Sunday, 21 January 2018

Travel: Budgeting in Iceland

Budgeting in Iceland

I loved everything about Iceland, it really was one of my favourite trips of 2017 (which is a hard choice really). But as everyone knows Iceland is renowned for being expensive, so it’s not somewhere like Krakow you can go for a cheap few days away. I went for 5 days and knew I wanted to save enough money so I could enjoy myself without worrying. Even by doing that I still had to be careful with money.

For 5 days I took just over £800 in Icelandic Krona, which totals to 114,000 ISK. Which seems crazy, in my mind I literally felt like I was handing over £2,000 for a glass of wine when in reality it is about £12 (which is still a lot)! A lot of my money I got exchanged was in 10,000 and 5,000 ISK notes. People did look at me funny when I handed over my 10,000 note for a glass of wine! Note to self: don’t use all your smaller notes for your evening meals.

In order to budget we didn’t go out to eat for every single meal, nor did we eat in a fancy restaurant every night. Which may I add, are a lot harder to find than I thought! A lot of restaurants were Thai/Japanese in Reykjavik centre and relatively 'cheap'. For breakfast we went to the supermarket on our first night and grabbed some bits and bobs. We had a fridge in our room, which we kept our croissants/breakfast bars and fruit in for the 5 days. It was a lot easier, especially if you’re getting up early for a tour somewhere! Our breakfast in our hotel was cheap too, but we didn’t have a lot of time before tours for a sit down breakfast, so food on the go was our preferred option.

Budgeting in Iceland

When you’re out on tours through the day it is also quite expensive to eat, mostly as you will stop at the equivalent of our roadside stops (but more commercialised). Most of the time you just want to sit down and grab something though so it is tempting, especially at the bakery stops there... they smell amazing! One thing I would recommend is to eat the tomato and basil soup on your Golden Circle tour. We were recommended this by a pair we met there and it was beautiful!

If you do want to go out drinking too, there is various happy hours in the bars in Reykjavik such as Bravo, Lebowski Bar and Kaffibarinn. Out of them all though my favourite was Hlemmur! Though it isn't somewhere you'd go for a whole night out, it has a lovely atmosphere. Though it's a bus station, it's basically like an indoor food market (with loads to choose from), and a bar with wine on tap!! It is also super cheap if you buy your pre-drinks in Duty Free before landing, gin saved us a fortune!

For food we ate out at the Hard Rock Cafe, Mai Thai Bistro, Durum Cafe, a Chinese restaurant and also Aktu Taktu - which is basically and Iceland McDonalds (but lush). Out of all of these my absolute favourite was Mai Thai Bistro, it is the best Thai food I've ever had and debated getting thirds! If you love Thai food and want something cheap to grab I would recommend this in a heartbeat.

When booking trips we booked a few prior to going with Gray Line Iceland for the likes of the Blue Lagoon and Northern Lights - which were good value for money. We also booked our Golden Circle tour through Your Day Tours and they were so so lovely! Our guide was so friendly and talked us through literally everything! I would recommend booking your tours prior so you know your schedule!



I would love to go back to Iceland, have you been before?

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