Iceland is known for its relatively high prices. In order to support yourself you should have at least 125,000 ISK per month at your disposal. Renting a single room will cost you around 50,000 ISK per month minimum.
Here are some examples of prices in the Reykjavík area:
- Getting from the Keflavik Airport to Reykjavík by bus will cost you around 1950 ISK
- Going to the movies costs around 1,200 ISK
- A loaf of bread costs around 400 ISK
- A litre of milk costs around 120 ISK
- A beer at a café costs around 800 ISK
- A bottle of wine costs from 1300 ISK upwards
- Dining out costs around 1500 ISK and upwards
- The price of petrol is 245 ISK per litre
Money and banking
Icelandic banks are open on weekdays from 9.15 am to 4 pm. Almost all banks are closed on weekends but there may be some exceptions in Reykjavík. When you are staying in Iceland for more than just a vacation you might want to open a bank account. You can keep your money in a foreign currency account, a service that is provided by the majority of banks. In addition, you might want to open a bank account with a debit card since then you can withdraw funds from ATM machines and pay with your card for your purchases in most stores. To open this account you will need to have an Icelandic ID number and your passport/ID card. However, if you are an exchange student you not need to open an account. In most places you can pay with your foreign credit cards.
People from Nordic countries are known as some of the world’s top ‘plastic payers’ and one can pay with credit cards almost everywhere. Also debit card payments should work relatively well. Since things are usually paid for with plastic, service fees are included in the prices and therefore there is no need to tip. This is quite common in other Nordic countries too. However, when leaving a hotel feel free to tip the cleaners, if you feel the service has been particularly good.
Iceland’s nature and terrain combined with the countries extremely sparse population means that most of the transport infrastructure is in the Greater Reykjavík area where two thirds of Icelanders live. People get around mostly by car and in fact there are not many other options since there are no public railways in the country. Domestic flights are also popular in Iceland when you are travelling between largish towns.