Iceland Travel Information
Iceland is a safe country with a good standard of
health and food hygiene, generally low crime and low
risk of terrorist attacks. In general, security is at
the same level as in Norway. Iceland has introduced
temporary border control and mandatory quarantine for 14
days for all travelers. For information on covid-19, see
the section Health.
However, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and
avalanches occur more frequently in Iceland than many
other places, but they are largely of limited scope and,
statistically speaking, pose a negligible risk to life
Volcanic eruptions can cause toxic gas outflows in
addition to lava. Because the most active volcanic areas
are under glaciers, they can also cause major flooding
(ice skating) as the ice over the eruption melts. Such
ice skating can tear roads and bridges, but injuries to
humans are extremely rare. The Icelandic authorities are
well prepared for these types of events; Therefore,
follow local government directions.
Safetravel (the rescue companies' websites) contains
important information for travelers to Iceland. For
information on civil preparedness and crisis management,
see the Almannavarnir (Civil Defense) website. For
information on weather conditions and forecasts, seismic
activity, etc. see the Meteorological Authority's
website, Iceland met office.
The danger of terrorist acts in Iceland is generally
considered very low. The country has a low number of
inhabitants and few portals for traffic from abroad.
This simplifies the authorities' possibilities for
monitoring suspicious environments.
There is relatively little crime in Iceland, but as
everywhere else, violence or other crime may occur, and
here, as elsewhere, one will be more at risk if one is
affected by drugs.
Traveling around the island is also mostly safe.
However, especially in the winter months, there is often
bad weather, and heavy and sudden snowstorms can be
encountered at the mountain crossings as early as
September and as late as April. On some stretches of
roads - especially in Southeast Iceland - sand storms
can also be threatened with subsequent destruction of,
among other things. varnish and car routes not covered
by regular car insurance. Additional insurance is
advised. Always check before departure with the Road
Information Service, the weather service and the rescue
companies' excellent information services to make sure
that roads are open and whether it is considered safe to
- Countryaah: Reykjavik is the capital
of Iceland. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
Highway 1, which runs around the entire island and
some other roads, generally holds a high standard, with
a fixed tire, gentle curves and a very good overview.
The usual speed limit on such roads is 90 km/h outside
of densely populated areas. In general, traffic safety
is about the same as in Norway. When it comes to inland
roads, the situation is often different, and several
roads require high-altitude four-wheel drive to arrive.
Many inland roads are only open in summer. Foreigners
who have no experience with the roads here, especially
loose gravel and weak edges, make up a
disproportionately large proportion of road accidents,
and it is recommended to drive cautiously.
When traveling around the country one should also be
aware that there are very large areas without any
buildings and with limited traffic, and that it can be
far to the next gas station. In some areas, mobile phone
coverage is also limited. One should also be aware of
the risks that may be associated with different types of
adventure tourism offered by the tourism industry in
Travelers who stay for shorter or longer time in
Iceland, are encouraged to register on
reiseregistrering.no and possibly on Safe Travel at
Traveling abroad without travel insurance can have
major consequences for you or your family. Should you
need hospital treatment and home transport by ambulance
from abroad, the costs can be very high. You should
therefore make sure you take out good travel insurance -
or check that the one you have is adequate for your next
trip. Good travel insurance will cover, among other
things, expenses related to injuries, accidents,
illness, home transport and death.
Telephone number 112 is a common emergency number for
all emergency situations in Iceland (ambulance, fire,
The embassy can be reached by phone (+354) 520 0700
during business hours (9am - 4pm Monday - Friday).
In an emergency situation outside of business hours,
call the station's ordinary telephone number and you
will be diverted to the UD's 24-hour operating center in
Oslo - which has direct number +47 23 95 00 00 and
e-mail address: Udops@mfa.no
Information on relevant measures taken to prevent the
spread of coronavirus can be found on this tourist
information page. Iceland introduced temporary border
control on April 24, 2020, as well as mandatory
quarantine for 14 days for all travelers. These
provisions apply until 15 May. All travelers leaving or
leaving the country must be prepared to show a valid ID.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Iceland is part of the Schengen area, so it is not
formally required to bring a passport when traveling
from Norway. However, an identity proof is needed by
e.g. check-in on flights or hotels or by car rental, and
then passports are clearly the best. Only passports are
valid as travel and ID documents issued by the Norwegian
authorities and confirmation of Norwegian citizenship.
