Money and budget Iceland

Money and budget Iceland

Money, banks, exchange


Iceland's currency unit is icelandic krone, abbreviated ISK.

Important: the crown fluctuates on the exchange rate before your departure ... Take this monetary instability into account when preparing the trip and allow for a certain margin with the prices announced in the guide.

FYI, at the end of 2019, the average exchange rate was around ISK 140 for € 1, or ISK 100 for € 0,70.

Some hoteliers or service providers now choose to indicate their prices in euros. The European currency is more and more accepted (in Reykjavík anyway); on the other hand, there is a risk of giving you change in Icelandic kroner, at a rate rarely to your advantage.


Euros, Swiss francs and Canadian dollars are easily exchanged in banks (open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 16 p.m. approximately) and exchange offices (sometimes open on Saturdays). No commission, but the rate can vary a bit (good to compare). That said, there are vending machines everywhere accepting international payment cards, even in small towns.

In order to banks like Max, My French Bank, Revolut or N26 offer free cards that do not charge any commission for payments and withdrawals. The online banks Boursorama and Fortuneo also offer this type of free card allowing both to pay in foreign currency and to withdraw free of charge.

But be aware that, even if you have done the necessary with your French bank to avoid paying bank charges, local banks charge you a commission or percentage for each withdrawal. Absolutely avoid airport ATMs, which have the highest commissions.

Better then withdraw a large sum at once rather 500 ISK commission per withdrawal.

Payment cards

You can pay almost anywhere with your bank card. Even guesthouses usually have a terminal. Like ATM withdrawals, card payments come with a commission that varies depending on the amount paid: the smaller the amount, the more expensive the exchange rate.

So rather provide liquid for small expenses and keep the card for large expenses.

Finally, remember to change the remaining money into euros before leaving the country, because the Icelandic krone is difficult to convert on return (except for our Swiss readers).

Budget in Iceland

Iceland is among the most expensive countries in the world! 

It is very difficult to predict the evolution of prices from one year to the next. To avoid unpleasant surprises, prepare your trip well and especially your budget, by checking the prices of rooms, transport and excursions on the Internet just before your departure. Because, even if we do our best to update the rates, we cannot anticipate currency fluctuations!

The heaviest items in your budget will be accommodation (unless you're camping) and transportation. For food, it all depends on whether you take your meals at the restaurant or whether you rather fill your safe at the supermarket by taking advantage of the kitchens often available in the accommodation.


We indicate the prices per person if, roughly, in July-August, roughly, in July-August. In June and September, prices are often a little lower, but not always (some accommodations, only open from June to early September) while in winter the reductions vary between 10 and 50%.

- Inexpensive 7 ISK per person with sleeping bag, in dormitory or private room over 000 years old.
- Average prices: 12-000 ISK for 20 people. C & rsquo Chic: 20-000 ISK for 30 people. In this category Very stylish : over 30 ISK. This is the price you will have to pay for a real impression of "chic" with tastefully decorated rooms ...

- In youth hostels and some guesthouses, the sheets can be 1 ISK / person, we quickly make e500 ISK.


Between 1-800 ISK, you will be entitled to the ticket, with provisions purchased at the supermarket.
For dinner, the guesthouses leave a kitchen at the disposal of their guests.
LThe prices indicated are those of a main course in a cafe or restaurant.

- Good service, even in a small restaurant.
- Average prices: from 2 to resto.
- Chic at 5 ISK per dish, more in the evening, in a good restaurant ... or simply in a very touristy area for lunch! 

  • See also how to eat inexpensively in Iceland


A visit from museum costs in most cases between 1 and 000 ISK. A certain number of “small” village museums turn out to be rather expensive, at least if we compare them to “large” city museums. Fortunately, the majority of museums are free for children under 12 and generally offer discounts for students (have their card).

Having said that, in Iceland, the most beautiful spectacles and paintings are in nature and, the big advantage of this country, that is, ris largely free (national parks included).


If you travel by bus, think of 15% savings if you use all the routes).

Regarding gasoline, its price is a little higher than in France and diesel is almost as expensive.

Shopping and souvenirs

- Iceland is a country where knitting is a national sport. The essential Icelandic sweater, or lopapeysa, is extremely hot, very thick, but expensive and, above all ... itchy!

In addition to sweaters, there is also a wide choice of woolen gloves, mittens, mittens, hats, socks and other ponchos, some very classic, others really original. Be aware, however, that a large part of production is now automated.

- As in all Nordic countries, decorative objects glass, wood, ceramic or lava are sold in souvenir shops. There are also objects in shagreen, a fish leather produced by a unique company on the north coast (Sauðárkrókur). We spare you made in China trolls, costume dolls, horse mugs (or worse), puffin beanies and Viking horned headdresses, Iceland branded magnets, or askur copies, these bowls in which the Vikings stored their daily food. ...

- Several local businesses from cosmetics offer products whose composition includes Icelandic minerals, such as those from the organic brand Tær Icelandic, Blue Lagoon, or Purity Herbs and Villimey.

- Something to bring back, if not some dried fish chips. Pack it well in your suitcase otherwise hello smells when you get home!

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