Currency in Iceland: All You Need to Know

Iceland Currency Bills And Banknotes

When planning a trip to Iceland, understanding the local currency and how to manage your finances during your stay is crucial. The Icelandic króna (ISK), denoted as “kr”, serves as the backbone of financial transactions in this stunning country. With its unique value and usage, navigating Iceland’s monetary system can enhance your travel experience, ensuring smooth transactions and financial savvy.

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ISK to USD/EUR calculator

When planning a trip to Iceland, understanding the value of your money is crucial. Our “Iceland money to USD” calculator is designed to provide you with the most current exchange rate from the Icelandic króna (ISK) to the United States dollar (USD), ensuring you have the accurate information needed for all your financial decisions.

ISK converter

The Icelandic Króna (ISK): A Primer

The official currency of Iceland, the Icelandic króna, has a rich history and plays a pivotal role in the country's economy. Available in both coins and banknotes, the króna comes in denominations that cater to all levels of transactions, from the smallest purchase at a local kiosk to significant expenses at top-tier Icelandic establishments.

Iceland Currency Krona Coins

What Does Iceland Money Look Like?

Banknotes and Coins

  • Banknotes: The Icelandic monetary system includes banknotes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000 ISK, catering to larger transactions.
  • Coins: For smaller transactions, coins of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 kr are in circulation, ensuring that every purchase, no matter how small, can be precisely accounted for.

Cash or card? Navigating payments in Iceland

Iceland is a pioneer in the digital banking and payments sphere, with credit cards being the preferred method of payment across the country. From the most remote restaurants to the most popular tourist attractions, card payments are accepted universally, offering convenience and security to travelers.

Iceland Currency Various Denominations Of Banknotes

The exception: Buses in Reykjavik

While credit cards reign supreme in Iceland, there's an exception to the rule: bus transportation in Reykjavik. To ride the bus, you'll need exact change or a pre-purchased ticket, which can be obtained via the official Icelandic public transport application or at select supermarkets.

Exchanging money: Tips and Tricks

Given the predominance of card transactions, finding currency exchange services in Iceland, especially outside of major cities like Reykjavik and Akureyri, can be challenging. For those who prefer cash:

  • ATMs: The most efficient way to obtain Icelandic króna is through ATMs, which are widely available across the country. Always inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any transaction issues.
  • Exchange Rates: Understanding the current exchange rate (100 kr = US$0.70) is vital for budgeting your trip effectively.

Do I Need Iceland Money During My Trip?

While it is always nice to have some cash on hand when you travel, I don’t know that I would say it’s 100% necessary here. Even Reykjavik’s iconic Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand accepts credit cards. But if the idea of a cashless existence while traveling to Iceland makes you uncomfortable, then, by all means, keep some krona currency in your wallet.

There are a few ways to go about this. What I recommend (and what I do when I travel abroad) is to simply take some money out of an ATM once I arrive. This is based on the assumption that I’m not withdrawing huge wads of cash or that withdrawal fees are low or non-existent. Everything else I put on my card because there are no foreign transaction fees.

You can also get some Icelandic currency from your bank back home before your trip. Just make sure they have ample time to order it and receive it. Most banks don’t keep foreign currency in their vaults, so they’ll need to special order it.

I would advise you not to get any currency in Iceland from an exchange bureau. They make their money by charging high commissions and giving really bad rates. Banks and ATMs are your best best for sure.

Iceland Currency 5000 Krona Note

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is $1 US in Iceland?

$1 US is approximately 143 Icelandic króna, though exchange rates fluctuate.

What is the best currency to use in Iceland?

The Icelandic króna is the only currency universally accepted across Iceland, making it the best and often only option for transactions.

Does Iceland accept euros?

While the euro may be accepted in some tourist-oriented establishments, it's not widely accepted. Relying on the Icelandic króna or credit cards is advisable.

Should I take any cash to Iceland?

Carrying a small amount of cash is recommended for minor expenses where cards may not be accepted, such as buses in Reykjavik. However, credit cards are your go-to for the majority of transactions.

  1. Patricia Taylor says:

    Thanks for your information.
    I’m traveling to Iceland this month of May. Are the exchange fees too high at the airport? Ex:if I exchange a $100 US to Krona, I would be charged $7? Thanks for responding.

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