Iceland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and I couldn’t recommend it enough! However, there is one big downside when it comes to travelling to Iceland, the cost of eating out. A simple meal for 2 with one drink to share can easily cost around £40 and if you add a starter or if each person orders a drink you easily reach the £60 to £70 range. Not cheap for a fish and chips and a beer! Luckily our friends had warned us so using their feedback we got a bit creative and found 6 easy ways to save money on food and drink in Iceland.
Indulge at breakfast
All the places we stayed at included breakfast so we made sure to over-indulge each morning to keep us as full as possible until mid-day. We usually had at least one open sandwich with cheese and protein and a big bowl of skyr with granola. Andrew often added an additional plate of pastries as he is about twice my size. This worked well and we very rarely felt hungry before 1pm.
Pack your snacks
I would say that about 3kg of our luggage were snacks. Indeed friends had warned us about the cost of food so we decided to bring plenty of healthy-ish snacks so we would be able to skip lunch altogether most days and only pay for dinner. This worked really well and is easily our biggest coast saving tip! I bought about £20 of cereal bars, nuts and dry fruits and by eating about 3 a day we weren’t hungry until dinner time. We even came back home with some!
Bring reusable bottles
Why would buy bottles of water when the tap water in Iceland comes directly from the glaciers? So to reduce our cost and plastic waste, we brought 4 reusable bottles with us and that was covering all our water needs until dinner (when again we would always order tap water). The water is truly delicious in Iceland, so we had access to Evian-quality water without the price tag!
Use the Appy Hour app
Another tip we got from some friends which saved us a few bucks in Reykjavik! The Appy Hour app lists all the deals available across town and the applicable times so you can always find the cheapest beer! One happy hour we enjoyed a few times was at Bryggjan Brugghús, great beers at a normal price!
Eat at food markets
I already mentioned Hlemmur Matholl and Grandi Matholl on the blog. In addition to being great places to eat and drink, they are also very cost effective. A main at these is around £10-15 which makes food markets a great place to eat excellent food without ruining yourself!
Bring your own wine
You read that right! Make sure to pack wine with you! We brought a bottle of red and one of white so we had options. The bottles lasted the entire trip (we rationed ourselves). Wine is ridiculously expensive in Iceland so this was a great way to save A LOT of money while still enjoy a drink after a long day of hiking. Just make sure to pack screw-top bottles so you can easily close and transport them.
I would definitely encourage you to budget for meals if you are planning a trip to Iceland as it is truly one of the most expensive countries to eat out. Hopefully, these 6 tips should really help you save money on food and drink while there!