No one can deny it…Iceland is a massive hot destination right now. From gorgeous waterfalls to epic sun rises you can’t go wrong with an Iceland family holiday. It is a photographers dream, it has lava fields, geysers and Northern lights, every single place you go is worth capturing and not just once. You go from barren, black fields to snow-covered ones and then you meet the black sand beaches. You take picture upon picture and they are all stunning. There is honestly nothing like travelling to Iceland.
Every moment you spend there is worth it, I won’t tell you it isn’t. I am not the best photographer but I can tell you I snapped like a crazy person while we were there and I love them all. There is just so much to do that even the fussiest of travellers will be amazed by what it has to offer. I don’t think there is the best time to visit Iceland because it is all amazing. You could do an Iceland winter trip or a summer one and still leave wanting more. You will read all the time of its beauty, its beautiful people, its unique landscape and why you should go…but will anyone actually talk to you about what their Iceland vacation cost?
Facts about Reykjavik
- Reykjavik is the northernmost capital on the planet
- Steam rising from the area’s hot springs gave Reykjavik its name, which literally translates to “Cove of Smokes
- Of Iceland’s 332,750 residents, 64 percent, or 213,760, live in the Reykjavik region
- In 2011, Reykjavik was the fifth city named a City of Literature by UNESCO
- Reykjavik is believed to have been the first permanent settlement in Iceland
What do you think your Iceland trip cost will be?
When we were planning a trip to Iceland we were told it was expensive…we knew it would be and we were prepared but I can tell you even though we were prepared there is no way I was prepared for some of the crazy prices we saw when we were there during our Iceland winter trip. We have put this list together to try and get people much more prepared for when they visit Iceland so they can enjoy the pure beauty the country has to offer and not worry so much about the cost of items. But lucky for you, we have some money saving tips for you
Accommodation In Iceland
We decided the best way to go with our stay in Reykjavik was to get self-contained accommodation with some cooking facilities where we could save some money that way to reduce our Iceland trip cost as there was no family hostel rooms that we found appropriate and no budget hotels with family rooms. We ended up with one large room with a double bed, sofa bed for the girls and a small kitchenette that we could cook in. It was on the basement floor of an apartment building with communal laundry down the hall from where our room was. Like all cities, your Reykjavik accommodation location will have an effect on your Iceland trip cost
This was $180 per night and it was the best holiday accommodation we could find for a good price. It was not bad but it wasn’t a huge area for the four of us and there were not enough items in the kitchen for the four of us to eat or cook with. Even though we are only a family of four it is difficult to find family holiday accommodation without breaking the bank or places thinking that you need large family accommodation. Budget places to stay with kids are hard to find and this was one of the things that added a lot to our Iceland family holiday costs.
When we stayed in Reykjavik we choose to stay at ⇒ Downtown Reykjavik Apartments
You might like our article on Tip for ⇒ Travel in Iceland
Accommodation in Iceland Tips:
- Get somewhere central where you can walk to a shop or to a place to eat.
- Try and get somewhere that has at least a microwave or a fridge to help you with your Iceland trip cost
- If you are able to get a hostel that will help reduce the cost.
If you are thinking that some R&R is absolutely needed when you are away, check out these 5 Cool and Unusual Hotels in Iceland!
Iceland vacation cost – Food and Basics
Even if you are shopping at a supermarket Iceland supermarket prices are still expensive. Most days we would stop off at a Bónus Reykjavik supermarket to get some fruit and some biscuits to have on our Iceland adventures. We shopped mainly at a supermarket called Bónus as they were one of the cheaper supermarkets in Iceland. Stopping at a service station was just way too expensive if you had to do it more than once on a day trip. Here are some of the prices that we recorded while we were there. Currency Conversion is
Iceland Supermarket Prices (2018) :
Half a loaf of bread 227 ISK Apples 265 ISK per kilo
Bananas 229 ISK per kilo UHT Full Cream Milk 1l 193 ISK
Yoghurt 600 ISK 1.25L Coke 450 ISK
Instant Noodles 199 ISK Potato Gratin 499 ISK
5 Pork Chops 1400 ISK Chocolate Muffin 390 ISK
Pringles 490 ISK Red Bull 490 ISK
Chocolate Biscuits 165 ISK 10 Eggs 498 ISK
We had some small single serve jams and Vegemite from home that we used to have with our toast rather than buying a cereal for the girls in the mornings. We found that we could also make them sandwiches to have with the spreads. To be honest, Mark and I did not eat lunch often in our week there.Expensive Yes, Unbelievable Yes, Can you afford it? Yes. Visit Iceland todayClick To Tweet
Food and Basics in Iceland Tips:
- Avoid shopping at a convenience store. They are nearly 4 times the price of the Bónus supermarket
- Use the scanner at the supermarket to add up your shop as you go. They are located in the large fridge section (we shopped at a supermarket called Bónus) and we used it to scan everything that we bought.
