Exploring Iceland: A Guide to Navigating Costs, Transportation, and Weather in September

Learn about dining and transportation costs, including taxi fares and public transit options, and get insights on the weather to dress appropriately.

3/4/20244 min read

Iceland, a land of fire and ice, has long captivated travelers with its stunning landscapes, from geysers and glaciers to volcanic fields and the ethereal Northern Lights. However, planning a trip to this Nordic island nation involves more than just marking must-see destinations on your map. Understanding the cost of living, transportation options, and weather, especially in September, is crucial for a seamless Icelandic adventure. Here's your guide to navigating these aspects of your Icelandic journey.

Dining Out: The Cost of Food and Drinks

Iceland is known for its high cost of living, which extends to dining out. Restaurants in Iceland can be pricey, with a meal at a mid-range restaurant potentially setting you back between ISK 2,500 to 4,500 (approximately $20 to USD 35). However, the culinary experience is worth the expense, with fresh seafood and local delicacies like lamb and skyr (a yogurt-like dairy product) dominating menus.

Cocktails in Iceland are a luxury, often priced around ISK 1,500 to 2,000 ($12 to USD 16) each. Reykjavik, the capital, is home to a vibrant nightlife with various bars and pubs, but be prepared for these higher prices. For a more budget-friendly experience, consider trying local beers or visiting during happy hours.

The Vibrant Nightlife of Iceland: Openness and Friendliness

Iceland's nightlife, particularly in Reykjavik, is a unique blend of vibrant energy and a surprisingly open and friendly atmosphere, distinguishing it from other Nordic countries. The city comes alive at night, especially on weekends, with locals and tourists flocking to various bars, clubs, and music venues. Unlike many other places, Iceland does not have open container laws, allowing more freedom and a relaxed vibe as people enjoy their drinks while moving between venues. This leniency contributes to a lively street scene, particularly in areas like Laugavegur, the main shopping street, which transforms into a bustling nightlife hub after dark. The Icelandic people are known for their openness and friendliness, making it easy for visitors to mingle and experience the local culture. This welcoming environment, combined with the unique absence of open container restrictions, creates a nightlife experience that is both exhilarating and uniquely Icelandic, reflecting the country's broader cultural openness and warmth.

Getting Around: Transportation Options

Is There Uber in Iceland?

Uber is not operating in Iceland. This means travelers need to look at alternative modes of transportation.

Taxis and Cab Fares

Taxis are available, especially in urban areas like Reykjavik, but they can be expensive. Considering a Taxi ride from the KEF Airport to the hotel? Beware—our price was USD 171.00, more than our flight from Germany! A short taxi ride can easily cost around USD 13, with prices increasing for longer distances. It's always a good idea to ask for an estimated fare before starting your journey. When considering the airport the best price is the hourly bus from FlyBus for around USD 36.00. If you register as a VIP or Delegate you won't need to worry, we'll have your transportation sorted!

Public Transportation and Walking

Reykjavik's public transportation system, Strætó, offers buses that cover the city and its suburbs. It's an affordable way to get around, with a single fare costing around ISK 460 (USD 3.50). Walking is also a viable option in Reykjavik, as many attractions are within a reasonable distance of each other.

Renting a Car

Renting a car might be your best bet for exploring beyond the city. It offers the flexibility to travel at your own pace and reach more remote areas that public transport doesn't cover.

Prioritizing Safety in Iceland

Safety is crucial when traveling to any destination, and Iceland is no exception. Fortunately, Iceland consistently ranks as one of the safest countries in the world. The crime rate is remarkably low, and the locals are known for their friendliness and willingness to help. However, it's important to exercise common sense, especially in tourist areas where pickpocketing can occur, albeit rarely. Regarding natural hazards, respect the local guidelines, especially when exploring geothermal areas, glaciers, and the rugged coastline. The weather in Iceland can change rapidly, so always be prepared for varying conditions, particularly if you're venturing into remote areas. In case of emergencies, the number to dial is 112. It's also advisable to download the 112 Iceland app, which allows you to send an SMS to the emergency services with your exact location. Remember, the key to a safe trip is awareness and preparation, ensuring your Icelandic adventure is breathtaking and worry-free.

Dressing for the Weather in September

September in Iceland marks the transition from summer to autumn. The average temperature ranges from 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F). Dressing in layers is essential, as the weather can be pretty unpredictable. Waterproof and windproof jackets, along with good walking shoes, are must-haves. Don't forget to pack a warm hat and gloves, especially if you plan to venture into the countryside.

Final Thoughts

Visiting Iceland, especially in the charming month of September, is an unforgettable experience. While it may be on the pricier side, you can manage your expenses effectively with careful planning. Embrace the local culture, indulge in the unique cuisine, and immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of this extraordinary island. With the proper preparation, your Icelandic adventure will be as magical as the land of fire and ice.