How much things cost in Iceland
Although Iceland has a reputation for being an expensive country to visit, you can expect to pay only a little more than prices in London. We’ve created the following guide to give you an indication of what you can expect to pay for typical items as well as tips for maximising your budget.
Is Iceland expensive?
Iceland is not a budget destination, but our Travel Specialists will work with you to design an authentic experience that suits your budget as well as your timescale and interests. With 35 years’ experience creating holidays to Iceland, we’ll use our first-hand knowledge, longstanding local partnerships and bulk buying power to negotiate special prices for many aspects of your holiday – without compromising our high standards of quality. You can also save money by travelling outside summer – May and September are beautiful months in Iceland, while our free iDiscover digital travel guide for self-drive clients is full of ideas for things to do and places to visit that don’t cost a thing. Don’t forget that many of Iceland’s biggest attractions – from mighty waterfalls to mesmerising seascapes – are completely free!
How much things cost in Iceland at a glance
|Item||ISK (average)||Price in GBP (approx)|
|Bottle of water||245||£1.80|
|Three course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant (excluding wine)||11,000||£81|
|Bottle of house wine||4,500||£35|
|Beer (half litre)||1,150||£8.50|
|Reykjavik City Card||3,500||£26|
You can purchase alcohol duty free as you arrive at Keflavik airport, so you might prefer to stock up there. Depending on what you buy, airport prices are up to 50% lower than in Reykjavík retail stores.
If you’re on a self-catering trip, or wish to pick up some essentials for picnics while on self-drive holidays, you’ll find the greatest concentration of supermarkets around Reykjavik. Brands to look out for include Bónus (if you’re on a budget) and Víðir (good quality and healthy options) and Hagkaup (hypermarket). Out in the countryside Samkaup stores, either Samkaup Úrval or Samkaup Strax, are more common. You’ll also be able to pick up fast food and snacks at many petrol stations
As a tourist you can claim back the value-added tax (VAT) on certain goods over the value of ISK 6,000. As long as the total amount spent on one receipt is greater than this (including VAT), you can claim back the tax on everything, even if some items cost less than ISK 6,000 individually. Make sure you get a tax receipt when you make your purchase. Claims can be processed at the refund desk of the tourist information centre in Reykjavik or in departures at Keflavik.
The major appeal of Iceland is its abundance of natural wonders, many of which are easily accessible and essentially free! Of course you have to factor in transport be that self-drive, guided small group tours or day excursions, of which there is a wealth of options. In and around the capital, the Reykjavík City Card offers free entry to a great selection of museums and galleries, all swimming pools in Reykjavík and free unlimited travel by bus within the Reykjavik Capital Area. In addition, the card also gives you a free ferry trip to Viðey island and discounts on various tours, in shops and on services. It’s available for 24/48/72 hours, with prices starting from ISK 3,500/1,300 (adult/child) £25/£10.
*Please note: many Icelanders may not be familiar with what is suitable for vegetarians and vegans – if you have any concerns about your dietary requirements, our Iceland Specialists will be happy to advise you.
Please note the amounts quoted here are averages and are updated periodically. Data are taken from numbeo.com
See other Frequently Asked Questions about travelling to Iceland.