If you are ever on the hunt for eccentric Reykjavík oddballs, and you would preferably want to find many of them in one place, Kolaportið Flea Market on a Saturday afternoon is probably your best bet. You will also find families looking to pass some time, old ladies in fur coats, hipsters looking for second hand clothing, immigrants visiting stalls in the food court that cater to their respective cuisines and tourists looking at all the others going about their business. It’s a great place and well worth the visit.
Kolaportið is an indoor Flea Market that is open during the weekend between 11:00 and 17:00 and occasionally on public holidays. It’s down by the Bæjarins Beztu hot dog stand and next to the Reykjavík Art Museum. It’s not flashy or particularly noteworthy from the outside so just follow the stream of people if you are not sure where to go in.
You can basically divide the market into three main sections: The stalls that are always there and sell both new and old things, the food court where you can buy Icelandic delicacies such as fermented shark and then everyone else who just did a spring cleaning in their storage room and rented a stall to get rid of their junk. A lot of the stuff you will find there is indeed just junk but one man’s junk is another’s treasure.
The family and I visit Kolaportið often and we usually buy something when we’re there. We buy dried fish and flatkökur at the food court and some shark for the princess. Then we’ll stop by at one of the book stalls and let the princess chose a book or a Donald Duck comic and finally we make the mandatory stop at the candy outlet and buy a chocolate/licorice combination in some form, which we eat on the way out. It’s a bit of a ritual.
What I love most about Kolaportið is the fact that to me it’s so essentially Icelandic somehow. You get people from all walks of life buying and selling stuff and everyone is there just looking for a great deal. It’s charming in an unpretentious and a little bit weird sort of way.
So if you are looking for something to do on a lazy weekend afternoon, Kolaportið is the place to be.