Are you planning a trip to Iceland but not sure how much money you’ll need? Don’t worry, in this guide we will provide you with detailed information about costs and prices in Iceland so you can plan your budget properly.

From flights to accommodation, transportation, food, and activities, we’ll cover everything in one article so you have a clearer idea of the cost of a trip to Iceland.

Why is Iceland so expensive?

Let’s start by addressing the issue by accepting the fact that Iceland is indeed an expensive country. Iceland is a tourist destination that has become increasingly popular in recent years, so many are beginning to realize the cost of living in the country.

Despite this, the question most travelers ask when calculating the price of a trip to Iceland remains: why is Iceland so expensive? Before diving into the details of the costs, it’s important to understand why Iceland is considered an expensive destination.

Next, we will delve into the economic factors that contribute to the high prices in Iceland.

Cost of living in Iceland

Brief overview of the Icelandic economy

Iceland is a small and isolated island in the north of the Atlantic with an economy based on fishing, tourism, geothermal energy, and aluminum production.

Additionally, it is a country rich in natural resources and has a population of around 350,000 inhabitants. Since 1991, Iceland has experienced a high level of economic growth, making it one of the most prosperous countries in the world.

Factors contributing to high prices

Geographical Location

One of the main factors that make Iceland expensive is its geographical location. It is located at the northern end of the Atlantic, isolated from other countries, so it largely depends on importing goods. Taxes and tariffs end up influencing the prices of imported goods.

Moreover, limited infrastructure and scarce competition in certain industries make prices inherently higher than in other countries. All this inevitably impacts the price of a trip to Iceland for any type of traveler.

Price of a trip to Iceland

High quality of life

Iceland is a country with a high quality of life. The average Icelandic salary and cost of living are substantially higher than in other countries. This in turn increases the cost of goods and services. The Icelandic government offers a wide range of services and benefits to its citizens, which contributes to the overall cost of living in the country.


Tourism is an important industry in Iceland and contributes significantly to its economy. However, as the popularity of Iceland as a tourist destination has increased, so have the prices.

The demand for accommodation, food, and tourist activities has led to an increase in prices, as the demand often exceeds the supply. Additionally, due to the island’s climate, many tourism businesses have a relatively short season, which means they must charge higher prices to compensate for the fixed costs of the rest of the year.

How much does it cost to travel to Iceland?

Traveling to Iceland can be expensive, but if you plan well, you can do it without breaking the bank. Now, let’s analyze the different aspects and costs to include in the price of a trip to Iceland:

Price of flights to Iceland

The cost of flights to Iceland varies depending on the time of year, the city of origin, and the airline. In general, flights from Europe are more economical than flights from North America.

Airlines such as Play Airlines and Icelandair offer direct flights to Iceland from various European and North American destinations. Play in this case is an airline that offers “low-cost” or budget travel, however, we always recommend checking with different airlines, as you can find very interesting specific promotions that allow you to get a cheap flight to Iceland.

cost of flights to Iceland

The flight is probably one of the costs that most contribute to raising the price of a trip to Iceland, so take your time to find the best price/quality ratio among the airlines. To find the most affordable prices, it is always advisable to book flights in advance and compare different offers.

You can also use online flight search tools to compare prices such as Google Flights or Skyscanner. Here we leave you an average price for flights departing from Madrid and Barcelona:

Low (low season)
Medium (medium season)High (high season)
Hotels50-100 €100-200 €200-400 €
Hostels20-50 €50-100 €100-150 €
Apartmentss70-150 €150-300 €300-500 €
SeasonNovember - MarchApril - May - September OctoberJune - August

Keep in mind that prices are approximate and may be subject to changes according to the season. In high season (June, July, and August) the ticket price can double this amount.

Price of accommodation in Iceland

Accommodation in Iceland is possibly the other major expense to add to the price of a trip to Iceland. Prices can be really high, especially in the most popular tourist areas such as Reykjavik, the country’s capital.

As with everything, the price range will also depend on the type of accommodation and its services. High-end hotels can cost more than 200 euros per night, while hostels and campsites can be the most economical options. You can also consider staying in rental apartments or guest houses, which can be more affordable and offer more space and privacy.

