My Iceland Traveler Tips
Some things to share about what we learned traveling in Iceland August 2017!
- Bring several quality chargers and if you can, bring some fast chargers.
- Also bring a portable phone charger like the brick USB kind.
- If you can get a car with GPS, it would be easier to deal with than your phone.
- Bring an empty water bottle, the water is fresh and drinkable, don’t buy water ever!
- Try the fish, butter, coffee and French fries, all incredible. If you’re in Reykjavik try out Reykjavik Chips. All they make is fresh cut double cooked fries with like 10 different sauces.
- The bakeries are amazing. Worth the money. If it looks good it is good.
- All the dairy is also amazing but avoid the Skyr yogurt in the little cups at the grocery, it’s full of fake sugar and tastes terrible unless you like aspartame.
- You can eat horse, whale meat and endangered puffin but come on, just don’t.
- I heard the pizza was amazing but my husband and I didn’t agree with that. Not enough sauce and a 9″ plain pizza is like $10 US.
Erik loves the salty black licorice so get some if you can stand it, it is serious stuff.
- Take the CityWalk “free” tour in Reykjavik and tell Disa we say “Hi”.
Don’t worry about driving around, the streets are easy and there is no traffic. They use rotaries and not too many lights.
Right on red is illegal.
- Not many police but watch your speed limit on the round signs! It’s tempting to go like 120 mph on the open roads.
- Both cars we dealt with turn off when at a stop, once you take the foot of the brake or turn the steering wheel it turns back on. Don’t freak out about this. Gas is often found in unmanned stations like oil farms for trucks here. It is per liter and is about $8 US a gallon…
Plan free natural hot springs to swim in, we didn’t and I wish we had.
- Do the Blue Lagoon, totally worth it.
- Bring a waterproof phone holder that goes around your neck, it came in handy several times even when not involving water.
- Eat out some at quality places, if you can, enjoy the leftovers for other meals or share meals. The Bonus grocery stores are the cheapest; look for the very stoned looking pink pig sign on buildings.
- The one place to get alcohol is Vinbudin which are fairly common but open late like 11am and close early like 6 or 7pm.(6 on Thursdays??) If you can get duty free alcohol and candy at the airport, you can save over half the money!
- Bring rain/wind jackets, don’t bring umbrellas!
- Go to the bathroom before you leave for the day if you can, you can drive for a while without seeing any (or even a tree) and if you do they might require you to pay to use them! Double button toilets- you figure it out.
- Don’t bother picking out cute outfits, most of the time I wore leggings and hoodies. Focus on layers and comfort. Bring sneakers and climbing boots if you can.
- Don’t bother bringing much makeup or jewelry; I brought some of that and a dress and never used any of it.
- NO tipping is required, except it’s suggested at the end of the “free” walking tour.
- You have to bag your own groceries and pay for plastic bags, bring reusable bags if you can.
- Most people speak English well as they are ALL taught Icelandic, Danish and English in the school system; language was never a problem.
- Not that this a judgement call on our readers but smile and don’t be a jerky American tourist; we were treated like royalty because we weren’t obnoxious; there are only 350,000 Iclanders in the whole country and they can spot the asshats.
- If I could personally recommend activities it would be these:
- Gullfoss Water – a significant hike, only 1/2 of us did it and make sure to wear a rain coat and protect your gear.
- Blue Lagoon – bring flip flops, a towel and a waterproof phone cover to hang around your neck.
- Do the Safari Buggy Tour, it was beyond fun and you get to see stuff that you normally wouldn’t see.
- Spend a whole day at least in Reykavik just walking around.
- Do the Ring Road, incredible sites just driving along.
- Stop to pet horses if you can and bring some carrots for them.
- We happened to drive by Reykjanesfólkvangur National Park and it was simply gorgeous.
- All the waterfalls were amazing, I recommend any of them.
- Make time to do a bunch of geothermal pools because there are a few of them and we didn’t make as much time for these as I’d hoped.