You looked forward to this moment for months, and now it’s finally here – you just landed in Iceland. Before heading out on your adventures, it’s good to know some basic practical information. Where do you get money? Is it possible to get an Icelandic SIM card? Where will you be picked up for your tour? And where can you do your laundry?
In this article, we will answer these questions. If you have more questions or need help booking tours, please stop by at the What’s On office at Laugavegur 5.
How to get money
A lot of people think that you can pay with euros in Iceland because it’s part of Europe, but since Iceland is not part of the European Union, most places will not accept euros. Iceland has its own currency, the Icelandic króna. It’s best to get króna at Keflavík International Airport, where you can either exchange money or go to an ATM to get cash.
You don’t need piles of cash, though, as credit card and debit card payments are widely accepted in Iceland, and they are used for both big and small purchases. Some gas stations 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. Read this article if you want to know more about how much things cost in Iceland.
Icelandic SIM cards
If you stay in Iceland for a week or longer, it might be a good idea to purchase an Icelandic SIM card with a data plan. Especially if you want to use a smartphone and the handy apps that come with it, like the Straeto app for purchasing public transportation tickets, the Vegagerdin app to check road conditions and the Veður app to check the weather forecast.
Some airlines, like Icelandair, sell Icelandic SIM cards on the plane. Another easy option is buying the Icelandic SIM card at the duty-free store at Keflavík International Airport. If you want to buy an Icelandic SIM card when you are in Reykjavík, it is best to head to the shopping mall Kringlan. A data plan for your smartphone can be very helpful in Iceland, especially since the weather is so unpredictable. You want to be able to let your accommodation or tour operator know when you are late.
Also, being able to look up the weather forecast and road conditions while you are out and about is very useful and adds to your safety. Just remember that you need an unlocked phone to use an Icelandic SIM card.
Tourist bus stops
If you booked a bus tour departing from Reykjavík, it’s good to know that tour buses are only allowed to pick people up at appointed pickup points in downtown Reykjavík. The city made this decision because the many buses in the small downtown streets were causing hindrances. Buses will therefore not pick you up directly at your accommodation.
When you book a bus tour that leaves from Reykjavík, it’s important that you look up where your pickup point is. The pickup points are numbered from 1 to 12, and the BSÍ bus station is also a pickup point. The location and the number of the pickup point are mentioned in your booking confirmation.
The pickup point that is assigned to you, is located closest to your accommodation, but it can be a several minutes walk away. It’s important to realise that if you are not at the pickup point at the appointed time (usually half an hour before the tour starts) you are not entitled to a refund.
But there are plenty of other ways to get around Reykjavík!
You can see the pickup points on the map featured here, and they are also marked on the map in the What’s On magazine. You can pick up your copy at the What’s On tourist information centre at Laugavegur 5.
At this time, there is no laundromat in downtown Reykjavík. Often, your accommodation will have laundry facilities or a laundry service. Enquire at your accommodation about the options. Otherwise, you can go to the Reykjavík City Hostel to do your laundry, or go to a hostel downtown. You can also use one of the dry cleaners around town.