Reykjavik is one of the most expensive cities in the world. This small capital city of Iceland has charm, fun and culture all to be found and enjoyed, but unfortunately this all comes at a price.
But Reykjavik is a wonderful city to visit. It features great sightseeing, fantastic food and fashion, and just outside this lovely city are all the wonderful amazing sights of Iceland too, including the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers and much much more.
If you are planning a visit to Reykjavik here are 10 money saving tips, so you can enjoy your trip, without worrying about your dollars and cents.
1.Take the Clothing you will need with you to Reykjavik
It is really expensive to buy clothing and shoes in Reykjavik . It does have beautiful clothing available in the many clothes shops, especially stores such as Geysir. But that clothing is at a higher price.
If you need something vital in Iceland, such as a sweater, rain jacket, hiking boots, or even just a backpack, it is expensive to buy right here in the capital. So plan your trip well, and take into account everything you will need there during your visit. That way you can buy everything ahead of time at lower and better prices in your own country.
2. Cheaper Alternatives for Clothing in Reykjavik
If you do need to purchase an item of clothing while you are in Reykjavik, that you really need, there are many cheaper alternatives than the main shops.
Every Saturday and Sunday Reykjavik has a flea market, Kolaportid. At that flea market you can buy second hand sweaters, clothing, shoes and boots. If you arrived in Iceland without enough warm clothes, you can certainly find a lot of Icelandic sweaters in the flea market.
The flea market also has many stalls by local vendors, who sell their items at much cheaper prices than the main shops do.
In addition to the flea market, Reykjavik also has many charity shops, such as the Red Cross charity shop. These charity shops are all based downtown within walking distance to each other. Here you will be able to buy used clothing and shoes, at much cheaper prices.
3. Buy Good and Cheaper Food at the Farmer’s Market in Reykjavik
Food prices are high in Iceland (but it is amazingly good!). But you can buy much cheaper food items if you head to the farmer’s market, which is part of the Flea Market, Kolaportid, on Saturdays and Sundays. Here I was able to purchase some of the flavored salt that Iceland is famous for, at much lower prices than I found anywhere else we visited. The farmer’s market also has stalls selling pastries. We were able to purchase cinnamon rolls and rhubarb rolls very cheaply, that lasted several days. The farmer’s market is also the place to go to buy meat, fish and other Icelandic delicacies. It also has a cafe on-site, where the food is very affordable.
4. Use the Supermarkets in Reykjavik
There are several supermarkets and grocery stores throughout Reykjavik. They all offer products much cheaper than you will buy in other stores. For instance, the licorice chocolate and flavored salts that are must-buys in Iceland are much cheaper in the supermarkets than they are in gift shops, selling the exact same item.
It is also hard to find many pharmacies and stores selling personal and beauty products around Reykjavik. But the supermarkets also sell shampoos, conditioner, soaps etc, that you may need.
5. Get a Tax Free Gift at the Airport
I don’t make it a habit of recommending that if you want to buy a gift for someone you wait until you get to the airport, but Iceland is different. Many airports in the world have a horrible selection of gifts, with much of it being mere ‘tat’. But at the Keflavik airport in Iceland, they have numerous items and selections, that are all tax-free. This means you will pay far less than you would pay in the many gift shops throughout Iceland and Reykjavik .
At the Keflavik airport there was a little delicatessen store of sorts, selling many Icelandic foods, including smoked salmon, cheeses and bread. There is also a Blue Lagoon shop selling many of the famous Blue Lagoon beauty products, and numerous gift shops selling Icelandic themed products.
6. Consider a Hostel or a Cheaper Lodging Option
You may steer clear of hostels believing them to be full of students backpacking around Europe, therefore noisy, messy and dirty. But hostels nowadays are very different to how they used to be.
Many hostels now even have bars and restaurants inside them, and many even let you have a private or semi-private bathroom.
Don’t disregard staying in a hostel. Take a look at the accommodation options available, and read the reviews.
A hostel could be a much cheaper way for you to visit Reykjavik, and let’s face it, you are going to be out and about sightseeing and not spending a lot of time in your room anyway.
7. Buy Duty Free Alcohol at the Airport
Alcoholic drinks are really expensive in Iceland. You will notice in Reykjavik that people tend to go out later, after drinking at home first.
If you need an alcoholic tipple or two to get through your evening, consider buying alcohol at Keflavik airport as you arrive in Iceland. The airport has a duty free store that carries numerous types of alcohol, including a great selection of Icelandic gins.
You could also purchase alcohol duty free from your departing airport on your way to Iceland.
8. Happy Hour is such a Happy Hour in Reykjavik
Whilst we are on the subject of alcohol, Happy Hours in the bars and restaurants around Reykjavik is the time to buy alcoholic drinks. Usually happy hour runs from the afternoon to early evening, and drinks are much much cheaper at that time.
9. Rent a Car in Iceland
If you want to see a lot of the sights of Iceland, but are put off by the high price tags of some of them, consider renting a car and doing your own touring around.
It is pretty easy to drive around Iceland. The only things you need to be aware of are that you can encounter animals, such as sheep, on the roads. You can also run into bad weather (it does rain a lot in Iceland). In addition some of the roads are quite desolate, so if you break down or have any kind of trouble it may be a while before you encounter another driver.
Driving around yourself does have advantages. You won’t be limited to timed stops as you are if you take a guided, especially a bus tour. You can also stop off anywhere you want to en-route, and you can take as long as you want driving around.
Most cars that you can rent also come with GPS systems, so you won’t have to worry about finding your way around.
10. Drink the Tap Water in Iceland
Icelandic tap water is clean and refreshing, and costs a lot less than bottled water. Many restaurants will give you tap water for free also.
Keflavik airport also has water fountains, where you can fill your own water bottles with pure Icelandic tap water.
Don’t waste money on bottled water, invest in a refillable water bottle and fill up as you go around.
Reykjavik is a beautiful and fascinating city to visit. So try these 10 money-saving tips so you enjoy your trip more!
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