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Is Iceland expensive? Your ultimate guide to prices in Iceland in 2019

posted by Liza 28th February 2016 9 Comments
Is Iceland expensive? Your ultimate guide to prices in Iceland in 2016

Last updated on January 21st, 2019

In this post, I’ll try to shed some light on the mystery of how much money is needed for a trip to Iceland in 2019. Is Iceland expensive? What are the typical prices in Iceland? What’s the optimal budget for a trip to Iceland in 2019? Well, of course, it depends on your budget and your personal preferences: while one can survive with 100£ for 3 days in Iceland, other needs, at least, 1000£. Nonetheless, let’s look at the basic prices for different activities in Iceland.

Check the price and availability of flights to Iceland now. 

In case you don’t want to calculate anything yourself, just download our brand new free iOS App, Tripsget, and it will tell you how much you will need based on your own preferences. 

The exchange rates at end of Dec 2018: £1 = 154 ISK, $1 = 122 ISK,  1 Eur = 139 ISK.  

Solo trip to Iceland: how to organize a trip to Iceland. My solo trip to Iceland in March. Gulfoss, Geysir and Golden Circle. Northern Lights, Reykjavik and Blue Lagoon

Hotel & accomodation prices in Iceland

Unlike many other countries, the main expenses in Iceland are not the accommodation expenses. Nonetheless, the accommodation prices aren’t low at all. Here are the prices for different types of accommodation In Iceland per night (on weekend, because it’s better to bring more money than less. Try to book a hotel in Iceland in advance, as the number of properties is limited and they sell out very quickly! 

-1 bed in a dorm room: $23-45 depending on the number of beds in a room and location of the hostel. Some good-rated hostels to look at: Hlemmur Square, Laekur Hostel (check the availability now)

-Budget hotel: A very cheap room for 2 people will cost you around $70-110 per night during the high season). Some good budget hotels to check out: Guesthouse Andrea, Bus Hostel (private room)

-Mid-range hotel: A room in a 3* or 4* hotel you can find for $120-300 also depending on location and room quality. I’d recommend these hotels: The Swan House, Skuggi Hotel. 

-Luxury 4*-5* hotel: If you’re in for some luxury in Iceland, then prepare to pay at least $450 for a night. There are very few luxury hotels in Reykjavik, for example, Hilton Reykjavik or Black Pearl.

Airbnb is also always an option. There you can find an apartment for 2 starting from $40. If you need a promo code (only if you haven’t booked with Airbnb before), here’s one.

one of the 30 countries you should visit before you turn 30

Airport transfers + transport costs in Iceland

There are only two options of getting to Reykjavik from the Airport.

FlyBus shuttle: One-way ticket to Reykjavik Bus station will cost you 2900 ISK (roughly $24). If you buy a return ticket to the station, you’ll save a bit ISK and pay 5400 ISK in total ($45). In case, you want the bus to bring you directly to your hotel, you’ll have to pay almost 7000 ISK for a return ticket ($56). Check the prices online: https://www.re.is/flybus/

Alternatively, you can check other bus providers and compare the prices on Expedia.

Taxi: A taxi to Reykjavik will cost you around 14000 ISK or maybe even a bit more.

Local transport: You don’t need public transport in Reykjavik. However, if you want to take a bus, there are some available. A one-way ticket would cost around 400 ISK.

Beautiful Iceland

Car rental: renting a car for a weekend in summer would cost you around $120-$170 for two days. The price depends on the season and the length of the trip (and on the car, of course). We always book with Avis (they have great new cars and good prices) – so check the availability of the car rentals and their prices in Iceland here

Food prices and costs in Iceland. Eating out in Iceland

There’s no McDonalds in Iceland so the cheapest international chain to eat is Subway. However, one sub will cost you 600 ISK and that’s the sub of the day (which doesn’t mean that it’s the one you’re going to ask for).

