How Much Money Do You Need Per Day In Iceland? [Tips For Your Travel]

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When planning a trip to Iceland, a daily budget is important to consider. The last thing you want is to come home with an empty wallet and nothing to show for the amazing experience. With that said, let's take a look at how much money you can expect to spend each day in Iceland.

On average, you can expect to spend around $150 per day in Iceland. However, this can vary widely depending on your travel style, where you choose to stay, and how many activities you want to do. To get an estimated daily budget, plan out your daily itinerary, from activities to meals, and price out each item.

While it's time consuming, budget planning can keep you on track and help you stay within your budget. In this article, we will take a closer look at the factors that go into estimating a daily budget for Iceland. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about visiting Iceland, so read on!

Woman walking alone on black sand beach at Reynisfjara, Iceland., How Much Money Do You Need Per Day In Iceland? [Tips For Your Travel]

How Much Money Should I Bring Per Day In Iceland?

Due to its natural beauty, Iceland is a popular destination for travelers, and it has become increasingly accessible. However, Iceland isn't an inexpensive destination.

This is due to a mix between inflation and the reliance on imported goods. Plus, unique destinations like Iceland take part in tours and activities that are not available in other parts of the world; these also come with a hefty price tag.

Before booking a flight to Iceland, it's vital to look to do research and plan an estimated daily budget. On average, you can get by with about $150 per day. But this can increase or decrease depending on your preferences, activities, and accommodations.

Keep in mind this doesn't include your flight to Iceland. Your daily budget is only for when you are physically in Iceland.

To give you a better idea, let's break down each factor that you should consider when planning your daily budget.

Aerial panorama of downtown Reykjavik at sunset with colorful houses and snowy mountains in the background


The cost of accommodations in Iceland can vary widely. Like many places in the world, hostels and other budget-friendly options are popular for backpackers and those traveling on a tight budget.

Hostels in Iceland typically range from $35-50 per night. However, if you're looking for something more luxurious, the price can easily double or triple. Hotels in larger cities like Reykjavik can be quite expensive ($200/night).

Another option is to go in with a friend (or friends) on an Airbnb. Depending on the size of your group, you can easily get an Airbnb with a kitchen and several bedrooms for around $100-150/night.

Additionally, camping is a popular option in Iceland due to its beautiful landscape. In Iceland, you can legally camp for free. However, you need to rent or bring your own tent and camping gear, which can add up to the overall budget.

As you can see, accommodations can quickly eat up a large chunk of your daily budget.

Food & Drinks

The cost of food and drinks in Iceland can also vary widely. Sandwiches, burgers, and other fast food options are available for as low as around $15 per meal. On the other hand, a sit-down dinner will cost you around $30-50 depending on the restaurant.

Keep in mind this doesn't include alcoholic drinks, which can be quite expensive in a restaurant. When eating out, you are better off kicking off the evening with a few drinks at your hostel or Airbnb before going out for dinner.

In addition, if you are going to a cafe every day, the costs can add up. Take advantage of free breakfast offered at hotels and hostels.

Additionally, grocery stores are available if you want to stay in and cook meals cheaply. While this isn't always fun when visiting a new country, it can be a great way to save money and eat healthily.

To combat this, you can mix cooking at home and eating out. Also, most Icelandic supermarkets have an international selection, so you can find ingredients for all kinds of meals!

Langoustine soup and Langoustine grilled with salle on a white fish-shaped platter.

Activities & Excursions

Iceland is full of activities and tours that you can add to your budget. From whale watching, snorkeling in Silfra Fissure, or visiting the Blue Lagoon, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

However, prices for activities and excursions in Iceland can range from $50-150 per person depending on the activity and tour provider. Depending on your budget and preferences, you should plan accordingly.

It's important to research each activity or excursion before booking anything. Then narrow down the must-see activities and excursions that fit into your budget.

If you are visiting Iceland on a tight budget, it's recommended to do some research online to find free activities or discounts. For example, you can check out the beach, do a walking tour, or go to one of the free hot springs in Iceland.

Not everything has to cost money for you to have an unforgettable experience.


Lastly, transportation is something to consider when doing a daily budget. While there are buses and car rentals available, the cost adds up quickly. Another higher cost is doing private shuttles to neighboring towns.

Instead, walking and public transportation are the most cost-effective ways to get around Iceland. The Reykjavik area has a great public transportation system, so it's easy to get from place to place without having to rent a car.

Also, tour companies will often include transportation in their packages, so be sure to check those out as well.

If you need help keeping track of your daily budget, it's worth downloading an app to help you keep track of your expenses. This way, you can make sure that you're sticking to your budget. 

Overall, it's important to consider all of the above when budgeting for your trip to Iceland. It can help you enjoy a wonderful vacation without breaking the bank!

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland

What Type Of Currency Does Iceland Accept?

Iceland's currency is the Icelandic krona (ISK). Some bigger restaurants and shops will accept other currencies, such as USD and EUR, but it's best to exchange your currency for ISK when you arrive.

However, you will find most locals use credit and debit cards for purchases, so you don't have to worry about carrying too much cash with you. If you don't have the cash to exchange, then take money out at the airport upon arrival.

Outside of the main city of Reykjavik, it's usually best to carry cash with you. Some smaller shops and restaurants may not accept cards due to the high costs associated with credit card companies.

Just be sure to let your bank know before you leave home that you will be using your card in Iceland. This way, there won't be any surprise blocks on your account.

Do You Need To Tip In Iceland?

In the United States, tipping is a common practice after receiving a service. However, in Iceland, it is not expected, and it's not rude not to tip.

Most waiters and restaurant staff receive a living wage, so tips are not necessary. However, if you'd like to show your appreciation for exceptional service, you can leave a small gratuity of around 5-10% of the bill.

It may seem odd at first, but don't worry about upsetting anyone if you don't tip. It's not expected, and locals won't be offended if you choose not to leave a tip.

In some cafes and other places, you may see a tip jar at the register. Any money that is put into the jar goes towards employee events such as team dinners or outings. So, if you feel like contributing, that's always appreciated.

You should also not be surprised if you have to wave someone down for your bill. In Iceland, it's common for people to hang around after finishing their meal.

Typically, you will need to ask for the bill, so don't think this is bad service; it's just the way things are done in Iceland.

Street restaurants on sunny autumn day in Reykjavik, Iceland

Is Iceland Worth The Money?

Traveling is never cheap, and Iceland is no exception. It's one of the most expensive countries in Europe, so it's important to consider your budget before booking a trip.

However, money comes and goes, but life experiences last forever! If you plan and budget wisely, then a trip to Iceland is more than worth the money.

From picturesque views to historic sites and local culture, there are plenty of unforgettable experiences waiting for you. With careful planning, it's possible to have a wonderful time without breaking the bank.

The key is being prepared and doing the necessary research. That way, you can make sure you're getting the most out of your trip while still staying within your budget.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Iceland can be as expensive or as affordable as you make it. By doing your research and budgeting wisely, you can ensure that your trip will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience without making a significant dent in your wallet.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

Can I Drive In Iceland With A US License?

How Much Does A Trip To Israel Cost?

Cost Of Travel To Alaska (Including 11 Budgeting Tips That Will Save You TONS Of Money!)

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