Going to Iceland with kids? Check out these tips before you go!
Food and Drinks in Iceland for Kids and Parents
Our first order of business when we got there was going to the grocery store! We love doing this in different countries. Tony and I were also excited for our first beer/wine when we got to our Airbnb.
Well, we were told that Bonus or Kronan were the two budget grocery stores in Iceland. They were great! For a place where they charge $17 for a drive-thru burger meal, these grocery stores are budget savers! BUT HOLD ON: They don’t sell alcohol. It’s like Pennsylvania, you have to go to a special place to go get your drinks to go and it’s called Vinbudin. And super expensive. Just a warning. Vinbudins are plentiful in the Reykjavik area, but they do have limited hours. So plan ahead of time! Better yet, they sold alcohol at the airport after you landed, and before you head out to the exit. Purchase your drinks there.
I think Henry (2.5yo) ate a lot of french fries on this trip. And pasta. And chips. So not much different from home, but we didn’t have issues finding these things for him. As I mentioned above, food was really expensive. We did bring applesauce from home (the pouch kind) which he ate a lot of. Iceland is also the home to “the best hot dog in the world” called pylsur. That was one of Henry’s favorites. We were able to get plenty of snacks and anything he needed to eat at the grocery stores. They were more expensive than the U.S., but not that much more so it won’t be worth it to lug a bunch of snacks from home.
Also, eating out is very expensive in Iceland. The least expensive meal was at a local diner, Kænan in Hafnarfjörður, just about 30 minutes outside of Reykjavik. It was a great local buffet style diner on the water for about $15 per person. We ate at a drive-through burger place, and that was about $17 per meal (burger, fries and a drink). The average price at restaurants were about $35-$50 per plate. So plan accordingly. We loved just getting food at the grocery store and the fish market, then making dinner at our Airbnb.
Let’s just say we’ve been home for over 6 months, and we still have $80 worth of Icelandic cash in our wallet. We only took out $80 worth. Don’t make the same mistakes as we did! We never had a place where it was cash only. Never. We went to restaurants, remote markets, the zoo, and tiny local cafes. So no need to take out that much cash, and if you do, don’t forget to exchange it at the airport on the way home.
I was so so so worried about how to get around driving in our rental car, I purchased a plan on my phone and it was a total waste. We got a wifi thing through our rental car, and it was like $10 a day. Way cheaper than the phone carrier. Our Airbnb also had wifi so we were covered everywhere we went!
Emergency health services – call 112. For non-emergency calls, but conditions that can’t wait to the following day, call 1770. +354 544 4113 from a foreign phone.
Low Price Supermarkets
Target Equivalent Stores
Hagkaup – it’s just like Target – some are smaller than others, and some have groceries. Some are 24 hours open! This came in handy during our excursion to find the Northern Lights. Equally fun and addictive as Target.
Check out this website. We were kind of intimidated about driving in Iceland because we aren’t used to driving in the snow, but this site made us feel a little comfortable. Once we got there, we didn’t worry at all. The roads were so easy to drive around in late April.
Place to Stay
We got an Airbnb with toys and enough space for all of us. So glad we did! We try to do this in every place we visit because it makes the trip so much easier and allows Tony and I the much-needed downtime without having to resort to too much screen time. This place had a trampoline and a soccer goal in the backyard too. Look for places that are close to family attractions like the park. There were plenty in the area when we researched!
How to Say “Thank You”
Þakka þér fyrir. (Thah-ka thyer fi-rir.) or “thanks” = Takk. (Tahk.)
I always think it’s polite to speak the country’s language, so I research how to at the minimum say “thank you”. The smiles we got when Henry said “takk fi-rir” were priceless too. 🙂