Useful statistics for Iceland

Population: 329,100 (Jan 2015)

Total area: 103,000 km² / 39,756 sq. mi

Capital: Reykjavík (population 118,898)

Form of Government: Republic since June 17, 1944 (Independent since December 1, 1918)

Approximately 7,250 sq. km (2,799 sq. mi) of Iceland is covered by glaciers

For almost three months in summer there is continuous daylight, a phenomenon known as the “midnight sun”

The mean annual temperature for Reykjavik is 5˚C, with the average in January temperature being – 0.2˚C and in July 12˚C

Is it difficult to get to Iceland?

No. There are daily flights to Iceland from many North American and European cities and more direct flights keep getting added from all over the world. Iceland’s major airport is Keflavík International, located 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Reykjavík.

Do I need to bring my passport and/or visa to get into the country?

A passport or other travel document accepted by Icelandic authorities valid at least three months beyond intended stay is required for visitors to Iceland.

Citizens of the Schengen area in Europe as well as citizens from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore do not require visas. Tourist stays are permitted for up to three months, and can be extended if needed at local police stations. For further information, visit the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

If you do not live in one of these countries mentioned above, then we recommend contacting the Icelandic embassy or consulate in your country to check on requirements before entering Iceland. If there is no Icelandic embassy or consulate in your country, you may contact the Danish embassy or consulate. Otherwise you will need to contact the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

How are the general prices in Iceland?

Tap water at bars, restaurants and cafés: FREE

Milk, 1 liter: 150 ISK

Coca-Cola ½ litre: 200 – 300 ISK

Hot dog: 240 – 400 ISK

A loaf of bread: 250 – 500 ISK

½ liter glass of beer at a restaurant or bar: 800-1100 ISK (cheaper during Happy Hours!)

½ liter can of beer at liquor store: 250 – 400 ISK

Latte or similar espresso drink at a cafe: 500 ISK

Petrol, 1 liter: 210 ISK

A meal for one: 1200-2000 ISK

Please note the prices above are estimates only; prices vary widely by location.

What is Iceland’s money?

The Icelandic monetary unit is the króna (plural krónur) and is usually abbreviated as ISK or kr.

Coins are in denominations of: 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 kr.

Bank notes are in denominations of: 10000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500 kr.

Credit cards: Visa and MasterCard are accepted almost universally, and ATMs are generally not hard to find. Most people in Iceland pay for everything, even small items like chewing gum, with a credit card.

Currency exchange: All major currencies can be exchanged at the airport, banks and currency exchanges in Iceland. Due to currency restrictions, it is extremely difficult to obtain ISK in a foreign country before arriving in Iceland. Likewise, it is a good idea to exchange any surplus ISK before leaving Iceland.

Foreign currency exchange is available at Keflavik International Airport and all banks around the country.

Do Icelanders speak English?

Icelanders are taught English from a young age, so almost everybody you meet is fluent in the English language.

How should I dress?

No matter what time of year you plan to visit Iceland, always pack some warm and water-resistant clothes. The Icelanders often say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes.” They’re not kidding! And always bring a bathing suit. Yes, a bathing suit! Icelanders’ favorite pastime is year-round outdoor swimming in the countless geothermal heated pools and lagoons, which are as warm as bathwater.

How are the accommodations and food?

World-class! Iceland’s hotels and guesthouses are almost invariably clean and comfortable. Food choices are generally wide. “Homegrown” seafood and lamb dishes are popular and available anywhere. In the more populated areas, international cuisine – including American fast food – has become all the rage. And vegetarians will find plenty of excellent choices.