What currency does Iceland use? A complete guide
Are you planning a trip to Iceland and wondering about the currency you'll need? In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know.
So, to start with, what currency does Iceland use? It’s the krona (ISK), which is available to buy here at Travelex. Read on to understand more about Icelandic currency and how you can make your travel experience as smooth as possible.
What do I need to know about the Icelandic krona?
The Icelandic krona, or ISK, is the official currency of Iceland. It was first introduced in 1874 after Iceland gained independence from Denmark .
Initially, the krona was an evolution of the Danish krone, but today it’s an independent currency. While it shares a name with various Nordic currencies like those in Norway and Sweden, it’s totally separate.
The Icelandic krona is a relatively weak currency, having been devalued a number of times over the years. Interestingly, though, Iceland is not a particularly cheap travel destination, which we explain in more detail below.
What denominations does the Icelandic krona come in?
The Icelandic krona is available as both notes and coins. The main denominations for notes are:
- 500 ISK
- 1000 ISK
- 2000 ISK
- 5000 ISK
Coins come in denominations of:
- 1 ISK
- 5 ISK
- 10 ISK
- 50 ISK
- 100 ISK
It's usually a good idea to have a mix of notes and coins for convenience during your travels.
Do I need to carry krona as cash?
Carrying cash is not essential, as most places will accept card payments, especially in major cities like Reykjavik. Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards are the most likely to be accepted. Amex and Diners Club cards are not as widely used in Iceland.
Every bank is different, and there will usually be exchange fees and transaction costs for using your card abroad. Make sure you’re aware of how much you will be charged.
Cash is usually handy for small transactions, taxi fares, and tips, so it's still helpful to have some krona on hand.
Does Iceland accept any other currencies?
You might be wondering if Iceland uses euros or other major currencies. While the official currency is the Icelandic krona, You might find that some hotels and tourist-facing businesses accept the US dollar, British pound or euro .
There are no guarantees, however, so we recommend that you take Icelandic krona for the easiest transactions, especially outside of urban areas.
Is Iceland expensive?
Iceland is a wonderful destination, famous for its stunning landscapes, waterfalls, rugged hills, hiking trails and natural hot springs.
It’s also well known as one of Europe’s more expensive countries to visit. Food, travel, and accommodation is often more costly in Iceland than in the UK, but there’s plenty of variety on offer and there are lots of ways to keep costs down.
Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on your location within the country and the time of year that you visit. Because Iceland is only a short flight from the UK, many travellers find that a short break is the most cost-effective option.
Where to get your krona
In addition to buying your krona as cash, you can also use the Travelex Money Card in Iceland. It’s a very convenient option to manage your spending while travelling. Just load your card with British pounds and use it to withdraw krona at an ATM or to make contactless payments.
Ready to buy some Icelandic krona?
It pays to be organised, so make sure you have enough Icelandic krona for your adventures. Buy ISK online through Travelex UK.
You can convert back any leftover Iceland currency to GBP when you return home. All you need to do is take out our Buy Back Promise for £4.99 when you buy your travel money and, after your trip, we’ll buy back your leftover currency from you at the original transaction exchange rate.
Iceland is a fantastic place to visit - for ideas of where to go and what to see, don’t miss our Iceland travel guide.
- Iceland Krona (ISK) (2023) Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/isk.asp (Accessed: 30 August 2023).
- Iceland for first-timers: 5 tips you need to know! (2020) Iceland with a View. Available at: https://icelandwithaview.com/5-important-things-to-know-before-traveling-to-iceland/ (Accessed: 29 September 2023).