A Thrifty Black Girl’s Guide to Visiting Iceland

A Thrifty Black Girl's Guide to Visiting Iceland

If you haven’t noticed via Instagram, my cousin Krista is my favorite travel buddy. We’ve traveled to at least five countries together on¬†flight deals and a budget. Over the summer she found a cheap flight to Iceland, but due to my long trips to Mexico and Morocco, I had to sit this one out. After not finding anyone to travel with, Krista decided to travel to Iceland solo. Iceland is pretty expensive so today Krista is sharing some activities from her Iceland itinerary with things to do on a 4-day trip to Iceland on a budget.

Budget Trip to Iceland


Traveling to Iceland

Leaving JFK, the cost of my flight was $302.67 on Iceland Air. The flight was not full and I was able to move 12 seats up. Alcoholic beverages and food were available for purchase, but I packed a $4 turkey and cheese sandwich (condiments in separate little packages) from a Bodega in Queens and a $1 Chobani Yogurt. The flight is 5 hours; know thy belly. ūüėČ If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and want to save money on flights, Wow air offers one-way flights as low as $99! Many cities on the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwestern parts of the U.S offer flights to Reykjavik daily.

Car Rental at Reykjavik Airport

I went with ACE Car Rental. Why? Because it was the cheapest! The car rental office is 1 block from Reykjavik Airport. I tell you this only because all the foreigners, including myself, waited in the freezing cold for 30 minutes at 1 AM for the shuttle bus, only to take us around the corner in 1 minute. I paid $178 USD or ISK18879.0 for a Hyundai Elantra for 4 days and immediately realized there was no GPS. One vehicle over, I overheard a couple from New York also going into the city and they, in fact, had a GPS so I stalked followed them on a dark empty highway for 45 minutes. After visiting 3 gas stations and a drunk person almost attacking me, I made to my hotel. When renting a car in Iceland, make sure you’re ready to pay for gas because prices are around $7.50 a gallon

Hotel & Lodging in Reykjavik

There are 5 Fosshotels in the City of Reykjavik. After driving to three, I finally found the correct one. I stayed at the Fosshotel Raudara for 2 nights. The total was $298.16. Check-in was at 2 PM, but the receptionists were so nice, they allowed me to get FREE breakfast & let me check in at 8 AM. I traveled alone, but the room was large enough for 2 adults and an extra person (child). Since parking in the city can be an issue I was happy the hotel offered free parking. Most hotels in the area have metered and outside parking.

Another benefit of Fosshotel Raudara is it is close to all the attractions in every direction. The front desk always greeted me with smiles and gave recommendations for day trips. I will definitely stay in this hotel again on my next trip to Iceland. Breakfast was free and filled me until dinner.

Iceland Itinerary: Things to Do in Iceland on a Budget

Since I was on a budget, I decided not purchase any of the tours. I walked around a lot, used my rental car and a physical map. Here are some free and low-cost places to visit in Reykjavik.

  • Hallgr√≠mur’s Church (Hallgr√≠mskirkja):¬†Walking distance from hotel *Free – If you want to go to the top, there is a suggested admission of $10 USD. Iceland’s tallest and largest church is also its most photographed site. Named after 17th-century hymn writer and church scholar Reverend Hallgr√≠mur P√©tursson.
  • Harpa: Walking distance from hotel *Free¬†– One of Reykjavik’s easiest structures to recognize is its concert hall and conference center
  • Laugavegur: For open-air shopping, stroll along Laugavegur. This shopping-centric street is filled with boutiques selling souvenirs, clothing, and specialty foods
  • Perlan: Walking and driving distance from the hotel – The view from the top is amazing. There was an actual Glacier you can walk through. ¬†Admission is around $20- $25 USD.
  • Solfar (Sun Voyager): Walking distance from hotel *Free – This steel sculpture, which was designed by Jon Gunnar Arnason, mimics a Viking ship and pays homage to the sun.
  • Golden Circle: Driving Distance *Free – The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 kilometers looping from Reykjav√≠k into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. It is the area that contains most tours and travel-related activities in Iceland
  • Blue Lagoon Spa: Driving Distance *Free¬†– There is an admission for entry, slippers, towels, and every little thing costs money. Not only is there a cost, but you must¬†reserve a spot online in advance starting at $70. ¬†I was satisfied with walking through the facility for FREE99. The Blue Lagoon is a 10-minute drive to the airport and my last stop on the trip. I visited the morning before going back home.

A Thrifty Black Girl's Guide to Visiting Iceland

Have you visited Iceland before?

15 thoughts on “A Thrifty Black Girl’s Guide to Visiting Iceland

  1. 3boysandanoldlady

    Love this. Iceland has never been on my travel radar but you’ve got me up here longing to visit. Great pics! ‚Ä™#BLMGirl‚Ĩ


  2. Sheena Steward

    I’m very frugal so this trip was right up my alley. I was reading and calculating the prices like yooo I could totally make this happen. So glad you had a great time on a budget. Thanks for the inspo.


  3. Crystal Nicole

    I’ve never considered going to Iceland or traveling alone but they both sound like great choices! I don’t know if I can handle the cold though.


  4. FeleciaMonique

    This is so dope! I’m definitely looking for ways to ball on a budget!! Nice post!!!


  5. Ebony

    I love this. I have never thought about visiting iceland. Love that the flights were affordable


  6. Marliceia

    I never considered going to Iceland, but now you have put it on my radar. I’m going to do some research and add it to my list. I have a lot of world to see. Thank you for the tips.


  7. Kita

    Iceland definitely didn’t cross my mind for travel. The name alone reads cold to me but I am definitely intrigued by her experience.


  8. staciesayzso

    I’ve never thought to visit Iceland before. Since I’m in Minnesota anything with ice in the name just scares me even though I know it’s not bad.


  9. Mimi Green

    Wait a minute Iceland. Blue Lagoon Spa, is free. Oh yes, please and thank you. Sign me up for Iceland and all its glory.


  10. Kiwi

    I will be honest I was not interested in going to Iceland. I know the lagoons are there but other than that its was too cold for me to just put that on my to visit list. Well I had no idea the Blue Lagoon spa was free wow?!!


  11. thestyleperk

    These are great tips! I know a lot of people who went on that glitch fare!


  12. Tiffany H.

    I have never traveled to Iceland, but ever time I see pics of the blue lagoon, it makes me want to hop on the plane and go. She didn’t mention food, I heard that food is very expensive.


  13. Jamila

    I’ve never been to Iceland, I’ve never thought about traveling there before. From the photos looks like a nice place to visit.


  14. Cottonhead Jones

    Thank you so much for answering my questions re: traveling to Iceland. It’s been on my bucket list of places to visit and admittedly, I was a little skittish (since I’m a Black unicorn and I have to be cautious). I’m looking forward to my trips – summer: looking to swim in the Seljavallalaug Pool and Christmas: hoping to see the Northern Lights.


  15. Cottonhead Jones

    I’m looking forward to going to Iceland and thank you for answering my questions. Admittedly I was skittish about going to Iceland (as a Black unicorn, I have to be cautious). I plan to go twice this year: summer – looking forward to swimming in Seljavallalaug Pool and in the winter – hoping to see the Northern Lights.


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