceland.

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Here’s Team Dohop’s in-house style icon, Armina Ilea, layering a cozy lopapeysa over a fleece top while touring around Vík.

Layers over layers

In Iceland, layering is a must. The first step in answering “what to wear” is figuring out “what’s the weather.” You want to be prepared both for a random blizzard and for those very much appreciated warm sunny moments– all in one day.

For efficient layering, start with a base-layer like a cotton/silk tank-top or even one of the super soft wool-thermal tops offered by specialized stores like our very own, Icelandic brands – 66°North or Cintamani. Then, add a tight, long-sleeved shirt or zip-up– fleece is good if you plan to hike or go for a long walk. Throw on a cardigan or a jacket. You can layer them quite nicely and guarantee an eclectic, stylish look. Oversized parkas are very chic in Iceland, particularly those with and fur-trimmed (faux fur-trimmed) hood can work magic! Add a chunky scarf and you’re done.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need your hiking boots just because you’re going to Iceland. For strolling through the city or dressing up for a night on the town, waterproof walking shoes or sleek boots do the trick (buy a pair in Iceland if you want truly unique style). Save the clunky hiking shoes for the countryside and highlands.

Chunky warm knits

The knits can be as chunky as you like and nobody will raise an eyebrow. If you want something traditionally Icelandic, the lopapeysa is always a great choice and comes in a large variety of styles. Many stores carry them in Reykjavik and the small towns dotting the countryside. Or, try a poncho or cape with a modern cut, both are becoming quite popular among Icelanders and are chic alternatives to the basic sweater. You’ll find plenty of these brands like Farmers Market and shops like Geysir on Skólavörðustígur, downtown Reykjavik.

What to wear: "Farmers Market's design concept and inspiration draws from Icelandic roots, combining classic Nordic design elements with chic modernity."

“Farmers Market’s design concept and inspiration draws from Icelandic roots, combining classic Nordic design elements with chic modernity.”

Chunky tops are usually paired with skinny jeans or slim fit waterproof pants for a minimalistic nordic-style.

When traveling in the highlands, it’s also important to know what not to wear.  Huge pieces might get in your way (it’s windy out there!), and definitely stay away from regular denim jeans (if they get wet, you can lose precious body heat).  Keep your layering to slim-fitting, lightweight and weatherproof pieces.

When in the cities, you can return to embracing the chunkiness.  

Weatherproof 

Another famous saying in Iceland is: “It’s not the weather. It’s how you dress.” Though you think you can easily tolerate a little rain (it rarely downpours), the wind combined with the rain can be quite bothersome. It can start out of nowhere. Knowing what to wear– a waterproof jacket that is also wind-proof– is a must to keep you warm and allow you to continue your hiking trips around Iceland. For a trip downtown in Reykjavik, a stylish waterproof coat or raincoat will do. There are quite a few fashionable brands in Iceland like Reykjavik raincoats. We’re fans of the classic yellow one.

JUST ADD WATER ! At Reykjavik Raincoats we are extremely passionate about raincoats and our goal is to make the perfect raincoat that makes you wish it would rain every day just so you can wear your Reykjavik Raincoat.

JUST ADD WATER ! At Reykjavik Raincoats we are extremely passionate about raincoats and our goal is to make the perfect raincoat that makes you wish it would rain every day just so you can wear your Reykjavik Raincoat.

Swimwear

One of our biggest “what to wear” recommendations is to not come to Iceland without a swimsuit and don’t leave it in your hotel. In your travels around Iceland, you will stumble upon many natural and man-made thermal pools. You don’t want to miss this unique experience just because of logistics. You will definitely need swimwear whether it’s for the spontaneous dip in a natural thermal pool, a pampering experience at the famous Blue Lagoon or a visit to the many swimming pools in each city and town. Yes, going to the pool is a very popular activity in Iceland no matter the weather. They make for a relaxing, warming activity after a long hike and a great way to watch the Northern Lights in the winter. You’re swimwear choices should follow the same rules and styles that apply everywhere else– pick the suit that makes YOU feel great!

