Embarking on an adventure in Iceland and curious about what lies ahead? Don’t worry, because we will support you with the necessary details for your journey. In our detailed itinerary of preparing a trip to Iceland, we discovered a lot of valuable information that we wish our guests had known in advance. So, what to know before going to Iceland, what to know before traveling to Iceland, what to know before visiting Iceland? Let’s check out our Iceland travel tips and tips for visiting Iceland with the 13+ things to know before going to Iceland, things to know before traveling to Iceland, things to know before visiting Iceland, what to know when traveling to Iceland as follows!
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Prepare yourself for the ultimate Iceland experience as we’ve meticulously compiled a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know before setting foot in this spectacular and enchanting land.
Let’s dive into the necessary details to ensure your next adventure in Iceland is extraordinary!
How expensive is Iceland? (# what to know before traveling to iceland)
Before visiting, we heard many stories about how expensive Iceland is. We talked to backpackers and heard horror stories about accommodation prices.
So we researched carefully to confirm, is it really so? And how will we live there during our trip?
The costs we found to be the most expensive in Iceland were accommodation, transport, gasoline, drinks and eating out.
We found accommodation around Reykjavik to cost at least $100 USD per night, even for shared bathrooms. Campsites are much more affordable as they typically cost $10-15 per person per night.
Eating, of course, is also part of the general tour for you if you book a tour via a travel agent. However, if you fancy a little alcoholic drink, buy it at the duty-free shop at the airport!
Taxi service in the country is very developed so plan on spending around 100 USD if you need to take a taxi from the airport to Reykjavik. It would be much cheaper to book an airport transfer to Reykjavik.
But accommodation costs are an integral part of the tour itineraries that most travel agencies provide. Therefore, it is absolutely not a problem that you should worry about if you book a package tour.
Cash is usually not necessary in Iceland (# what to know before visiting iceland)
In Iceland, the currency is Icelandic Króna (ISK) and at the time of writing (December 2023), the exchange rate was at 1 USD equivalent to 138.88 Icelandic Króna. Although transactions are denominated in ISK, the reality is that you will rarely need cash.
Many stores, restaurants, campgrounds, and gas stations readily accept payment cards.
To streamline your transactions even further, consider downloading Google Pay or Apple Pay for the convenience of paying with your smartphone.
It is often very cold (# what to know before going to iceland)
No matter when you visit Iceland, it will be cold. Bring several layers of warm clothing, including at least two pairs of long pants, as many warm coats as you can comfortably wear, a headband to cover your ears, a beanie on your head, gloves, and two pairs of sock.
On the other hand, winter temperatures hover around freezing.
In Iceland, the weather isn’t just cold; it’s also raining. From May to November, Reykjavik averages at least 20 rainy days per month. Since most recreational activities on the island take place outdoors, sitting indoors and waiting is not the ideal solution.
Remember to check the weather forecast before boarding your flight to anticipate foggy conditions awaiting you. Bring a raincoat, waterproof shoes or boots, and rain pants if you have them.
Iceland is famous for its unpredictable weather. Therefore, remember to regularly check the weather and road conditions throughout your journey and be cautious when opening the car door when it is windy!
Endless daylight in summer
Summer in Iceland is the most popular time to visit due to the pleasant weather and long days. The summer solstice falls on June 21, the sun sets just after midnight and rises again around 3 am. Even during those 3 hours of twilight, the sky is never truly dark.
So if you’re a light sleeper and there’s a lack of blackout curtains in hotels or motorhomes, you may find it difficult to sleep. Consider bringing an eye mask to help you get some sleep.
The advantage of these long summer days is the possibility of extensive exploration. We can plan a lot of activities each day without feeling like we’re chasing daylight.
The downside is trying to take photos of sunrise or sunset. You will be surprised to see the sunset at 11 pm and then wake up at 3 am to see the sunrise.
The distance around the island is surprisingly short
The entire circumference of the Iceland Ring Road is only 828 miles (1,332 km) long. Even the famous Golden Circle route is only 150 miles (243 km) long. Therefore, completing one or both within a reasonable time frame is entirely feasible.
Of course, we highly recommend spending a full 1-2 weeks in Iceland to traverse the Ring Road and at least 2 days to explore the highlights of the Golden Circle. There are so many amazing things to see and experience in Iceland; It would be a pity if you rush to visit!
Obey traffic rules
Icelanders take traffic safety very seriously and so should you. Always keep your headlights on, make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt (both front and rear passengers), and don’t use your cell phone unless you have a hands-free device.
Never drink and drive, as you can be charged with DUI even if your blood alcohol level is as low as 0.05%.
Finally, obey speed limits nationwide. As a general rule, the speed limit in the city is 30 mph (50 km/h), on the highway it is 55 mph (90 km/h), and on gravel roads it is 50 mph ( 80km/h).
You can drink tap water
There is no reason for you to buy bottled water on your trip to Iceland. The water from each tap is not only drinkable but also delicious.
However, remember to bring a reusable water bottle when vacationing in Iceland!
Icelanders appreciate cleanliness
If you happen to visit any of the geothermal pools in Iceland, you will have to shower before entering the pool. This measure is taken to ensure the pool is clean. There is usually an attendant in the changing room to ensure you comply with this rule.
Be sure of your route and backup
Don’t rely solely on Google Maps. It can direct you to the shortest route, which may include roads closed due to snow (even in summer).
Always have your camera ready
Bring extra camera batteries and a car charger for your phone; consider adding an additional SD card because you’ll be taking a lot of photos! Some form of waterproof bag or bag may be useful, especially near waterfalls.
If you visit in winter, bring extra batteries as the cold can drain them quickly. And if you plan to hunt the Northern Lights during the winter months, make sure you understand your camera settings to capture the spectacle.
English is welcome
While it’s always great to learn a few words of the language of the country you’re visiting, you don’t need to worry too much about the language barrier in Iceland. Almost everyone speaks excellent English.
If you can pick a few words, you’ll definitely impress your friends back home! Just hear the locals pronounce “Eyjafjallajökull” and you’ll understand why.
However, once you understand how words are formed, place names will start to make more sense. For example, “foss” means waterfall, “jökull” means glacier, “vik” means bay, “dalur” means valley. It’s like decoding a puzzle when you learn the meaning of certain words.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Iceland you can refer to
- Golden Circle & Friðheimar Greenhouse Cultivation Day Tour
- Reykjavik Walking Tour
- Hop On and Hop Off Bus in Reykjavik
- Hop On and Hop Off Iceland Bus Passport
- South Iceland Tour from Reykjavik
- Golden Circle Tour and Kerid Crater Day Tour
- Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and South Coast Day Trip
- 2 Day South Coast and Glacier Hike from Reykjavik
- Premium Southern Iceland Small Group Day Tour
- Lava Caving and Silfra Snorkeling Tour from Reykjavik
- Secret Lagoon Ticket and Transfers from Reykjavik
- Snæfellsnes Peninsula Full Day Tour from Reykjavik
- Blue Lagoon Ticket with Round Trip Transfers for Reykjavik
- Keflavik Airport (KEF): Bus Transfer to/from Reykjavik
- Silfra: Fissure Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos
- From Húsavík: Traditional Whale Watching Tour
- Húsavík: Big Whale Safari & Puffin Island Tour
- Húsavík: Whale Watching Tour with Guide
- Keflavik Airport & Reykjavik Hotels: Economy Bus Transfer
- Iceland: Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavik
- Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater
Are you looking for more top things to do in Iceland: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out at here.