Dettifoss Waterfall, Iceland

ICELAND

USEFUL INFORMATION

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HEALTH & SAFETY

Iceland has an extremely low criminality rate and biggest threat to visitors are the road conditions, geological activity and the often severe weather conditions. 

There are no remarkable health concerns to look out for when travelling to Iceland, hygienic standards are high and the natural water directly from the glacier is among the cleanest in the world. 

Medical care in Iceland is excellent and many health professionals speak English. The next practitioner or A&E can be far though when in the countryside. Local pharmacies would be the first stop for small emergencies and advise.

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SARS-COV2 INFORMATION

You can find up-to-date health and health advice in relation to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and traveling to and in Iceland here:

https://visiticeland.com/article/iceland-and-covid19-coronavirus

MONEY AND PRICE LEVEL

 

It is possible nearly everywhere in Iceland to pay by card. If you are visiting rural areas off the main areas, it is advisable to carry some cash on you. ATMs can be found in every village and at petrol stations. 

Service charges and VAT are included in prices, so tips are not necessary. Anybody who is not a permanent resident of Iceland might claim a VAT refund of 15% on shopping worth at least 6,000ISK. 

Iceland ranks among the most expensive countries in the world when it comes to cost of living. Prices for accommodation exceed the EU average by around 45% while the price level on alcoholic beverages outstrips European standards by more than 120%.

Eating out is relatively expensive with an average meal in a mid class restaurant costing between 2000 - 4.000 ISK. Lunch is often cheaper than dinner, with many cafes and restaurants offering a reduced lunch menu at reduced prices or special deals. A pint in a bar in Reykjavik is around 1.000ISK, a cup of latte or cappuccino is around 600ISK and a cup of tea or regular black coffee goes for 200 - 400ISK.

OPENING HOURS

 

Some attractions and shops in Iceland are only open for a short while over the summer months between June and August. Opening hours are not always precise and depend on the amount of tourists and visitors coming to the country, 

Many museums outside Reykjavik would have regular opening times between June and August, but would limit the time to visit to an hour or so when there is less demand. Often they are willing to open upon request. 

Accommodation still often close between Christmas and New Year

Shops are generally open between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. Some of the malls and shopping centres in Reykjavik are also open on Sundays. Super markets are open everyday between 9am and 8pm, in Reykjavik often longer. 

Cafes usually open around 10am and close at 6pm, unless the cafe will transform into a bar in the evening. In that case, bars close at 1am during the week and at any time between 3 and 6am over the weekend, depending on the demand. Restaurants are generally open over lunch between 11:30am and 2:30pm and then open again for dinner from 6 until 10pm. 

Banks are open during the week between 9:15am and 4pm and the post is usually open between 9am and 4pm, often longer in bigger towns.

ELECTRICITY

 

For Iceland there are two associated plug types, C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins, with two earth clips on the side. Iceland operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

 

January 1

New Years Day

Thursday before Easter

Maundy Thursday

Friday before Easter

Good Friday

Monday after Easter

Easter Sunday

Thursday after April 18

First day of summer

May 1

Labour Day

39 days after Easter Sunday

Ascension Day

7th Monday after Easter

Whit Monday

June 17

Independence Day

First Monday in August

Commerce Day

November 1

All Saints Day

December 24 (afternoon)

Christmas Eve

December 25

Christmas Day

December 26

St. Stephen's Day

December 31

New Years Eve

FESTIVITIES & EVENTS

 

All over Iceland

Porrablót - Viking winter festival celebrating anything viking including special foods and drinks

Late January / early February

Reykjavik

Festival of Lights - Illumination of public buildings and the inner city, extra long opening hours of leisure facilities

Mid February

Reykjavik

Food & Fun - international cook-off with international chef teams creating delicious menus including local produce in participating restaurants

February

Bigger towns

Beer day - to celebrate the end of the beer prohibition in 1989

March 1

Reykjavik

Listahatid - Arts Festival with theatre, dance, film, music and arts from all over the world

Two weeks in May or June

Fishing Villages

Sjómannadagurinn - all Icelandic ships are home and sailors are on shore leave. Competitions in rowing, swimming, sea rescue and drinking

First weekend in June

Hafnarfjörður

Viking festival - five day celebration of anything viking with viking fights, story telling, archery and music

mid June

All over Iceland

Mid-summer - celebration of the longest day of the year with parties and bonfires

between June 21 and 24

Höfn

Humarhátíd - culinary festival to celebrate the “humar” (lobster)

early July

Akureyri

Listasumar - ten week long arts and culture festival with exhibitions, music, theatre, street performances

late June til August

Siglufjörður

Þjóðlagahatid- traditional folk music and crafts festival with performances and workshops

early July

Skálholt

Sumartónleikar Skálholtskirkju - six weeks of classical and contemporary ecclesiastical concerts and readings

early July til mid August

Neskaupstaður

Eistnaflug - Heavy Metal Festival

second week of July

Borgarfjörður Eystri

Bræðslan - Music festival

third weekend in July

All over Iceland

Verslunar-mannahelgi - long weekend with parties and small festivals

First weekend in August

Heimaey

Þjódhatíð - Music festival

first weekend in August

Siglufjörður

Heringsfest - herring festival

first weekend in August

Skagaströnd

Kántrý Dagar - line dancing and country music festival

third weekend in August

Reykjavik

Menningarnott - Cultural night with late openings

mid August

Reykjavik

Reykjavik Marathon - same day as Menningarnott

mid August

Reykjavik

Jazz festival

mid August

Reykjavik

Tango on Iceland - dance festival

late August

rural Iceland

Réttir - farming festival

September

Reykjavik

International Film Festival

end of September

Reykjavik

Iceland Airwaves - Music festival

early November

Eastern Fjords

Dagar Myrkurs - Dark Days festival with dance, ghost story telling, magic performances and light and fire shows

early November

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