HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR BUDGET IN ICELAND

HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR BUDGET IN ICELAND

Hi there and welcome to my blog post on ‘How to maximise your budget in Iceland’. Where I will be highlighting a few things that you can do for your trip to Iceland, that will allow you to get more from your pennies.

In this post, I will include a few tips and tricks on how to get; discounts, get more for your money and even attend a free event.

We all know Iceland is one of the most expensive places to go on holiday. So, any type of saving is always good for the pocket.

Without any further ado, I’m going to jump straight in.

OK, let’s go!!!

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1. Multiple Tours In Iceland

This is more for those who are traveling with friends and family. As you can used this to your advantage and ask for a group discount on tours.

Don’t think it has to be a big group either. We were a group of four adults and we manage to get a discount for every tour we booked with.

If you are traveling solo and you know you’re going to do a few tours. Why not go with one tour agency you like and ask, if you can get a discount if you book multi tours with them.

It might not work but you don’t know until you’ve asked.

We found the best way to go about this, is, before booking on their website. Ask for some information on the tour and when they reply, ask if there is any discount if you book multiple tours with them.

Either way it won’t hurt and if you get it, your purse will thank you.

2. Sale in Iceland

Sale is the magic word here. It is always a good idea to see, before booking any tours, if a sale will be coming up.

We were lucky and there was a Black Friday event, before we left for the trip. Which we managed to get one of the tours at a good deal which was awesome!!

Keep an eye out for sale events as these will reduce the cost of your expenses.

3. food In Iceland

Food, has always been one of the three main costs when travlling and food in Iceland, is way higher than most. With basic dishes starting about £13.60/16.10EUR and a beer from a bar can cost you a hefty price of £7.36/10.20 EUR or so.
 
Therefore, dining out every night will put a big dent in your bank account, if you’re not careful.

If you really want to try the local cuisine, do a one nighter, as a special.
The other option would be, if you don’t mine trying local street food. You could go and try eating at an outlet that does refills.

Yes, refill!! 

3.1. Refill Street Food

Believe it or not. there is actualy a place where you can get refills on food!
Of course, its not on every dish but consider how much food you can eat, it’s worth a drop-in.

The place is called ‘Icelandic Street Food’ (not sponsored). Where they consider themselves to make homemade food as street food. The menu consist of four items;

  • Fisherman’s Favourite with bread on the side. This reminded me, a little bit like a fish pie. This one can be refill.
  • Shellfish soup, can be served in a bread bowl. This wasn’t bad, it was quite creamy and there was good amount of ingredients. Just a little bit salty for me but I think that might be just me. This one can not be refill.
  • Traditional Lamb Soup, can be served in a bread bowl. This was more like vegetable broth, with lamb of course. This one can be refill.
  • Happy Marriage Cake. We didn’t tried this one, so I can’t comment. But from the photo, it looks a bit like a fruit flapjack.

What we ended up doing, was, three soup and the Fisherman’s Favourite for the four of us. Then just when back for refills. To really say we probably could have done two soups and the fisherman’s favourite.

Which would have saved us even more.

3.2. Grocery Shopping in Iceland

There is nothing like saving money, like cooking food yourself.

Therefore, knowing your supermarkets is very importance. We were actually hit with this one. The first supermarket we went to, turn out to be the most expensive one of all!

A loaf of bread was like, almost five times the cost back home! The worse thing was, we actually thought that was the right price, for Iceland.

That was until we bought a loaf for about £2.00/2.37Euro.

Then my purse just cried.

So look around and don’t just pop into the closest one you can find.

After going into a few supermarkets, we found Bónus and Krónan is on the lower end of spectrum. 10/11 was on the higher end, and everything else was about between.

One thing to know though, 10/11 is very convenient as they are everywhere in Reykjavik and open till very late. While I barely noticed the other two markets in the city. I would say do your emergency shopping here and that’s it.

4. Free walking tour…

Have always been a must for me when ever I visit somewhere new. Although, I think this is more a recent thing in Iceland. The last time I was here, I didn’t really notice any free walking tour groups.

Of course, although I say free, it’s not 100 percent free. It’s more on what you can afford or what you think the tour is worth.

Usually, the tour guides have quite a corky personality, with tonnes of local knowledge. They will answer anything you ask (with reason); about the city, it’s history, where to eat and etc.

I asked mine ‘how do you know who your relatives are, if nobody have surnames’.

