Written by Kayla Smith - Certified Travel Advisor
It’s no secret that visiting Iceland can be costly. With the average cost of a gallon of gas equaling about $8.56, the country currently ranks as the world’s third most expensive when it comes to cost of living. This costly expectation can often create financial worries for travelers, despite their strongest desires for a bucket-list level adventure.
Although it is far from the most cost-efficient destination, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to craft an experience that places the health of your wallet at top-of-mind throughout your journey to the land of ice and fire.
Let’s start with the food… and don’t worry, there is no fermented shark on this list!
Pylsu - A popular, quick dining option in Iceland is the pylsu – an Icelandic hotdog primarily consisting of lamb meat. My pro tip to elevating this meal is to add the mustard and fried onions! The mustard is sweet and entirely different from the bright yellow condiment in the states.
Fish & Chips - Another quick food option is one of the many Fish + Chip stands in Iceland. They are fried to perfection and the perfect affordable, quick stop as you’re adventuring around the country!
Gas Station Food - One thing I love to do while visiting a new country is to visit a gas station to see what variations they have of the snacks we know and love. Iceland has a ton of wonderful snacks – including Skyr, a thick and creamy Icelandic yogurt.
Once you’ve fueled up on some of the tasty eats mentioned above, you’ll be ready to tackle all of the beautiful (and free!) adventures that Iceland has to offer.
Waterfall Chasing - One of Iceland’s most popular routes is the Golden Circle, and after seeing the beauty that it holds, you’ll have no question as to why so many tourists navigate this path each year. The Golden Circle route is home to many waterfalls like Gullfoss, Skógafoss, and Seljalandsfoss, as well as Geysir, the world’s first known geyser. If you’re looking for an affordable, scenic adventure, this is a must in Iceland!
Geothermal Hot Springs - In addition to waterproof gear for waterfall chasing, you may want to bring a swimsuit. Iceland also has several road-side geothermal pools that you can soak in. The Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon are two of Iceland’s most popular hot springs, but the ticket prices can add up, so definitely look for some of the natural springs in the area as well!
Northern Light Chasing - The peak season to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is during the winter, between September and April when the nights are longer. While there are a large number of guided tours in the area, it is also entirely possible to see the lights without going on a tour.
Counting Sheep - 1…2…3… Okay, you may want to stop counting. There are A LOT of sheep in Iceland. In fact, there are so many sheep on the island that they surpass the number of humans. As you’re driving around the island, you are sure to see sheep frolicking high and low! These fluffy animals love wandering up to the tallest peaks of the highest mountains here.
Lastly, souvenirs! You can’t leave without your treasures and trinkets!
Kronan and Bonus - Kronan and Bonus are two popular grocery stores in Iceland. During my travels, I stocked up on chocolate here to bring back to my family and friends. The prices for treats were much more affordable here than in the souvenir shops!
Check out the local thrift stores! - As I mentioned, sheep are abundant in Iceland, so it is no surprise that wool items would be a popular souvenir. Wool gear can definitely add up in cost due to the meticulous work it takes to handcraft an item, so if you’re looking to bring home a warm sweater, I’d recommend checking out the thrift stores in the area!
Overall, Iceland is a grand adventure and the memories that you make on any Iceland trip are sure to be priceless, regardless of your budget! Schedule a brief call or request a no obligation proposal for your unforgettable Iceland trip and start the countdown to the journey of a lifetime! Iceland is calling – will you answer?