Fur and Faux Fur

Once again, blame it on the weather but fur (whether you choose faux or real) is the perfect way to keep both warm and fashionable when in Iceland. It’s not unusual to see revelers in vintage fur jackets when going downtown. Gyllti kötturinn, The Red Cross and Spúútnik usually have plenty in stock. Or, you can opt for something luxurious and brand new from Eggert, Pelsinn or Feldur Verkstæði. It’s easy to find a gorgeous pair of fur-lined gloves, a fluffy warm hat or just a fur-trim jacket while in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik Celebrates Cultural Exchange

Reykjavik Culture Night

Saturday, 20 August 2016, marks the official start of the city of Reykjavik’s annual cultural and event programming– when the museums, galleries, theaters and other culture-focused organisations announce their annual schedules.

culture night

For the past 21 years, Reykjavik has celebrated the occasion with a full day of activities under the umbrella Menningarnótt (Culture Night). The name is a bit misleading, as the day’s events kick off in the morning with the Reykjavik Marathon, end with an impressive late night fireworks show and sandwiched between is a full schedule of welcoming cultural events, celebrating both Iceland’s commitment to the arts and it’s long history of cultural exchange.

We’re really looking forward to the many music, theater, live art and social events for both kids and adults. One of the best traditions during Menningarnótt, is the “vöfflukaffi” where residents of the Þingholt neighborhood open their homes, offering waffles and coffee to passers-by. Waffles! Coffee!!

The full event schedule can be found here

New Neighborhoods Festival

Dohop is so happy to be a part of Menningarnótt this year through our support of the New Neighborhoods Festival happening at Kex Hostel on 20 August from 14:30 (2:30pm).

Dohop partnered with New Neighborhoods Festival to celebrate our mutual love of cultural exchange through travel, art, music and collaboration.

reykjavik_culture_new_neighborhoods_festival

New Neighborhoods Festival, organized by the Chimes Agency in Poland, mixes a Polish and Icelandic musical lineup and includes visual artists from the two countries, providing exceptional visual elements for attendees – thus, incorporating artistic exchange into the spirit of the festival.

New Neighborhoods Festival Schedule (20 August):

14:30-15:10 – Beatmakin Troopa

15:30-16:10 – Hatti Vatti

16:40-17:10 – Úlfur Úlfur

17:40-18:10 – The Stubs

18:40-19:10 – Tonik Ensemble

19:50-20.30 – Baasch
The visual design of the festival is produced by photographer and video producer Guðmann Þór Bjargmundsson and video projections designer Stanisław Zaleski, of YesEyeDo who has previously collaborated with Grzegorz Jarzyna, Keith Warner and Amon Minamoto as well as designed video projections for Metropolitan Opera New York, Royal Danish Opera and National Opera in Warsaw.

The Reykjavik event is part of a two-city cultural exchange through music and art, also taking place 10 September in Warsaw, Poland.

5 Reasons to Visit Warsaw This Year

5 Reasons to Visit Warsaw This Year

 

1. Bibenda

Bibenda_Warsaw

Bibenda is definitely a go-to restaurant in Warsaw

Wether you are looking for a Sunday afternoon lazy brunch or Friday night dinner with endless wine and every occasion in between, Bibenda is the place to go.

The menu is based on locally grown ingredients and old Polish recipes but with a Texan twist, thanks to the founding chef’s childhood in Austin.

You will love the awesome service, the house dog named Buba who happens to be on the house red and white wine labels (very drinkable, highly recommended) and the menu made to share.

 

2. Bars on the Vistula River

Hocki_klocki

Warsaw was recently ranked among the top cities for vivacious river life in Europe and that’s starting to really ring true.

While the river has, up until about 4 years ago, been a bit of a dead zone dividing the two banks of the capital, the city has put quite a bit of money into revitalizing it.

Now, you will find bars, concert venues and barges to eat tasty treats and dance until sunrise between the Old Town down to Łazienkowski Bridge. Just get off the metro at the Copernicu Center and start wandering.

Particularly worth a stop is Munchies for pulled pork deliciousness, Barka for techno, Hocki Klocki (in the image above) for hip hop and rock concerts and Cud Nad Wisłą for a wide variety of gigs, from DJ sets by Mike Skinner to crooning Polish singer-songwriter Kortez.

3. Museum of the History of Polish Jews 

warsaw musuem jews

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews took years to build for many obvious political reasons.

But, it now stands in the heart of the former Warsaw ghetto and provides both an intense wealth of information about the very long history of Jews in Poland and it is also a rather inspiring space architecturally.

Designed by Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki, it is meant to recall Moses’ parting of the Red Sea.

Plan to spend a few hours here as there is a lot to take in.

Wrap up with a walk through the neighborhood to get a full impression of a moving, tragic part of Warsaw’s history – the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in 1943.

