Reykjavik tourism is not as expensive as you think

Springbrook Like many Nordic countries, Iceland is in the top of countries with extremely expensive travel costs, especially in big cities like Reykjavik. With a perfect geographical position, located very close to famous tourist attractions such as the legendary Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik attracts thousands of visitors every year. We’ve put together some economical Reykjavik travel experiences just for you.

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I have visited Reykjavik’s shopping streets many times before, almost every visit to this beautiful little city I will have to go. The winding streets surrounding the city, small sidewalks and filled with restaurants, motels, and cafes have become my fond memories of Reykjavik travel .

View of Reykjavik city from above
View of Reykjavik from above

Until this time back to Iceland, things had changed a lot. Reykjavik is still a pretty little city with colorful buildings and a bohemian air all over the city, but everything else has appeared: Fast food restaurants, American coffee chains, a variety of restaurants Dunkin’ Donuts and Subways – it’s all over the city.

Although I have no concrete proof, I think this is the result of the rapid increase in Reykjavik tourist numbers throughout the years. My Icelandic friends have realized the negative effects of this on the city: the accident rate is constantly increasing, the roads are always congested, no matter how big or small the road, the environment is increasingly harsh, And most importantly, the price skyrocketed.

Reykjavik's jetty is as beautiful as a picture
Reykjavik’s jetty is as beautiful as a picture

But nothing is impossible, we still have the cheapest Reykjavik travel experiences , just like every other city in the world.

1. Self-cooking

Restaurants in Reykjavik are extremely expensive, just like other capital cities around the world. In the city, a donut costs $5, a hamburger can go up to $23, and a restaurant meal for two can go up to $100! Of course there are some restaurants that are a bit more reasonably priced, but I would still recommend that you limit eating out as much as possible if you don’t intend to spend every last penny.

In Reykjavik, if you're lucky you'll most likely catch the Northern Lights
In Reykjavik, if you’re lucky you’ll most likely catch the Northern Lights

Travel expenses in Reykjavik alone cost about 8,700 ISK (equivalent to 76 USD) a week if you go to the market to buy basic items such as pasta, eggs, skyr (a traditional food product of Vietnam). Icelandic, made from milk), rice, chicken and vegetables. Most hotels and homestays have cooking facilities so you can cook for yourself. In addition, many supermarkets and convenience stores sell sandwiches and salads for around 400 ISK (equivalent to 3.50 USD).

2. Drinks also need to be considered

Reykjavik is home to some of the best nightlife in the world. People go out very late at night, and bars close at 4 or 5 am. Why so? Because most people don’t go out before 1:00 at night. In a city where alcoholic drinks are always extremely expensive (about 1,200 ISK, or 10 USD each), people will stay at home and only go out on the streets during the happy hours at the bar. , then they can buy beer for 600 – 700 ISK (about 5 – 6 USD).

Bars in Reykjavik are usually open until early morning
Bars in Reykjavik are usually open until early morning

There is also another great opportunity to buy alcoholic beverages, which is to buy them as soon as you arrive in this country, in the duty-free area at the airport with a store called Vinbudin. Here you can save up to 40% off the price of alcohol at the bars in the city.

3. Share an Airbnb service instead of renting a hotel

If you are traveling with friends, the most economical Reykjavik travel experience is to immediately avoid renting a hotel room. This type of accommodation costs about 3500-7500 ISK (equivalent to 30-65 USD) per person, while you can rent an entire apartment on the Airbnb app from only 11,500 ISK ($100) per night . If you are traveling in a group of three or more, this is the most affordable form of accommodation.

In Raykjavik, the natural landscape always has a gentle and lovely look
In Raykjavik, the natural landscape always has a gentle and lovely look

4. Go camping

If you don’t mind spending the night a bit far from the city center, you can go camping at Reykjavik Campsite for 1900 ISK per night. This is by far the cheapest form of accommodation in this expensive city.

Camping in Reykjavik doesn't have to be expensive, especially when compared to other types of accommodation
Camping in Reykjavik doesn’t have to be expensive, especially when compared to other types of accommodation

5. Eat at street food stalls

Don’t have a passion for cooking? So do not miss the street food stalls when traveling to Reykjavik , here they sell a lot of dishes such as pizza, sandwiches, kebabs and even the famous Icelandic hot dog sold in Ingólfstorg square, right near tourist information center and Lækjartorg. Sandwiches or kebabs cost around 1000 ISK (about 8-9 USD), while hot dogs are only 400 ISK (3.5 USD).

6. Free tours

If you want to learn the history of the city and Iceland but don’t want to visit expensive museums, this is the place for you to travel to Reykjavik on a budget. The Free Walking Tour Reykjavik has a lot of interesting, extremely useful tours and you will get to go around the neighborhoods.

In winter, the city will be covered with white snow like this
In winter, the city will be covered with white snow like this

7. City suburbs

If you want to go outside the city (to visit the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle or anywhere else) you are bound to spend a ton of money on tours. You can rent a car, but it can’t be cheaper than 50-70 USD per day. The cheapest way is to look for car-sharing services. Travelers will carpool and share money, so you can travel across the country for half the money, or even less.

The famous Blue Lagoon on the outskirts of Reykjavik
The famous Blue Lagoon on the outskirts of Reykjavik

8. Famous attractions

  • Reykjavik Botanical Garden
  • Grotta
  • City Hall
  • Hallgrimskirkja
  • National Gallery of Iceland
  • The Penis Museum
The Penis Museum in Reykjavik has a lot of interesting artifacts
The Penis Museum in Reykjavik has a lot of interesting artifacts

Traveling Reykjavik economically is not too difficult when you visit this expensive city. But if you already love this city, then just pay a little more attention to be able to spend reasonably and take advantage of the free services or attractions in the city, you can fully explore. comfortable city and still save a lot.

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