Is Iceland Expensive?

Liam Davies
(Updated: )
5 min read

Updated every year!

So, the age old question: Is Iceland Expensive?

To put it simply: Yes, yes it is.

In fact, it is the 4th most expensive country to live in, as revealed by GQ Magazine.


4x4 Rentals

No Hidden Fees & Free Cancellation


Average Costs in Iceland

Here I will give you the average prices of some of the necessities you may purchase whilst here in Iceland, and I'll throw in some extra's so you can see why we Icelanders are so poor.

It's important to remember that these is average prices, so the prices may be higher or lower depending on which stores, restaurants etc that you go to.

Restaurants/Fast food/Bars

  • Meal for 1 (Medium) - 2.500 kr
  • Three-course meal for 2 (Medium to upscale) - 14.000 kr
  • Fast food (I.e. Burger and fries) - 1.950 kr
  • Beer (Viking) - 1.200 kr
  • Cappucino - 629 kr
  • Coke/Pepsi (1/2 pint) - 329 kr

Supermarket purchases

  • Milk 1ltr - 204 kr
  • Fresh white bread - 410 kr
  • Eggs 12 pack - 759 kr
  • Chicken fillets (1kg) - 2.316 kr
  • Apples (1kg) - 451 kr
  • Banana (1kg) - 293 kr
  • Potato (1kg) - 352 kr
  • Wine (mid-range) - 2.900 kr
  • Cigarettes (Marlboro) - 1.669 kr
Supermarket Iceland Grocery Shopping
Shop in a grocery store to save money

Accommodation

  • Average 3-star hotel cost (per night) - 17,809 ISK
  • Hostel (per night) - 5,000 ISK

Transportation

  • City bus (One-way ticket) - 490 kr
  • Monthly pass - 8.000kr
  • Bus transfer from airport - 3000 ISK
  • Taxi (start price) - 730 ISK
  • Taxi from Keflavík airport to Reykjavik (Average price) - 16,500 ISK
  • Gasoline (1 ltr) - 300 ISK

Icelandic Car Rentals

The largest selection of Car Rentals in Iceland


Sports and leisure

  • Swimming - 1100 kr
  • Cinema - 1.825 kr
  • Gym, World Class (week pass) - 7.990 kr
  • Gym, World Class (monthly) - 14.450 kr

Clothing

  • Regular souvenir t-shirt - 4.300 kr
  • Icelandic wool sweater - 23.000 kr
  • 1 pair of Jeans (Levis or similar) - 15.113 kr
  • 1 pair of Nike running shoes (mid-range) - 19.156 kr
  • Winter jacket (66° north parka) - 89.000 kr

Rent per month

Image of rent is too high iceland expensive
Rent is very costly in Iceland
  • Apartment (1 bedroom). City center - 207.000 kr
  • Apartment (1 bedroom). Outside of city center - 174.622 kr
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms). City center - 293.064 kr
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms). Outside of city center - 245.132 kr

Salary

  • Average monthly net salary (after tax) - 488.931 kr
  • Minimum salary (before tax) - 351,000 kr

Numbers supplied by www.numbeo.com

Top Tips For Saving Money In Iceland

Save Money Iceland
Save money in Iceland

Luckily, growing up and living here has given us some knowledge on how to get the best for your money.

We ride polar bears instead of driving cars, we eat moss and drink glacier water for hydration and nutrition and we sleep in caves with man-made fires. Okay, okay I'm just joking!

But we do drink glacier water! That is probably one of my highlights of Iceland, forget the volcanoes, it's all about the water for me!

Anyway, we have some great tips for you on how to get the best value for money. When to book hotels, and when to rent vehicles for the best prices.

We want you to fully experience Iceland. Despite the prices, it is truly magical to visit the island and hopefully, these top tips will help you to prevent spending too much!

Drink tap water

Fill up your water bottle with tap water. We drink it all the time, it is the purest tap water you can find. (The bottled water is exactly the same, don't spend unnecessary money)

Avoid taxi's

They are way too expensive, take a bus transfer from the airport to Reykjavík and save money.

Check out our How to get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik blog post.

Purchase Icelandic candy from Supermarkets

Try to not buy them at the souvenir store, it is the same thing. Just re-packaged into English and sold at a higher price.

Supermarkets such as Bonus are the cheapest and most "bang for the buck" so if you want to bring some Icelandic candy for your relatives, buy them there.

You won't have any problems in security in the airport when bringing candy and/or snacks through, so this would always be the better option.

Image of icelandic candy
Icelandic candy

Rent a camper, and stay on camping sites

Renting a camper and camping will be an amazing experience!

It's a lot cheaper than hotels, and you will also be able to take in many more sights on your own schedule.

But please remember that is illegal to park and sleep anywhere, it's a requirement to sleep on designated campsites. You can find them here

Purchasing alcohol from duty-free at the airport

Beer/alcohol in Iceland is very expensive and can only be bought from special alcohol stores.

When you arrive, buy the alcohol in bulk at the duty free store while waiting for your bags to arrive.

Save time, and money.

Limit eating out, and instead cook for yourself

Eating out at a high-end restaurant in Iceland will set you back around 6,000 ISK per person. It's best to stock up at supermarkets and cook yourself.

If you have rented a camper, there is sometimes the option to include a stove.

Rent a car and drive yourself!

Most of Iceland's must-sees are free to access, so why not rent a car and drive yourself?

It's much cheaper than purchasing a variety of tours or bus tickets and provides you with a lot of freedom to roam around.

Book in Low-Season

Often mid-September to December. This goes for both hotels and car rentals.

We hope these top tips help make your Iceland experience a little cheaper! Iceland truly is an amazing country to visit and if you plan correctly and don't go over the top then the cost of being here won't be that bad.

But please, enjoy yourself here! You're on vacation after all!


Northbound Help Center

How can we help?


Related Posts

Is car rental in iceland essential? 6 things you must consider...

Northbounds' 2021 car rental awards

Renting a car during winter in iceland