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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Day of the Republic
First Monday in August
St Stephens Day
New Years Eve
FESTIVITIES & EVENTS
Porrablót - Viking winter festival
Late January /early February
Festival of Lights
Food & Fun - international cooking and food event
Beer festival celebrating the end of beer prohibition 1989
Sumardagurinn Fyrsti - celebration of the “first day of summer”
Thursday after April 18
Listahatid - Arts Festival
Two weeks in late May / early June
Sjómannadagurinn - fishing and seafaring festival
First weekend in June
Independence Day - Celebration of the National Holiday
Mid-summer - celebration of the longest day of the yea
between June 21 and 24
Humarhátíd - culinary lobster festival
Listasumar - ten week long arts and culture festival
late June til August
Þjóðlagahatid- traditional folk music and crafts festival
Sumartónleikar Skálholtskirkju - six weeks of classical and contemporary ecclesiastical music
early July - mid August
Eistnaflug - Heavy Metal Festival
second week of July
Bræðslan - Music festival
third weekend in July
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 Ausgut
Kántrý Dagar - line dancing and country music festival
third weekend in Ausgut
Menningarnott - Cultural nigh
Reykjavik Marathon - same day as Menningarnott
mid August for two weeks
Gay Pride Festival
second weekend in August
Tango of Iceland Dance Festival
end of August
Réttir - farming festival
Iceland Airwaves Music Festival
Dagar Myrkurs - Dark Days festival
Visit our travel bonanza for holiday inspiration, stories and travel tips to Iceland.
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