I’ll be sharing price guides to some of my favourite cities over the next few posts, and I’m starting things off with a city I visited back in March, Reykjavik in Iceland.
Reykjavik, and Iceland as a whole, is known as one of the most unique and diverse geological locations in the world. It’s stunning climate coupled with unique attractions such as the Blue Lagoon, means the country makes it to the top of lots of bucket lists. However, it is also notorious for its high prices, which can put people off. I believe that if you budget correctly and are savvy with what you spend, you can do Reykjavik without breaking the bank.
Here’s my honest price guide to Reykjavik, and the tips you need to help you save whilst seeing one of the most beautiful cities on the globe!
Accommodation can be one of the biggest expenditures for your stay in Reykjavik, but with a bit of planning and flexibility you can reduce the cost significantly. We opted for an apartment over a hotel, which although did not actually reduce the price per night, did reduce the amount we spent on food as we had a full kitchen. The apartment was part of Reykjavik4You Apartments, which I would highly recommend for their great location, super clean and modern studios, and friendly staff.
There’s also a lot of great Air B&B’s to stay in, although they book up fast. Book in plenty of time to maximise your choices at the best rates. Don’t forget to be flexible with dates if possible, and avoid any obvious seasonal holiday price hikes such as Valentine’s Day. Looking for accommodation that allows you to book with no deposit and pay on arrival is another great way to let you save up.
Food & Drink
After accommodation, food and drink will be next at the top of the bill! Eating out in Reykjavik can be very pricey, and to be honest it put us off dining out altogether. After all we didn’t go to Reykjavik for the food, so we were happy to shop at the supermarket and cook in our apartment. This helped us save a lot and I would recommend anyone on a budget to do so too! We did price a few restaurants, but £20-30 per person for a main meal just couldn’t be justified, and that’s without a drink!
You will pay around £7 – £10 for a glass of wine or a beer in most bars, and upwards of £10 for a single measure spirit! Unless you have lots of cash to spare, Reykjavik is not the place to go out for a heavy night drinking. Buy alcohol in duty free if you want to save some money! You can see why the Icelandic aren’t binge drinkers…
We did treat ourselves to cocktails at the Blue Lagoon, but look at that view… it was so worth it.
The main airport, Keflavik International Airport, is not located in Reykjavik. It is in fact around 50 km out the city. The best way of getting to and from the airport is pre-booking a bus. We used the Gray Line service which came in at around £37 per person for a return journey. This is a significant saving in comparison to catching a taxi at the airport, which can be upwards of £95 for one way. If you are splitting the cost between a group, a taxi may be a more suitable option, but for solo or couple travellers I’d recommend getting the bus service.
Public transport around Reykjavik is fairly non-existent, however the city itself is pretty small and easy to get around on by foot. For excursions and trips buses are organised by tour providers, or if you are wanting to go it alone, hiring a car is another option.
Tip: Try and book any excursions in advance (especially Blue Lagoon – you must buy your ticket in advance). We purchased all our tours (Golden Circle Tour, Northern Lights Tour and Blue Lagoon transport) from Bus Travel Iceland. They frequently have discount codes and special packages, so keep an eye out for savings here.
Iceland is a truly beautiful country, and is certainly somewhere I want to return! Don’t let the high prices put you off, plan ahead and be savvy and you can do it without spending your life savings!
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