In Iceland, the Icelandic króna (ISK) is used to pay for everything. A lot of people think you can pay with euros in Iceland because it’s part of Europe, but since Iceland is not part of the European Union, shops and restaurants in Iceland will not accept euros. So, you will need to get your hands on the Icelandic króna. In this article, we will tell you how.
How to get money at the airport?
One important thing to know, is that there are no bureaus of exchange in Iceland. Icelanders change their money at the bank.
If you want to exchange your money for Icelandic krónur at Keflavík International Airport, the easiest way to do this is at the Arion Bank. The Arion Bank at the airport provides currency exchange at its service points in the arrival and departure hall. The currency exchange service points are open 24/7 from April 16 until September 30, and from 04:00-00:00 every day from October 1 until April 15. The bank also has 14 ATMs at the airport, eight in the departure lounge from which you can withdraw non-Icelandic currency, and six in the arrival hall, where you can withdraw Icelandic krónur.
How to get money in Reykjavík?
In and around downtown Reykjavík, you will find Landsbankinn at Austurstræti 11, open from 09:00-16:00 on weekdays only, and Íslandsbanki at Fiskislóð 10, open from 09:00-16:00 on weekdays only. You will find Arion Bank at Borgartún 18, open from 09:00-16:00 on weekdays. At these branches, there are cashiers, which means you can buy currency there during opening hours only.
Next to these branches, there are plenty of ATMs to be found all around the city centre from the banks mentioned above, and from independent ATM operator Tomato.
How to get money in the countryside?
There are banks in the countryside, but it’s not possible to list these and their opening hours in this article. There is detailed information on the websites of Landsbankinn, Íslandsbanki, and Arion Bank with locations and opening hours of all their branches. However, it can be difficult if not impossible to exchange currencies on the weekends, so make sure your credit and debit card are working or bring some cash just in case.
What about card payments?
Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted in Iceland, so you don’t have to carry huge amounts of cash. Electronic card payments are used for both big and small purchases. Iceland is basically a cashless society – most major credit cards are accepted in any store, for basically any purchase. Some gas stations even only accept credit card payments, so it’s always good to have a credit card on you to buy gas. You can also buy a prepaid gas card, for sale at the N1 gas stations around the country.
It can be helpful to carry a little bit of cash around with you anyway, especially if you’re headed to the countryside – there you might find some small shop which doesn’t take a card or a landowner charging a small fee for a natural attraction on their land.
Exchange rates change daily
The exchange rate of the Icelandic króna changes daily. Just to give an idea, at the time of writing in March 2019, 1,000 ISK is €7.34, £6.30, and $8.28. Check the daily exchange rate online before your travels to know the most recent numbers!