8 Tips for Traveling Iceland on a Budget

Iceland on a budget

Next to the natural beauty and wonderful locals, the next thing many people mention about Iceland is the cost. Because we’re on an island in a relatively remote location, many travelers worry that they cannot travel Iceland on a budget. But yes you can!

That’s not to say that you can visit Iceland for little or no money. Your Friend in Reykjavik suggests budgeting at least US$80-100 a day. And we have a few tips on how to make the most of your money and time —

Iceland on a budget is possible!

Don’t let a little thing like money get in the way of making the most of your trip to Iceland! Of course, the bigger your budget, the more you can do, but you’d be surprised at how a few little tweaks can make all the difference. And you’ll still have a fantastic time on our little island!

8 money-saving tips for your Iceland visit

1. Visit in low season

Off-season in Iceland is winter time, from November to March. The weather is a little colder and some outdoor activities may be out of reach, but you can still have a great time. Probably the main issue for some would be the really short days, with only four to six hours of sunlight. But that means that there’s plenty of nighttime to catch nature’s light show, the Northern Lights!

2. Share the wealth (and the cost!)

We think traveling is more fun when you can share your experiences with friends and family. An added bonus is that you can also share some of the costs too! Splitting accommodation costs or car rental fees should definitely stretch your budget so you can splurge on a special excursion or a local extravagance…Fermented shark anyone??

3. BYOB from duty-free

If you enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two, you may find your finances taking a hit in Iceland. At around US$10 a pop, you’ll probably want to check out specials, happy hours, or maybe take a pub crawl tour to get the best bang for your bucks. Or, if you are one of those who like to party, you may want to consider taking advantage of duty-free discounts when you land. But, take it from us, you can have a great time whether you enjoy water or wine.

4. Eat like a local

Enjoying local cuisine should be a part of every visit, whether in Iceland or anywhere in the world! Besides getting tasty inside scoops, you can save some cash too! Start the day like we do with some Skyr, or enjoy an Icelandic hot dog or three after a day of exploring. If where you’re staying has some sort of kitchen facilities, go truly local and visit the grocery store for provisions! 

5. Take public transport

You can easily get around most towns by walking, but sometimes you want a ride. There are taxis available, but you should check out the public bus system. For getting around Reykjavik or traveling from town to town, the Strætó route network is pretty convenient and affordable. There’s also a hop-on-hop-off bus service for a little more flexibility.

6. Use refillable water bottles

We Icelanders pride ourselves in having clean fresh water available straight from the tap. So, there’s no need to buy bottled water when you can refill your travel bottle for free. Save money and help keep the environment clean while keeping yourself hydrated!

7. Best things in life are free (or really cheap)!

Of course, we want you to join our walking tours, but there are also plenty of free activities in Reykjavik and across Iceland. Make your visit to Iceland a true adventure — take a local bus and pick a stop. You may be surprised at what you discover when you venture truly off the tourist-y path. 

8. Check for discounts

To make the most out of your Reykjavik stay, check out the Reykjavik City Card. You get free admission to museums, public pools, and more, as well as free bus rides around the city. There’s also the Icelandic Coupon scheme for discounts from car rentals to squash courts. 

Ask Your Friend in Reykjavik for money-saving tips and tricks!

Exploring Iceland on a budget should not be hard. Your Friend in Reykjavik wants you to enjoy Iceland to its fullest. Our guides will share their knowledge not just of our favorite home town, but also, if you ask nicely, the best way to enjoy your Iceland stay! 

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