By now, most of us have heard of Iceland’s reputation for being quite expensive. When it comes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as visiting the Blue Lagoon and seeing the Northern Lights, it’d be nice they could be experienced more cheaply. However, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Iceland’s natural wonders and city-life on a budget. In the following article, we’ve listed 6 tips for visiting Reykjavik on a budget.

Street Food

Due to the rise of the contemporary Nordic food movement, it can be expensive to eat out in Iceland. Most travel guides advise visitors to buy their own food from the supermarket and cook at their hotel or apartment. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to experience some of Iceland’s celebrated cuisine on a low budget, thanks to the country’s extraordinary street food culture, led by the world-famous hotdog stand, Bæjarins Beztu – a favourite with ex-president Bill Clinton.

Once you’ve ticked Bæjarins Beztu off your list, another budget-friendly option is Taqueria Lucha Libre, which serves authentic Mexican food; it also claims to be the only food cart in downtown Reykjavik that offers a vegetarian option. If you’re looking for a more ‘traditional’ meal, try Hlollabatar’s Icelandic sub, toasted and fried, with an array of sauces. And finally, try Dons Donuts for a sweet treat – choose from chocolate or caramel glazing with a variety of sprinkles.

Hike / Walking Tour

Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, is steeped in history and there are many free walking tours available that allow you to embrace the city’s past while taking in some of the sights; these typically take a couple of hours. More adventurous visitors, however, might consider embarking upon a hiking trail up Mt. Esja, 10kn north from Reykjavik and often referred to as the ‘city-mountain.’ This is a great way to organise a day’s activities without spending any money – just make sure to pack your own lunch!

Get Cultured

Although most of Iceland’s main attractions are based in the natural environment, it’s also worthwhile spending a day discovering the city yourself. A great way to start the day is by exploring the local flea market at Kolaportid where you can pick up cheap souvenirs and try some Icelandic delicacies in the food section. In the afternoon, head over to Reykjavik Art Museum; a single ticket admits you to the three different sites across the city.

Geothermal Pools

The Blue Lagoon is the most popular geothermal pool in Iceland, with a steep entrance fee to match. But don’t despair, there are several alternative options that offer similar experiences for much cheaper rates. Public swimming pools are hugely popular in the city of Reykjavik – and they’re very different to what we get in the UK; these include indoor pools, outdoor pools, and ‘hot pots’, all of which are geothermically heated.

Take a Road Trip

If you’re keen to see some of the sights outside of Reykjavik, the cheapest option is to rent a car. This will allow you to avoid pricey excursions with tour groups, and you’ll also be able to design your own tour, making sure you see all the sights that you’re most interested in. But don’t forget to pack your own lunch, as rural restaurants tend to be pricier.

Hit the Beach

Although the cold climate means it’s not always safe to swim, there are a range of beaches in Iceland that offer striking sights. Reynisfjara beach is especially well-known for its black sands and is one of the country’s most heavily photographed locations, thanks to the basalt columns that line the beach.

We offer a range of car rentals, from 4x4 cars to campers, which suit all types of excursion. If you require any advice on what kind of vehicle will best suit your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with out expert team, who will be happy to advise on what is best for you. You can contact our office on +354 511 3111 or

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