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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.
You can find up-to-date health and health advice in relation to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and traveling to and in Iceland here:
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.
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.
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.
New Years Day
Thursday before Easter
Friday before Easter
Monday after Easter
Thursday after April 18
First day of summer
39 days after Easter Sunday
7th Monday after Easter
First Monday in August
All Saints Day
December 24 (afternoon)
St. Stephen's Day
New Years Eve
FESTIVITIES & EVENTS
All over Iceland
Porrablót - Viking winter festival celebrating anything viking including special foods and drinks
Late January / early February
Festival of Lights - Illumination of public buildings and the inner city, extra long opening hours of leisure facilities
Food & Fun - international cook-off with international chef teams creating delicious menus including local produce in participating restaurants
Beer day - to celebrate the end of the beer prohibition in 1989
Listahatid - Arts Festival with theatre, dance, film, music and arts from all over the world
Two weeks in May or June
Sjómannadagurinn - all Icelandic ships are home and sailors are on shore leave. Competitions in rowing, swimming, sea rescue and drinking
First weekend in June
Viking festival - five day celebration of anything viking with viking fights, story telling, archery and music
All over Iceland
Mid-summer - celebration of the longest day of the year with parties and bonfires
between June 21 and 24
Humarhátíd - culinary festival to celebrate the “humar” (lobster)
Listasumar - ten week long arts and culture festival with exhibitions, music, theatre, street performances
late June til August
Þjóðlagahatid- traditional folk music and crafts festival with performances and workshops
Sumartónleikar Skálholtskirkju - six weeks of classical and contemporary ecclesiastical concerts and readings
early July til mid August
Eistnaflug - Heavy Metal Festival
second week of July
Bræðslan - Music festival
third weekend in July
All over Iceland
Verslunar-mannahelgi - long weekend with parties and small festivals
First weekend in August
Þjódhatíð - Music festival
first weekend in August
Heringsfest - herring festival
first weekend in August
Kántrý Dagar - line dancing and country music festival
third weekend in August
Menningarnott - Cultural night with late openings
Reykjavik Marathon - same day as Menningarnott
Tango on Iceland - dance festival
Réttir - farming festival
International Film Festival
end of September
Iceland Airwaves - Music festival
Dagar Myrkurs - Dark Days festival with dance, ghost story telling, magic performances and light and fire shows