With ethereal landscapes, breathtaking natural phenomena, and a colorful culture, Iceland calls to travelers of all backgrounds and budgets.

But in addition to being celebrated for its rumbling volcanoes and luminous blue glaciers, Iceland is notorious for being expensive. Financial experts have named Iceland as the world’s most expensive country, citing restaurant and hotel rates being 44% higher than the European average, passenger transportation 52% higher, and alcoholic beverages 126% higher.

There’s no getting around it: Iceland is expensive. But if you’re a budget traveler who’s caught the Icelandic bug, don’t give up your dreams of riding wild Icelandic ponies and gazing up at the dazzling northern lights just yet. With the right approach and proper planning, you can take a week-long trip to Iceland for under $1,000.

In this article, we’ve outlined all the costs associated with a trip to Iceland. In addition to supplying honest, accurate pricing, we’ve included experienced-traveler-backed tips on how to land the lowest prices on airfare, accommodation, car rental, meals, and more.

In This Article:

  • Airfare to Iceland

    • Airlines with Cheap Flights to Iceland
    • Airfare to Iceland from Major U.S. Cities (In USD)
  • Accommodation Prices in Iceland

  • Transportation Prices in Iceland

  • Food and Drink Prices in Iceland

  • Activities and Entertainment Prices in Iceland

  • The Total Cost of a Trip to Iceland

Airfare to Iceland

How much does it cost to fly to Iceland? Here’s the good news: While most of your Icelandic adventure will be on the pricier side, your airfare doesn’t have to be. With a bit of flight finding finesse, you can land roundtrip airfare from North America to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital and largest city, for as low as $230 roundtrip.

To catch the lowest airfare, travel during September through early December, Iceland’s off-season. During the slow season, not only will you find lower airfare, you may also score excellent deals on accommodations, car rentals, and activities. While less popular among tourists, these months see relatively moderate weather and come with excellent opportunities for popular winter adventure, such as glacial snowmobiling and backcountry skiing. We recommend booking your ticket at least two months before your travel date to secure the best rate.

Airlines with Cheap Flights to Iceland

Airfare to Iceland from Major U.S. Cities (in USD)

  • Boston to Reykjavik: from $229
  • Chicago to Reykjavik: from $250
  • Denver to Reykjavik: from $392
  • Los Angeles to Reykjavik: from $293
  • Miami to Reykjavik: from $300
  • New York to Reykjavik: from $250
  • Philadelphia to Reykjavik: from $361
  • Pittsburgh to Reykjavik: from $249
  • Portland to Reykjavik: from $393
  • San Francisco to Reykjavik: from $258
  • Washington DC to Reykjavik: from $250

Accommodation Prices in Iceland

With Iceland attracting more and more tourists each year, it is advisable to book your accommodation well in advance. Accommodation in Reykjavik is generally the most affordable. Prices plummet as much as 50% during the winter, though many accommodation options do close for the off-season.

As a visitor to Iceland, you’ll have several different accommodation options, ranging from bare-bones to luxurious. Below, we’ve listed the most common types of accommodation in Iceland, in addition to average price ranges during the high season.

Hotels. Hotels are generally — though not always — the most luxurious and expensive accommodation option. The cheapest, most basic hotel accommodations might feature shared bathrooms, while the most lavish feature geothermal hot tubs, upscale spas, and Northern Light views.

  • Hotel double room with private bath: kr30,000 – 40,000 ($288 – 385 USD) per night

Guesthouses. Guesthouses, or Gistiheimili, are a slightly more affordable and traditional form of Icelandic accommodation. A smart choice for mid-range travelers, these bed-and-breakfast-type homes often include complimentary access to the kitchen, laundry facilities, and the Internet. Many guesthouses provide complimentary breakfast, though private bathrooms are rare.

  • Guesthouse double room: kr18,000 – 28,000 ($173 – $269 USD) per night

Hostels. You’ll find both independently owned and Hosteling International-affiliated hostels across Iceland. Many offer private rooms, though typical accommodations include shared dorms with two to six lodgers in each room. Many locations feature kitchen and laundry facility access. If you aren’t a  member of Youth Hosteling International, consider joining to get a 20% discount on affiliated hostel stays.

