How to visit Iceland on a budget

Iceland is a mesmerizing canvas painted with geysers, waterfalls, and the ethereal Northern Lights. A place where nature’s raw power and beauty converge, creating a landscape that’s nothing short of magical. But here’s the thing: while its beauty is undeniable, so is its reputation for being a tad heavy on the wallet. Many travelers, lured by the promise of its otherworldly landscapes, are often taken aback by the price tags that accompany the experience.

Now, let us share a little secret with you. While Iceland does have a penchant for luxury, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to experience its wonders. Believe it or not, two wanderlusters from London, a city notorious for its high living costs, embarked on an Icelandic adventure without burning a hole in their pockets. And if they can do it, so can you!

That’s why, if you’ve been dreaming of soaking in the Blue Lagoon or witnessing the dance of the Aurora Borealis but are hesitant because of budget constraints, fret not. Dive into this guide, discover our top tips to have an amazing trip when you visit Iceland, and discover how to traverse this Nordic paradise without compromising on the experience or emptying your savings. Ready to unravel the secrets of exploring Iceland on a shoestring budget? Let’s embark on this thrilling journey together and teach you the best Iceland travel on budget tips!

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Is Iceland cheap to visit?

The ethereal Northern Lights dancing across the night sky, the thunderous roar of cascading waterfalls, and the eerie silence of vast volcanic landscapes — Iceland is a land of enchantment that beckons travelers from every corner of the globe. But the question on many a wanderer’s lips is: is Iceland cheap to visit?

At first glance, Iceland might seem like a luxury destination. After all, it’s a Nordic island nation known for its high standard of living and cutting-edge design. Dining in Reykjavik’s upscale restaurants or staying in boutique hotels with panoramic views of the geysers can indeed set you back a pretty penny. But, like every mesmerizing story, there’s more to Iceland’s tale than meets the eye.

Venture beyond the tourist hotspots, and you’ll discover a world where budget travel not only exists but thrives. Local eateries serve up hearty Icelandic dishes without the hefty price tag. Hidden hostels and guesthouses offer cozy accommodations nestled amidst nature’s grandeur. And the real magic? Many of Iceland’s most breathtaking sights, from the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara to the serene trails of Thingvellir National Park, come without an entrance fee.

While Iceland might not be the cheapest destination on the map, it offers an experience that’s truly priceless. With a bit of savvy planning and an adventurous spirit, you can enjoy cheap travel to iceland and uncover the secrets of this Nordic gem without burning a hole in your pocket. After all, the best things in life, and in Iceland, are often free.

Best time to visit Iceland

The eternal question every traveler grapples with when is the best time to visit Iceland? The allure of endless summer days, vibrant lupins swaying in the breeze, and the playful antics of puffins make the summer months an irresistible draw. And who can forget those breathtaking photos of Iceland’s landscapes bathed in the golden glow of the midnight sun? But here’s the catch — with popularity comes a hefty price tag. Summer in Iceland, while undeniably enchanting, can also be synonymous with expensive.

Now, while the thought of braving the Icelandic winter might send shivers down your spine (think icy roads and fleeting daylight), there’s a sweet spot nestled right between the peak of summer and the depths of winter: autumn. Picture a landscape painted in hues of gold and crimson, the ethereal dance of the Northern Lights, and all of this without the summer crowds or the winter chills.

Wondering what’s the cheapest time to visit iceland? Learn from our experience! While visiting Iceland on a budget, our journey took us to this Nordic wonderland in late October. Gone were the throngs of tourists, replaced by serene landscapes and a tranquil ambiance. With a comfortable 8 hours of daylight, we had ample time to explore, and the cherry on top? Significantly cheaper flights and accommodations! And here’s a pro tip for those considering an autumnal escape to Iceland: steer clear of the October half-term. We ventured a week later and were greeted by some of Iceland’s most iconic spots, devoid of crowds.

Therefore, if you’re yearning for an Icelandic adventure that’s both budget-friendly and awe-inspiring, consider giving autumn a chance. Trust us — it’s a decision you won’t regret!

