Iceland Travel Guide: Things All Travellers Should Know Before Heading To Iceland.
It's no secret that Iceland has, in recent years, become a popular travel destination that has made it's way onto many people's bucket lists. But planning the perfect trip can take a fair amount of research and organising. To help you get started, we've compiled a list of things all travellers should know before going on a trip to Iceland.
Also, if you need some ideas on what to see whilst you're in Iceland, don't forget to read our list of top 8 things to do in the south of Iceland here
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Edit: This post was first written before the pandemic. With the ever changing restrictions across the world, we encourage you to visit the official website for any pandemic related information for Iceland here
01. Currency: Icelandic Krona (ISK)
02. Language: Icelandic. But don't worry if you haven't had time to brush up on your
Icelandic. Most locals you'll meet will speak English, although it's always a nice idea to learn a few key phrases in Icelandic.
03. Time difference to UK: There is no time difference - hurrah!
04. The locals are lovely and friendly. That's right, meet the locals and you'll be surprised at how warm and friendly they are.
05. Tipping is not required. Of course you can always leave a little something for exceptional service, but it's not expected.
06. You won't need to carry much cash with you. Most of the shops and fuel stations you'll visit will take card. So keep this in mind when it's time to exchange your money to ISK.
07. And this will come as no surprise that Iceland is also home to some of the world's most stunning natural beauty. So get ready to explore some powerful waterfalls, unique black sand beaches and to see the beautiful northern lights.
08. Iceland is expensive. With plenty of 'budget' airlines flying to Iceland, you'd be forgiven for thinking that once you get there, your holiday will be just as cheap. But no, Iceland is expensive. Accommodation, car rental, coach trips, activities and even picking up some bits at a supermarket will cost more than we're use to in the UK. If you're on a tight budget, forget about eating out. Restaurants and bars are very expensive all over Iceland.
But don't be put off by the expense. Read our top tips for visiting Iceland on a budget here.
09. Be prepared to drive a lot. Something we didn't realise until we started planning our first trip to Iceland was how much driving we would have to do. We made a list of places we wanted to visit but then had to adjust our plans when we found out some places were further away from each other than we had originally thought.
(For example: Keflavik airport is not in the capital, Reykjavik. It's just over 30 miles away or a 45 minute drive. And from Gullfoss on the Golden Circle route to the popular black sand beach, Reynisfjara, will take you almost 2 and a half hours of driving.)
10. Watch your speed! The long open roads can be tempting for some go faster than the speed limit, but watch your speed and beware of speed cameras - just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they're not there. So stay safe and obey the laws.
11. Your experience will be different from one season to the next. If you visit in winter, expect lots of snow, plan a tour of the ice caves and be prepared to see the northern lights. But if you visit during the summer months, you'll get to experience the midnight sun, see the lush green grass and spot some cute little puffins and even some whales.
For more information on what to expect during the your trip, read our season breakdown and comparison here
12. Things may not go to plan. No matter how much you plan, the ever-changing weather means some days your trip may not go the way you think. The unexpected snow storms can make driving dangerous and can also close roads too. So now you know, don't stress too much if your plans are scuppered. Just roll with the changes if they happen and it doesn't hurt to have a backup plan.
13. Be prepared for the tourists. Iceland has in recent years become a bucket list destination for lots of people. So with this in mind, be prepared to see the sights with lots of other people.
14. Iceland is such a beautiful country that you will want to stop every few minutes to take pictures. But make sure to look up from the camera and enjoy the view.
15. Even though Iceland's water is some of the purest in the world, it smells like sulphur. And if you didn't know, sulphur smells like rotten eggs. So be prepared for this before taking a shower or brushing your teeth.
16. You'll never want to leave. So be prepared to plan another trip as soon as you come home.
So they were our top 16 things to know before your next visit to Iceland. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comment section below.