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How much money to take to Iceland?

(20 Posts)
ReggaeShark Sat 08-Aug-15 15:44:20

We're going next Friday for a week. Car, hotels and some breakfasts are paid for but I've no idea how much currency to take for a week of lunches, dinners, coffees, snacks, souvenirs etc. There are 3 of us. Any ideas?

Seeline Sat 08-Aug-15 15:52:35

We went nearly 20 years ago so I am sure things will have changed, but it was expensive! If you are planning to drink it is very expensive!! I seem o remember that credit cards were widely accepted, so that may be your answer. It is a beautiful, fantastic place though, and the locals are really helpful and friendly (all speak fantastic English). Would love to go back....

nmg85 Sun 09-Aug-15 15:01:33

Most items are purchased via credit card rather then currency. Even a cup of coffee is bought with a card by icelandics. You can eat cheaply if you don't want to eat well. Outside of major towns your options are limited for food so we always made sure we had some snacks in the car just in case.

velidhu Sun 09-Aug-15 20:59:19

We have just returned from a week's road trip. It's expensive. There are cheap cafes usually by the N1 petrol stations near the one and only Route 1 ringroad. We've only sampled the Mr Whippy type ice creams from there which are incidentally really creamy. A sit down burger type meal is easily about £10 each excluding drinks. Our cheapest meal were hot dogs from a hot dog stand - about £3 each. We had 3 blow out expensive dinners (family of 4 which ranged from £150 - £190!). Lunches tend to be better value but once you leave Reykjavik, the choice is really limited. The only souvenirs we bought were a few items of Icelandic clothing from a factory outlet shop for winter! DH also loved the Icelandic ale so much, he bought some from duty free to bring home. The duty free shop at the airport is the cheapest place to buy alcohol so it is worth your while to buy some to consume on holiday on your arrival.

Take gloves and waterproof trousers if you want to try a glacier trek. We also went on a morning horse ride which was great fun.

There will be cheap geothermal pools at most places. Having decided to forgo the extortionate pleasure of the Blue Lagoon for the tasting menu of the Apotek restaurant instead, our primary aged DC's favourite pool was Laugardalslaug pool in Reykjavik (about £8.50 for our family of 4). HTH & have a great trip.

ReggaeShark Mon 10-Aug-15 16:46:58

Thanks for all your info. Am thinking we might be hungry that week.

nmg85 Mon 10-Aug-15 17:16:42

You can eat cheaply for the country you are going to. Lots of the service stations sell pizzas etc which are usually massive. You can buy sandwiches from the supermarkets / local shops which are cheap enough. Some restaurants are cheaper then others like everywhere but yes the comparable to this country will be more. A great restaurant which is reasonably priced in Reykjavik is Icelandic Fish & Chips and the famous hotdogs the previous poster mentioned are cheap and delicious. If you have some breakfasts included just fill up on that, some will even allow you to pack something up FOC or offer a service for lunch to take with you. Coffee is usually refillable and water is often available FOC.

ReggaeShark Tue 11-Aug-15 08:20:11

I don't want to eat cheaply, I was just wondering how much we will spend. Now I'm worrying there won't be many places to eat! Don't fancy a week of hotdogs tbh.

Whathaveilost Tue 11-Aug-15 08:27:03

We bought food from the supermarket. Budget is apopularbstore and abit like Aldi. We made up sanswhiches and snacks for the daytime because we were often hours between anywhere, especially when we went fron the Highlands to Askja.

For the four of us 2 adults two teenage kids we took about 2 grand ( not including accomadation and car hire )
We didn't scrimp and had a marvellous time (2013)

nmg85 Tue 11-Aug-15 09:30:12

Where are you going? I have been 6 times so I may be able to suggest some places? Don't eat hotdogs everyday but do try the pylsur in Reykjavik harbour.

FuzzyWizard Tue 11-Aug-15 09:35:32

There's plenty of good places to eat. Ant tbh whilst cheap food is quite expensive the mid range stuff works out good value because the quality is very good compared to here. Unless you are unusually picky or incredibly short of cash you shouldn't go hungry in Iceland.

