| Travel Tips
Icelandic Tourist Board
LŠkjargarta 3, Gimli,
Tel: +354-552 7488
Fax: +354-562 4749
Icelandic Tourist Board
655 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 885-9747
Fax: (212) 885-9710
City Centre, Carl-Ulrich str. 11
D-63263 Neu-Isenburg 1
Tel: (6102) 254484
Fax: (6102) 254570
A valid passport is necessary for visitors to Iceland, except for citizens of the Nordic
countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). Citizens of the following countries may
enter Iceland using, instead of passports, identity cards issued by the competend
authorities in their countries of origin: Austria, Belgium, France,Germany, Italy,
Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. For further information on
visiting Iceland and obtaining Visas please contact the Immigration Service, Hverfisgata
115, IS-150 Reykjavik, Tel: +354-569-9065, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Icelandic is a Teutonic language of the Nordic group. It is believed to have changed
little from the oringinal tongue spoken by the Norse settlers. English and Danish are
widely spoken and understood. Icelandic has two letters of its own: Ů (uppercase) / ■
(lowercase) pronounced like the "th" in thing and đ (uppercase) /
(lowercase) pronounced like the "th" in them.
Office hours are generally 09:00-17:00 but some institutions and companies change to
08:00-16:00 during June, July and August. Shopping hours are Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat from
10:00-13/14/15 or 16:00, varying from one shop to another. Some supermarkets are open to
23:00 seven days a week. Many shops are closed on Saturdays during the summer ? June, July
and August ? but the woolen goods stores are open on Saturdays and some on Sundays as
well. Shops outside Reykjavik in service centres or filling stations are often open all
day (09:00-22/23:00) every day of the week. Banking hours are Mon-Fri 09:15-16:00. To
change money outside regular banking hours see Currency Exchange.
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency in letters of credit, travellers
cheques or bank notes which may be brought into Iceland.
& Credit Cards
Electron, Maestro and edc debit cards are increasingly being accepted by merchants. Cash
can be obtained against these cards in all banks and savings banks ATMs, as well as
against Cirrus and Eurocheque ATM-only cards. Credit Cards are widely used in
Iceland and accepted by most establishments, including hotels, restaurants, car rentals
and shops. The major credit cards in Iceland are EuroCard/MasterCard and Visa,
both owned and serviced by all banks and savings banks in Iceland, and American
Express, Diners Club and JCB which have agents.
The Icelandic monetary unit is the "krˇna" which is equal to 100
"aurar." Coins are in denominations of 100 kr., 50 kr., 10 kr., 5 kr., and 1 kr.
Bank notes are in denominations of 5000 kr., 2000 kr., 1000 kr., and 500 kr. All Icelandic
banks provide foreign exchange and are generally open on weekdays from 09:15 to
Open outside regular banking hours: The Change Group, BankastrŠti 2, IS-101
Reykjavik, open daily May-Sept., 8:30-20:00, and 9:00-17:00 during the winter, closed
Sunday. The Change Group, Austurstraeti 20, IS-101 Reykjavik, open daily May-Sept.
9:00-23:00 and 11:30-19:30 during the winter, closed Mondays. The Change Group,
Falcon House, HafnarstrŠti 3, IS-101 Reykjavik, open daily May-Sept. 9:00-18:00. The
Change Group Akureyri, at Nonni Travel, Brekkugata 5, open daily May 15-Sept,
8:00-20:00. The Change Group is a representative of the Western Union, offering fast
delivery of money.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted in Iceland.
The shops in Iceland are of international standard, and carry a wide variety of
merchandise. Local specialties are woolen knitwear (i.e. sweaters, cardigans, hats and
mittens), handmade ceramics, glassware and silver jewelry. Also available is a great
variety of high-quality seafood.
A refund of local Value-Added Tax is available to visitors to Iceland. The refund will
result in a reduction of up to 15% of the retail price, provided departure from Iceland is
within 30 days after the purchase is made. The purchase amount must be no less that ISK
4,000 (VAT included) per sales receipt, and all goods (except woolens) must be packed in
sealed bags or containers.
