7 useful saving hacks for your trip in Iceland
Yes, Iceland is truly awesome. Yes, Iceland can be expensive…. AND yes, there are definitely ways to enjoy the awesomeness without getting totally broke! Believe us, we live here! Are you looking for some local hacks on how to enjoy the country without breaking the bank? Look no further! Here is how we enjoy things around here on a low budget
Enjoy the Blue Lagoon and Northern Lights together
The Blue Lagoon is an absolute must do while in Iceland, there is no doubt about it! It can also be a quite expensive experience so why not make the most of it? The Blue Lagoon is located far away from the city lights in an area with nothing but lava. If you are visiting Iceland during winter, try to visit the Blue Lagoon on a night when the Northern Lights forecast is strong. It’s the BEST way to enjoy this natural phenomenon and can save you loads of money!
Park in P3
We know, we know. Parking in Reykjavik is a headache and expensive! But have you ever noticed the parking areas have actually different pricing? While finding a parking spot, look for areas marked “P3” as they are actually the cheapest parking areas! Well, they do have a “P4” but you rarely find those in the downtown area. Also, if you are staying for a while in the downtown area then we highly recommend that you pay for the whole stay in one go instead of one day at a time. It saves you a lot of money and is the absolute cheapest way to park in Reykjavik!
Do not buy water in bottles!
Locals seriously scratch their heads when they see tourists stocking up bottles and bottles of water! And therefore we just want to grab this opportunity to tell you this: It is 100% unnecessary to buy water in Iceland! Here, you can find the purest drinking water in the world and yes, you can drink the water straight from the tab. It might smell funny at first when you turn it on, but after you let the water flow for a few minutes (it might smell like geothermal water at first) then you have some perfectly good and safe drinking water. Buying water in bottles is a complete waste of money, even if you are going out to the country. Do it like the locals and take bottles with you for your road trip and fill it up by the next river or waterfall!
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Buy Alcohol in the duty-free shops or at our liquore store, Ríkið!
We have the second highest alcohol tax in Europe (Approx. 90%.). This is the reason why we Icelanders party late, to save a buck. Instead of spending everything we have on barely anything at the local bars, we like to make some measurements to be able to party longer but somehow cheaper. Iceland doesn’t sell alcohol in grocery stores like other normal countries. Instead, we have special liquor stores all over Reykjavik with limited opening hours called “Ríkið” (Ree-kith). To save a buck on alcohol, make a visit to one of these stores and stock up! The alcohol there is way cheaper than you’ll find in bars and restaurants! If you are staying in the downtown area then the closest liquor store is on Austurstræti.
The ultimate way to safe a buck is to buy your alcohol right at the airport upon arrival.
Opening hours for Ríkið on Austurstræti are:
Visit our flea market instead of spending all your money in stores
It’s hard to resist all those beautiful local garments in the windows of Laugarvegur shopping street. Icelandic design is both unique and beautiful! But… often… when one takes a look at the price tag, then it’s not so hard to turn it away anymore. The best way for you to buy some local designs is definitely checking out our local weekend flea market. There, you can find wool sweaters, hats, gloves, jackets, jewellery and much more for way cheaper price than out on the streets of Laugarvegur! They also sell a lot of local, exciting Icelandic foods. So go on, give the flea market a visit!
Opening hours for the local fleamarket (Kolaportið), Tryggvagötu 19 (by the Old Harbour).
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Bring layers of clothing
The weather in Iceland is very schizophrenic. It can be raining and snowing one minute, but sunshine and rainbows the next. The best way to prepare for the weather in Iceland is instead of bringing one “ultimate” coat for all weather which in this particular case can be SUPER expensive, bring heaps of layers of clothing! This is a great saving tip for those who want to travel smart without paying for a very expensive garment that you might never use again.
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Join our Foodie Tour
Joining our Foodie Tour is the absolute best way to get to know our beautiful city through its stomach! Sightseeing tours in Reykjavik can be very expensive so why not try to find one which gives you some extra value? In our Foodie Walk, our guests get a great opportunity to get to know the city while having a bit of taste of it too. Join our Reykjavik Food Tour to experience our delicious Icelandic cuisine at it’s best, see the highlights of Reykjavik and visit the most excellent restaurants, local shops and food trucks in Iceland. It saves you a whole day of eating and gives you a great insight too!
Look up! There are free/cheap adventures all around you!
If you look up from that guide book for a second, you will learn there are many free activities in and around Reykjavik which are definitely worth exploring. There is not a night in town where there isn’t a concert, stand up or art show somewhere, waiting to be discovered. If you are a nature kid and love exploring the outdoors, then hire a car and drive to one of the surrounding mountains, eg. Esja, Helgafell and Úlfarsfjall. Those are all very popular hikes and will truly give you that sense of not doing one of those “expensive touristy stuff”.
Well, hiring a car can be expensive though. In that case, hitch hike.
Great things don’t have to be expensive. With some creative mind and the will to break away from tourists traps, one can find himself in a very cheap but amazing experience here in Iceland! Try to think out site the box and break those expensive price tags by asking a local like us for example! We love helping out!
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