Iceland trip cost – how much money do you need

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No one can deny it…Iceland is a massive hot destination right now. Iceland trip cost can also be massive! From gorgeous waterfalls to epic sunrises, you can’t go wrong with an Iceland family holiday. It is a photographer’s dream, it has lava fields, geysers and Northern lights, and every single place you go is worth capturing and not just once.

The expanse of Iceland takes you from barren, black fields to snow-covered ones and then you meet the black sand beaches. You take a picture upon a picture and they are all stunning. There is honestly nothing like traveling to Iceland. It helps with your trip to know how much your Iceland vacation cost will add up to.

black sand beach Iceland

How much would a trip to Iceland cost?

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 that 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 of our Iceland vacation cost to try and get people much more prepared for the complete cost of a vacation in Iceland.

It is much more important that you can enjoy the pure beauty Iceland has to offer and not worry so much about your cost to visit Iceland turning into a nightmare of massive proportions. Lucky for you, we have some money-saving tips for you right here so you can budget out how much money for a trip to Iceland you will need and make the best of it.

Top Iceland travel tips: What to know before you visit Iceland

What should I include in my Iceland trip cost?

There are always a few things that you absolutely need on any family vacation. We have tried to cover all of our major expenses from our Iceland family vacation below.

Accommodation in Iceland

We decided the best way to go with our vacation rental 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 were 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, a 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. We stayed at Downtown Reykjavik apartments on our Iceland trip.

Renting an apartment in Iceland will save you some dollars. You should be able to find an apartment in the city large enough to fit everyone for a cost of $200-300 per night with VRBO.

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 in Iceland with kids are hard to find and this was one of the things that added a lot to our Iceland family holiday costs.

Keflavik Airport is 50 kilometers from Reykjavik. We have all the options for your airport transfer to Reykjavik. Read our article here

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 your Iceland vacation cost

Iceland vacation cost – Food and Basics

Even if you are shopping at the supermarket, Iceland supermarket prices are an expense you cannot escape. Many people forget to factor food into their trip to Iceland budget because they don’t realize how much food in Iceland costs. Most days we would stop off at a Bónus Reykjavik supermarket to get some fruit and some biscuits to have on our Iceland adventures.

Currency Conversion is 1 AUD = 91.78 ISK / 1 USD = 123.51 ISK / 1 Euro = 146.20 ISK (as of 21/7.2021 )

Iceland Trip Cost for food

Iceland Supermarket Prices – updated for 2021

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 around Iceland. We found prices in Iceland for drinks and food didn’t change much from place to place, unfortunately. Here are some updated prices for food in Iceland

loaf of bread$3.89 USDApples (per kilo)$2.65 USD
1L milk$1.48Bananas (per kilo)$2.13
330ml Coke$2.90500g Local Cheese$7.00
1kg chicken fillets$15.87Shampoo$2.65
1kg of rice$2.791 can Baked Beans$0.89
1.5lt water bottle$1.8836 baby nappies$6.60
Chocolate biscuit165ISK12 eggs$6.04

We had some small single-serve groceries such as jams and Vegemite from home that we used to have with our toast rather than buying a box of cereal for the girls in the mornings. We found that we could also make them sandwiches to have with the spreads so we could reduce the prices in Iceland for drinks and food that we had to spend. To be honest, Mark and I did not eat lunch often during our week there.

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 tap water while we were there and had no problems. Buy a reusable water bottle for refills everywhere.

Visit the Blue Lagoon: The best ways to get to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik

Iceland cost – Eating Out and Take Away Food

This was another truly expensive experience that we had when travelling to Iceland. While we tried our best to cut our Iceland trip cost by cooking our own meals in our apartment, we just did not have enough to cook with and eat with 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 were offered to us on our flight with Iceland Air and with that, we planned our meal times around when the voucher was valid.

