Visiting a new country is exciting but can also be a bit stressful. You have to figure out a lot of things, like how to get around, what the weather will be like, and if possible if there’s any fun stuff going on. Luckily, there are lots of websites and apps to make your vacation in Iceland a little easier. In this article, we list websites and apps that can help you during your stay.
The weather in Iceland is notoriously fickle, and it’s probably one of the most important things to keep an eye on while you’re in Iceland. Make www.vedur.is your go-to website for checking the weather forecast. This website is run by the Icelandic Meteorological Office and has the most updated information on weather conditions, weather predictions, and weather warnings. You will also find earthquake and avalanche warnings on their website, as well as a northern lights forecast.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office also has a weather forecast app. The app will automatically detect your location if GPS is on, but you can also choose a weather station for the home screen. The app shows temperature, precipitation, wind direction, and wind speed. Alerts issued by the Meteorological Office can be checked anytime during the day. You can also activate a personal weather watch for a specific weather station, that will let you know if certain criteria are met (a certain wind speed or temperature below zero, etc.).
Knowing the weather forecast from the Meteorological Office is one safety measure you should always follow, but there are more websites you should check for safety. One of them is www.safetravel.is, an accident prevention project of Iceland’s search and rescue team. It’s a great source of information for travellers in Iceland. SafeTravel aims to educate travellers and provides resources to keep travellers informed. On their website, safety alerts are updated daily in English, Icelandic, French, and German. Anyone leaving the city can leave their travel plan on www.safetravel.is, which makes it easier to track people in need.
Similar to SafeTravel, Road.is provides up-to-date information not only on the weather around all of Iceland but also on the road conditions. The website is run by the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. During extreme weather events, many Icelandic roads are impassable or dangerous to travel. It is best to check the site for road closures before heading out on a road trip. You can also find live cameras, driving tips, and all of the information in English.
The 112 Iceland app is the official app for Iceland’s emergency service 112. The app can be used for two safety measures during your Iceland trip. The first option is to call for help by pressing the red emergency button. When pressing the button, your location will be sent by text message to the 112 response centre.
Even when your phone doesn’t show a signal, it’s possible that the text message will be sent. The second option is to press the green check-in button. With this option, you send your location to the 112 response centre, so they can act faster in case something happens. Only the last five locations are stored, and when you press the button, you’re not disturbing anyone – the data is just stored on a computer and accessed if necessary.
Depending on the season, roads are often closed in Iceland. Also, road conditions can vary a lot from day to day, based on snow, ice, wind speeds, and numerous other reasons. Checking the road conditions of your route before you head out, is therefore necessary. You can easily check road safety on www.vegagerdin.is, or the English version www.road.is. They also have an app.
If you’re planning to travel around Reykjavík and around Iceland by bus, you will need to pay through Klapp.
You have three ways to pay with KLAPP:
- With a top-up KLAPP card. Top up your KLAPP card through your “My pages access” on klappid.is.
- With the KLAPP app. There’s Wi-Fi on city buses, so you don’t have to worry about your connectivity.
- With KLAPP ten, a ten-ticket cardboard bus pass with a code.
For more information, go to klappid.is/en/sales.
A single ticket is valid for 75 minutes after the KLAPP card is validated on the bus. If you validate the card on another bus within 75 minutes, you will not be charged again.
The Klapp app is unavailable for buses outside the city. It also lacks a live map and a good route planning system. For this, you should check out the older website www.straeto.is (or www.bus.is for the English version). You can plan your itinerary and look up ticket prices and selling points. The Strætó app has a useful live map feature, which shows you where your bus is in real-time.
What’s On Event Calendar
The What’s On Event Calendar is the best source for everything that is going on in Reykjavík. Check out this website regularly to get ideas for spending your days!
If you’re going for a drink in Iceland, you will quickly notice it’s an easy way to spend money. Appy Hour is an app that comes in handy for those looking to save some bucks. There you can see where to find happy hour in Reykjavík, times, and prices.
Until mid-April, it’s possible to see the northern lights in Iceland. We already mentioned you can see a good northern lights forecast on www.vedur.is, but another good website is www.auroraforecast.is. Aurora Forecast uses the information they gather from the Meteorological Office but adds more data to it to create a complete overview. Read this article if you want to know more about how to read the aurora forecast.
The next website is not fun per se but can be very useful if you want to get a better idea of how much you’re spending on a night out: Oanda currency converter. They also have a currency converter app.