Iceland Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel (2023)

Iceland hot springs - travel costs

On this page, we look at the cost of travel in Iceland. Read on for a suggested shoestring and more comfortable Iceland backpacking budget. We also have information about the currency and some sample prices around the country in 2023.

Iceland backpacking budget
Map of Iceland from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Iceland Cost of Travel in 2023

Iceland on a Budget – How much do you need?

  • €75/day | 11,000 Krona

Iceland is a country high up on many a travel bucket list but its isolated location makes it somewhat difficult to fit into any other trip. It can be expensive to get to and it’s certainly expensive when you get there with a typical shoestring Iceland backpacking budget perhaps in the region of 11,000 Krona per day.

A good chunk of that goes on accommodation which is very expensive and the cost of eating and drinking out is at least in line with any expensive country on mainland Europe. Then there is the cost and hassle of getting around. Given the population of Iceland is little over 300,000, public transport services are far from regular so many travellers prefer to rent out a car to explore the island, which has many advantages in that you can stop off at any of the abundant natural wonders that catch your eye. The only real good news for budget travellers in Iceland is that almost all of the main natural parks and sights are free to visit.

If you want to attempt to get by on less than this sort of budget, consider camping and perhaps hitch-hiking or ride sharing which are good options in the warmer months, but far from ideal in the bitterly cold winters.

More Comfortable Iceland Backpacking Budget

  • €100/day | 15,000 Krona

To truly see the best of Iceland, you really want to be renting your own car for a few days, which if you are a solo traveller is going to be really expensive. However if you’re travelling with others, it becomes more doable, certainly if you extend your daily budget to around 15,000 Krona per day.

This should enable you to explore the more remote parts of the island and then perhaps spend a bit more time based in Reykjavík without a car and doing trips to the nearby places of interest that are more accessible. You could also get a slightly better quality of accommodation on this kind of budget or rent an Airbnb apartment if you’re travelling with others.

To extend your trip in the region, you can also attempt a longer Scandinavia backpacking route, although Sweden, Denmark and Norway are not cheap either!

Backpacking in Iceland - City view
Hostel beds start at around 30 Euros per night in the Icelandic capital Reykjavík.

Iceland Travel Costs

Approximate Price
Car RentalFrom €30/day (plus petrol etc)
Single bus ticket in Reykjavik€3
Meal in an affordable local restaurant€12-25
Local beer in bar/restaurant€7-9
Dorm bed in a hostelFrom €30/night
Budget private roomFrom €60/night
Entrance to Þingvellir National ParkFree (Parking fees apply)
Travel insurance for backpacking IcelandDepends on your age/circumstances – Get a quote from Heymondo in under a minute!

Iceland is expensive when compared to travel costs in just about any other country in the world. Compare these figures with our Spain backpacking budget or Germany backpacking budget and you will get an idea of just how much more expensive Iceland is compared to even relatively wealthy European countries. The cost of accommodation and alcohol is at least double what you might find when looking at the cost of travel in Portugal for example.

Money – Icelandic Krona

£1 = 170 Krona

€1 = 150 Krona

US$1 = 138 Krona

These exchange rates are accurate as of March 2023. Some shops and businesses that cater to tourists do accept Euros and maybe US Dollars but it’s unlikely to be at the best rate so get yourself some Krona or spend like a local with a travel-friendly debit/credit card.

This Iceland backpacking budget was last updated in March 2023.

Iceland Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel (2023)

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