Take Away – Restaurant Prices July 2021:

Sometimes the voucher booklet saved us up to 25% on our food bill and reduced our Iceland trip cost significantly but food and drink prices in Iceland were still expensive. Look for happy hours for cheaper beer and drinks 

Hawaiian pizza from Pizza Hut$12.90 USDItalian BMT Subway footlong$12.95 USD
Garlic Bread Pizza Hut from$4.45 USDLocal beer 500ml$9.72 USD
Imported beer 330ml (restaurant)$8.10 USDClassic beef burger $11.50 USD
Mid-priced meal (restaurant)$52.65 USDTaco, Taco Bell$10.52
3 Subway cookies$3.88USD

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 our Iceland daily budget 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. Don’t let Iceland prices put you off planning a trip to this amazing county.

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 at Iceland’s restaurants, 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 rather than eating in Reykjavik
  • 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. If you plan on drinking it will severely add to your Iceland vacation cost

Iceland with kids: All the best things to do in Reykjavik for families

Car hire cost to visit Iceland

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 the Rentalcars website to book a car with 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 228 ISK per litre (2021)

Iceland Trip Cost for tours

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 Ring Road when realized 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 during your Iceland family vacation.
  • 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.

Expert travel advice: Top tips for Northern Lights tours in Iceland

Tours in Iceland

There are so many different companies that offer tours to just about everywhere in Iceland in winter and in the summer. There are Iceland full-day tours and half-day tours to attractions, Icelandic nature, Iceland’s South Coast and more. 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.

  • Transport and ticket to the Blue Lagoon from $135 USD

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 cozy 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.

Iceland travel tips: Everything you need to know about visiting the Blue Lagoon

Site-seeing in Iceland – 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 when 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.

Read more: 10 of the best cities in Europe for the best vacations for families

Iceland travel cost breakdown of our family vacation

For our family trip to Iceland, we had to include flights from Munich to Reykjavik & Reykjavik to Copenhagen for 4 $1540 AUD Icelandic Air. Our Iceland trip cost was helped by the fact we were already in Europe which made it cheaper for us. 

Accommodation for 4 (7 nights)$829AUD
Car rental and insurance (3 days)$330AUD
Iceland daily budget ($300 per day)$2100AUD

Our Iceland daily budget covered food, petrol, entries and a couple of souvenirs. We believe for a 7 day Iceland vacation this is a good average cost to travel to Iceland from Europe.

Our opinion of our Iceland budget vacation

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. The cost to visit Iceland will be the best money you will spend on a vacation.

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? well, that depends on you.

Cheap accommodation: Why staying in a hostel is brilliant staying connected when you travel

Is traveling to Iceland worth the overall cost?

For tourists visiting 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 Iceland has to offer.

When is the best time to visit Iceland?

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 about 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 of 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 per cent, 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

Travel equipment: All the travel essentials you need for your next trip

Know before you go! Our top Reykjavik travel tips

Travelling to Iceland requires a lot of planning. Not only is Iceland one of the most expensive countries to visit it is absolutely amazing. Once you are travelling you feel like you have to do it all while you are there. Below are the best things to have prepared before you leave for your family vacation to Reykjavik.

Where to stay in Reykjavik

You’ll never be short of options for your accommodation in Reykjavik. In Reykjavik, you find a range of hotels, apartments and hostels. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families and groups on every budget. If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Trip Advisor and Hotellook to find the best prices in Reykjavik.

  • Luxury: Located in the city centre of Reykjavik is the Opel Premium Apartments. Featuring 2 bedroom suites for families. Your family can free Wi-Fi in all rooms if you arrive early luggage storage is available along with, car parking and airport transfer.
  • Mid-Range: Family rooms for 4 featuring TVs, Wi-Fi, refrigerator and coffee maker are waiting for you. Fosshotel Baron is located in the Reykjavik City Centre area of Reykjavik. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk and facilities for disabled guests
  • Budget: If you like communal living then the Reykjavik Hostel Village might be the best budget bet for you in the city centre. Featuring family rooms for 4, free Wi-Fi, a kitchen and a BBQ for cooking. The city centre is 300 m away from the hostel.