FuzzyWizard Tue 11-Aug-15 09:46:57

I'd recommend downloading the trip advisor app though and check out their maps for restaurants and cafes for the places you are visiting outside of Reykjavik... We went to some really nice little places but some of them we wouldn't have had a snowball in hell's chance of just stumbling across if we hadn't known they were there. The one that stood out was the black beach cafe... I had a really awesome bowl of hearty soup and bread there with the most amazing view out onto the beach. You wouldn't just stumble across it though we put the address into the gps and followed it down a little windy track type road. There was nothing else there apart from the cafe.

ReggaeShark Tue 11-Aug-15 11:18:54

DH has ordered £1000 worthconfused Will check credit/debit card charges.

FuzzyWizard Tue 11-Aug-15 11:31:39

That should be plenty if you've already paid for your car hire and some breakfasts. Lunches aren't expensive and there are nice quality places for reasonable money for dinner. If you're driving anywhere too remote make sure you have drinks and snacks in the car.
I also can't recommend www.road.is highly enough. Road and weather conditions can change so quickly in Iceland. We've been twice now but we really got caught out on our second trip when road conditions just switched... It was actually bloody terrifying. That being said they are generally very quick to get the roads reopened and cleared.
I know you are going in summer so are unlikely to get caught in a blizzard like we did but apparently sandstorms can be a real problem and the winds are like nothing I've ever come across before.

nmg85 Tue 11-Aug-15 11:34:04

The weather can be dangerous also we made a rule that we never let ourselves get below a half tank of fuel so that we didn't get caught out. It can be a few hours between fuel stations especially on some of the smaller roads.

Skeppers Tue 11-Aug-15 11:36:57

We went last March. I actually didn't think it was that expensive, London prices basically, but we stayed in Reykjavik and didn't travel too far.

We didn't take any cash, just used cards and never had an issue. Charges were minimal and we got a better exchange rate.

Drinking-wise, you can be quite canny and find out where happy hour is happening; there's an app called 'Appy Hour', we were paying the equivalent of a fiver for 2 pints which is cheaper than over here! Icelanders don't tend to start drinking til 9/10pm at the earliest so happy hour is usually between 6-9pm. Enough time for a good preloading for us tourists! grin

Thought food was reasonable too, but if you go high-end, you expect to pay high-end prices like you would anywhere. We found lots of mid-range cafés/bars which were very reasonable. Laundromat in Reykjavik was good. Massive portions and very tasty! DeVitos pizza was also very handy and just around the corner from where we were staying so we got takeout on the way home a couple of nights and ate in our room. And don't be too hasty to write off the hotdogs, they are epic and an Icelandic speciality...they're made of different meat to the crappy ones we get over here (think there's lamb in them?) and I could happily eat them for a week! grin

I'm quite a tight-arse and we managed a long weekend without feeling like we'd gone crazy spending wise. It's totally worth it though, it's the most beautiful, magical, amazing country and I'm DESPERATE to go back, although with DS1 due imminently it's unlikely to be any time soon! Very envy of you.

FuzzyWizard Tue 11-Aug-15 11:37:22

Agree about fuel... We just topped up regularly when we came across petrol stations rather than waiting until we were running low.

ReggaeShark Tue 11-Aug-15 14:44:20

Great tips and ideas thanks. Going to mote things on my itinerary. Getting excited now. Our cards charge 3 or 5% for payments. I can withdraw cash for £1.50 but not sure how many cash points we'll come across.

nmg85 Tue 11-Aug-15 14:51:42

Just a another tip - Some fuel stations are only self service and so only accept cards. Also follow the instructions carefully, our bank stopped our card as we inserted it to many times and they thought it was fraud. Usually this would be great but not so much in the middle of nowhere.

chemenger Tue 11-Aug-15 15:10:01

I think Skeppers* has it right. We just spent two days there and never had any Icelandic currency. They take cards everywhere. The only slightly embarrassing thing was not being able to tip the guide on our brilliant Golden Circle foody tour. There are loads of appealing restaurants in Reykjavik and they are not outrageously expensive, London prices is about right. We ate in an Italian style one which used lots of local produce called Uno. On the off chance that you are all over 20 years old I can highly recommend the Taste The Saga brewery tour (Grey Line) very entertaining, light on the brewery tour, heavy on the beer tasting. Definitely not suitable for children. I had last been in Iceland in 1985, a lot has changed, for one thing beer is legal now, but it is still a great place to go.

ReggaeShark Tue 11-Aug-15 18:33:22

Sadly no brewery tour for us Chemenger as DS is 13.

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