- If you can, make your lunch to take with you on road trips
- DO NOT BUY BOTTLED WATER…we were told it was a waste and that the water in Iceland is one of the freshest in the world. We drank it while we were there and had no problems.
Iceland cost – Eating Out and Take Away Food
This was another truly expensive experience that we had in Iceland. While we tried our best to cut our Iceland trip cost by cooking in our apartment, we just did not have enough to cook with and eat with for the four of us in our self-contained accommodation. It ended up being much more hassle than it was worth especially with being out on the road all day for as long as we could on our Iceland adventures. We had purchased a booklet of vouchers that was offered to us on our flight with Iceland Air and with that, we planned our meal times around when the voucher was valid. Sometimes it saved us up to 25% on our food bill and reduced our Iceland trip cost significantly. Again currency conversion is
Take Away – Restaurant Prices:
1 Large Hawaiian Pizza 3400 ISK Hot Dog 490 ISK
Large Chicken Fried Rice 2000 ISK Local Beer (restaurant) 899 ISK
Imported Beer (restaurant) 999 ISK Coffee and Donut (Dunkin Donuts) 970 ISK
Sandwich (from a vending machine) 990 ISK Hamburger meal (restaurant) 2600 ISK
Lamb meal (restaurant) 4000 ISK Beek steak meal (restaurant) 4500 ISK
Fish and Chips (restaurant) 3000 ISK KFC dinner for 4 8000 ISK
To be honest there were not many fast food outlets that we came by that we knew. We thought having KFC for dinner one night would be a cheaper option for us and it was a place we knew. It turns out a meal that would have cost us $30-$35 dollars at home cost us nearly $100 dollars in Iceland. From then on we used the voucher book and ate out within walking distance of our apartment to save on the cost of travel in Iceland. Dont let the prices put you off planning a trip to Iceland.
Take away and restaurant tips:
- If you fly into Iceland with Iceland Air we highly recommend that you purchase the vouchers book for 8 Euro. This helped us save when we ate out BUT please read when the offer is available as some have specific times that they are available.
- If you have time google places that are around you and see if they have a price list on their site. This will definitely help with your Iceland trip cost.
- If you have a car it may be a little cheaper if you can drive out of the city a bit and see if a restaurant is cheaper out there.
- Alcohol is very expensive so we did not have any while we were there especially if we ate out. We had a drink each on our last night to celebrate our time there and it made for an extra huge bill.
When we were planning our trip to Iceland trying to keep the cost of the trip down but still see as much as we could was one of the top priorities. For us, there was no use going there knowing we only had limited daylight in Iceland in winter and being stuck not being able to go anywhere. So we looked at hiring a car and this was fantastic for us. It was slightly nerve-wracking driving in Iceland in winter but we went on some of the most amazing day trips from Reykjavik in winter. We used Procar hire and we had the use of a Peugeot Clio which was a really great car. We hired it for 3 days and having it really expanded our Iceland adventures! The South Coast and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula are easily reached from Reykjavik
Petrol was roughly 194 ISK per litre
Tips for car hire in Iceland in winter:
- Check and then check again that you have the right coverage that you need for your rental car in Iceland.
- Wind damage is not covered a lot of the time so be careful.
- Check where you are able to take your car. We had already done the Golden Circle and another road when we realised we were not covered to be on those roads.
- Weather conditions in Iceland in winter can change in seconds, so if you are not a confident driver then you may need to rethink hiring a car.
- Going ‘off road’ or onto gravel is not covered a lot of the time either but there are car parks that are all gravel. Check you are covered in car parks.
- The underneath and chassis are not covered by insurance if you damage the car.
- If you hit an animal and damage the car this is not covered either.
- With our hire company, we got a card that gave us a discount at some stations in and around Reykjavik. We also got a free coffee with this card.
There are so many different companies that offer tours to just about everywhere in Iceland in winter and in the summer. Prices will vary and that is something you need to weigh up when you are planning a trip to Iceland. There were a couple of tours that we went on before we got our hire car to get a feel for our surroundings beforehand. We wanted to do plenty of day trips from Reykjavik in winter and we were not experienced enough with driving overseas or driving in winter conditions.