Reykjavik apartment alternative for your stay

If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Reykjavik then an apartment is the best choice for you. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect Reykjavik apartment. 

How to get to Reykjavik

  • Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland. Reykjavik is located in South 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. Search your flights to Iceland with
  • Smyril Line car ferry M/S Norröna sails between Seyðisfjörður in Iceland, Hirtshals in Denmark and Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands once a week. This allows you to bring your car and drive to Reykjavik
  • You can reserve a rental car for an Iceland road trip and have it waiting for you at Keflavik International Airport

How to get around 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

Reykjavik City Card

The Reykjavik City Card helps visitors save money on attractions around the city. Sightseeing in Reykjavik and Iceland is pricey and adds up quickly. The city card helps keep the costs down with free entries and discounts to top attractions, free transportation, Iceland tours and discounts at restaurants. You can get a Reykjavik City Card for 24-, 48- and 72-hour duration. Buy your city card for your Reykjavik trip today

Do you need a sim card for your trip to Reykjavik?

Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling with family can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact with who you need is a top priority when you are travelling with family. Plan your family trip to Reykjavik out and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data, and calls on your family vacation to Reykjavik.

What currency do I need for my trip to Iceland?

The official currency you need to use in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona. We recommend that you get a Revolut travel money card, that can be loaded with multiple currencies and has nearly non-existent withdrawal fees to save you money on your family trip to Reykjavik.

Do I need travel insurance for my family vacation to Iceland?

Iceland has a high quality of healthcare but in saying that travel insurance is still recommended for all travellers entering the country. The last thing you want is a huge bill for medical expenses should you require care on your family holiday in Reykjavik.

We recommend using Travel Insurance Master, their website will compare the best deals from a number of providers and present you with the best value for money policy on the market. Click through to Insurance Masters to get a free quote.

I hope this has helped you in planning a trip to Iceland and answered some of your how much would a trip to Iceland cost, how much money for a trip to Iceland is needed and is Iceland expensive questions. Wyld Family Travel wish you all the best on your Iceland Adventures!

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Iceland. There are so many things to do in Iceland that are free but you do need to watch your money if you have an Iceland travel budget. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Iceland click through to our Iceland Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

More travel inspiration for your trip to Iceland

10 thoughts on “Iceland trip cost – how much money do you need”

  1. Totally agree that the food is expensive, as much has to be imported. The apartments are a great choice for accommodation, but good to book ahead as summer accommodation often fills up. If it’s all full, camping is the Icelandic choice and there’s a tent site right outside Reykjavik.

  2. Wow, we have been wanting to go to Iceland but have been worried about the cost of the trip. We want to do Ring Road via camper actually and I know that’s going to be an investment! Great tips on the supermarket, that’s nice they have scanners so you can keep track of your spending! I think we would mostly be buying groceries for this trip!

    • Hi Megan

      Would like to know if you managed to do the Ring Road via camper. I am planning one myself for my family

  3. Great roundup! I totally agree with finding accommodation near shops and restaurants. We found a great Guesthouse that was reasonably priced and we could walk EVERYWHERE in Reykjavik. It was a huge cost-saver. Fuel was expensive, but the island is so small that it doesn’t seem like a huge budget-breaker!

  4. I love this post especially since I love breaking down trip costs on my site. I think transparency is just as important as inspiration. I’m heading back to Iceland on a return trip for my birthday in September! I love that you mentioned nature is free in Iceland because it sure is. I’m hoping to hit some hiking trails and explore more of the outdoors this time.

  5. Iceland is the top country on my bucket list, and I loved the way you have broken down all your costs in detail. It really gave me an estimate of what one can expect, because I just knew that the country was pretty expensive, but now I know some numbers! Thanks for this concrete post. Bookmarking for my reference 🙂

  6. Iceland is the top country on my bucket list, and I liked the way you have broken down all your costs in detail. It really gave me an estimate of what one can expect. Thanks for this concrete post.


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