Plan budget Iceland trips ahead!

Embarking on a journey to Iceland, especially on a budget, is akin to preparing for an epic adventure. It’s not just about packing your bags and hopping on the next flight. No, it’s about meticulous planning, savvy decisions, and a sprinkle of creativity. And trust me, the rewards of such preparation? Absolutely priceless.

Now, let’s talk flights. We’ve all swapped tales of flight mishaps and airline woes, but let’s be real: for a mere 3-hour journey from the UK to Reykjavik, you’re essentially on an airborne bus. So, why splurge on fancy amenities and gourmet meals? Especially when the flight is so brief, you’d barely have time to enjoy them. Our choice? Easyjet. Simple, efficient, and without a hitch. It’s the epitome of travel Iceland cheap.

But here’s where the real magic happens: packing. If you’re aiming to truly travel to Iceland cheap, consider this your golden ticket. Ditch the checked baggage and its accompanying fees. Instead, embrace the art of minimalist packing. Don your hiking boots, wrap yourself in that cozy coat, and utilize every pocket to its fullest potential. Camera, book, wallet – they all find a snug spot. And as for attire, let’s face it, Iceland isn’t the place for glamorous evening gowns or dapper suits. A trusty pair of jeans, coupled with a rotation of fresh tops and essentials, is all you need.

Dreamers and wanderlusters, if Iceland beckons and budget constraints loom, remember that with a dash of foresight and a sprinkle of ingenuity, the land of fire and ice is well within your reach. You’ll be ready to conquer Iceland without breaking the bank in no time!

self drive to see iceland on a budget
How to do Iceland on a budget: go on a budget self drive Iceland

How to travel Iceland on a budget — transportation

Ah, the open roads of Iceland, where every turn reveals a new spectacle, from cascading waterfalls to vast glaciers. But how to get around Iceland cheap? How does one traverse this enchanting land without burning a hole in their pocket?

Imagine the wind in your hair, the freedom to chase the horizon, and the thrill of discovering hidden gems at your own pace. That’s the magic of self-driving in Iceland. We took the plunge, renting a car, and let me tell you, it was the best decision we made. Sure, petrol became our trusty companion, but when we tallied up the costs, we spent a mere £210 for 5 exhilarating days. And oh, the places we went! From the mesmerizing Jökulsárlón to the bustling Reykjavik, covering a whopping 240 miles, every mile was a memory etched in our hearts.

Now, you might wonder, why not just book a tour? Well, a simple math exercise revealed that tours to popular spots like the Golden Circle and Jökulsárlón would’ve set us back by almost £350. But more than the savings, it was the liberty that our four-wheeled friend granted us. We sipped coffee gazing at glaciers, explored mysterious caves on a whim, and even made friends with the charming Icelandic horses. And oh, the detours! Places like the Kerid Volcanic crater and the geothermal wonder of Seltún became unexpected highlights of our trip.

But here’s the cherry on top: dodging the crowds. While most tourists flocked to Thingvellir National Park first, we flipped the script, starting with Gullfoss and wrapping up at Thingvellir. The result? Serenity amidst nature’s marvels.

Of course, there are moments when experts come in handy. Chasing the elusive Northern Lights, for instance. We trusted the seasoned guides of Reykjavik Excursions, who, with their keen eyes and knowledge, led us to the perfect spots. And the cherry on top? They whisked us away right from our hostel doorstep.

For those seeking a dash of adventure and a sprinkle of romance, consider this: a camper van under the Icelandic skies. It’s not just transportation; it’s an experience, a cozy cocoon in the heart of nature.

If Iceland’s allure beckons remember that with a bit of planning and a spirit of adventure, this land of wonders can be both breathtaking and budget-friendly.

Accommodation in Iceland on the cheap

You’ve just had a day filled with Icelandic adventures, from chasing waterfalls to marveling at geysers. As the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden hue over the landscape, you’re probably wondering where do I rest my weary head without breaking the bank? Let us whisk you away on a journey through Iceland’s cozy and budget-friendly accommodations.

