In Iceland, the Icelandic króna (ISK) is the local currency. In reality, you can pay with a credit or a debit card literally everywhere! Locals do not use cash at all! But if you still want to have some cash on you while you travel around Iceland, this article will tell you how.
How to get cash at the airport?
If you want to exchange your cash for Icelandic krónur at Keflavík International Airport, the easiest way 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 from 05:00 – 16:00 every day. There are also several ATMs at the airport from which you can withdraw non-Icelandic currency and Icelandic krónur.
How to get cash in Reykjavík?
Right in the heart of downtown Reykjavík, you will find Landsbankinn in Austurstræti 11, open from 09:00-16:00 on weekdays only, and there are cashiers, which means you can buy currency there during opening hours only. This is your best option to get your hands on some cash and the best exchange currency rate.
Located in Geirsgata 2, FX Iceland is the only currency exchange office in Iceland. Check out in advance their opening hours since they might vary depending on the time of the year. At the time of writing, they are open over the weekends from 12:00 to 15:00 and closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
There are plenty of ATMs to be found all around the city centre from the Arion bank, Landsbankinn, Íslandsbankinn and an independent ATM operator simply called ATM, accessible 24/7.
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 you have your credit and debit card handy.
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 September 2022, 1,000 ISK is €7.08, £6.15, and $7.04. Check the daily exchange rate online before your travels to know the most recent numbers!
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