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So how expensive is Iceland really?

Austurstraeti in central Reykjavik. High prices in shops here surprise many. PIC Jonathan

Austurstraeti in central Reykjavik. High prices in shops here surprise many. PIC Jonathan

Don´t say we didn´t warn you guys because we did. Again and again and the only guide to Iceland honest about how friggin´ expensive things are here. Trust us, shopping here is so expensive it will turn you off shopping.

In all honesty, and team Total Iceland is very guilty of travel around the world, we know only one place on earth where stuff in shops is on average more expensive than in Iceland. That honor belongs to our neighbors in Norway where prices generally for stuff is 20 to 40% higher than here. Then again, medium wages in Norway are 30 to 60% higher than here also.

we ourselves go abroad

We know some of you do come here to shop a little bit. We know because we drive them around sometimes. And apart from the Chinese most exit pale-faced out of stores faster than Usain Bolt on fire.

But why would people come to shop here when we ourselves go abroad to clothe the family or when we have to buy lots of stuff for Christmas. We do. Try finding a seat on any airplane from here when sales are going on in places like Glasgow, London, Boston or New York. Yup, that´s locals from Iceland hell bent on shopping cheaply. And none of those cities is world famous for low prices either. Indeed, we shop so much abroad that shop owners in Dublin, to where direct flights were offered for a while fifteen years ago, still talk about it today.

But nuff said. Let´s get down to some examples and then you can make your own judgement. Then please tell us what you think.

  • Levi´s jeans  >> 19.000 ISK / 159$ / 124€
  • Nike shoes latest model  >> 20.000 ISK / 167$ / 131€
  • Pack of cigarettes  >> 1.200 ISK / 10$ / 8€
  • Bottle of cheap red wine in store  >> 1.900 ISK / 16$ / 13€
  • Bottle of cheap red wine in restaurant  >>  4.600 ISK / 38$ / 30€
  • Icelandic knitted lopapeysa  >>  22.000 ISK / 184$ / 143€
  • Icelandic parka latest model  >> 72.100 ISK  / 603$ / 460€
  • Foreign paperbacks in a bookshop  >> 2.900 ISK / 25$ / 19€
  • Recent local music CD´s  >>  2.900 ISK / 25$ / 19€
  • Pint of beer in bar  >> 1.200 ISK / 10$ / 8€
  • Pint of beer in store  >> 450 ISK / 4$ / 3€
  • Family one night at campsite with WC service  >>  4.500 ISK / 37$ / 29€
  • Fast food meal  >> 1.600 ISK / 13$ / 10€
  • Blue lagoon basic ticket  >>  6.200 ISK / 52$ / 40€
  • Blue lagoon view  >> 1.500 ISK / 13$ / 10€
  • Swimming pool admission  >>  600 ISK / 5$ / 4€
  • Three course dinner for one at medium restaurant  >>  6.000 ISK / 50$ / 40€
  • Cup of coffee in a coffee shop  >> 450 ISK / 4$ / 3€
  • Dorm bed in Reykjavik hostel  >>  5.000 ISK / 42$ / 33€
  • Room in average Reykjavik hotel  >> 16.000 ISK / 133$ / 104€
  • Bus ticket Reykjavik  >> 380 ISK / 3$ / 2€
  • Taxi start fare  >> 700 ISK / 6$ / 5€
  • One way flight within Iceland  >> 20.000 ISK / 175$ / 140€

* all prices correct as of October 2014

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