If you are hoping to find some helpful apps for your upcoming trip to Iceland, look no further. Here are my top 7 app recommendations:
1. 112 Iceland
This application is recommended for everyone, though a specific shoutout goes to those who plan to travel extensively around Iceland. 112 is the official app for emergency services and it allows you to "check in" your GPS coordinates with a simple tap. Doing so will give first responders an idea of your last known location in the case of any emergency. And, if you do find yourself needing help, the app also has a function to connect you directly to the proper authorities.
If you plan to spend some time exploring the Reykjavik area, this is a must have app for city transportation. Straeto is a highly efficient and clean bus system. This app allows you to purchase tickets directly from your phone and includes a nifty trip planner, as well as a live map view of where the buses currently are.
We found the signs at local bus stops to be quite confusing, but this app provided all the information we were looking for.
This is the official app of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. It provides details on road conditions and closures. If you plan to navigate during the winter months, this is especially critical to have, as snow will likely shut down a number of roadways.
There is a section to view live webcams around the country and also a page highlighting the meaning of Icelandic street signs.
This app also has a section dedicated to local weather reports, though I found the next app to be a bit more informative.
This app is a product of the Icelandic Meteorological Office and has the best estimate of weather forecasting I could find. It is important to know that Icelandic weather is highly unpredictable. On our April vacation, we experienced blizzard-like conditions one moment and sunny, warm skies the next. This app can give you an idea of what's to come, but it's best to prepare for everything.
Iceland is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the northern lights, given clear skies and the right time of year (winter). This app was easily one of my favorites, as it illustrated exactly where the cosmic phenomenon was in the world. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, a notification pops up on your phone projecting your likelihood of seeing the dancing lights. On our 10-day trip around Ring Road, I was notified at least 5 nights that we had a 20% to 40% chance of seeing the lights. Every night we were notified, we saw them clear as anything.
If you don't already know about hot pots, it is time to become familiar with them. Hot pots are bodies of water naturally heated by the earth. They are captured in dwellings and are accessible to anyone who can find them. Fortunately, this app makes the scavenger hunt just a little bit easier by providing GPS locations for hot pots around the country. It also includes a map with nearby community pools and gas stations.
7. Google Translate
While this is not an app specific to Iceland, it is one that may come in handy on your adventures. Though most people speak English in the Reykjavik area, it is less common the further out into the country you go. I found this app to be helpful reading signs and communicating with locals.
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