4. Plac Defilad

Plac Defilad

Plac Defilad is an initiative sponsored by the city of Warsaw to animate the square in front of the iconic Palace of Culture, connect the clubs and theaters and other cultural institutions there and revive some public space in the very center of the city.

The project is administered by barStudio, so keep an eye on their Facebook for regular events, but you can pretty much be sure that around 13:00 each Sunday in the summer, you can eat delicious brunch and listen to live classical music.

We can highly recommend New Neighborhoods Festival at barStudio on September 10th.

New Neighborhoods Plac Defilad

It’s an absolute pleasure for your hungover belly and ears.

There is also a few cool festivals run on the square, outdoor cinema, theater, concerts and much much more.

 

5. Plac Zbawiciela

PlacZbawiciela

This square – actually a roundabout just south of the city center – is home to a giant white church (Jesus the Savior Church) and is the absolute see-and-be-seen place in all of Warsaw.

You can literally plop yourself down for breakfast at Charlotte (the Croque Madame is ace), meander over to Karma for a coffee meeting (they roast their own), grab Thai street food at Tuk Tuk and then drink ’til the wee hours any night of the week at Plan B (THE cult dive bar in town) – all in one place.

You will run into friends, make new ones, get work done, while lazy hours away… it is definitely a go-to spot for Warsaw’s young crowds.

12 Travel Booking Myths Busted

There are endless travel booking myths out there that can cloud your judgement or negatively impact your travel planning. This can be frustrating when traveling in your home country, but imagine traveling internationally and running into snags because you were not properly informed. We here at Dohop want to help you understand what is true or false about travel booking for Flights, hotels and car rentals.

Flight Booking Myths

Dohop airplane

 

1. Buying a ticket at the last minute means a better deal. FALSE-ish. Many airlines have moved away from last minute booking sales. You’ll more often find flight deals or “flash sales” for flights either well in the future or within +/- three months of intended travel, depending on the destination’s high and low seasons. The usual rule of thumb for international travel however is the farther in advance you buy your tickets, the better the fare will be.

2. You can book tickets more than a year in advance. FALSE. Most airlines release their seats up to 11 months in advance only.

TIP: There is no better time than the present to book flights for the fall and your next international holiday travels. This time of year is a peak time for best pricing on flights for the fall and early 2017. See the best-priced destinations and dates, from where you are, with Dohop Go.

3. You always have the choice of booking a one-way ticket, instead of round trip. TRUE. Airlines let you book one-way tickets. But some countries will not allow travelers to visit the country if they don’t have a round trip ticket booked, or a proper visitor or work visa in place. It’s important to gather this info in advance.

4. Train travel is cheaper than air travel. FALSE. It’s a common myth that flights are more expensive than train tickets. But the truth is that air travel quite frequently is cheaper than train travel, especially since the introduction of low cost airlines like WOW air, Ryanair and easyJet.

5. You can change the name on a ticket. Somewhat FALSE. It really depends on the airline. Some will force you to buy a new ticket, while others will charge a fee to make any changes. It’s important to check an airline’s rules before buying a ticket.

6. Non-Refundable airfares are always non-Refundable. FALSE. In addition to being refundable without penalty within 24 hours of booking on most airlines, non-refundable fares are fully refundable if the flight is canceled, significantly delayed, or if the airline makes a significant schedule change before you depart. Many airlines also make special exceptions on a case by case basis for extenuating circumstances.

7. You can book bereavement fares, senior and child discounts. Mostly FALSE. Most airlines have stopped offering bereavement fares and senior discounts. Many airlines have special fares for children under 2 years old who will be sitting on a guardian’s lap. However, kids 3+ years generally have to pay full fare. It’s important to review each airline’s child travel policies and pricing and also ask for assistance in advance if needed.

Hotel Booking Myths

dohop_Hotel

8. Your electronic room key card stores all of your personal and credit card info. FALSE. It doesn’t.

9. When a hotel says all of our rooms are the same, they mean it. FALSE. Every floor of every floor has structural differences. Room sizes and layouts may vary, popularity of different views change, and yet many times these rooms are listed under the same price category– identical in the eyes of the hotel inventory system.  No one wants the bad rooms. But, what is bad for one might be ideal for another! Read guest reviews and browse photos from review sites and contact the hotel if you have specific room preferences.

10. Mid-week prices are the cheapest. Partially TRUE and partially FALSE. Unlike mid-week airfares, larger hotels in larger cities such as Berlin, Warsaw, London and Barcelona, host many business meetings and conferences during the workweek, which lessens the number of rooms available and increases pricing. Smaller hotels or those in predominantly vacation destinations may have better rates for mid-week stays.