Iceland winter tour tips:
- If you are going on a Northern Lights tour, be prepared. Click here for our top tips for a night chasing them!
- Make sure you dress appropriately especially if you are going near waterfalls. If you are able I would take some extra clothes on a tour with you in case you get wet. Our Columbia jackets kept us cosy and warm while we were in Iceland in winter.
- In Iceland, in winter there are very limited daylight hours. Being on a tour will get you to a spot fast if you have limited time on your Iceland family holiday.
- Driving in Iceland in winter can be a very daunting task. If you are not familiar with driving in winter then tours may be the way for you to go.
Site-seeing – Nature
Nature my friends is free in Iceland and there is just so much to see! Everywhere you look there is something beautiful, amazing and extraordinary. Sometimes there is more than one place you need to be looking at. Whether you go to Iceland in winter or in the summer I am sure there will never be a time where you are not looking at something you are amazed by. Even if you are on a tour in Iceland or you are on one of your own planned Iceland adventures you will not be short of nature to look at. The only cost to you will be the entry to places like the Blue Lagoon and museums like Viking World but to us, they were well worth it.
Tips for Sightseeing in Iceland in winter:
- Up your storage on everything that you are taking over there, I promise you will need it.
- Even the places that are well known and ‘touristy’ are well worth a look if you have time. Most people told us the Blue Lagoon was overrated but we love it. Click here to read about our experience.
- You will find a beautiful landscape around every corner you won’t always have to seek them out.
- Take some time to just wander Reykjavik and look at the houses. They are amazing in themselves.
- If you are going to a waterfall be prepared to get wet!
- Remember you have very limited daylight hours in Iceland in winter so plan your trips and know how long it will take to get somewhere. You may have to start out in the dark to make the most of your days.
The break down of our family vacation to Iceland in winter
Accommodation for 4 for 7 nights $829 AUD
Car Rental and insurance cost for 3 days: $330 AUD
Daily spending money $300 per day: $2100 AUD
Total Cost was: $4799 AUD
(Our daily spending money covered food, petrol, entries and a couple of souvenirs)
We did our very best to keep our Iceland trip cost very low. It also helped that we were already in Europe on a family holiday so getting there was much cheaper than if we went all the way from Australia. I am sure there are plenty more ways that we could have saved money while we were on our family holiday in Iceland in winter but we did not want to miss something because of a budget restriction. If you are running out of money on your Iceland adventures remember that nature is free.
You can just wander or drive and you will see something amazing. Your Iceland vacation cost does not have to spiral out of control. How much money does a trip to Iceland cost? that depends on you. I hope this has helped you in planning a trip to Iceland and Wyld Family Travel wish you all the best on your Iceland Adventures!
Travelling to Iceland
- Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland. Travel to Iceland is via Keflavik International Airport. The airport is 50 kilometres from Reykjavik. 6.8 million people travelled through Keflavik airport in 2016,
- The main carriers at Keflavík are Icelandair and WOW air
- You can check the prices of international flights to Iceland with cheapOair. Domestic flights are operated out of Reykjavik city airport which is 2 km from the city
- The Airport Express return service between KEF airport and both Reykjavik and Akureyri is operated by Gray Line Iceland. Book your transfer HERE
- You can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
- You can reserve a rental car and have it waiting for you at Keflavik International Airport.
Getting around Iceland and Reykjavik
- The city buses in Reykjavík are yellow. The Icelandic word for them is strætó, which is short for strætisvagn (streetcar) These buses are the only public transport in the city.
- The Reykjavik Hop on hop off bus is another excellent option for seeing the sites of the city and surrounding area. Check the current prices HERE
- The Reykjavik City Card entitles you to entry to some of Reykjavik’s major attractions and free public transport on the buses. More information is available here
Where to stay in Reykjavik
- Reykjavik has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
- Hostels in Reykjavik can start from as little as 25 Euro a night for a shared dorm room.
- You can search Airbnb for there Iceland offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE
- Hotels in Reykjavik generally start from around $209.00 a night for a double room 3star and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards the 5-star average price of $271.00.
- You can compare and book your stay on Agoda, Hotels.com, and Expedia
Please find 2 more stories about Iceland by Wyld Family Travel below. We hope you enjoy reading them. Please click on the image to be taken to the articles