Iceland is quickly becoming “the” travel destination and one can see why! While tickets and layovers come cheap the country does not. It is the most expensive country in Europe and you will understand why when you visit. The land of Fire and Ice never lets down! Especially when it comes to the cost of things because here alcohol is ranks among some the most expensive places in the world to consume it. While it is expensive do not let that preclude you from visiting this amazing country! The land of vikings will consume your imagination and mesmerize you with it wonders!
Hostels- Downtown is small so there are only a handful of hostels in the area but well worth staying downtown, especially when the weather blows in. For a dorm bed expect to pay between $27-$65 USD and for Privates expect to pay $68-$100 and up.
Hotels- If you are looking to stay in downtown Reykjavik most of the hotels will cost between $140-$300 per night.
Guesthouses- There are a handful of guesthouses and more popping up everyday. Expect to pay around $70-$80 USD per night.
Rental Car- This is a popular option for people looking to get out of the city and drive the ring road. Expect to pay $70-$100 per day for a small car and for a SUV expect to pay around $100 per day or more.
Airport Shuttle to Reykjavik- There are several bus operators that will provide one way and round trip tickets to downtown where they will drop you off at your hotel/hostel. Expect to pay around 3000ISK ($25 USD) for a one way ticket and 5000ISK ($50 USD) for a round trip ticket.
Taxi- All taxis have official mileage meters and taxi fares are charged at standard rates. Some taxi companies offer special prices on transport to and from Keflavik Airport, which is just an hour’s drive from Reykjavík city centre. Expect to pay around 632ISK ($5.50 USD) to jump in PLUS around 271ISK ($2.35 USD) per kilometer.
Public transportation- There are public buses that run in and around the capital area (Click here for the bus route map).They also run buses across the country to other areas. Check out the website for more information. Expect to pay 8000ISK ($70 USD) for 20 tickets.
Food & Drink
Food- Iceland is not exactly known for its culinary scene but you can find some interesting eats. The price of food in the capital city is pricey but you can find some budget options.
Breakfast at hostels is usually included but if you are finding yourself buying some expect to pay between $5-$8 for a budget breakfast.
Lunch can be super cheap for a few dollars by making your own sandwiches or by eating a hot dog that’s around $4. Expect to pay around $10-$20 at sit down restaurant.
Dinner you can get a decent dinner outside the touristy parts of town for around $18 but if you are eating in downtown expect to pay $25+ at a nice sit down restaurant.
Drink- Alcohol in the Iceland is among the most expensive in the world due to the high taxes implemented on it. A great way to save money on drinking here is to buy it at the duty free store at the airport upon arrival. If you decide to go out drinking in Reykjavik’s bustling nightlife expect to pay around $8 for a pint of beer but if you pick it up at a grocery store you can save some money and expect to pay around $3-$5 for a beer. You can expect to pay around $3-$4 for coffee for a bottle of wine at a grocery store expect to pay around $16-$20.
Things to See & Do
Blue Lagoon- As one of the 25 wanders of the world this geothermal heated pool is one of the top sites in all the country. Many sight seeing tours provide transportation to and from the site. This is a man made geothermal pool that is heated by the local power plant. €40 and up for Adults.
Harpa Concert Hall- Located on the harbor next to downtown this modern honeycomb glass concert hall is home to national symphony & opera. It has won numerous awards since its opening in 2011 and is visited by more 7 million people every year. FREE to walk around.
Hallgrimskirkja- This cathedral was built in 1986 and has a 76-meter tower that overlooks all downtown. It has panoramic views of the whole area and is an active church so be sure act appropriately. 900ISK ($7.85) for Adults.
Icelandic Phallological Museum of Penises- This museum literally full of what it sounds like. It is quite unique and more interesting than one might think! It houses more than 200 penises of animals across Iceland. 1500ISK ($13) for Adults.
Solfario(Sun Voyager)- This iconic massive iconic sculpture of a boat sits on top of a slab of granite on sea front. It was created by Jón Gunnar Árnason in 1990 and it boasts amazing photo opportunities during the golden hours. FREE
The Settlement Exhibition- This interactive settlement exhibition is unique and houses remnants of some of the oldest artifacts found in Iceland. Its mission is to preserve Icelandic culture and history while sharing this with visitors. 1400ISK ($12) for Adults.
Free Walking Tour- A guided tour around the city of Reykjavik that meets in the center of town at Lækjartorg Square. This is a walking tour that delves into the history and culture while seeing its iconic sights. Be sure to bring a good camera! Tip the guide.
Northern Lights- Iceland is known as one of the top destinations in the world to view the northern lights. In order to see them be sure to leave the city and get out into the countryside to view them. There are plenty of tour operators that will bus you out to see them. Reykjavik Excursions is a great tour operator. Also be sure to bring a tripod and quality camera to capture a good photo of the northern lights. 6400ISK ($55 USD) per adult.
Day excursion to the South Shore- This tour showcases the scenic southern shore of Iceland and its wonders. You will hit the highlights such as black sand beach, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skógafoss waterfall, the coastal town of Vik and see the Skogar folk museum, and stop by the second largest glacier in the country. Reykjavik Excursions is a good option for this trip. 13900ISK ($129 USD) per adult, 6950ISK ($60 USD) teenagers aged 12-15, FREE for kids under 11.
Day excursion to the Golden Circle- One of Iceland’s most popular tours. This scenic tour visits the geysir geothermal area where the Strokkur geyser shoots a column of water amost 100 feet into the air, the Gullfoss waterfall (created by the river Hvítá, which tumbles and plunges into a crevice some over 100 feet deep), Thingvellir National Park (where tectonic plates are pulling apart!) and a visit to the Friðheimar greenhouse cultivation centre where you will learn about growing vegetables using geothermal heat. A good option for this trip is Reykjavik Excursions again. They are a top notch company and each seat has usb charging plugs with Wifi. 10500ISK ($91.50 USD) per Adult, 5250ISK ($45 USD) teenagers 12-15 and FREE for children under 11.
If you have a short layover or only a few days to see Iceland be sure to check out my blog post on my trip there 3 days in Iceland: Guide on what to do.
If you need some gear for your trips be sure to check out my travel gear post! It is full of gear that I personally use on all of my trips!
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