Foreign exchange guide to Iceland and the Icelandic krona
What's in this Iceland currency guide?
The official currency of Iceland (country code: IS) is the Icelandic krona, with symbol kr and currency code ISK.
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.
An underpopulated island marooned near the top of the globe, Iceland is, literally, a country in the making. It's a vast volcanic laboratory where mighty forces shape the earth: geysers gush, mudpots gloop, ice-covered volcanoes rumble and glaciers cut great pathways through the mountains. Don't for a minute think it's all about the great outdoors. The counterpoint to so much natural beauty is found in Iceland's cultural life, which celebrates a literary legacy that stretches from medieval sagas to contemporary thrillers by way of Nobel Prize winners. Live music is everywhere, as is visual art, handicrafts and locavore cuisine.
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 Cash Points, 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.
Iceland has an extensive network of domestic flights, which locals use almost like buses. In winter a flight can be the only way to get between destinations, but weather at this time of year can play havoc with schedules. Several year-round ferries operate in Iceland. Major routes all carry vehicles, but it's worthwhile booking ahead for car passage. There is no train network in Iceland.
Having your own wheels in Iceland is a wonderful treat: it allows you to roam the grand countryside at your leisure. Always prepare before setting out: investigate driving times and road conditions (via the Icelandic Road Administration, vegagerdin.is), weather forecasts, safety issues, and if you’re hiking, trail conditions and requirements. Ask locals, who will know the tricks and troubles of each place.
Know which roads are accessible in the type of vehicle you're driving. Beyond Iceland’s main Ring Road (Route 1), fingers of sealed road or gravel stretch out to most communities, until you reach the F Roads, bumpy tracks only passable by 4WD. F roads are truly unsafe for small cars. If you travel on them in a hired 2WD you invalidate your insurance. Steer clear, hire a 4WD, or take a 4WD bus or super-Jeep tour. Similarly, trying to ford a river in a 2WD vehicle or low-slung 4WD is asking for trouble. Never drive off-road. It’s illegal and incredibly damaging to the fragile environment. Cavalier tourists leave tracks where they’ve flouted the rule, and those tracks entice others to do the same. Even with a 4WD, stick to marked roads.
Icelandic is the official language and can be very difficult. Fortunately, as with most Scandinavian countries, English is spoken widely and often very well. Be prepared with a few Icelandic phrases to win the locals over but they will be more than happy to help if they can.
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.
Being prepared can open up great wilderness areas such as the Westfjords’ beautiful Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, known for its Arctic foxes, spectacular birding cliffs and unspoiled hiking and camping. If you need additional equipment once in Iceland, Reykjavík has a bevy of suppliers for gear purchase or rental, including Fjallakofinn and Gangleri Outfitters.
Part of the unique gift of Iceland’s volcanic landscape are the excellent natural hot springs you’ll find, from town centre to fjordside. It’s practically a national pastime to hit the local hotpot, soak and gossip. It is, however, an absolute mandatory hygiene and etiquette rule to wash thoroughly with soap before donning your swimsuit to enter their hot springs and pools. Most pools are untreated with chemicals, so cleanliness is a real factor.
Although a relatively small city, Reykjavik compensates for its size with its vibrant and trendy atmosphere. Full of hip cafes, bustling pubs and high-energy clubs, you can be sure that you’ll find plenty of things to do in Reykjavik during your time in Iceland. As well as great vibes during the day and an epic party life at night, Reykjavik also boasts a charming mixture of old town architecture with a modern and innovative twist.
The domestic currency in Iceland is the Icelandic krona.
The three letter currency code for the Icelandic krona is ISK — symbol is kr.
It is the domestic currency in   Iceland.
No, the Icelandic krona is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?
|$ 1||kr 138.96|
|$ 5||kr 694.80|
|$ 10||kr 1,390|
|$ 20||kr 2,779|
|$ 50||kr 6,948|
|$ 100||kr 13,896|
|$ 250||kr 34,740|
|$ 500||kr 69,480|
|$ 1,000||kr 138,960|
|$ 2,000||kr 277,920|
|$ 5,000||kr 694,800|
|$ 10,000||kr 1,389,600|
|$ 20,000||kr 2,779,200|
|$ 50,000||kr 6,948,000|
|$ 100,000||kr 13,896,000|
|$ 0.0072||kr 1|
|$ 0.0360||kr 5|
|$ 0.0720||kr 10|
|$ 0.1439||kr 20|
|$ 0.3598||kr 50|
|$ 0.7196||kr 100|
|$ 1.7990||kr 250|
|$ 3.5980||kr 500|
|$ 7.1960||kr 1,000|
|$ 14.39||kr 2,000|
|$ 35.98||kr 5,000|
|$ 71.96||kr 10,000|
|$ 143.92||kr 20,000|
|$ 359.80||kr 50,000|
|$ 719.60||kr 100,000|
To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Iceland you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).
The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.
You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
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 4 simple steps :
Use the above calculator to compare the exchange 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 and less margins and fees kept by the banks!
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Iceland.
Iceland has a high cost of living, especially in the capital city of Reykjavik. Expenses such as food, transportation, and housing are all relatively expensive when compared to other countries.
The expat life in Iceland is generally very positive. There is a strong sense of community among expats, and people are generally friendly and helpful. The cost of living can be high, but there are many ways to save money. Iceland is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, and expats often find that they enjoy a good quality of life here.
One should be aware that it is illegal to drive a car in Iceland unless the driver has a valid driver's license and insurance. It is also illegal to purchase or consume alcohol if one is under the age of 20.
The business sector in Iceland is growing quickly, as the country's economy continues to rebound from the global financial crisis. The Icelandic Chamber of Commerce and Industry reports that there is high interest from foreign investors in doing business in Iceland. The chamber notes that the country's membership in the European Economic Area and the Schengen Agreement makes it easier for businesses to operate in Iceland. The business environment in Iceland is generally considered to be friendly and conducive to growth.
The economy in Iceland is recovering from a period of recession which began in 2008. The country's gross domestic product is expected to grow by 2.3% in 2016, and its unemployment rate is forecast to fall to 5.0%. Iceland's inflation rate is also low, and is expected to remain at around 2.0% in 2016.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Iceland:
Understand Icelandic krona currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the ISK exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Icelandic krona bank account: A local ISK bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Iceland. It may also be more convenient to use a local ISK bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Iceland. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Iceland. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Iceland, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.