The Nordic Explorer

The Nordic Explorer

Is Iceland expensive?

There is a lot of debate about Iceland being a expensive travel destination – not quite sure that I agree.

Yes, it’s certainly more expensive to get a beer in Iceland (Approx. 1100-1300 ISK/9-11 € for a draft beer in a nice bar) compared to Thailand. But being Scandinavian I don’t view Iceland as expensive. The prices are just the similar to what they are back home in Copenhagen – or in most capitals of western countries.

Nice to know about spending in Iceland

Shop Tax Free

When you spend 6000 ISK / 48 € or more on a purchase you qualify for Tax Free, which means that you can have your purchase validated at the airport before checking in and get up to 14 % of your money back.

No tips

Prices may seem high when you go to a restaurant, but remember that you don’t tip in Iceland. Also, there are no hidden costs or other taxation. In other words, the prices on the menu are exactly how much are going to get charged and not a penny more. Same goes for shopping etc.: Prices on the tags are the actual amount you will be charged.

Cash free society

You can pay with cash (Icelandic Krona) and there are ATMs placed in Reykjavik, but Iceland is pretty much a cashless society. Everybody pays with creditcards – even when you buy a hotdog or visit some of the small fishing villages outside of Reykjavik.

Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash

How much was my trip?

I’ve bundled my travel expenses together from my first trip (4 days) to Iceland for you to get an idea of what sizes of costs you might run into. View my travel itinerary if you want details about how I spend my time (and money).

In total my trip cost me: 1689 € 

See details below – there might be some things that you would’ve cut back on or spend more on:

Plane tickets

Total: 393 €

I flew with Iceland Air and chose to book through their site. Might not be the lowest possible price, but I prefer to avoid those low price sites with their annoying plus sale checkout, hidden costs and Trustpilot scores that leaves you sitting with your fingers crossed.

The price includes flight from Copenhagen to Keflavik + Keflavik to Copenhagen including 1 checked in bag.


Total: 464 €

I stayed at Hotel Island at Armuli 9 and booked through, where I was able to use some bonus points. This gave me a free night, so in theory I only paid for 3 nights. I chose a 4 star hotel with spa included, but next time I think I will spend less on accommodation since I didn’t spend much time at the hotel anyways.

Activities (transportation included)

Total: 349 €

This includes a trip to the south shore, the Snæfellness peninsula, The Blue Lagoon and entrance at Perlan museum.

Food and beverages

Total: 202 €

This covers all food and drinks – both at restaurants and cafés in Reykjavík and grocery shopping. I didn’t have breakfast included at my hotel.

Shopping and souvenirs

Total: 281 €

I bought some souvenirs for friends and family and went shopping for myself at 66 North and at The Blue Lagoon.

Preparation for your trip

Be aware that you might need to buy some stuff back home to get ready for your trip. For instance it occurred to me that I didn’t have a waterproof cover for my phone or a proper jacket. Check out my packing list to get an idea of what you might need to invest in.

Cover photo by Jordan Rowland on Unsplash


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