In the heart of Reykjavik, nestled amidst its vibrant streets, are a plethora of charming guesthouses and hostels. These aren’t your typical backpacker joints. Think rustic wooden interiors, walls adorned with tales of Icelandic sagas, and the warm aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the corridors. Hostel dorms, often filled with fellow travelers sharing their tales, become a melting pot of cultures and stories. And the best part? They’re easy on the pocket!

But here’s a golden nugget of advice: book early! Iceland, with its growing popularity, sees a surge of travelers, especially during peak seasons. An early bird booking not only ensures you snag a bed but often comes with delightful discounts. Dive deep into the web, and you’ll uncover deals that make your stay even sweeter. Websites like or even Airbnb occasionally offer early-bird specials or last-minute deals that are too tempting to resist.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, consider the countryside guesthouses. Often family-run, these gems offer a slice of authentic Icelandic life. Imagine waking up to the sound of sheep grazing outside your window, or sipping on a cup of coffee made from freshly sourced Icelandic spring water. And the best part? They often cost a fraction of what you’d pay in the city.

Iceland might be known for its majestic landscapes and natural wonders, but with a sprinkle of savvy and a dash of adventure, it’s a land where dreams meet affordability. As you chart your Icelandic saga, remember: a comfortable, budget-friendly bed awaits at the end of every adventure-filled day.

take food when you visit iceland on a budget
Best way to travel Iceland on a budget: take food with you

Iceland cheap travel tips for eating and dining

As the cold winds of the North brush against your face, and the ethereal beauty of the land captivates your soul, there’s one thing that’s bound to tickle your senses even more: the food. But, dear traveler, if you’re thinking that dining in this Nordic paradise will leave your pockets empty, think again. Let us take you on a culinary journey through Iceland, where flavors meet frugality.

Picture yourself wandering the streets of Reykjavik, the city’s heartbeat echoing in your ears. The aroma of freshly baked bread wafts through the air, leading you to a quaint little eatery. But, oh! The prices! Yes, it’s true, dining out in Iceland can be a tad heavy on the wallet. But fear not, for with a little ingenuity, you can savor the local flavors without burning a hole in your pocket.

First, embrace the local markets. While many goods are imported, there are still treasures to be found. Dive into the world of dehydrated foods. Soups, couscous, and noodles become your best friends. Pack them in, and with just a splash of hot water, you have a meal ready to warm your insides. And speaking of water, forget those pricey bottled versions. The streams and fountains of Iceland offer the purest, most refreshing water you’ll ever taste. Keep a reusable bottle handy and quench your thirst for free!

bring reusable water bottle when you visit iceland on a budget
How to travel cheap in Iceland: bring a metal/reusable water bottle

But, of course, one cannot live on noodles alone. Every now and then, treat yourself to the local delicacies. Those trucker cafes at petrol stations? Absolute goldmines! Delicious, hearty meals at prices that won’t make you wince. And if you find yourself in Vik, don’t miss out on the Ice Cave Restaurant. It’s not just about the food, it’s an experience, with its mesmerizing light installations reminiscent of far-off lands.

And the famed Icelandic hot dogs! A trip to Reykjavik is incomplete without a visit to Street Dog. These are a symphony of flavors, with sauces and onions that dance on your palate. And the best part? They’re as affordable as they are delicious.

Now, a word on the drink. Yes, alcohol in Iceland can be pricey. But with a little planning, you can still enjoy a drink or two without breaking the bank. Duty-Free shops are your saviors. Stock up, and you’re set for your Icelandic adventure.

In the end, remember that Iceland is not just about the landscapes and the Northern Lights. It’s a culinary journey, a feast for the senses. And with a little savvy, it’s a journey that won’t cost the earth. Here’s to Iceland, where every meal is a story, and every story is a memory to cherish. Cheers!

Best things to do in Iceland on a budget

Iceland’s is also known as the Land of Fire and Ice, where geysers erupt amidst snow-capped peaks and the Northern Lights paint the skies with ethereal hues. If you’re under the impression that exploring this Nordic wonderland requires a king’s ransom, allow us to guide you through the hidden gems and pocket-friendly adventures that await.

