You probably already know, but we’re gonna say it anyway; Iceland is an expensive country. We’d be lying if we told you otherwise. But can you blame them? Almost everything needs to be imported to this gorgeous volcanic island in the Atlantic. As we just started our world trip and we don’t want to spend all our money at the beginning we traveled Iceland on a budget. As some of you might know we always try to find our way between spending as little as possible and maintaining a comfortable level of traveling and exploring. So in this post we will share exactly how much we spend on our 8 day trip through Iceland and will break it down for you by category.
Flying to Iceland
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get to Iceland is by plane. Nowadays there any many flight going to Reykjavik, usually covered by Icelandair or Wow air. As we already knew that we wanted to go to Canada we figured that it would be nice to visit Iceland along the way. And this is where the Icelandair Stopover came in very handy! Icelandair gives you the option of stopping in Iceland for up to 7 nights, at no additional airfare, when travelling between North America and Europe giving travelers the perfect opportunity to explore Iceland’s magical nature and culture. As we wanted to take advantage of this deal we chose to stay for 7 nights, paying nothing for our tickets to Iceland!
Balance: € 0
Transportation costs in Iceland
Iceland is well known for it’s amazing nature ánd for camping. So we figured to camping in Iceland would be the way to go. But after some research we found out that camping in early May wouldn’t be the best option for us. Many camping areas only open until the beginning of June, weather is still unpredictable and it can be very cold at night. And don’t forget to mention the high prices for renting a camper! So we figured that renting a car and staying at guesthouses would be our best and most comfortable choice.
We found a nice deal at Procar, paying €280 for 7 day car rental including a second driver and insurance with a deductible of 230.000 ISK. When collecting our car we got an free upgrade to a small 4×4 as our compact car wasn’t available. Another nice extra was the damage on the car. We were so happy with this upgrade as we had so much more space for our luggage and didn’t feel so cautious driving the car as it already had damage.
Unfortunately you can’t drive a car very far without gas. And as you probably already guessed, this isn’t very cheap in Iceland. On average the gas price was around €1,80 per liter (which is actually almost the same price as in the Netherlands at the moment, crazy!). One of the downsides of our free upgrade was the gas usage of the car. So the overall cost for gas were a bit higher than expected. We budgeted this on €150 for the entire week, but ended up paying €230 for gas.
Balance: € 510
Sleeping in Iceland
As we said before camping wasn’t our way to go this time, so we decided to find cheap hotels and guesthouses for our stay. We figured that it would be hard to find accommodation last minute, so we pre-booked everything 2 months in advance. This time we used Booking.com to book all of our accommodation, taking into account location, price, look & feel of the room and the option to cook our own food.
This is an overview of our accommodation expenses for 7 nights, making up an average just under the €100 a night for 2 persons, including breakfast for the first 3 days in Reykjavik and Vik.
|Location||Number of nights||Price|
Food in Iceland
Like everything else in Iceland, food is expensive too. So we were happy to find out that you may import duty-free up to 3 kg of food, not exceeding the value of ISK 25,000 (about €200). And so we used this allowance to take some food such as noodles, cup-a-soup, nuts and other snacks to take with us from the Netherlands. When arriving in Reykjavik we headed towards the supermarket to get other groceries to make up some decent meals. Bonus is one of the cheapest supermarkets in Iceland.
For breakfast we ate muesli with Skyr with a cup of tea. For lunch we would typically ate sandwiches with chocolate paste or hummus. And for dinner we’d have the noodles, pasta or soup we took with us. Snacks usually consisted of fruit, muesli bars and nuts. We also got some ready-made sandwiches and wraps for our flight to Edmonton as food wasn’t included in our ticket. As the water is very much drinkable in Iceland we drank a lot of water and didn’t spend much on drinks, except for an occasionally Pepsi. We didn’t drink any alcohol in Iceland as it’s crazy expensive in Iceland! We figured this would be a good time to start drinking less alcohol. On one of our last days in Reykjavik we figured that it would be nice to treat ourselves with a decent meal in a restaurant. Tjeerd Paul was craving for a burger so we got ourselves a nice, juicy burger in downtown Reykjavik. We also enjoyed the Icelandic hot dog, pylsur, a few times. In total, including the food we took with us from the Netherlands, we spend €102 on groceries and €52 on eating out.
All that is left are the costs for our entree tickets for the Blue Lagoon (a whooping €157 for the comfort package for 2 persons!), parking costs at some tourists sights such as Thingvellir National Park and Kerid Crater, toll costs at Hvalfjörður Tunnel and an Iceland magnet for our collection, bringing a total of €189. Thankfully most nature hotspots are free to see, saving you heaps of money when exploring Iceland.
Grand Total Expenses for Iceland
There you have it. We spent a grand total of €1550 for the 8 days and 7 nights we spent in Iceland. I’d say we did a fairly good job in this expensive country keeping our expenses low. Especially knowing that we had set a budget for €1935, meaning we ‘saved’ ourselves just under €400.
So, what do you think about the budget?
|Category||Total Costs||Per day||Per person per day|
|Flight||€ 0||€ 0||€ 0|
|Transportation||€ 510||€ 64||€ 32|
|Accomodation||€ 697||€ 87||€ 44|
|Food and drinks||€ 154||€ 19||€ 10|
|Other costs||€ 189||€ 24||€ 12|
|Grand total||€ 1.550||€ 194||€ 97|