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Where to find liquor stores in Iceland

The official sign of the official liquor store in Iceland. PIC cogdogblog

The official sign of the official liquor store in Iceland. PIC cogdogblog

Judging from official tourism websites and brochures no visitor to Iceland is likely to want anything stronger to drink than a glass of fine wine in some hyped and fancy new hotel or restaurant. But team Total Iceland knows better and you do too.

We know you people like a beer now and then and we know few things come in more handy than a bottle of red or white when romantically happening upon a natural hot spring on your travels or finding yourself camping next to a group of carefree hippie musicians. In those cases a bottle of some bubbly stuff will come in handy and may add spice to romance.

this is illegal but no one is paying any notice

In most cases nowadays it is possible to buy take-away beers in most bars in most towns and villages. Admittedly, this is strictly speaking illegal but no one is paying any notice and local police is short-staffed and not likely to make fuzz. However, expect to pay up to a 1600 ISK (13$ / 10€) for a single small bottle of beer from bars around this island.

There are pretty vast areas of the country where you will have to drive quite a distance to find a state liquor store which is the only place to buy alcohol in Iceland outside of bar opening times. You are therefore advised to buy drinks before heading into the country.

As for those official stores you can find a map of locations on the store website here. The name to ask for is Vinbudin, which is Icelandic for liquor store. Most are open weekdays from 10 – 18 but in larger places a little bit longer. The biggest ones in Reykjavik are also open on Saturdays until 14 or 16.

While not as expensive as in bars, prices are in general pretty high. Expect to pay 400 to 500 ISK for a single can of local beer (4$ / 3€) and from 1800 ISK for a cheap red wine stuff. For serious shit like vodka or whiskey expect the bill to be more like 7000 ISK. Still way below restaurant prices.

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