Car Rental Myths

dohop-Car

11. Car rental companies are open 24 hours per day. FALSE. This is a common misconception and definitely worth looking into before selecting which rental car office from which to rent a car. If you’re car rental office is at a major airport, it is more likely to service customers 24 hours per day. However, smaller airports or rental offices in other non-airport locations may have restricted hours for pick-ups and drop-offs.

12. Rental cars charge full-day for an hour if you book at 23:00 Hours. FALSE. In fact, the booking timer only starts ticking from the moment your car arrives at the venue. So if you book the car at 11 PM on a Sunday, you pay three days rent only when you leave the car at 11 PM on Wednesday. Packaged rental deals, like those that have a flat rate for weekends, may have different rules, so it’s important to confirm the rental car office’s rental rules before booking.

How to do Reykjavik Iceland on a budget

How to spend time in Iceland like a local and not end up with an empty wallet?

A few tricks to get the most out of you stay in Reykjavik!

Our friends at the New Neighborhoods Festival and Chimes put together a great list of ways to do Reykjavik on the cheap.

Cheap Flights to Iceland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Fly cheap!

If you want to make your trip affordable, start by choosing a cheap flight. There are several low cost airlines flying directly from the US, UK and Europe to Reykjavik (Keflavik) and can be found on Dohop’s flight search engine. You can find return flights even for as little as approx. $250 (£77,€89, zł400) for off-season trips. 

2. Use a credit card for payments

You can spend your whole holidays without even seeing Icelandic krona! Cash in Iceland is not very customary, you can pay everywhere easily with credit card. That saves you ATM charges, etc.

kex_exterior_reykjavik

3. Hostels

Hotels are rather expensive in Iceland. Fares often start from approx. $220 (£160,€200, zł860) per night for a double room in a 3-star hotel. Try staying in one of the many charming or hipster (depending on your style preferences) hostels downtown. If you pick KEX, you might get a chance to see the next big act from Iceland as its bar hosts live music nights – from jazz Tuesdays to indie Saturdays and KEXP sessions during Iceland Airwaves.

4. Self drive

If you plan on going out of town, rent a car and drive on your own. This way you will be able to see more, travel independently and really feel Icelandic nature – stop whenever you like and change your route according to the weather (although Icelanders say wait 5 minutes for the rain to stop, check the weather in advance and adjust your daily destinations accordingly so that you make the most of your trip.

5. Night out in Reykjavik

Fancy a beer? Hanging out in a famous Kaffibarinn and sipping local Gull? Unless you know where and when to go for happy hour, be prepared to spend approx. $10 (£7,€9, zł40) for 0.5l glass! Don’t worry there is a way to make your night out affordable. If you don’t know any locals who will guide you to the nearest special deal, download Appy Hour app (Android /iOS) and save up to 50% on each drink.

6. Dining out

Icelandic cuisine might not be too impressive – don’t be fooled by weird Icelandic delicacies such as fermented shark or marinated sheep testicles, Icelandic cuisine has more to offer. For lunch, try a simple but deliciously prepared and beautifully served catch of the day (arctic char, cod, among others) for approx. $13(£10,€12, zł50). Don’t pay for soda but rather drink tap water with your meal – it’s the best and cleanest water there is. It is more healthy than your regular choice of soda and you don’t have to pay for it – how great is that!

If fish is not on top of your food choices, go to one of the best-deals-kind-of places such as Kryddlegin Hjortu on Hverfisgata where you can eat tasty dinner with 2 for 1 deal.

7. Shopping

Best souvenir to bring from Iceland? Traditional beautifully knitted sweater from Icelandic wool aka loppapeysa. Go native and buy it in one of the red cross stores were you can find them at least 50% cheaper. Or if you know how to knit – buy yourself a bag of wool of your choice, find your favourite pattern online and knit one yourself! 

Pro tip: Don’t forget to get a “tax free” receipt for any items you purchase over 6,000 ISK, so you can get a tax refund.  24% VAT is usually built into the price tag on retail items. So, you’ll want to get that back.

8. Do the pool like a local

One of the best things in Iceland are the outdoor geothermal swimming pools. If you plan to stay a couple of days in Reykjavik or you travel in a group, go for 10 entrance card instead of buying single ticket every time you go for a swim. It will help you save up to 50% on each bath.

Tips for Saving Money While on Vacation

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The Top Miami Hotel Pools

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Some great tips to pack effectively

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