A Trip To Iceland Backpacker? Here is The Guide!

Many of you have asked me questions following my trip to Iceland. I know it’s a destination that makes you dream. And you are right !

waterfalls in iceland

As you know, Iceland is an expensive destination. Personally, when I took my plane ticket, I did not check in detail the budget I needed cheap rent a car And I admit that I was surprised by the cost of living displayed in the guides. It was more than I imagined!

Finally, do not panic, there are different ways to lower the rating. For a little that you are not too difficult on a trip!

Here is a little story on the question.

Car rental

This is the most used way for tourists in Iceland.

With a car, you can go everywhere or almost. Buses do not serve all destinations. Renting a car will allow you to think outside the box.

The problem is that it’s expensive cheap car rental I saw prices at 90 euros a day.

To lower the rating, it is essential to book online several weeks before.

Many tourists choose this option for their trip to Iceland. Before or after a trek, they leave a few days around the island. It is possible thanks to the circular route.

More Convenient

Guide to Iceland offers a wide choice of rental vehicles  for your trip to Iceland: standard car, 4X4, motorhome, vans. On the website you can compare, read reviews and book directly online from many Icelandic rental agencies.

Transport in Iceland

In general, this may be the main expense item on your trip.

There are no lines of trains, the bus reigns supreme. During a trip to Iceland, it’s hard to escape.

The bus

It is a means of transport widely used by Icelanders. Given the population density, I was amazed by the quality of the network. Punctual, the bus sometimes serves small villages lost in the depths of Iceland. It allows to reach many sites.

take the bus in iceland

However, there are regions, at least at the time of writing, which are not served by a bus line. I am thinking in particular of the northwest and the east.


Some companies offer an audio guide with the route. The bus then makes short stops on the sites of interest.

By the way, you can quite be based in the capital and take day tours to see the main sights. The problem is that you will do a lot of bus time and most importantly, your budget will explode!

Indeed, this kind of tour to the day runs between 50 and 100 euros per person!

Between May and September, many daily connections, but the rest of the year is something else …

The bus is expensive: about 60 euros for 5 hours of road wholesale.

There are passes to lower the rating. It’s interesting if you plan to take the bus often. Ask the different companies.

The ferry

To reach some sites (north-west and islands), it will be necessary to pass by this means of transport. More friendly and cheaper than the bus.

Traveling in Iceland

The plane

Surprisingly, domestic flights are well developed. They all depart from Reykjavík’s small international airport in central Reykjavík.

Two companies: Eagle Air and Air Iceland. This one offers passes. The Fly As You Please pass entitles you to unlimited flights for 12 days: around 600 euros.

The stop

An alternative on some trips! It works well enough to have done it.

This is particularly effective in tourist areas. But on some roads, vehicles can be rare …

The bike

You will come across a number of cycling fans. Iceland has strong arguments, it must be said. Nevertheless, you should know that cycling in Iceland is not easy, between rain and wind … If you are beginners, know that it will not be easy!

If you are several, the best combo is the car-camping duo. You will have great freedom to discover Iceland.

Here is the story of a bicycle traveler in Iceland . It’s beautiful !

Accommodation in Iceland

A big expense if you are targeting hotels. In summer, the high season, a classic room revolves around 100 euros. And it is better to book in advance …


What other way to save?


Dorm beds

In the capital, by booking in advance, you can find a bed in dormitory for 25 euros a night.


In summer, it’s the best way to save money. For the traveler backpackers in Iceland, this is the best option. Campsites in Iceland are relatively numerous given the number of hikers who come to the island.


The one in Reykjavik is located near the city center. It is the most “complete” in terms of infrastructure. The campsite has free showers and a common room with kitchen, wifi and laptop available.


Price: between 8 and 10 euros per person for a tent. Showers are usually paid.


Otherwise, there is still the option of sleeping in the car :-).



The joys of wild camping. Freedom !


Be careful, plan a good tent for Iceland! It’s raining regularly and it can be windy at some sites. Also, do not leave with a basic tent. Make sure it is waterproof.


Wild camping is possible. Normally, it is forbidden in natural parks. That said, Iceland is so big and sparsely populated … I did it several times during my trek from Landmannalaugar to Skógar .


Sleeping nights, with a bed, must be booked well in advance in the summer.

Other more expensive options: Bed and breakfast on the farm for example. Certain that te alternative must be nice!

As you can see, the high season is the summer. Prices are higher and sometimes you have to book your car rental and hotels.

Food and drinks

Restaurants are expensive, you can imagine.


To save , you have to buy and cook yourself.


Bonus stores are arguably the most affordable in terms of price. Substantially close to what we can meet in France. You will find the pink pig regularly in the small cities of the country.


The pig is your best friend in Iceland.

The pig is your best friend in Iceland.


Iceland is not the country where beer is cheap, far from it!


Count 8 euros the pressure in the capital in a bar.


Price examples:


Coffee: 400 crowns

Hamburger: 1200

Sandwiches: 600

City bus ticket: 350


To know more :

1000 crowns = 6.5 euros.


Internet, wifi.

For the geek traveler, Iceland is rather a pleasant surprise. Like all countries in Northern Europe, the internet has a good place.

Thus, you will easily find a wifi connection in the bars, even in the small cafe of a small port at the end of the world.


On the other hand, many bus lines have a free wifi connection!


icelandic practice

Other things to know

you will find everything you need on the level of hiking equipment . Of course, prices are higher than in France.

in Reykjavik, city ​​buses do not give change . You must have the account or pay more for the ticket.

many shops close late in the capital, 22h for some travel agencies for example.

for your trip to Iceland, do not forget warm clothes in summer, and especially waterproof and dry clothes! Avoid cotton.

in July, even in the middle of the night, it’s almost clear! Also, if you are sensitive to this, do not forget a night mask.

the electrical outlets are the same as in France .

a lot of ATM everywhere. In addition, you can pay by card almost everything


Come to Iceland

Several airlines serve the island. The arrival of low-cost has greatly lowered prices.


You have Transavia and Wow Air the last one.


I took both companies for my round trip.


The big advantage of Wow Air is that you are entitled to 20 kg in the hold, against 15kg for Transavia. Frankly, it’s limited if you go to Iceland for several weeks. Especially for walking!


On this company, count around 150 € the ticket from Paris. Flight also from Lyon!



To know more :

This is the site of the company Wow Air .


From the airport, several bus companies serve the city center of Reykjavik, even in the middle of the night. Departure every hour wholesale. Price: 4000 crowns for 45 minutes of journey.


If you go to the city camping, ask the bus to drop you off.


In conclusion, the best way to travel backpacker and not expensive in Iceland … it is to walk!


Indeed, there, for once, your daily budget will be low, especially if you are camping wild.

If you travel in “classic” mode, the budget can quickly turn around 100 euros a day. Easy.


To conclude, here is the story of a family traveling in Iceland.


That said, coming to Iceland and not walking to take full advantage of this exceptional nature, is it not a crime of lèse-majesté?

For those who know Iceland, do you have other things to add?

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