The one I went with, was called “CityWalk” (not sponsored). There are other groups of course. It’s just, the one I went with, was on the time slot that I needed.

So, do some research and see which one you like, before going.

5. Events In Iceland

It’s always great if you happen to come across any local events during your holiday. It’s one of the best ways to experience the local culture.

So why not see if they’re having any celebrations during your trip to Iceland.

Before setting off. I did a little research, and found, during our visit, we would actually fall on a day called Þrettándinn. Which marks the 13th and the last day of Christmas.

A bonfire and fireworks event done by the local neighborhood all over the city.

The one we ended up going to, was the one done by the local school. Just outside a neighborhood. Everyone would meet and watch the bonfire start. Then fireworks, for about half an hour.

I have to say, although it was run by the local community. There was no expense spared.

The fireworks were spectacular.

Before the event, we all thought, it would be a few fireworks. Like the ones, a neighbour would setoff during the New Year.

However, the fireworks, just kept on going and going, from start to finish. The style was also different from what I have seen before. I have, but one word to describe it,

WOW!!

The best thing was, this was all free!!!

So don’t forget to check, to see if there is an event on when you’re travelling to Iceland. Or you will be missing out on a chance to experience Iceland’s culture.

6. Swimming In Iceland

Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit!!

This is especially true in Iceland. After all hot springs is a big thing here.

Believe it or not, hot tubs and natural hot springs have been a part of Iceland’s culture since the settlement era. Therefore, it is considered one of the most important places to socialize and unwind.

So why not take this chance to enjoy, relax and go for a swim.

6.1. Swim and save

If hot springs is a bit out of the way, during your stay in Iceland. Go to a local swimming pool, as almost all the Icelandic swimming pools are geothermally heated. Most with hot tubs and steam rooms, and costing about £10.00/11.86EUR per person.

It’s not one to miss, considering all the facilities that is provided with the price.

Of course this is no way as the same standards as the Blue Lagoon. This is more for the locals than tourists. However, if you are stuck for things to do or just want to relax on an evening. For the price, you can’t complain.

So do some research, for the nearest swimming pool, or you could always ask the tourist information centre.

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7. churches in Reykjavík

7.1. Hallgrimskirkja

I think this is a must, if you’re in Reykjavík. Plus its free to look around, so why not. However, if you want to go to the top to look at the city, then there is a charge. But I think the church is better appreciated from the outside, due to its unique architecture.

7.2. Domkirkja

Or Dómkirkjan í Reykjavík, known as Reykjavík Cathedral. Which is next to the parliament house and is considered one of the oldest church if not the oldest, opened in 1787.
 

Which is beautiful to look at, from the outside.

For those who like to see a little more of the historic side of Iceland.

8. Iceland’s old neighbourhood

Grjótaþorpið is one of the oldest neighbourhood. Where the first set of houses was ever built for the settlers to Reykjavik.
 

I was told, the neighbourhood is now protected by the local government. Everything about the houses, apart from the colours, must remain the same.

So if you’re interested in seeing what the houses were like during the first settlers. Take a walk through the old neighbourhood. Not only, would you be able to see the original styles of the houses as it was designed back in the day. But also see how each house has it’s own unique colours.
 
Another interesting fact that I was told, was the houses here are never sold and is only ever passed down to family. Meaning that the owners of these houses are the descendants to the original settlers.
 

How cool is that!

Please note; When walking through the neighbourhood try to respect the area after all it is someone’s home.

9. The Pond

The Tjörnin is a beautiful pond, just walking distance, outside of the city centre. Where you can see a lot of birds hanging-out day and night.
 
The pond is known to be an excellent place, for walks or if you’re like me. I can here just to take tons of photos.
 
As on a good day, the pond will give you a beautiful reflection of it’s surroundings.
 

10. Harpa…

Is a Concert Hall and Conference Centre that is beautifully designed with colourful honeycomb glass pannel.

The last time I was here, I didn’t notice the building at all. So either it was built after my first visit or I was really blind. I’ll go with the second one since I wear glasses.

It’s free to go in and to look around. From the top floor, you are able to look out into the coast on oneside and the city on the other.

It is a pretty interesting piece of architecture. Something not to be miss.

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So that was ‘How to maximise your budget in Iceland’.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this post and found it useful.

Tell me what do you think, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Want to read more about Iceland?? Then check out these blog posts here. Or, if you would like to read, my other travel stories, then click on this link.

Don’t forget to visit my Instagram to see my daily adventures.

Till next time, friends!!

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