Imagine standing at the edge of a roaring waterfall, its mist kissing your face, without spending a dime. Yes, many of Iceland’s natural wonders, like the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, don’t demand an entrance fee. The land generously offers its beauty to those who seek it. And if you’re yearning for a dip in geothermal waters without the Blue Lagoon’s price tag, the Secret Lagoon awaits with its warm embrace.

Now, let’s talk deals. Both Expedia and GetYourGuide have become treasure troves for the budget traveler in Iceland. Whether you’re looking to stay in a cozy Reykjavik B&B or embark on a glacier hike, these platforms often feature discounts that make the experience all the sweeter. Keep an eye out for their flash sales and last-minute offers; they’re the golden tickets to maximizing your Icelandic adventure without maximizing your expenses.

Speaking of deals, here’s a little secret: curated lists. These are your compass to navigating the best of what Iceland offers on a budget. From discounted accommodations that offer a front-row seat to the Aurora Borealis, to flight deals that ensure your journey is as pleasant as your destination, these lists are gold. And activities? Think whale watching, lava tube explorations, and even horseback riding through volcanic terrains, all at prices that’ll make you smile.

But perhaps the most priceless experience is mingling with the locals. Attend a community event, join a local hike, or simply strike up a conversation at a café. The stories, the laughter, the shared moments — these are the memories that don’t carry a price tag.

Iceland is a destination, a story, a feeling, and an adventure that beckons. And with a little savvy and the right resources, it’s an adventure that doesn’t have to break the bank. Lace up those boots, dear traveler, for Iceland awaits. And remember, the best things in life, and Iceland, are often free or come with a delightful discount!

Curated deals and offers to visit Iceland

Amidst the ethereal landscapes of Iceland, where geysers erupt and glaciers glisten, there’s a secret that many travelers are yet to discover: the art of experiencing luxury without the hefty price tag. Let me take you on a journey through some of the most enchanting accommodations that Iceland has to offer, all while ensuring your wallet remains pleasantly plump.

Picture yourself nestled in the heart of Reykjavik, the city’s pulse echoing around you. The Reykjavik EDITION, a beacon of luxury, stands tall, inviting you in. As you step inside, the allure of its full-service spa beckons, promising a haven of relaxation. The melodies from Harpa, the city’s iconic concert hall, drift through the air, a mere 10-minute walk away. And while the luxury is palpable, the price ensures that opulence is accessible.

But perhaps you’re seeking a blend of urban vibrancy and sereneness retreat. Fosshotel Reykjavik, positioned at the very heart of the city, offers just that. A stone’s throw away from the quirky Iceland Phallological Museum and the historic Hofdi House, this hotel is a nexus of culture and comfort. And with an ongoing deal, you can immerse yourself in its charm for a delightful 20% off its regular rate.

However, for those who yearn for an experience steeped in history and modern luxury, the Iceland Parliament Hotel, part of the Curio Collection By Hilton, awaits. Located in Downtown Reykjavik, every corner of this hotel whispers tales of the past, from the nearby Parliament House to the Reykjavík Cathedral. After a day of exploration, the hotel’s spa offers a sanctuary of rejuvenation.

As you chart your Icelandic adventure, remember that luxury doesn’t always come with a lavish price tag. With the right choices, and perhaps a little help from platforms like, you can bask in the best of Iceland without burning a hole in your pocket. Safe travels and may your journey be as enchanting as the Northern Lights!

If you want to go the extra mile (literally!), rent a cozy camper for your cheap Iceland trip.

Iceland Bunny’s personal tips

In the land of fire and ice, where the Northern Lights dance and geysers erupt with fervor, I found myself, the Iceland Bunny, on a quest. Not for treasure, but for the secrets that would allow me to experience the magic of Iceland without emptying my pockets. And now I’m here to share those personal tidbits from my cheap trip to Iceland with you, so you too can embark on an Icelandic adventure that’s as budget-friendly as it is breathtaking.

