Rugged landscapes, unique culture, natural thermal pools, and the Northern lights are just a few of the many reasons why tourists flock to Iceland every year. This beautiful and wild country has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, it comes with a considerable price tag. The cost of living in Iceland is high and things like rental cars, hotel stays, and cocktails can add up quickly. Follow these tips and tricks to save your money for making memories on an Icelandic adventure.
What better way to see the astounding Icelandic landscape than to sleep under the stars in one of the country’s many national parks. Spend a few nights in nature and wake up to the sunrise over the immense glaciers and mountains. With the Iceland camping card, you can save money that you would otherwise be spending on a hotel stay and use it to enjoy everything the country has to offer.
Whether you’re simmering something over an open fire or whipping something up in your Airbnb kitchen, cooking is a great way to save money when traveling. Eating out every day can really add up. Since Iceland is an island, they import a lot of their food staples. This is why certain foods are so much more expensive. To save on grocery bills, avoid shopping at 10-11 and stick to low-cost stores like Nettó, Bónus, and Krónan. Instead of buying bottled water, bring your reusable bottle – the tap water in Iceland is safe and healthy!
Use Public Transportation
Iceland is known for its expansive wilderness, and although it is infamously beautiful, it also makes getting around a challenge. Renting a car and paying for fuel can be expensive; if you want to see the country on a budget try taking the bus. Travelers who are keen to explore the countryside on their own can use Trex for daily transfers between Þórsmörk, Landmannalaugar, and Skógar. Hikers will want to sign up for the Hiking Pass which delivers and retrieves hikers from the most popular hiking trails. If you would rather tour the country as part of a group, Grayline and Reykjavik Excursions both offer an array of interesting activities.
Many of Iceland’s most beautiful attractions such as waterfalls, beaches, gardens, geysers, and lava fields are free to enter. Rent a bicycle in town or pull on your hiking boots to get active in the scenic countryside. For those who don’t shy away from a good hike, there are tons of free rewards like a view of Reykjavik from atop Mt. Esja, the black sand of Reynisfjara beach, and the roar of the waterfall at Glymur.
Visit Free Hot Springs
After a long hike, there is nothing better than a long hot soak in one of Iceland’s thermal pools. Some hot springs can be expensive but there are many free options such as the Kvika foot bath near the Grotta island lighthouse in Reykjavik. Sit and enjoy the view of the sea and Mt. Esja while you soak your feet in the warm water. For a full-body soak, take a day hike to nearby Reykjadalur to stroll along the hillside and enjoy the natural hot springs.
Enjoy Cheap Activities in Reykjavik
While staying in the capital, take advantage of the free or inexpensive activities happening throughout the city. Learn more about the city’s history on the free walking tour while seeing the local landmarks. Learn about Icelandic traditions at free cultural events hosted by the Art Museum. Enjoy the natural wonders of the Elliðaárdalur valley and Heiðmörk conservation area. To make the most of your stay, sign up for the Reykjavik city card for free admission to the city’s museums and art gallery, unlimited public transportation, and entrance to the thermal pools.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com