Practical tips

So you have decided to travel to land of fire and ice with your family. Then the big question is, how do you pack for Iceland? What is the weather like? Is there anything nice you could buy while visiting? We have gathered some of the more practical tips and information for your trip to Iceland.

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Iceland is an island country in the North Atlantic, it covers a total area of 103,000 km2 and with a population of just 330,000 it is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland is in the top 20 of the most developed nations on earth and with very low violent crime rates, it is one of the safest countries in the world and the police do not carry weapons.

The three colors in Iceland’s flag all have special meaning: Blue is for the ocean, white for the snow and glaciers and red is for the volcanic fires.

Virtually all Icelanders speak English.

Icelanders are still learning how to wait in a line.

There are some public holidays in Iceland when almost all shops, restaurants and public institutions are closed, like New Year´s Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday,Christmas Eve from noon, Christmas Day Boxing Day, New Year´s Eve from noon.


During wintertime you should bring warm clothing, thick coat, e.g. down jacket, mittens, good waterproof (e.g. Gore Tex) shoes with sturdy soles. If it is snowing, the streets can be slippery and wet. Seasons change and of course you need to take that into consideration when choosing the clothes to pack for your trip.

In the summertime the focus should be on warm practical clothing too and rain jackets and boots.

It should all be about layering, because the weather can change and so it is always better to be nice and warm next to your body, e.g. wool underwear or fleece. Wind and waterproof clothing should be the outer layer.

It is important to pack your swimsuit and towel, so that you can enjoy the great geothermal swimming pools and the outdoor hot tubs around the country, the Blue Lagoon and natural hot springs.


Positioned just outside the Arctic Circle, Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a some what temperate climate. Always check the weather forecast before starting your journey in Iceland, the Icelandic Met Office and the Norwegian Met Institute both offer excellent weather services.


The official currency of Iceland is the króna(ISK) and is represented by the symbol kr.

¨There are some additional fees when using foreign credit cards in Iceland.

There are 3 largest banks in Iceland are Landsbanki, Íslandsbanki, and Arion Banki. Visit there homepages to get list of branches, ATMs and for currency information.

In Iceland, tipping is not expected.

Phone and Internet

The calling code for Iceland is +354

Access to the internet is very good, most hotels and coffee houses offer free Wi-fi for guests and there is internet service available at Tourist Information Centers and libraries across the country.

The Icelandic mobile network with 3G/4G reaches 99% of Icelandic homes and a large proportion of the unpopulated area as well. You can get prepaid voice/data service from and or you can rent a 4G WiFi portable hotspot at

News in english

For Icelandic news in english go to or Iceland Monitor

There is an all english speaking station in Iceland called Radio Iceland

Disabled travellers

In general, Iceland is a somewhat difficult country to travel for disabled people, all the main sites such as Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir are pretty accessible by wheelchair but anywhere else can be a challenge. In downtown Reykjavik, some of the restaurants have quite steep steps up or down to them, for a list of restaurants with good wheelchair access, click here.

The tour company Iceland Unlimited provides accessible travel solutions in Iceland.