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What to Pack for a Winter Trip in Iceland?

So, you’ve finally said yes to that trip to Iceland you and your family have been planning for a long time now. You might ask yourself why you agreed to such a thing – but we all know that Iceland is a white jewel, capable of offering you sights that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.

Before you get all excited and jump on the plane, you should keep in mind that the environment on Iceland is harsh and that it requires proper packing. You can’t just get on the road in a pair of shorts – even if they’re your favorite.

Therefore, today we’ll tell you what you should pack for a winter trip to Iceland – get ready to wear some thicker clothes while you are there, but don’t leave your swimsuit aside – you’ll see why. So, let’s get it started!

Clothing and Shoes

Upper Body

As you will probably be facing a lot of Iceland’s cold weather, it is recommended that you get more than just one long sleeve tee. Moreover, you should consider some thermal tops if you don’t want to catch a cold. The tees and tops should be worn as a base layer, over which you’ll have a wool sweater or a flannel shirt.

Lower Body

When it comes to pants, you definitely want to avoid jeans – you’ll freeze in them. You should get a pair of snow pants, especially if you plan on being outdoors most of the time. For the times when you’ll be chilling in the town, you can get a lighter pair of paints, but they should be waterproof as well.


Naturally, you’ll want to bring some undergarments with you. Choose a pair, or more, of fleece-lined leggings, pair them with knit socks, and you’ll never have any cold-related problems.

Shoes/ Boots

In terms of shoes, you should come prepared for sightseeing, but for long walks in nature as well. For sightseeing, you can pack your usual shoes, but make sure they are capable of keeping you warm. If you want to face nature, it is recommended that you take a pair of sturdy, waterproof boots that will be able to keep your toes away from the cold.

Swimsuit and Sunglasses

Yes, you read that right? Don’t panic – Iceland is not going to be all about freezing cold and blizzards. People here love warm pools, as they can be found in almost every city. So, be sure to pack up your favorite swimsuit if you don’t want to miss any of the natural hot springs you’ll find here.

Moreover, you should get a pair of sunglasses – the wind may bite, but the sun is still shining brightly in Iceland.

Outer Layers

A winter coat or a parka can become your best friend while you are in Iceland. This item should be waterproof and be equipped with a hood as well. Of course, your head is not the only part of your body that must be covered – your winter coat of choice should cover as much of you as possible.

Storms and rain showers are quite common in Iceland. Therefore, you might want to sneak a rain jacket in your luggage, just to be sure. Now, when it comes to hats and gloves, you have to make sure they are windproof, as you really don’t want your fingers or your ears freezing out there, right?

We recommend a fleece-lined beanie, maybe even a trapper hat if you want to be as warm as possible. For gloves, you want to have the warmest that you can find – but if you think you are not going to make it without checking your phone or taking pictures with it, you should look for a pair that’s equipped with touchscreen pads.

You’ll also want to bring a scarf, but not your usual winter scarf. Leave your favorite at home and pack one made out of wool – you do have to protect yourself from Iceland’s powerful winds.


If you want to go for a hike and eventually stay outside for an extended period of time, you might want to get yourself some toe and hand warmers. Don’t worry, you won’t have to spend a lot on them – most of those you can find out there are pretty cheap and can actually warm you up.

These usually last more than only a couple of hours, therefore providing your toes and hands with the warmth they need and for as long as they need it.


Do we really have to recommend taking your smartphone with you? That’s kind of pointless; it’s going to always be in your pockets. But – there are some other gadgets you shouldn’t forget taking with you.

For example, you definitely want to bring an external battery with you. It’s a common fact that smartphones discharge faster in cold weather – and Iceland isn’t going to step back just because you need those battery levels high.

Furthermore, you should try and keep your smartphone in one of the warmer pockets of your winter coat, as this will preserve its battery better.

Now, if you are from the USA or the UK, you have to go to the store and get some travel adaptor plugs. Iceland has two pin plugs, which are just part of the European style, so don’t blame the country. You could also get a power strip, especially if you’re traveling with your family, as the rooms you’ll stay in might run out of sockets if every one of you wants to charge their phone at the same time.

A Reusable Water Bottle

If you are traveling on a budget and want to keep your expenses to a minimum, then you should have a reusable water bottle with you. The tap water in Iceland is safe to drink, so you can refill your container in water fountains or sinks – there are no potential dangers.

These are the essential things you should have packed before landing in Iceland. If you have these, you will clearly be ready for anything that this country has in store for you!

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