Known for its breathtaking nature, Iceland is an expensive country that can be visited with a budget of $80 to $200 a day.
My 1-week trip to Iceland in a campervan during the high season cost a total of $2,690. Here, I share my Iceland travel expenses, cost per day and budgeting tips. I also outline where and how much cash is needed in Iceland.
- Is Iceland Expensive to Travel To?
- About My Iceland Trip
- Iceland Trip’s Total Cost: $2,690
- Cost Breakdown for Iceland
- Do You Need Cash in Iceland?
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Is Iceland Expensive to Travel To?
💰 Yes, Iceland is an expensive country to travel to. In fact, Iceland is one of the most expensive countries to visit in Europe because it relies on imported goods and has a high cost of living since locals earn a high wage (90% of the population is part of a labor union). I spent $155 per day when traveling to Spain and in comparison, I spent $306 per day in Iceland.
🎒 A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $80 per day or $560 for one week of travel in Iceland, not including flights. To travel on a budget in Iceland, you can:
- Stay at a hostel for $30 a night or a budget hotel for $60 a night
- Buy groceries and cook to save on meals or eat $2 hot dogs at gas stations (they’re quite good)
- Rent a car or campervan and drive yourself instead of relying on tour transportation
- Take advantage of Iceland many free attractions
💳 A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $200 per day or $1,400 for one week of travel in Iceland, not including flights. I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler, but I spent $306 per day in Iceland because I traveled during the high season and booked my campervan at the last minute (about a month in advance).
If you’re traveling to Iceland in the summer and don’t book a campervan 4 months in advance, the cost traveling by campervan will most likely be the same as the cost of staying at hotels, so make sure to book ahead.
About My Iceland Trip
To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my trip to Iceland:
☀️ Summer season. I traveled in August, which is peak, crowded season in Iceland, so things are more expensive than average.
🗓 1 week. I spent one week in Iceland with an itinerary very similar to this one.
✌️ 2 travelers. I traveled with one other person, so I was able to split costs like the campervan rental, gas, parking and entrance fees.
🚐 Campervan traveling. I rented a campervan, which may have been more economical than staying at hotels and Airbnb. This Iceland campervan guide has tips to reduce campervan-related costs.
💰 Mid-range budget. I don’t aim to travel on a budget, but I’m thoughtful about how and where I spend and I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler. My cost for Iceland is higher than usual since I traveled during the high season and booked the campervan at the last minute.
Iceland Trip’s Total Cost: $2,690
I spent $2,690 in Iceland during my 1-week trip with an itinerary similar to this one.
All costs listed here are per person and in USD, converted from Iceland’s ISK currency ($1 USD equaled 140 ISK at time of writing.)
Cost Breakdown for Iceland
Here are my Iceland travel expenses by category:
|Cost||% of Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
Cost per Day in Iceland: $306
If I include my flight costs, my Iceland trip came out to $384 per day.
Flight Cost to Iceland: $550
My round-trip flights between Keflavík International Airport (KEF) and US east coast were $550.
I flew Play, a new, budget Iceland airline that flies to and from Europe and North America. I don’t usually fly budget internationally, but given that Iceland is a 6-hour flight time from the east coast of the US, it was very manageable.
Campervan & Campsites Cost in Iceland: $1,300
My average cost for campervan and campsites in Iceland was $185 per day.
I was able to split my campervan and insurance cost with another person, but Iceland campsites have a per person camping fee averaging $15 per person per night.
|Cost Per Person||Cost Per Day|
This Iceland campervan guide has tips on how to reduce cost for a campervan rental, insurance and campsite.
Gas Cost in Iceland: $90
My average cost of gas in Iceland was $13 per day.
The gas total was $180, but I was was able to split gas with my partner, so the gas cost per person was $90.
Make sure to budget for gas when traveling in Iceland. If you decide to do the full Ring Road, gas can add $400+ to your trip’s expenses. When I visited in 2022, gas cost approximately $4 per mile.
Food Cost in Iceland: $200
My average cost of food in Iceland was $29 per day.
My total cost for dining out was $155.
- I ate out eight times, so it was ~$19 per meal.
- My most expensive meal was $30 at Islenski Barinn in Reykjavík.
- My most affordable meal was $6 at a gas station.
My total cost for groceries was $45.
Iceland food is generally expensive. Food is where you can save money by getting groceries instead of dining out. Some popular grocery store options include:
– Bonus, which is the budget option
– Kronan, which has a wider selection
– Netto, which has a smaller selection
Tours and Activities Cost in Iceland: $535
My average cost of tours in Iceland was $76 per day.
|Vatnajökull glacier hike||$230|
|Bus to Landmannalaugar||$115|
|Vík horse riding||$80|
|Hrunalaug hot spring||$8|
My Iceland itinerary has more details and cost-saving tips for all the tours and activities listed above.
Entrance and Parking Fees in Iceland: $15
My average cost for entrance and parking fees in Iceland was $2 per day.
All of my Iceland entrance and parking fees were split between two people, so these prices reflect a per person cost.
|Attraction or Parking Lot||Cost|
|Fagradalsfjall volcano parking||$3.50|
|Kerid crater entrance fee||$3|
Most of Iceland’s natural attractions don’t have a parking or entrance fee, but they may have bathroom fees.
Do You Need Cash in Iceland?
You mostly do not need cash in Iceland. Iceland has an extremely good credit card infrastructure. I found that even remote campsites took credit cards. With my Iceland itinerary, the only place that required cash was the Hrunalaug hot spring.
Some tips regarding cash and credit cards in Iceland:
- Tip #1: American Express is not widely accepted in Iceland. Make sure to bring a VISA and/or Mastercard credit card instead.
- Tip #2: Take out a bit of cash, but not more than 5,000 ISK (approximately $40). Since cash is rarely handled in Iceland, you don’t need to carry too much cash, but you might want to carry some in case you run into a situation where credit cards are not accepted or the card machines are down. USD is not accepted, so you need to exchange it for ISK.
- Tip #3: You don’t need to tip in Iceland. Although it’s not rude to leave a tip, it’s not a customary or mandatory practice.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
More Iceland Travel Guides
- 🚐 Iceland Campervan Trip First-Timer Guide: How To, What to Pack + Tips
- ❄️ Iceland’s South Coast Travel Guide: 20+ Great Things To Do in a 1-Week Itinerary
- 💧Hrunalaug Hot Spring Guide: Tips, How To Visit and Comparison to Other Hot Springs
- 🧊 Iceland’s Vatnajökull Glacier Hike: How To Visit, What to Wear and Expect