7 Tips for Visiting Iceland on a Budget

Fully licensed travel agency & tour operator
November 30, 2016
Birta Bjornsdottir

Iceland has the fifth highest cost of living in the world, but that should not have to stop you from seeing all of the beautiful sights of Iceland and partaking in the fun activities Iceland has to offer. It is definitely possible to visit Iceland without having to break the bank. All you have to do is to plan ahead. Here are seven tips for visiting Iceland on a budget!

1. Find Cheap Flights

The most common way to travel to Iceland is by plane. Every year there are more and more airlines that fly to Iceland, and many of the airlines offer great deals on flights. You just have to do your research! Here is a list of airlines that fly to Iceland.

Inside a blue ice cave

2. Visit during the Off-Season

It is cheapest to visit Iceland outside of the summer months, that is, between September and April. Most tourists visit Iceland during the summer and a lot of restaurants and other places raise their prices during the summer months. If you visit Iceland in the wintertime, you will get more for your money, and you might see some northern lights as well!

Famous northern lights and the ice

3. Find Affordable Accommodations

What really raises the costs for travelers in Iceland is accommodations. Hotel rooms can be quite expensive, especially if compared to other European countries. We suggest that you try out some hostels, couch surfing, or even camping! If that is not your thing, you should be able to find more affordable hotels by looking outside of the downtown Reykjavik area.

Camping under the northern lights

4. Go Grocery Shopping

Another big expense in Iceland is food. If you are staying in a hostel or a place where you have access to a kitchen, we recommend that you buy food from a local grocery store ad cook your meals yourself. There is a big difference between the prices of the grocery stores in Iceland, so make sure you visit some budget stores such as Bonus, Kronan, and Netto.

5. Save on Alcohol

If you plan on experiencing the Icelandic nightlife and you want to have some alcoholic drinks, it is bets to plan ahead. Alcohol is very expensive in Iceland, so it is best to buy alcohol at the duty-free store at the airport when you arrive. The locals usually buy alcohol at the airport, and then pregame before going out at night. If you want to drink at the bars, we suggest that you try to find a bar with happy hour or a drink special.

hallgrímskirkja and the city

6. Plan Ahead

If you plan on experiencing some of Iceland’s magnificent nature, and going outside the capital, we suggest that you plan ahead. Food can be very expensive outside of the capital area and there are not always a lot of options when you are driving on the ring road. Visit grocery stores and pack food and snacks instead of buying expensive meals at restaurants. You should also bring a reusable water bottle so you don’t have to buy water everywhere.

Kerid crater and the blue volcanic lake

7. Find Budget Friendly Activities

We suggest that you try to see and do as many things as possible when you are in Iceland. The nature in Iceland is remarkable, and Iceland has so many fun activities to offer as well. For some activities you will need a local guide in order for you to be safe. Here are three of our activity tours that all outstanding, and they don’t break the budget!

Sensational Iceland – Glacier hiking tour

Volcanic Veins – Caving tour

The Ice Queen – Ice Caving Tour

Glacier Hike Success