  • Hostel dorm bed: kr4,500 – 7,000 ($45 – $67 USD) per night

Airbnb. Using Airbnb, you can hunt down homes across Iceland, from cozy rural cottages to sleek downtown penthouses.

  • Average Airbnb entire home: kr26,941 ($259 USD) per night
  • Average Airbnb private room: kr13,418 ($129 USD) per night
  • Average Airbnb shared room: kr8,529 ($82 USD) per night

Camping. Iceland abounds with safe, inexpensive campsites with restrooms, showers, and other facilities. You can purchase a Campingcard for around $169 USD to get access to more than 40 campsites around the country.

  • Campsite stay per person: kr1,200 – kr1,800 ($12 – $17 USD) per night

Sleeping bag accommodation. Sleeping bag accommodation, or svefnpoka gisting, is an Icelandic custom offered at select guesthouses, hostels, and hotels. By bringing your own sleeping bag rather than using the facility’s sheets, you may be able to score a 35% – 50% discount on your room rate. Sleeping bag rooms typically include the same amenities of regular rooms, minus private bathrooms.

Transportation Prices in Iceland

Though hitchhiking is considered an acceptable form of travel and is popular among bold, extreme budgeters, renting a car is the surest, safest, and most comfortable way to explore the island, and well worth the extra expense.You’ll find the best deals during the off-season, and the lowest prices by booking a few months in advance.

  • Average price range for small economy car seating 3 – 5 passengers: kr6,453 – 6,453 ($62 – $120 USD)
  • Average price for a liter of gas as of July 2017: kr196.83 ($1.89 USD)

Food and Drink Prices in Iceland

Since much of Iceland’s food and drink is imported, dining out can take a huge chunk out of your budget. We recommend finding accommodation that includes complimentary breakfast and kitchen access, so you can cook your own meals. Alcohol gets taxed highly in Iceland, so look for happy hours if you plan on drinking.

  • Average price of fast food combo meal: kr12,000 ($15 USD)
  • Average price of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant: kr2,200 ($21 USD)
  • Average price of a personal pizza: kr1,769 ($17 USD)
  • Average price of a hot dog: kr364 ($3.50 USD)
  • Average price for a domestic beer at a bar: kr1,100 ($11 USD)
  • Average price for a domestic beer at a bar during Happy Hour: kr624 ($6 USD)
  • Average price for a 1.5-liter water bottle from a store: kr238 ($2 USD)

Activities and Entertainment Prices in Iceland

After shelling out for accommodation, transportation, and food, you’ll be relieved to discover Iceland offers plenty of free and inexpensive activities.

The Total Cost of a Trip to Iceland

How much is a trip to Iceland in total? Here is a breakdown of the cost of a week-long trip based on different travel styles:

Budget Iceland Trip:

  • Flight: $220 USD
  • Camping: $15 USD per day
  • Economy car rental: $62 USD per day
  • Food: $30 USD per day
  • Activities and entertainment: $0 per day

Total per day: $107 USD | Total for one-week trip with flight: $969 USD

Mid-Range Iceland Trip:

  • Flight: $220 USD
  • Private room through Airbnb: $129 USD per day
  • Medium car rental: $86 USD per day
  • Food: $50 USD per day
  • Activities and entertainment: $100 USD per day

Total per day: $341 USD | Total for one-week trip with flight: $2,607 USD

Luxury Iceland Trip:

  • Flight: $220 USD
  • Double room at a hotel: $300 USD per day
  • Luxury car rental: $329 USD per day
  • Food: $120 USD per day
  • Activities and entertainment: $300 USD per day

Total per day: $1,049 USD | Total for one-week trip with flight: $7,563 USD

In Summary

The price of a trip to Iceland depends largely on your travel style, with luxury travel potentially costing seven times more than an ultra low-budget trip. With determination, planning, and a bit of resourcefulness, you can travel Iceland for under $107 per day and under $1,000 per week. Major money saving tactics include camping rather than splurging on a guesthouse or hotel, cooking at home rather than eating out, and taking advantage of all the free sights and activities this one-of-a-kind country has to offer.