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Iceland Travel Tips & Resources

What to Expect When Traveling to Iceland

The “Land of Fire and Ice” is truly a land of extreme contrasts. Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world’s most active volcanoes. Depending on the time of year, you might be drenched during long summer days in a deep-red midnight sun—or lit by the flickering aurora borealis during otherwise dark winter days. It is home to a progressive and peaceful people, who have formed a modern society where freedom and equality are the most important qualities.

Places to Visit in Iceland

Reykjavik

Reykjavik

Reykjavik, northernmost capital of the world, is hip! Despite being home to under 200,000 inhabitants (more like a small town than a capital city), Reykjavík presents a wealth of sights and activities that appeal to culture, nature and nightlife enthusiasts alike. Reykjavík’s downtown area has the highest concentration of cultural institutions.

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle, the most popular tourist route In the country, runs by Thingvellir National Park, the visible site of the mid-Atlantic Ridge where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. The plates are being pulled apart at a rate of 2 centimetres (nearly an inch) per year, creating the Thingvellir Rift Valley. Other sights to behold are the 105-foot dual cascading waterfall Gullfoss (Golden Falls); and the geothermal Haukadalur valley’s Strokkur, a geyser that gushes water 60 to 100 feet into the air every five minutes.

The Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager

There are many sculptures throughout Reykjavik, but one of the city’s most iconic pieces is along Reykjavik’s splendid waterfront, a gleaming steel structure, the Sun Voyager (known locally as Sólfar). This steel sculpture mimics a Viking ship and pays homage to the sun. Icelandic sculptor Jon Gunnar Arnason created this magnificent landmark. Its location also boasts picturesque views of Mount Esja, a sprawling mountain filled with hiking trails.

Traveler Resources

Common Costs
Reykjavik City Card (24 hr access to all museums and galleries) 3.800 (ISK)
Ticket to Blue Lagoon 6.900 (ISK)
Taxi fare Keflavík International Airport to central Reykjavík 13.5000 (ISK)
Quick Facts
Currency Icelandic Króna (ISK)
Capital Reykjavík
Largest City Reykjavík
Official Language Icelandic

U.S. Embassies & Travel Information

Iceland

Iceland Flag

Laufásvegur 21
101 Reykjavík
Tel: +354 595 2200
Hours of Operation: M-F, 8:30AM – 5:30PM

About the Area

The official language of Iceland is Icelandic, a North Germanic language derived from Old Norse. Icelandic is an insular language, and as such, has not been influenced greatly by other languages. As a result, the language has changed very little from when the country was settled in the ninth and tenth centuries. Therefore, the language is considered one of the cornerstones of the Icelandic culture. English is widely spoken and understood.

Travel Tips

  • Iceland is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Iceland without a visa for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes.
  • Iceland’s version of 911 is 112. You can call this number within Iceland to reach the police and fire departments, as well as rescue forces.
  • The Icelandic monetary unit is the Króna (the plural is krónur) (ISK)
  • Banknotes in circulation are 500kr, 1000kr, 2000kr, 5000kr, 10,000kr
  • Please note that in Iceland, periods are used as thousands separators and commas are used as decimal marks. For example, Ten is written 10,00 and ten thousand is written 10.000

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