Foreign Exchange Guide to Iceland
In this guide we review :
- Icelandic krona info - general info about the Icelandic krona
- Travelling in Iceland - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Icelandic krona cash online - travel money for Iceland
- Sending money to Iceland - save on Icelandic krona bank transfers to Iceland
- Icelandic krona exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Icelandic krona (ISK) general currency information
Iceland currency and money saving tips
The unit of currency used in Iceland is the Icelandic krona, ISK – Íslensk króna in Icelandic. Króna means crown, the international currency abbreviation is ISK, but in Iceland you will see “kr.” All banks can exchange currency and most hotels, but you are likely to get a better rate at the bank. Some shops catering to tourists will accept payment in US dollars or euro but not necessarily at the best rate. Almost every shop and most businesses accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards although American Express is not as common. Cards are commonly used in Iceland even for quite small transactions. However, if you intend to visit isolated villages, or stay in rural farmhouse accommodation in Iceland, it’s a good idea to carry enough cash to tide you over. ATMs – Hraðbanki in Icelandic, or Cashpoints, are easily found in cities and towns. It is best to exchange your money into ISK in Iceland, and re-exchange any surplus before you leave, as foreign banks may not deal in ISK.
Office hours are generally 09:00-17:00 and 08:00-16:00 during June, July and August. Shopping hours are Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat from 10:00 to 13:00/14:00/15:00 or 16:00. Some supermarkets are open to 23:00 seven days a week. Banking hours are Mon-Fri 09:00-16:00. A large portion of Iceland's road system is made up of gravel roads, even some of the main highways, and more so as you get further away from Reykjavik and larger towns. The main highway around Iceland, Route 1, or Ring Road, circumnavigates Iceland in 1,332 kilometres of which 33 km is dirt road. Most of the population lives in or around Reykjavik so the further you get from the capital the less traffic you’ll meet.
Iceland Trip Checklist
Travel money for Iceland
Save money and time by Ordering your Icelandic krona online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the ISK cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Icelandic krona otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Iceland
When sending money to Iceland it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Icelandic krona amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted ISK amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Iceland.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Icelandic krona deposited into the recipient bank account in Iceland and less margins and fees kept by the banks!