Spectacular northern lights appear over Mount Kirkjufel, Iceland
travel budget

How much does a trip to Iceland cost?

Faraway WorldsFaraway Worlds

Faraway Worlds

Staff writers

If you’re planning on travelling to Iceland, you’re probably wondering how much you need to budget for your trip. While your travel costs will depend on your travel style, generally speaking Iceland is best for travellers with some spending money.

Accommodation costs are generally on the high side and food and drinks are relatively expensive. Many of Iceland’s best attractions are rather expensive to visit and, while some activities could set you back a fair amount, there’s plenty to do at lower price points too.

Costs are in

How much should I budget for a trip to Iceland?

A reasonable budget for two for a week in Iceland is around ISK 406,600.

The above cost is based on staying in good, mid-range accommodation and having a few meals out per week, while preparing some yourself. It makes allowances for a couple of sightseeing activities, but doesn’t take into account expensive activities like adventure sports or private tours.

Generally speaking, the longer you travel, the cheaper it costs per day, while fly-in, fly-out trips can be more expensive.

How much does accommodation cost?

You can expect to spend between ISK 17,000-ISK 36,000 a night, per couple, on accommodation in Iceland. This will get you a private room with your own bathroom in a 3-4-star hotel or apartment rental.

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Hostels are, of course, cheaper, but a private room with a shared bathroom will still cost around ISK 15,000 per night. A bed in a dorm room also averages around ISK 5,500 per night, per person, although there are definitely cheaper options out there.

See the highest rated hostels in Iceland

How much should I budget for food and drinks in Iceland?

Budget to spend around ISK 110,800 for two for a week in Iceland. This assumes you’re cooking some of the time and drinking some alcohol.

If you enjoy eating out, you can expect to pay around ISK 15,000 for a nice dinner for two, including an alcoholic drink. A meal at a pub is likely to be around ISK 9,000 for two, with cheaper meals available (especially for lunch) for around ISK 3,500 each.

Assuming that you’ll be eating out some of the time, budget at least ISK 11,800 a week for groceries. If you enjoy a few drinks, you’ll need to increase this amount – beer costs around ISK 465 for a 500ml bottle and good bottle of wine is around ISK 2,800, from a shop, although there are cheaper options available. Milk typically costs around ISK 220 for a two-litre bottle and you can expect to pay around ISK 790 for a cappuccino from a local café.

How much does it cost to get around Iceland?

Getting around Iceland is easiest with a car. Transport costs fluctuate depending how much you travel, but budgeting around ISK 60,000 for two per week is a good starting point. This should allow you to hire a cheaper rental car. If you’re planning on doing any tours or using hop-on hop-off buses, you’ll need to up your budget a bit.

Renting a car in Iceland is expensive but public transport isn't the best. There are some intercity bus routes, but you really need to rent a car in Iceland to see the country's natural beauty. If you can, up your budget a bit and hire a four-wheel drive, particularly if you're visiting in winter. If you'd rather not drive yourself, joining a tour is also a good option.

What should I expect to spend on activities?

A lot of the best things to do in Iceland are free. However, there definitely are some attractions that cost money – entry fees to a museum or an art gallery are usually around ISK 2,500 - ISK 4,200 per person. If you want to do organised day trips or join smaller tour groups to learn more about some of the sites, budget around ISK 16,000 per activity per person.

In summary

Iceland is a beautiful destination to visit and although it’s not cheap, it’s definitely possible to travel there for less. Cooking your own meals, carefully selecting accommodation or limiting meals out will definitely help you to reduce your travel costs. Slow travel is another great way to help your budget to stretch further, while exploring a place in more depth.

Travelling through Iceland is definitely possible on a budget – just pick your priorities and compromise on the rest or consider travelling in the off-season and avoiding school holidays to cut down on costs. And, if you’re on the luxury end of the scale or wanting to treat yourself, the sky’s the limit.

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Last Updated 15 July 2022

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