The moment that terrifies me the most is that moment when I don’t have any future trip planned. These kind of moments are pretty rare because I usually like to book at least one trip in advance but there comes a time when panic takes over and the only thing I think about is where to go next.

In a moment like that, I was desperately looking to book my next vacation, having Lisbon in my mind but the prices were too high for my budget. Looking for a better option and in desperate need of travel, I’ve found some pretty cheap plane tickets and accommodation at the beginning of December to Iceland.

Booked!

Iceland is a beautiful country where I would come back anytime. However, be careful at the next 5 things:

Mistake no 1 – Not checking the prices out before booking your tickets!

Considering the fact that I live in Europe, I was pretty sure that the prices in Iceland were going to be similar to other countries I have visited. Well, not really.

A few weeks before departing, when I’ve checked the internet for food prices I almost had a mini heart-attack. You would not expect a meal for one person at a restaurant to start at 30 euros, right?

Now, that I think about it, it’s not that expensive considering that Icelandic people have to import almost all the food because of the weather conditions. Anyway, I was already in pain thinking about how much money I will spend.

A good idea would be to ask the owner of your hostel or somebody at the hotel you are staying at, where you can find cheap supermarkets. I ended up spending a total of 50 euros for food for a 4 day trip. That is pretty cheap, right?

Mistake no 2 – Not changing all the money you need in the airport!

Usually, when traveling, I change money in the city, not in the airport. The rates tend to be a lot better in the city. Well, Iceland is different. The only place where you can exchange money in the city is the Tourist Information center. Of course, I’ve only changed 100 euros in the airport and ran out of money in the first day. My advice: when in Iceland, do change all the money you need at the airport.

Mistake no 3 – Not getting out of Reykjavik!

Yes, Reykjavik is a beautiful city and it has a lot to offer: beautiful architecture, awesome food, friendly people, great sights but staying only in Reykjavik is like buying a pizza and eating only the mushrooms!

You will get a real taste about Iceland only by visiting all its natural wonders . Trust me, you will be amazed!

Mistake no 4 – Not renting a car!

Maybe not all of you will agree, but visiting Iceland with guided tours is a mistake and I’ll tell you why (this applies only if you are 2 persons or more. When traveling solo, it’s cheaper and more convenient to take a tour)

  • Reason no 1: The price. For example, a Golden Circle tour can get you to 150 euros per person. If renting a car, the price will be about 120 euros in total (renting plus gas). If you are a group of 2 persons or more, well, you do the calculation…
  • Reason no 2: You can make your own schedule. Maybe you don’t want to see a certain attraction or monument or maybe you would like to spend a bit more time in a certain place. You can do all that when renting a car.
  • Reason no 3: Weather conditions. When renting a car, you can change your itinerary for the day according to the weather (don’t trust weather forecasts. In Iceland you never know).

Mistake no 5 – Not visiting Iceland during winter

Many people don’t visit Iceland during winter because either the day is too short or the temperatures are too low.

I have visited Iceland in December and the sun came up at about 10.30 am and the night started at about 4.30 pm. It was not that bad. If you wake up early and drive to your point of interest for that day during night you will get there just in time to enjoy it. Keep in mind that we drove from Reikjavik to Jokulsarlon and back in one day.

In what concerns the temperatures, believe me: in other countries from Europe such as Austria, Germany and Poland the temperatures are much lower. In December the temperatures were between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius.

However, I think that the best argument for visiting Iceland during winter are the Northern Lights!

 

Iceland is a wonderful country and is definitely worth visiting. I loved from the moment my feet touched the Icelandic land! Just make sure you do your research and the land of fire and ice will leave you speechless and with a strong desire to come back!

Check out more about Iceland!

16 thoughts on “5 mistakes you will do when traveling to Iceland!”

  1. I work in a clothing store in Scotland, and we regularly have Icelandic customers come over in massve groups and spend hundreds upon hundreds of pounds on clothes. The return flgiht, the stay in Glasgow and the hundreds on pounds they spend on their yearly wardrobe is cheaper than just shopping in Iceland! haa. I woud: LOVE to go to Iceland but yeah I would need to save ALOT! Good advice about changing money at the airport as in most places that is a big no no! Coolpost!

    1. Yes, the prices in Iceland are through the roof! However, it is so worth it since it has such beautiful landscapes!

        1. I run out of money at about 7.30 pm and I haven’t tried banks because it was too late. However, didn’t see too many banks in the city center.

  2. thanks for sharing these tips! I am going to Iceland this summer so I’m looking for all the tips I can get – I hadn’t heard about exchanging money already… so I’m gonna look in to that!

    1. I have some other articles about Iceland if you want to check them out 🙂 I loved Iceland so much! Enjoy your trip!

  3. I went to Iceland at the end of October and the weather was similar, just above freezing. It’s not as cold as people think because of the Gulf Stream. Good to know it’s worthwhile going in December too – I hadn’t thought about planning to arrive at sights at sunrise, good idea.

    Iceland is so beautiful, and it would be a crime not to explore it – I would have missed out on so much staying in Reykjavik! But it’s definitely not a place for fancy meals and lots of alcohol.. 🙂

  4. These are great things to avoid! I’ve never been to Iceland but I knew a lot of this already as it’s somewhere I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. Eventually, I’ll make it there! My only concern with driving would be going in treacherous conditions and something happening haha.

  5. Oh wow- though I think I’ll pass on winter (sorry, Northern Lights!) I hadn’t thought twice about renting a car in Iceland until I read this. I just assumed public transport was like in Europe- efficient & affordable, but there’s a few of us- so tthough I’m no math whiz- you are right! Thanks for these insights!

    1. There is no public transport outside Reykjavik but only paid tours which are very expensive. You are welcome 🙂

      1. There is public transport but not necessarily suitable for a short visit. Good for anyone wishing to travel a distance to start their activity. Bus information available from info centres or Central Bus Station, which isn’t that central! It’s near the National Hospital (Landspitalin) out towards the airport where the airport buses come in.

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