Iceland
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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!

east iceland papey boat trip puffin

How much things cost in Iceland at a glance

Item ISK (average) Price in GBP (approx)
Cappuccino 520 £3.85
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
Petrol/gasoline 210/litre £1.55/litre
Reykjavik City Card 3,500 £26
eldhusid restaurant iceland east fjords

Tips for maximising your budget while travelling in Iceland

  • Take advantage of lunchtime specials at restaurants
  • Buy alcohol in duty free
  • Remember to claim the tax back on souvenir purchases over ISK 6000
  • Change most of your money when you get to Iceland (we’ve found you usually get a slightly better exchange rate either changing money or withdrawing cash at Keflavik)
  • Credit and debit cards are widely accepted
kol bar bistro restaurant iceland east fjords

Eating out in Iceland - what to expect

  • Outside the main towns, restaurants are generally only found in hotels.
  • Reykjavik has a wide range of restaurants with typical Icelandic cuisine, gourmet dining and world famous hotdogs!
  • Fish dishes are usually cheaper than meat*.
  • Restaurants often promote lunchtime special menus which are excellent value (around £20-30pp for a soup and fish of the day)
  • A 2-3 course dinner (without wine) will set you back around £30-50 (fish) £40-60 (meat) per person.
  • Breakfast will usually be included within the cost of your accommodation.
Duty free alcohol

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.

Supermarkets in Iceland

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

Buying souvenirs and claiming VAT back

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.

Iceland Sightseeing

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.

iceland reykjavik hallgrimskirkja winter istk

*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.

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