Cost of accommodation in Iceland

What happens is that this type of accommodation is usually available in Reykjavik or in other major cities in Iceland. Outside of these places, it is difficult to find this option and you will depend more on hotels, hostels, and campsites.

To save money on accommodation, it is advisable to book in advance and look for more economical options. There is a wide variety of accommodations and hotels in Iceland, and this also opens a range of prices. You can also consider staying in less touristy areas or away from the city, where prices tend to be lower.

These are the average prices per night:

Low (low season)Medium (medium season)High (high season)
Transport10-20 euros/day20-30 euros/day 30-40 euros/day
Taxis2-3 euros/kilometre3-4 euros/kilometre4-5 euros/kilometre
SeasonNovember - MarchApril - May, September - OctoberJune - August


Price of transportation in Iceland

Due to the country’s location, climate, and infrastructure, Iceland does not have a strong transport network. Therefore, the cost of transportation usually represents one of the largest parts of the price of a trip to Iceland. Trains do not exist on the island and public transport is usually limited to the most populated areas.

That is why at Islandia24 we usually recommend the option of renting a car in Iceland, a camper, or a motorhome if you really want to have control of your time and make the most of your visit to Iceland.

Car rental price in Iceland

Price of car rental in Iceland

The prices of car rentals vary according to the season, the type of car, and the duration of the rental. If you are in cities like Reykjavik or Akureyri, of course, you can opt to use public transport, such as buses and taxis, although the latter are usually not economical options.

If you plan to rent a car, it is advisable to look for offers and promotions online and compare prices between different car rental companies.

Low (low season)High (high season)
Reykjavik Cars30-50€ day55-80€ day
Cars Iceland40-60€ day60-106€ day
Islandia Car30-50€ day55-80€ day
Holdur45-65€ day80-120€ day
Reykjavik Auto45-60€ day70-110€ day


These prices are averages, remember that they can vary according to the model and the extras you add to your reservation. The most economical vehicles are usually compact and manual cars. Automatic or 4×4 cars have a higher cost, thus increasing the average price of a trip to Iceland.

It is important to keep this in mind, as the choice of vehicle will depend on the itinerary you create. Some mountain roads require a 4×4 car by law.

Price of renting campers or motorhomes in Iceland

In the case of motorhomes, the situation is much more advantageous. This type of vehicle, combining accommodation with transport, greatly helps to reduce the price of a trip to Iceland.

If you are traveling in a group or family, renting a motorhome in Iceland is an option to consider if you really want to keep major expenses at bay. We leave you a comparative table between the main motorhome rental companies in Iceland:

Low (low season)High (high season)
Campervan Iceland80-120€150-250€
Campervan Reykjavík70-150€140-270€
Go Campers100-150€200-300€
Camper Rental Iceland90-140€180-280€
Happy Campers120-170€230-330€


Price of other means of transport

In the larger cities of Iceland, such as Reykjavik, it is possible to use public transport or taxi services to get around. Interestingly, there are transport options in Reykjavik that can also be interesting, such as the bicycle. It can be advantageous if your trip is focused on the capital, of course.

Reykjavik has a system of urban buses that covers most areas of the city and its surroundings. The buses are comfortable and reliable, and individual tickets or daily passes can be purchased to save money.

Low (low season)Medium (medium season)High (high season)
Visit to a glacier50-100 euros100-150 euros150-200 euros
Whale watching boat excursion50-100 euros100-150 euros150-200 euros
Entrance to a geothermal pool.10-15 euros15-20 euros20-30 euros
Visit to an ice cave.100-150 euros150-200 euros200-300 euros
TemporadaNovember - MarchApril - May, September - OctoberJune - August


Price of gasoline in Iceland

The cost of gasoline and diesel in Iceland can be an important factor to consider when traveling by motorhome, camper, or car. The prices vary according to the company and the region, but here we present you an approximate average of the current prices:

  • Gasoline: around 289-316 ISK per liter. (1.93-2.11€)
  • Diesel: around 292-313 ISK per liter. (1.95-2.09€)

Here is a link for you to see the updated gasoline prices in Iceland daily.

Gasoline price in Iceland

It is important to keep in mind that prices can fluctuate due to factors such as location and season. Additionally, it is advisable to calculate your fuel consumption and take these prices into account when planning the price of a trip to Iceland.

