Iceland is a notoriously expensive country to visit.
Due to the higher wages and therefore higher living costs, the prices of food, activities and accommodation can be quite a shock to travellers arriving in the Scandinavian country.
Recently my boyfriend Dan and I travelled to Iceland (If you haven’t seen all my videos and blog posts about that trip, you can find them here) and luckily we prepared ourselves beforehand for the financial heart attack that Iceland would be to our bank accounts.
We took some measures to lower the cost of our trip, which I thought I would share with you to help you save money if you plan to head to Iceland too.
- Book an AirBnB. We found this such a great choice for us because it meant we had our own space to hang out in at night, rather than being in a hotel or hostel and feeling like we needed to get out and go to a bar by night (and therefore saving money). It also meant we had our own kitchen, which helped SO much with tip number two which is to….
- Prepare your own meals rather than eating out. We went to a supermarket and bought groceries (side note: avoid 10-11, they’re very expensive, opt for somewhere like Bonus or Netto inside) and then made our breakfast and dinners at home, and prepared packed lunches to take with us during our adventures through the day. We did treat ourselves to a few snacks and one (cheaper option) meal out, but cooking most of our food at home saved us a lot of money. Be warned, the groceries will be more expensive than they will be at home, but groceries will still be cheaper than eating every meal out.
- Purchase alcohol at Duty Free. We bought a bottle of vodka at the Duty Free at Bristol Airport after we checked in, and spent most of our evenings in Iceland enjoying some drinks at our AirBnB together, listening to music and playing cards. So much cheaper than going out drinking at a bar every night and paying high prices for drinks.
- Make use of Happy Hour. Just because we drank at home for the majority of the time, that doesn’t mean we didn’t go to a couple of bars whilst in Iceland (Spoiler: We did). We just researched when the Happy Hours were. Most, if not all, bars and cafes in Iceland seem to have a Happy Hour where they offer cheaper drinks or drink deals. By choosing to go to a bar when they were in the middle of their Happy Hour we saved money on drinks! Also, I’m not sure why they call it Happy Hour when it lasts four to six hours, as was the theme in Reykjavik, but I’m certainly not complaining.
- Walk everywhere. Reykjavik isn’t that big – you can walk east to west across the main section of the city, where the attractions are, in half an hour. For some that might seem like too much, but if you are fit and are up for it, this will save you money on bus fares!
Bonus Tip: Hire a car (This one is a bonus because we didn’t actually do it ourselves, but plan to next time). Hiring a car can be a good option for those who want to head out of Reykjavik to visit attractions like the famed waterfalls and black sand beaches. If you don’t rent a car your only other real option is to book day tours which take you to these attractions (Which we did, and we did enjoy them!). If you’re willing to get behind the wheel in another country, this is a great option which will save you money on tours, because the attractions themselves are free to visit – of course excluding the Blue Lagoon, you’ll have to pay entry there. Next time Dan and I visit Iceland we plan on hiring a campervan and driving the loop around Iceland, saving money on both accommodation and day tours to natural sights.