Iceland: Fast Facts
Food & Drink
- Capital: Reykjavik - where most tourists stay
- Main Airport: Keflavik International (KEF) – 45 minutes from Reykjavik
- Time Zone: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
- Currency: Icelandic Króna (ISK or kr) – almost all places accept credit cards, so cash is not usually necessary
- Language: Icelandic (but almost everyone speaks English)
- Phone Service: Siminn has the biggest 3G network coverage in Iceland. If you have an unlocked phone you can buy a Pay-as-you-go SIM card at Keflavík Airport.
- Electricity: 220 volt, two-prong schuko plug/socket
- Emergency #: 112 - Download the 112 Iceland App in case of emergency
- Iceland Road Conditions
- Iceland Weather Forecast
- Shops: usually open M-F 1000-1800, limited hours on Saturdays, and on Sundays most stores are closed
- Grocery stores: close between 1800-1900
- Flea Market: only open on weekends
- VAT Refund: foreigners are eligible for a value added tax refund when spending more than 4,000 ISK in a single store, must have receipt and VAT forms completed by the store in order to claim a refund at the airport before departure.
- Duty Free: duty free shops in Keflavik airport are open 24 hours.
- Tipping: it is not customary to tip in Iceland. Even if you receive a bill that states "service charges not included", you should not feel obligated to tip.
- Bathing/Pool Etiquette: remove shoes before entering the changing room and shower with nothing on before entering the baths/pool.
- Tap water: perfectly safe to drink, hot water smells like sulfur (rotten eggs), run cold water for a minute before drinking
- Alcohol: expensive and can only be bought at state owned alcohol shops called "Vínbúðin". Buy alcohol at the airport's duty free shops when you arrive. Look for happy hour signs at the bars or download the Appy Hour app.
- Drinking age: 20
Food & Drink
- Appelsin: orange soft drink, appelsin means orange in Icelandic
- Bjork birch schnapps or liqueur: each bottle has a twig from an Icelandic birch inside
- Brennivin schnapps: made from fermented potatoes and caraway, often accompanies hakarl
- Daim - Norwegian candy bar similar to a Heath bar
- Fish and chips
- Fish stew
- Hakarl: fermented shark meat, smells like ammonia
- Horse meat
- Icelandic butter
- Kleina: doughnut pastries
- Lobster soup
- Pylsur Hot Dog: try one with everything on it!
- Rye Bread
- Skyr: thick yogurt
- Thule or Viking Beer