Another budget option would be buying food in a supermarket. For 1500 ISK, you can buy some bread, spread, cheese, ham, chocolate, water and crackers. Eating in local bistro and döners is a bit more expensive, you can buy a meal for 1200-2000 ISK (starting from $10).

If you want to go to a cafe or a restaurant, prepare to spend a bit more, around 2200-2500 ISK for a dish (meat, or fish) during the lunch and 2000-5000 ISK for dinner (just for one dish). Alternatively, you can have all-you-can-eat seafood buffet for like 6000 ISK (almost $50) in the restaurant Reykjavik.

If you want to buy a 2-course meal in Blue Lagoon, prepare to spend at least 6200 ISK per person. Food is especially expensive during excursions. If you take a golden circle tour, you’ll eventually stop in one of the cafes and one soup can cost around 1200 ISK.

Going out in Iceland: nightlife in Iceland

Iceland isn’t the best party place in the world. However, Reykjavik is home to some pretty amazing bars and pubs. However, a beer would cost around 900-1000 ISK per pint and the cocktails are starting from 1900 ISK.

Iceland: prices in Iceland

Sightseeing prices in Iceland: tour prices in Iceland

In Reykjavik, there are some great museums. The ticket prices are as following:

National Museum of Iceland: 2000 ISK 

Arbor Open Air Museum: 1650 ISK 

National Gallery of Iceland: 1500 ISK 

If you want to book some excursions, it’s always easier and cheaper to book them online. Some good tours to look at:

Northern Lights Tour – from $45 (check the availability now + it’s not available all year long).

Golden Circle Tour from $54 (check the availability now).

South of Iceland full day tour starting from $90 pp. Book now.

Of course, there are many other more expensive tours starting from 15000 ISK. You can even fly to Greenland! Also, Blue Lagoon is a must! Even though it’s a bit expensive, it’s totally worth it. An admission would cost you from 6990 ISK for the basic admission (without a towel, so don’t forget to bring your own towel). And don’t forget to book it in advance! The return transfer to Blue Lagoon is also around 3900 ISK.

Hopefully, this post was useful for you! 

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9 Comments

Danielle Des 28th March 2016 at 3:06 pm

So for a midrange budget, how much spending money do you estimate per day?

Reply
Liza 28th March 2016 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for your comment, Danielle. Hmm, for a midrange budget, I would say, you’ll need around 250-300$/day in order to live in a nice hotel, go to excursions almost every day and eat in cafes.

Reply
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Reply
Alyson 18th December 2016 at 7:39 am

Wow that’s SO expensive!! I’m sticking to Asia. Our whole family spends maybe $50 per day in most parts.

Reply
Heather 23rd August 2017 at 5:37 pm

I went to Iceland in November, and it’s SO EXPENSIVE! We had a blast and went to the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. Totally worth it if you are into music. 🙂 The flight over there from the US is very cheap. You can find tickets from $300-600 round trip! Food is incredibly expensive. I say, if you’re going plan to go in a group! It makes everything cheaper. Don’t go on excursions and pay for the tour bus, just rent a car! They will upcharge you for a GPS, so just get a local map. Iceland is small enough to get around with the map, We would plan our routes on a gps when we had WIFI, then we would trust ourselves and the map to get us everywhere, and we did just find for the 8 nights and 9 days we were there! Trust me, you’ll save so much money doing this. Splitting a rental car with 4-5 people is much cheaper then paying separately for all of your excursions and figuring out the buses to get everywhere. Also, be aware of all the Iceland travel blogs you read. So many people put false information on the internet, that we looked like idiots the first day we got there. Alcohol is also very expensive there. We brought a ton from the US, but goodness their liquor stores were a joke. Overall, we LOVED Icelands besides it being a very spendy country. You have to remember, they import so much making the cost of food and everything else there expensive! Good luck if you do travel there! 🙂

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Ashley 23rd December 2017 at 8:07 pm

Q. I seen on a video about Iceland that the entire countries religion is Christian. Could someone that is a different religion be welcomed there? I am Heathen, a Norse religion.

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