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ICELAND

We have gathered some useful information to help you plan and best prepare for your next adventure to Iceland Browse through the information below or visit our travel bonanza for more stories and tips!

HEALTH AND 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 glaciers 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.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Iceland is part of the Schengen area and no visa is required for people travelling from other Schengen or EU countries if their stay is less than 90 days within 180 days. To enter Iceland, a passport or identity card is required, which is valid beyond their stay in Iceland.

Visitors from outside Schengen or the EU will need a visa to enter Iceland and must hold a passport, which is valid for at least another three months.

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 on the pages of the Iceland Tourist Board.

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 

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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 plate 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

Shope are generally open between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 4pm. 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. Alcohol can only be purchased in special shops, the Vínbúðin. Not every small village has their own Vínbúðin, so you might plan for a drive when craving a wine or beer at home in the evening  and opening hours are most often restricted to a couple of hours in the afternoon.

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 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.

Swimming pools often open late until 9 or 10pm, especially over the long summer days, and tickets are usually valid for the full day though fixed times might apply in more popular baths. There is no timely restriction on entering the natural hot pools that you can find all over Iceland.

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

Maudy 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

August 15

Independence Day

June 17

Day of the Republic

First Monday in August

Commerce Day

December 24

Christmas Eve

December 25

Christmas Day

December 26

St Stephens Day

December 31

New Years Eve

FESTIVITIES & EVENTS

All Iceland

Porrablót - Viking winter festival

Late January  /early February

Reykjavik

Festival of Lights

February

Reykjavik

Food & Fun - international cooking and food event

February

mostly Reykjavik

Beer festival celebrating the end of beer prohibition 1989

March 1

mostly Reykjavik

Sumardagurinn Fyrsti - celebration of the “first day of summer”

Thursday after April 18

Reykjavik

Listahatid - Arts Festival

Two weeks in late May / early June

fishing villages

Sjómannadagurinn - fishing and seafaring festival

First weekend in June

Hafnarfjörður

Viking festival

mid June

All Iceland

Independence Day - Celebration of the National Holiday

June 17

All Iceland

Mid-summer - celebration of the longest day of the yea

between June 21 and 24

Höfn

Humarhátíd - culinary lobster festival

early July

Akureyri

Listasumar - ten week long arts and culture festival

late June til August

Siglufjörður

Þjóðlagahatid- traditional folk music and crafts festival

early July

Skálholt

Sumartónleikar Skálholtskirkju - six weeks of classical and contemporary ecclesiastical music

early July - mid August

Neskaupstaður

Eistnaflug - Heavy Metal Festival

second week of July

Borgarfjörður Eystri

Bræðslan - Music festival

third weekend in July

All 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 Ausgut

Skagaströnd

Kántrý Dagar - line dancing and country music festival

third weekend in Ausgut

Reykjavik

Menningarnott - Cultural nigh

mid August

Reykjavik

Reykjavik Marathon - same day as Menningarnott

mid August

Reykjavik

Jazz Festival

mid August for two weeks

Reykjavik

Gay Pride Festival

second weekend in August

Reykjavik

Tango of Iceland Dance Festival

end of August

rural Iceland

Réttir - farming festival

September

Reykjavik

Iceland Airwaves Music Festival

early November

Eastern Fjords

Dagar Myrkurs - Dark Days festival

early November

Visit our travel bonanza for holiday inspiration, stories and travel tips to Iceland.

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