Therefore, always bring your passport when traveling
The tariff quotas on tobacco products, beer, wine and
spirits are about the same as Norway, but no forms of
snuff are allowed in Iceland. Of other customs
restrictions it may be mentioned that it is prohibited
to bring meat, eggs and milk products that have not been
cooked. All riding and fishing gear (including gloves,
clothing and boots) that has been used outside Iceland
must be disinfected for the traveler's cost upon arrival
in the country. This can be exempted if a disinfection
certificate is presented from the approved veterinary
authority on arrival. (Information from Icelandic
customs authorities) For many people, it would therefore
be worthwhile to rent such equipment (especially riding
Coronavirus (covid-19): Updated
information on the situation in Iceland, as well as
advice from local authorities, guidance and instructions
on how to take action can be found on
the information page of The Directorate of
Health and the Department of Civil Protection and
Emergency Management .
If you suspect that you may be sick with coronavirus,
you should not consult a doctor, but call 1700 (from
local telephone) or +354 544 4113 (from a foreign
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
Food and hygiene standards are good and you can
safely drink tap water. The hot water often comes from
hot springs and then smells a bit of sulfur, but the
cold water is good drinking water. The Icelandic health
care system is good and safe to use, and Norwegians are
entitled to the same treatment, with the same
deductibles, as Icelandic citizens. For tourists in the
Reykjavik area, it will usually be advisable to consult
an emergency room (Landsp®™tali at Fossvogur, tel. 543
2000) if medical treatment is needed.
In emergency situations, in need of an ambulance,
call the general emergency number 112.
Always bring the European Health Insurance Card so
that you can prove that you are entitled to health
services at the same rates that apply to Icelanders (can
be ordered at helsenorge.no).
Society, customs and legislation in Iceland are not
very different from Norway. Tips are generally not
expected in Iceland and are less prevalent than in most
other countries. However, it is not uncommon to round up
the restaurant and taxi. In general, Icelanders speak
very good English, especially the younger ones and the
employees in the service industries.
Credit and debit cards are easy to pay in Iceland,
and cash can be withdrawn with foreign cards at ATMs,
including at the airport. You cannot withdraw extra cash
when paying by card. It is worthwhile to withdraw money
from an ATM or pay by card rather than exchange notes,
which entails both fees and lower rates. Visa and
MasterCard are accepted almost everywhere, AmEx and
Diners Club are less used.
Opening hours: Banks are open Monday-Friday at From
09.15 to 16.00. There are ATMs in most places, including
at Keflav®™k Airport, where regular banking is also
provided upon arrival and departure. Businesses are
normally open Monday-Friday and Friday 9am/10am - 6pm,
Thursday 9am/10am - 7pm, Saturday 9am - 3pm. Several
colonial shops have extended opening hours and Sundays,
and a few open 24 hours.
Electrical appliances that can be used in Norway can
be safely used in Iceland.
There is good GSM coverage in densely populated
areas, varying in the highlands and on the road.
Iceland follows GMT throughout the year and does not
have summer/winter time. Thus, Iceland is two hours
after Norway when it is summer time in Norway and one
Iceland has the same Christian holidays as Norway.
January 1st and May 1st are also holidays. In addition,
you have free third Thursday in April, which is "first
summer day", June 17, which is national day, and first
Monday in August, which is "the day of the commercial
and office officials".
The weather in Iceland is comparable to the weather
in coastal Norway, but it changes faster and is
generally somewhat colder. It is recommended to bring
rain and windproof outerwear and warm clothing, even in
summer time. Also, you should bring swimwear for use in
the many excellent outdoor pools that are open all year
Especially in the high season, there may be long
queues at the airport for check-in and security checks,
as well as for possible VAT refund. It is therefore
recommended to calculate good time on departure.