To give you an idea, The Icelandic Ring Road (Iceland’s main road) is 1332 km, let’s add some more for possible detours and extra visits:

  • Vehicle: Toyota Aygo
  • Distance: 1600 km
  • Fuel consumption: 4.8 l/100km
  • Average price: 2.2€/L
  • Total price: 168.96€ rounded to 200€

The reason for rounding up is because driving style also greatly affects the car’s fuel consumption, even when in this case we have chosen a type of vehicle with quite contained consumption.

Price of food in Iceland

Food in Iceland can be expensive (surprise), especially if you eat in restaurants. Prices can range from 20 to 50 euros per meal in a mid-range restaurant. There are also fast food options such as burger joints and pizzerias that can be more affordable.

If you prefer more economical options, a trick to reduce the price of a trip to Iceland is to rely on Icelandic supermarkets and prepare some of your meals yourself. It’s a great option for those traveling in a camper, motorhome, or staying in tourist apartments with a kitchen.

Price of Icelandic supermarkets

Here is a list of approximate prices for different types of food in Iceland:

Price of fast food (burgers, fries, etc.)

  • Fast food menu at an establishment: 1,500-2,500 ISK (10-17 EUR)
  • Individual burger: 800-1,500 ISK (5-10 EUR)
  • Small fries: 500-800 ISK (3-5 EUR)

Price of food in mid-range restaurants

  • Lunch or dinner menu of the day: 3,500-6,000 ISK (23-40 EUR)
  • Main courses à la carte: 3,000-6,000 ISK (20-40 EUR)
  • Food in luxury restaurants:

Price of food in a high-end restaurant

  • Multi-course dinner in a high-end restaurant: 12,000-25,000 ISK (80-165 EUR)
  • Tasting menu: 15,000-30,000 ISK (100-200 EUR)

Price of food in cafés and bakeries

  • Coffee and cake: 1,200-2,500 ISK (8-17 EUR)
  • Sandwich or sandwich: 1,500-3,000 ISK (10-20 EUR)

Price of supermarkets in Iceland

  • Bread: 300-600 ISK (2-4 EUR)
  • Milk (1 liter): 180-250 ISK (1-2 EUR)
  • Cheese (200 grams): 600-1,000 ISK (4-7 EUR)
  • Meat (500 grams): 1,500-3,000 ISK (10-20 EUR)

Food price in Iceland

Price of activities in Iceland

There are many exciting activities to do in Iceland, such as visiting glaciers, hiking, relaxing in the famous Icelandic thermal baths, and exploring ice caves.

Now, keep in mind that guided tours can be quite expensive, which will increase the average price of a trip to Iceland. Prices obviously vary according to the type of activity and duration.

If you are looking to save money and lower the total price of a trip to Iceland, you can opt to explore certain areas on your own (whenever possible and allowed) or find more affordable options. Organized tours are not always necessary in Iceland.

Low (low season)Medium (medium season)High (high season)
Flights300-500 euros500-600 euros 600-700 euros
Accomodation500-1000 euros1000-2000 euros1500-2500 euros
Transport300-500 euros500-800 euros800-1200 euros
200-400 euros200-450 euros500-600 euros
Activities500-1000 euros 1000-1500 euros1500-2000 euros
Total1800-3400 euros3200-5450 euros
4900- 7000 euros

Price of activities in Iceland

Summary of the price of a 10-day trip to Iceland for two people

Now that we have covered and detailed the main expenses involved in a trip to Iceland, here is a summary of prices for a 10-day trip to Iceland for two people.

The price range is quite wide because obviously prices vary according to each person’s choices. There are people who prefer to opt for low-cost accommodation but sign up for a thousand excursions, while others prefer a good hotel combined with a route on their own.

Even so, this should give you an idea of what the price of a trip to Iceland could be, both on the low and high end.

Iceland travel budget

We hope that with all this information, it will be much easier for you to create a travel budget for Iceland. In conclusion, traveling to Iceland can be an incredible experience, but it is important to consider the costs involved to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Fortunately, there are several ways to save during your trip to Iceland. You can choose to visit in the off-season, look for flight and accommodation deals, cook your own meals in a motorhome, and take advantage of free or low-cost attractions such as hiking and natural thermal baths.

With a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy Iceland without having to mortgage yourself. Happy and economical trip to Iceland!