Iceland has become one of the most popular destinations in recent years. From the dramatic landscapes, waterfalls, unique experience, and culture, Iceland fits the bill for many traveler’s bucket lists. Iceland has caught the eyes of photographers, adventure seekers, and Solo travelers! So if you’re planning your vacation to Iceland, you have landed in the right place.
Throughout this Iceland travel guide, learn and explore some of the best things to do in Iceland, find inspiring Iceland photos, Road trip guides, Important Iceland travel tips, and more!
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What To Expect When Traveling to Iceland
Since you are planning an epic vacation to Iceland, here is some practical information to keep in mind for your Iceland travel guide.
The Iceland population is 372,295.
The Capital of Iceland is Reykjavík. It is located on the west coast.
In Iceland, Icelandic is the national language. English is widely understood and taught as a secondary language. You can still download Google translate just in case you find yourself in need.
Iceland uses the króna as its currency. They do not accept USD or Euro’s as currency. Make sure to download a currency converter app.
Credit Cards and debit cards are widely accepted. The only issue you might run into is getting gas with your credit card. Many pumps will ask for a pin. If you use your debit card, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Tipping in Iceland:
Tipping is not necessary for Iceland, however, rounding up is a nice gesture.
The major airport to fly into Iceland is Keflavik International Airport (KEF). It is the most popular airport to fly into. Check flights on Skyscanner.
Power Outlets in Iceland:
Iceland uses C and F outlet plugs. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. I recommend using a universal adaptor.
Iceland is known as one of the safest countries in the world. Solo travelers can feel at ease in Iceland. Of course, use general safety and awareness.
Famous Dishes Across Iceland:
When visiting Iceland, some dishes to consider trying include:
- Fermented shark (Hákarl)
- Skyr (Icelandic Yogurt)
- Dried Fish
- Hot dogs
- Sheep Head (Svið)
Getting Around Iceland:
The best way to travel and explore Iceland is by renting a car. The attractions in Iceland are generally spread out. If you don’t want to rent a car, the next best way to see Iceland is by taking tours to Iceland’s attractions. Here is a shuttle if you don’t rent a car.
Cell Phone Service in Iceland:
You should have service in most areas around Iceland, however, very rural areas may have dead zones. Either using the wifi in your rented car or getting an Electronic Sim will allow you to use your maps in Iceland.
Best Time To Visit Iceland
The best time to visit Iceland is dependent on what you want to see and do. Each season in Iceland has something special to offer.
Spring In Iceland:
April – May is a great time to visit for those looking for fewer crowds. Because it is shoulder season, prices tend to be less for accommodations. The weather is still cold, but overall relatively nice. Also, most roads will be open to driving. During early April, you may also be able to see the Northern Lights. Spring is also a good time for whale watching.
Temperatures in Spring average between 38 F – 48 F.
Summer in Iceland:
June through August is one of the busiest times to visit Iceland. During the Summer, you have the opportunity to see puffins, go whale watching, and 24-hour daylight. During Summer, you can also photograph the famous Nootka lupine flowers you have likely seen all over social media. Summer is also the most expensive time to visit Iceland. Book in advance.
Temperatures in Spring average between 50 F – 59 F.
Fall in Iceland:
September – November is a really popular time to visit for those seeking to see the Northern Lights. Some roads may start closing for snow, especially up north. October in Iceland is the real start of Northern Light season and in November, walking through Ice Caves is possible.
The temperatures average between 32 F – 50 F. It will be colder towards mid-October through November.
Winter in Iceland:
December – March is a good time to visit Iceland for low prices and seeing the Northern Lights. There do tend to be more storms in the months of January and February, but Iceland under snow is quite magical. Popular activities in the winter include hiking, skiing, glacier and ice cave hikes, and holiday festivities.
The temperatures average between 32 F – 33 F.
Discover Iceland Travel Guides & Itineraries
What Is Iceland Known For
Curious what Iceland is known for? Here are some of the most common things associated with Iceland.
- Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice
- Iceland is known as one of the safest countries in the world
- Iceland is known to have some of the cleanest drinking water
- Iceland has 130 volcaones
- Iceland is known for incredible views of the Northern Lights
- Iceland is known for being the only place you can swim between 2 tetonic plates
- Iceland is known for their black sand beaches
- Iceland is known for being a leader in renewable energy
- Iceland has some of the largest Glaciers in Europe
Best Things to Do in Iceland
There are a ton of amazing things you can add to your Iceland travel guide. Here are some of the best things to do while you’re in Iceland.
- Self-Driving the Golden Circle or taking a Golden Circle tour.
- Snorkeling at Silfra Fissure – swim between two Continental Plates.
- Drive the Ring Road – the entire perimeter of Iceland. Give yourself 8-10 days.
- Soak in the Blue Lagoon.
- See the new Sky Lagoon.
- Hike through Ice Caves.
- Walk on Vik’s Black Sand Beach.
- Chase Icelandic Waterfalls. Some of the most famous waterfalls include Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skogafoss Waterfall, and Gullfoss Waterfall.
- Road trip to Diamond Beach Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
- Chase the Northern Lights.
- Go whale watching.
- Try Icelandic food. Some of the top food experiences include Fermented shark (Hákarl), Skyr (Icelandic Yogurt), and hot dogs.
- If you have more than 4 days in Iceland, explore the Highlands, and see some famous photo-worthy spots, including Seyoisfjorour (rainbow path), Stuolagil (basalt column canyon), and Landmannalaugar (colorful mountains.
Iceland is known as an expensive country. You may be able to score great flight deals, but once you are in Iceland, things like food, gas, and accommodations are expensive. You can see Iceland on a budget if you stay outside the city, go grocery shopping and cook while you’re there, and bring snacks to eat during the day.
Accommodation prices can range from $70 USD a night to over $300 USD a night. Most hotels are around $150-$200 USD.
Midgardur by Center Hotels $$$ | Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina $$| Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre $$$$| Loft – HI Hostel $| Vrbo Home Rentals
Car rentals have gone up recently. Hopefully, they will go back down soon, but car prices seem to be going for over $100 a day. Check car prices here. Gas, unfortunately, is another expensive necessity in Iceland. Gas is sold by the liter but generally is around $6-$7 USD a gallon.
Meals in Iceland, from what we found, were around $ 18 USD and up per person.
Books About Iceland
Looking for additional reading material for your planning your Iceland travel guide? Here are some popular Iceland books to check out.
What to Pack for Traveling to Iceland
As you likely gathered, Iceland does not have beach weather clothes. When traveling to Iceland, one of the best packing tips I can give to you in this travel guide is to dress in layers and having water-proof clothing. During the summer months, a light jacket, fleece, and sweater will be good.
During the fall, winter, and even spring, you will want a heavier winter jacket. During our trip in April, I mainly wore jeans with leggings underneath. There were a couple of times I wished I had rain pants, specifically to walk behind a waterfall.
If you are visiting during the winter, you should also have snow boots or waterproof hiking boots. I wore my Ugg snow boots that have served me well during winters in New York. Additionally, if you know you might be walking on ice, consider ice cleats.
Additionally, you won’t want to forget your accessories, including wool socks (Darn Tough are my favorite), beanies, scarves, a bathing suit (Blue Lagoon), and gloves.