The Icelandic króna (kr or ISK) is the native currency, and its value plummeted during the 2008 financial crisis. It is currently trading at about €1 = 140 kr as of May 2016. This has also made local pricing more accessible to visitors, despite the fact that import prices have increased significantly.
If you purchase and sell your króna in Iceland, you’ll receive a higher exchange rate. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Iceland, including taxis, petrol stations, souvenir shops, and even the most distant guest home, so carrying significant sums of Icelandic cash is unnecessary. However, some credit cards are still cautious of króna purchases owing to the currency’s volatility, so check with your bank before you travel and don’t depend solely on plastic.
Foreign trade in the króna has been prohibited since the 2008 economic crisis, therefore you may find it difficult to get króna notes in your own country.
Traveling to Iceland is quite inexpensive: Icelandair and WOW Air both offer a variety of attractive prices and specials, and Keflavk International Airport will soon welcome EasyJet, a European low-cost carrier.
However, as soon as one gets off the aircraft, the scenario changes dramatically: owing to hefty import tariffs and a 25.5 percent VAT rate, costs in Iceland may be much higher than in other areas of Europe, especially for alcohol, foreign cuisines, clothes, and other items. Many retail items, for example, may be 3-4 times more costly than in North America.
The price gap between Iceland and the rest of Northern Europe is considerably less; fuel, for example, is less expensive.
Tourists may take use of useful discount card programs, the most notable of which being the City of Reykjavik’s Reykjavik City Card.
Look for the Bónus while you’re shopping for groceries or other essentials. Netto or Krónan stores, since they are much less expensive than the others. Several second-hand shops, such as Red Cross and Salvation Army, are located in downtown Reykjavk and may be useful for purchasing inexpensive warm clothing.
A pint of beer or glass of wine will set you back 700 to 1200 kr, a pizza for one person will set you back 1700 to 2200 kr, a city bus trip will set you back 350 kr, and a cappuccino or espresso drink will set you back 350 to 600 kr.
A package of 20 cigarettes costs approximately 950 kr. Although cigarettes are not allowed to be visible in stores in Iceland, most petrol stations, supermarkets, and newsagents sell them.
Tipping is not customary in Iceland. In rare instances, leaving a tip may be seen as disrespectful, so try giving vocal appreciation for a job well done instead. It should be noted that some Icelandic businesses have begun to place a tip jar next to the cash register, although these are usually disregarded.
Typical Icelandic products that make good souvenirs include:
- Products made from Icelandic wool. Icelandic sheep are a unique breed that produces soft and durable wool, and Icelandic woolen products (hats, gloves, etc.) are soft and warm; if you intend to visit the interior, don’t simply purchase them for other people.
- Crafts and arts. Iceland offers a plethora of amazing little artisan stores selling anything from melodic baskets to bizarre porcelain sculptures to paintings, glasswork, and jewelry. At contrast to the typical mass-marketed goods seen in so many other museums, the National Galleries prefer to carry the same artist’s work in its gift shops.
- Music from the area. Beyond Björk and Sigur Rós, there are a multitude of intriguing local music CDs worth seeking out. Eberg, Hera, Retro Stefson, FM Belfast, Worm is Green, Mm, Singapore Sling, and Bellatrix are all worth seeking out. Be aware that many of these CDs are often available as imports at considerably cheaper costs back home. CDs usually cost between 1500 and 2000 kr.