Iceland is a Scandinavian country, and as such, things can get costly. But just how expensive is Iceland? To give you an idea, Iceland ranked as the world’s third most expensive country after Switzerland and Bermuda. This puts it ahead of other notoriously pricey countries like Norway and Denmark. Granted, these lists and rankings are related to cost of living. But the prices that locals pay have a direct effect on everything you buy during your trip from hotel accommodation to a nice meal at a restaurant to a cup of coffee at your local café or bakery even a loaf of bread at Bónus discount supermarket. Let’s look at how much everyday items and the travel staples cost when visiting Iceland. If you think New York or London are expensive, get ready for Reykjavik. Don’t worry; we’ve also got some tips and tricks for saving money in Iceland.
How expensive is Reykjavik?
If you’re looking to get a baseline of how much things cost in Reykjavik let’s look at some everyday items as well as basics for travelers.
One of the things that will cost you the most money while traveling in Iceland is food. If you choose to forgo making your own meals, be prepared to cough up some serious bucks. Even at the least expensive establishments, burgers, small pizzas, and even sandwiches will cost around $15-22 (13-19€). Larger, more traditional meals like roasted lamb or chicken plus a side and a salad will run you $25-40 minimum. (22-35€). Reykjavik has quite a few fine dining options, so be prepared to pay even more if you eat at one of them. Dill restaurant Michelin star and features five-course and seven-course meals with or without wine pairings.
Soda, coffee, tea, and bottled water cost around $3-5 (2-4€) at restaurants. Alcohol in Iceland is extremely expensive. The high taxes make consuming adult beverages quite costly. Just to get a beer it’s $10 (8,80€). During happy hour, it’s a little more than half this. The cost of wine is even steeper at $12 (10,50€) a glass. You can save a little bit of money by stocking up on wine at the store and getting a bottle for $20 (17,62€). If you want to order a bottle of wine at a restaurant, you’ll be forking over at least $30 (26€). Shots of hard liquor are around $8 (7€).
Traveling in Iceland and staying at an establishment overnight will definitely cost you. During high season, a hotel in downtown Reykjavik is around $140-480 (123-423€) per night. A hostel during the same season in the same area is about $35-85 (30-75€) per night. Lastly, if you prefer guesthouses and Airbnb, these types of accommodation will set you back $114-185 (95-149€) per night.
How Can I Save Money in Iceland?
There are lots of different ways to save money while traveling in Iceland. We’ve already mentioned some ways above, such as cooking your own food or taking advantage of happy hour at bars. Another way to save money is Iceland is to rent a campervan rather than renting a car and staying in hotels. You already have to rent a vehicle anyway so why not combine it with your accommodation and have a moving house on wheels. Plus, if you have an RV with a mini kitchen or at least a hot plate, you can bring your own coffee and tea and save money that way. You can also take advantage of Iceland’s love of hot dogs. They’re cheap, delicious, and located all over the country.
Another money-saving trick is to do free activities. While the more well-known attractions have an entrance fee, there are many that do not. For example, instead of paying to go to the Blue Lagoon you can look up some of the hundreds of other hot pots and swimming pools in Iceland on hotpoticeland.com that are free or low cost. There are also tons of museums and other exhibitions that do not charge for entry. You’re paying more for everything, from groceries to transportation to gas for your car, so why not look for little ways to save? Cutting small corners here and there adds up to big savings in the end.
Is Iceland Really Expensive?
It is really expensive in Iceland, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely unaffordable. There are lots of ways to save money. Be on the lookout for flight deals and other discounts. Traveling during the off-season is another great way to see Iceland without breaking the bank. Don’t let budget constraints stop you from coming here and having the adventure of a lifetime.
© All rights reserved