If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, you might be wondering about the currency situation. Can you use euros in Iceland, or do you need to change your money into Icelandic króna?
As you’ll see, while there’s certainly one option which could be considered the best currency to bring to Iceland, a better question may be if you need cash in Iceland at all.
Here’s what you need to know about how to pay for things in Iceland!
Can you use euros in Iceland?
No, you cannot use euros in Iceland. The currency in Iceland is the Icelandic króna. While some businesses in the tourism sector in Iceland may accept euros or US dollars as payment, this is not common and you should not expect it.
While Iceland is in the European Union, it is not part of the Eurozone. This means that the country does not use the euro as its currency. Similarly, as mentioned, you should not expect to be able to pay in US dollars or, indeed, any other foreign currency while in Iceland.
This is why, if you’re planning a trip to Iceland, be sure to bring Icelandic krónur or a major credit card, as these will be the most widely accepted forms of payment. In fact, you may find that you don’t even need to use cash when visiting Iceland. Most businesses accept all foreign bank cards, including if you choose to tip in Iceland.
Still, it’s always good to have some cash on hand in case of emergencies, although I wouldn’t recommend bringing much at all. I know I, personally, didn’t use any cash at all when I was last in Iceland.
That said, it is best to check with your bank or card issuer beforehand to make sure that your card will work in Iceland. You wouldn’t want your bank to suddenly block your card due to that first Icelandic transaction being flagged in their system – which, ahem, may or may not have happened to me.
You may also be interested in: Do They Speak English in Iceland?
Can you use euros in Reykjavik?
No, you cannot use euros in Reykjavik. The official currency of Iceland is the Icelandic króna (ISK) and thus businesses in Reykjavik will only accept these as payment. That said, major credit cards are widely accepted throughout Iceland, including in its capital city.
Because of that, it’s often far easier to simply use your bank card to pay for things rather than exchanging euros (or your other preferred currency) into króna.
Remember: When using a bank card overseas, you’ll often be presented with the option of processing the transaction in the local currency or your home currency. Always pick the local currency. If you don’t, the exchange rate used will be far less in your favor, meaning you’ll end up paying more than you would have otherwise.
That said, as a tourist, you may notice some prices advertised online before arriving in euros and other major currencies, especially the US dollar and the British pound, as well as, sometimes, Scandinavian currencies for Iceland’s neighbors. This isn’t super common but when you see it, it’s provided more as a courtesy, not as an indication that the business accepts payment in those currencies.
For example, the website of a tour group may say that a tour costs EUR 80 per person. In those cases, you’ll either pay EUR 80 using a bank card, with the transaction going through as around ISK 11,000, or will be expected to pay that ISK 11,000 in cash on the day.
What is the best currency to take to Iceland?
If you plan to bring any currency to Iceland, you should either bring Icelandic króna or, if you prefer to exchange your cash once you’re in Iceland, any major currency, such as US dollars, euros or British pounds. It is also often easy to exchange the other Scandinavian currencies into króna.
However, don’t forget my earlier comment that you may not even need cash while in Iceland. The country is very credit card friendly and basically every businesses will accept cards for payment, including taxis, restaurants, stores…and even public toilets that require payment for entry.
So, while you can bring cash to Iceland, it’s not necessarily the best option. Instead, consider using a credit card to pay for things, and perhaps bring a debit card to get cash from an ATM on the off chance you actually need it while there.