I remember my first evening in Reykjavik. The city was bathed in the soft glow of the midnight sun, and the streets were alive with the hum of summer festivities. But amidst the allure, I quickly realized that Iceland, while stunning, could also be surprisingly expensive. That’s when I decided to don my detective hat and dive deep into the heart of local life.

One of my first discoveries was the value of a good chat. Icelanders are a friendly bunch, always ready with a story or a tip. Over a shared cup of coffee in a cozy café, I learned about hidden hot springs, away from the tourist trail, where you can soak for free, surrounded by nature’s splendor. I was told about local eateries where traditional Icelandic dishes like Plokkfiskur (fish stew) and Skyr (a yogurt-like dairy product) were served at prices that didn’t make my eyes water.

Research, I realized, was my best friend. Beyond the popular tourist spots, gems were waiting to be discovered. Abandoned turf houses that told tales of yesteryears, black sand beaches where no tour buses went, and local festivals that offered a taste of authentic Icelandic culture. By diving into blogs, and forums, and even striking up conversations with locals, I was able to curate an itinerary that was both enriching and economical.

But perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned was the importance of flexibility. Sometimes, the best experiences don’t come with a price tag or a plan. Like that time I stumbled upon a local band playing in a park, their melodies echoing against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Or when I joined a group of locals for a midnight hike during the summer solstice, the sky was painted in hues of pink and gold.

As you prepare for your Icelandic journey, remember that although the land of fire and ice may seem daunting to the budget traveler, with a sprinkle of research, a dash of local insights, and a heart open to adventure, you can experience its wonders without breaking the bank.

Unlocking Iceland — a journey’s end and new beginnings

As our journey through the mystical landscapes of Iceland comes to a close, we find ourselves reflecting on the myriad of experiences we’ve shared. From the hidden hot springs that whispered tales of ancient legends to the bustling streets of Reykjavik where modernity and tradition dance in harmony, Iceland has proven that it’s not just a destination, but a feeling.

We’ve delved deep into the heart of local life, discovering that the true essence of Iceland lies not just in its breathtaking vistas but in the stories of its people. We’ve learned that with a sprinkle of research, a dash of local insights, and an open heart, it’s possible to experience the magic of this land without burning a hole in our pockets.

But as with all great tales, this one too must come to an end. Yet, it’s not truly the end, is it? Every ending is a new beginning, and as you prepare to embark on your Icelandic adventure, armed with these budget travel tips, remember that the real journey lies in the memories you’ll create and the stories you’ll tell.

As you close this chapter, we urge you to share the magic. Tell your friends, your family, and even that stranger you meet on a train that it’s possible to plan budget trips to Iceland and share the wonders you’ve experienced. Because some stories, especially ones as enchanting as this, are meant to be shared.

Here’s to new horizons, to the tales yet to be told, and to the endless allure of Iceland. Safe travels and until next time!

Who wrote this complete guide to visit Iceland

emma and david thomas guest post writers on the travel bunny blog

Emma and David Thomas aren’t just any travel enthusiasts; they’re a power-packed husband and wife team behind Team Thomas Travels. Their journey, which began in the bustling streets of London, has now found a serene backdrop in the picturesque landscapes of Cambridgeshire. But don’t be fooled by this tranquil setting, for it’s merely a basecamp for the globetrotting pair. With an impressive tally of nearly 50 countries spanning 6 continents, their expertise is unparalleled. Their recent sojourns to destinations like Canada, Iceland, and Japan have equipped them with invaluable insights, especially when it comes to exploring Iceland on a shoestring budget.

Beyond their cheap travel Iceland escapades, Emma and David have a penchant for culinary adventures, camping under the stars, and challenging hikes. With Kilimanjaro on their horizon, it’s evident that their thirst for adventure knows no bounds. So, if there’s anyone on the internet poised to guide budding travelers through the mesmerizing terrains of Iceland without breaking the bank, it’s undoubtedly the Thomas duo. Their vast experiences and deep-rooted passion make them the ultimate go-to experts in the realm of budget travel.

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