Budget travel tips to Iceland, anyone, should know before coming to Iceland
Iceland is a gorgeous country to visit; I would love to recommend it to everyone. But, in recent years, Iceland has become very popular and expensive. So, if you are one a budget, I would love to share with you some of my personal tips here following.
Attractions and activities
Iceland has so many beautiful sights to offer, within only half an hour drive, you can have a glimpse of it. It depends on how long you stay in Iceland so you can make your budget accordingly. If you are a solo traveler, taking bus tour will be your best option. Grayline and Reykjavik Excursions provide various tours departing from the city. By booking them online, you can save some extra money. Note, even though they provide the same tours sometimes, but there are always some differences in pricing, you just need to be smart to choose the cheapest one. You can just opt for bus tour companies when you need to take an excursion; it’s always your best option. Click here to find tour option.
Golden Circle famous would be probably the one that you will see on top of the list, this tour is a day trip and operated by many different companies. From private luxury tour to big bus operators. It cost 73€ at Grayline for one seat. It costs around 10,000 ISK/ hour for a private tour.
Blue Lagoon is another famous attraction in Iceland. We know it is very touristy, but once you come to Iceland, you should visit one. How to get a cheap ticket, I would recommend booking the standard package either very early in the morning between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM or sometimes later in the evening between 19:00 and 21:00. As they now use the floating price tactics, the price will go higher if there is a lot of demands. Most of the people want to do that between 10:00 AM to 18:00, so avoid these hours if you don’t want to pay more. Note, you need to bring your towels and swimming suits, don’t rent them there as they are very expensive.
If you like to experience like a local, after a long day tour, you can get a ticket to a local swimming pool. It’s approx. 950 ISK per ticket and you can sit, swim, and relax in there. Every area of Reykjavik has a swimming pool; you can ask anybody, and they point you one or click here to see it.
For those who are traveling in the winter, you probably want to see the Northern Lights/ Aurora Borealis. If you are lucky, you don’t need to spend a penny for that, because you can see them in the sky on a clear day. The best place to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik is here, it’s about 30 minutes walk from downtown Reykjavik or 7 minutes drive to a car. A taxi fare is about 3,000 ISK – 4,000 ISK from downtown Reykjavik to the lighthouse Grótta.
Accommodation and food
Staying in hotels would be very expensive during the high season, the optional ways to find a budget stay in Reykjavik is to find an Airbnb listing or a bed in a hostel. However, I would rather recommend finding a private room on Airbnb; you will have access to your private room as well as access to a kitchen if you need to cook your meal. It’s a beauty of sharing a room on Airbnb. An average room in downtown Reykjavik for a private room is around 65€/ night. You can redeem the coupon code here to get an 18€ discount to book any rooms on Airbnb.
You can then save your budget by cooking your meals and breakfast. Eating out in Reykjavik is very expensive as well, on average a dish would cost around 2500 ISK – 3500 ISK. You would need to put it into your consideration when you plan a trip to Iceland.
When you need to buy your grocery, you should avoid buying products from 10-11 convenient stores; they are the most expensive one. You should go to Bonus stores as they are the cheapest one here in Iceland. If you need to get fresh ingredients such as fresh fishes and meats, Króna or Hagkaup would be your first choice.
Airport transfers from Keflavík
Don’t take a taxi from the airport to your accommodation in Reykjavik; it would cost you around 15,000 ISK – 17,000 ISK, again you can take an airport shuttle for 2300 ISK/ person. However, it would take approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes to arrive in your place. You can book Airport Express with Grayline here.
There is a company called Car Renters, where you can rent a local car to drive. It offers much better price. Note, we only recommend doing so if you are a good driver and confident with your driving skills. If you need a new car, you can find one at Thrifty, Hertz or Sixt. I rented a car from Thrifty before; I like the service there. It’s quick and easy to get one. The price is also reasonable.
If you are older than 20 years old, you can buy wines and beers from a liquor store. It’s cheaper to buy them there rather than get them from a car. Also, if you like drinking alcohol, you can just buy them at the duty-free shop when you landed at Keflavík airport. The price there is much better than in a regular liquor store.
I hope this article would somehow help you to determine your budget to Iceland. If you find it still missing anything, please don’t hesitate to comment at the bottom of the post, I will do my best to update it accordingly. Keep calm and visit Iceland.