We just got back from our road trip through Iceland – and it was, by far, one of the most incredible places for nature I have ever seen!
As the country has been promoted so often on social media over the last few years, I expected it to be more touristy. However, even in the most touristy places, such as Geysir, Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss, the number of tourists wasn’t overwhelming at all.
You’ve probably heard about the stunning waterfalls, spectacular beaches, unpronounceable names… and also about the hefty price tag that comes with it all! Well, don’t worry – here are some of my top tips to visit Iceland on a budget:
- Drink tap water
It’s considered very normal to ask for tap water everywhere (restaurants, gas stations, hotels, etc). In fact, there’s usually a bottle of tap water on your table in every restaurant.
- Travel off season
We visited Iceland in the middle of May and the sun was out every single day. Yep, we’re lucky bastards.
- Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is ridiculously expensive in Iceland due to high taxation.
- Rent a 4×4 and share the cost with travel buddies
We paid approximately EUR 250 for five days.
- Share the cost of gas
This is self explanatory.
- Don’t waste time and money on guided day trips
Iceland is easy and safe to travel through all by yourself. Rent a car and go explore.
- Remember that activities can add up
I did not spend money on expensive activities such as whale watching, quadriding and helicopter rides. Nevertheless, I always prefer to splurge on experiences rather than things, so if your budget can allow, go for some of these!
- Hitchhike if you must
Unlike many other places, hitchhiking is very common in Iceland.
- Buy food in local supermarkets instead of eating at restaurants
We went out for dinner every evening and it wasn’t too cheap. You end up paying at least EUR 20 per meal.
- Note that all national parks (and even a lot of more touristy places) can be visited for free
- Stay at AirBnBs and hostels