Visiting Reykjavik: What I Wish I Knew Before
For those looking for a low cost way of getting to Iceland, you’ll find that WOW air is the most popular option amongst budget travelers.
WOW is a low budget airlines so you will get what you pay for (transportation) and then pay for pretty much EVERYTHING ELSE! That includes seat selection, food and beverages. As typical with low cost carriers they have a strict baggage policy–so please be prepared.
Additionally, they have no in-flight entertainment or wifi so be sure to load up on things to keep you entertained–books, music, movies, shows, etch.
Iceland Air is the other popular airline to fly to Iceland. It is still a budget way to fly but with a higher price than WOW air you can bypass all the limitations that come with WOW.
Reykjavik Is Expensive
There is nothing else to it but the universally accepted reality that Iceland and hence Reykjavik is bloody expensive.
➾ Be prepared to pay 2X or 3X the price for most things
➾ Food is very expensive so visit the grocery store when possible
➾ Gas is…you guessed it…expensive
Liquor is expensive in Reykjavik so if trying to drink on a budget your best bet is to buy alcohol at the duty free at Keflavík airport in Iceland.
Here are examples on the price difference from MustSee.is
6 pack of bottled Stella Artois 33 cl
Duty Free: 1399 ISK
Outside of airport: 2094 ISK
Difference in ISK: 695 ISK
Bacardi Razz 50 cl
Duty Free: 1499 ISK
Outside of airport: 4199 ISK
Difference in ISK: 2700
Absolut Vodka 1 L
Duty Free: 2699 ISK
Outside of airport: 7799 ISK
Difference in ISK: 5100
Getting From The Airport
Getting from the airport to the city:
Note that the KEF airport you fly into is not in Reykjavík but located in the town of Keflavík.
Keflavik is approximately 45 minutes from Reykjavík. Uber and Lyft are not available and taxis cost a fortune.
. You can book it online for both ways and it’s affordable.
It’s most certainly a cheaper alternative to taking a taki–please don’t bother with taking a taxi.
Busses are located right outside the terminal building.
If you are arriving late at night or your flight is delayed, don’t worry, there will be a Flybus waiting for you.
They offer special discount fares for children accompanied by adults.
0 – 11 years: free of charge.
12 – 15 years: 50% discount.
To travel through Iceland on your own, you’ll need to rent a car or camper van. There are a lot of options and you will read stories of people being ripped off so you’ll have to do research and go over the condition of the car you’re given with a fine tooth comb before driving off with it.
It’s also recommend to go with recognizable rental services that have desks directly in the airport arrivals hall (i.e Avis, or Enterprise)
DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT PLEASE!
➠ Speeding tickets are hefty–from $300 and up
➠ You won’t see a lot of police around so you instead get caught for speeding cameras that are plentiful throughout the city.
➠ It takes time for authorities to process the tickets sometimes so you may think you are in the clear before you leave the city but once processed they will find your rental car and agency and pass on the cost. The agency will take the cost from you and also charge a processing fee on top of that.
Read More about speeding tickets in Reykjavik
Popular Tour Companies, Activities & Sights
You most likely won’t see the Northern Lights (it depends on luck, solar activity and the weather) but if you are fortunate enough to be outside on a clear night when they arrive, Iceland is an amazing place to see them.
You can book a tour if you like, but it isn’t always necessary. The Norther Lights can be easily seen from the town, or wherever you are. All you have to do is just look up!
Learn Morestrong> about seeing the Northern Lights.
Unique & Must-Try Foods
Reykjavik’s Hot Dog (or pylsur)
Icelandic Rye bread (and butter)
Showering Naked Before Entering A Public Pool
Public pools in Iceland are popular and relatively cheap to enter.
When there you must undress, shower naked (it’s a normal procedure so don’t be weird about it) then put on your bathing suit before entering the pool.
Once you’re done swimming be sure to dry off thoroughly as to not track water to the locker area.
There are shower guards to ensure that you follow procedure. The 6 step guide to swimming pools in Iceland
Traveling Outside Of The Southern Iceland Area
If you are traveling outside of the Southern Iceland area, GET N1 prepaid gas cards!
Outside of the big city, most of the country has gas stations that aren’t manned, and don’t have card readers for credit/debit cards so you have to have a prepaid card with you or you’re out of luck. Trust me on this one. Have PLENTY of cards and backup cards if you plan on driving the ring road!
Full service gas stations accept all manner of payments. However, some of the automated Iceland gas stations only accept credit cards with a pin.”