Iceland on the cheap

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There are wallet-friendly finds awaiting budget-conscious travelers in Iceland. Here are a few suggestions to enjoy the country on a budget.

While Iceland may have a reputation as a rather expensive destination, there are plenty of wallet-friendly finds awaiting budget-conscious travelers. If you’re looking to do Iceland on the cheap, here are a few suggestions to enjoy the country on a budget.

Buy a Voyager Card

Start your vacation off right with a Voyager Card, which offers discounts of 10-20 percent on 250 different restaurants, shops and tours throughout the capital of Reykjavik. Carry this card to maximize your savings in the city.

Stay in a vintage van

Looking for a budget-friendly place to lay your head? Why not spend the night in a vintage van with unbeatable views of Iceland’s stunning fjords? This Airbnb find in Akureyri, Iceland runs for as low as a cool $41 per night, and you’ll enjoy a cozy, warm bed, views from the deck and all the necessities (read: bathrooms and WiFi) in the house next door.

Visit the Perlan

The Perlan (Image: magical-world used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
The Perlan (Image: magical-world used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

If your travels take you to Reykjavik, be sure to visit the Perlan (The Pearl) to take in some of the best views of the city. You can take in panoramic views of the city from the giant steel and glass dome’s expansive viewing gallery, and best of all? Checking out the view is completely free of charge.

Visit Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja (Image: MrHicks46 used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Hallgrimskirkja (Image: MrHicks46 used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

The staggering design of this Lutheran church is quite the sight to behold. Hallgrimskirkja is the largest church in the country, with architecture that makes a statement as one of Iceland’s tallest buildings. You can visit the majestic cathedral for free, or you can pay 700 krona (about $6) to view Reykjavik from the observation deck.

National Gallery of Iceland

For a look at Icelandic art, don’t miss the National Gallery of Iceland, which you can visit for 1,000 krona (about $8). The museum houses some of Iceland’s most important cultural artwork, as well as rotating exhibits featuring both Icelandic and international artists.

Take a dip in a thermal pool

Thermal pool in Iceland (Image: ScubaBeer used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland (Image: ScubaBeer used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Iceland is dotted with natural thermal pools with bubbling hot springs. For less than $5, you can soak up these hot waters for yourself from the pools at Laugardalslaug in Reykjavik. For a more natural (and free) setting, you can hike to thermal rivers like Reykjadalur (less than an hour from Reykjavik), South Iceland’s Seljavallalaug (near Seljavellir) or North Iceland’s Grjotagja lava cave (near Lake Myvatn).

(Main image: deivis used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Iceland on the cheap was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.