The duty-free store at Keflavik Airport is open to coincide with flight departure and
Laundry and dry cleaning service are available at most hotels throughout the country. In
Reykjavik there are two public laundries:
- ŮVOIđ Sjalf
Tel: +354-552 7499
- LAUNDRY SERVICE
Tel: +354-562 6820
There are post offices located in all major communities in Iceland. General hours are:
Mon-Fri. 08:30-16:30. The post office in Austurstraeti (City centre) is open June-August
on Saturdays 10:00-14:00.
Direct calls can be made to all parts of Iceland. The code into Iceland from overseas is
+354 + seven-digit number. Direct long-distance calls can be made to Europe and the USA by
dialing 00 plus the country code, the area code and the telephone number you wish to
reach. If assistance is required, dial 114 for information and 115 to place a call. Coin
and Card Operated public phones are at post offices and telephone exchanges around the
country. Phone charges vary when calling within Iceland depending on the time of day.
Rates may also be higher at hotels that in public phones, as a long-distance service
charge is added.
Telex service is available in hotels, private companies and post offices. The telex code
into Iceland is 0501.
Fax service is available at most post offices around the country. The fax code into
Iceland is +354 + seven-digit number.
Telegrams may be sent from private or public telephones by dialing 146.
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool temperate ocean climate: cool in the
summer and fairly mild in the winter. However, the weather is very changeable and tourists
should be prepared for the unexpected.
During summer the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In the month of June the sun never
fully sets in the north. There are even special excursions to the island of Grimsey on the
Arctic Circle where you can experience the midnight sun, that is to say if it is not
cloudy! Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so
bring along a sweater.
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year, and does not go on daylight
saving time. When it is noon in Reykjavik during the summer, the time is 08:00 in New York
City, 13:00 in London, 14:00 in Paris, 14:00 in Oslo, 14:00 in Luxembourg, 14:00 in Rome
and 21:00 in Tokyo.
Icelanders enjoy a healthy life, thanks to clean air and water and quality fish. Water is
safe to drink throughout Iceland. Pharmacies are called "Apotek" and are open
during normal business hours, and at least one is open in Reykjavik around the clock.
Reykjavik has a great many general practitioners, as well as specialists, many of whom
will receive patients at short notice. There are also many Health Centers in Reykjavik,
with officially appointed family doctors who receive patients at short notice during the
day. For visitors arriving in Iceland, no vaccinations are required.
Disabled visitors can make traveling in Iceland fairly easy by planning their vacation in
advance. They may also find it necessary to travel with a companion, for although there
are many hotels nd restaurants accessible to the disabled, they do not always provide full
assistance. A number of hotels in Reykavik and Akureyri have rooms specially designed for
disabled guests. A list of hotels accessible to disabled visitors is included in a leaflet
published by the Icelandic Hotels and Guesthouses. Larger department stores are generally
accessible to wheelchair users. The coastal ferry Baldur is accessible to the
disabled. The ferry Herjolfur also has excellent facilities for the disabled. All
airlines flying to and from Iceland are equipped to accommodate disabled travelers. A few
domestic buses equipped for wheelchair users are available for special tours upon request.
For further information please contact the Icelandic Tourist Board.
Reykjavik police, Tel: +354-551 1166 Emergency (24 hours). For information, Tel: +354-569
The established religion in Iceland is Lutheran. There are many Lutheran churches in
Iceland and services are usually held every Sunday at 11:00 or 14:00. There is a Catholic
Church in Reykjavik and Akureyri, and a number of churches for other groups. Holy Mass in
English or German is offered in the Roman Catholic Cathedral every Saturday at 18:00, and
in English Sundays at 20:00.
The electric current in Iceland is 220 volts, 50 HZ AC. Please note that the prongs on
electrical equipment you bring with you may be different from Icelandic standards. It is
advisable to check before using such equipment.
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