Categories
Know before you go

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

1. The water goes 2000 meters underground where lava flows & is heated to 240 but is 38-40when it reaches the swimming area.

2. The silica in the water will harm your hair! When showering before put so much conditioner in your hair (like 3x the normal amount) and leave it in while you enter (there are showers for before you enter). I’m sure you may have heard the horror stories of people having brittle, straw like hair after the blue lagoon, but soon;t worry this shouldn’t deter you from visiting as it is quite avoidable! Keep your hair tied up and don’t go underwater while in the lagoon so that your hair does not get immersed in the water. Even if you go neck deep, the conditioner on your hair will protect it from any water that splashes onto it. I personally had my hair up with lot of conditioner in it, and my hair was completely fine. You also of course have the option to shower again before leaving, so you can rinse the conditioner out before you go.

3. The silica will also damage contacts so wear glasses if you need them instead.

4. Included in your ticket is a free drink, face mask, towel, locker; they give you a bracelet upon entry that you can pay with and then you pay the balance as you leave. This is really helpful because you can leave all your belongings in the locker, and not worry about losing anything while in the lagoon. If you want to take pictures while in the lagoon, I’d recommend you bring a waterproof case for your phone! I personally didn’t even think to do this and risked my phone for my blue lagoon pictures, but luckily it was fine.

5. You have to shower before you enter (for sanitary reasons). Of course thus is to keep the water sanitary, but also mainly because any residue on our bodies can throw off the mineral balance throughout the lagoon. The showers are really nice, there are multiple stalls; body wash, shampoo, and conditioner are also provided.

6. The water can heal you! This of course is due to the extremely high mineral content in the water. If you spend at least half an hour here you will likely notice the change in your skin as soon as you get out; it makes your skin silky smooth. The silica and soldier are those responsible, and they are especially great for helping with psoriasis.

7. You can watch the northern lights from the Blue Lagoon. If you book your ticket for night time, you can stay while it is dark, and watch them from the lagoon itself. It is a great area too, as it is outside of the city and not surrounded by. much light pollution.

8. The Blue lagoon is not in Reykjavik. It is in a nearby town called Grindavik, which is about a 50 minute drive from Reykjavik and a 30 minute drive form the airport. Since it is also so close to the airport, the Blue Lagoon is the perfect activity to do if you have a layover in Iceland.

9. The colour of the water really is that blue. This is because of the high amounts of silica, and it is honestly so pretty!

10. The Blue Lagoon is not that deep. At it’s deepest point, it is 1.6 meters deep. This means most people can comfortably stand in it; it is also likely a drowning hazard as you cannot see more than 1/2 foot into the water.


Sign up for my newsletter! No spam, I promise I don’t have time 😉

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Name
Categories
Know before you go

How To Visit Iceland On A Budget

Iceland is famous for being known as one of the most expensive countries in the world…It is also famous for being out of this world beautiful, and looking like a different planet. I’m here to tell you that yes, it is possible to visit on a budget! Iceland was on the top of my bucket list for the past 6 years, and this year I was thinking how expensive really is Iceland? Of course I did lots of research and planning, but I finally decided to make my dream trip happen… on a budget, and I’m happy to share my tips with you as well!

As I live in London now, I am used to the prices being more expensive than most places I visit, so the thought that Iceland was extravagantly more expensive than London was difficult to wrap my head around, so I did my own research and decided to see for my self.

When choosing a place to stay the average hotel and airbnb prices seemed cheaper than London, so at that point I was only concerned about the food prices and gas prices. We decided that we were going to cook most of our meals, and that would cut out a big expense.

When we got to Iceland, it honestly was not that much more expensive than London. Overall, I’d say you can definitely visit Iceland on a budget, and I’m going to give you five tips to help you visit Iceland as well, by sticking to your budget.

1.Travel With Others

Iceland is NOT a place I would want to travel to solo, even if I had no budget. This is because Iceland is such an adventure based destination, and I honestly just wouldn’t feel comfortable being alone incase something happened, such as even twisting my ankle while hiking… the thought of being stranded & alone in a foreign country is not exactly my favourite concept.

By travelling with others, not only is it safer but you can easily cut your budget by 50% or more. This is because you can split the cost of an airbnb, car rental, and gas! Trust me, if you go with 3 others, and use my other tips, you likely won’t see Iceland as that expensive.

2. Rent A Car/ Visit The Sights Yourself

It may seem daunting to go see the sights yourself, especially with the tours so readily available and easy to book, but in reality it is quite easy to see things yourself. If you rent a car and split the cost between a few other people, you will find that you will save SO much, compared to if you all booked multiple tours. Iceland is also quite easy to navigate as the ring road highway that wraps around the country is really straightforward, and other than the snow in the winter it is extremely easy to follow. I would highly recommend you calculate the cost of everything you want to go see, and compare it to the cost of the rental car & estimated gas, tot hen make your decision. Cost aside, another bonus from renting your own car is that you can do multiple stops along the way to your destination, and also stay at the destination for as long/ little as you want, so it definitely gives you much more freedom.

3. Cook Your Own Food

You have probably heard that restaurants in Iceland are really expensive, the one I went to was on average 17E per meal which I found to be pretty average for the Scandinavian countries. A great way to save money though is by cooking your own food, which I definitely recommend while you are in Iceland. This is even better if you are in a group, so that you can all share meals.

4. Book Your Accomodation Early

Accommodation in Iceland get booked up quite quickly, especially during the peak seasons; I would highly recommend you book yours early so that you can get one in a decent locations and at a good price.

5. Don’t Travel In Peak Season

This goes for pretty much every destination in the world, but expect prices to be slightly higher for tours, accommodation, restaurants, flights, and car rentals in the peak seasons. The thing about Iceland is that you can only see certain things at certain times of the year such as the northern lights, so of course if this is a priority to you it may not effect your timing too much.

In conclusion, Iceland is definitely on the pricey side but I definitely would say it is much more reasonable than its given stereotype. If Iceland is one of your dream destinations but the pricing is holding you back, I would highly recommend you plan everything out because you will likely be surprised that it can definitely be quite doable with small changes. I also acknowledge that many people will want to travel and experience the local food and everything unique to that given country/city, however my personal perspective when travelling is that I would rather experience the destination and be on a tight budget rather than not experiencing it at all… of course do what works for you, and I wish you the best time!


Sign Up For My Newsletter!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Name
Categories
Know before you go

Where I Stayed In Palma De Mallorca

I went to Palma De Mallorca, Spain this past may and absolutely loved it! While visiting, I stayed at Boc City Hostels, and I absolutely loved it! I’m going to be sharing my experience with you and why you may want to stay here as well.

Location

The hostel was located at the east side of Palma, and was honestly a greta location! As Palma is quite small, it is super walkable and you can pretty much cross it in half an hour or less. If you are coming from the airport, you can take the bus to the city centre and then walk about 12 minutes to the hostel. The hostel is on a really colourful and cute street, and I definitely felt safe in the area at all hours of the day.

Common Spaces

You could really tell that Boc City Hostels has a huge focus on commit and making sure each traveller has a great time. The staff were extremely welcoming g, and made it clear that they were there for you to help at any time.

I have been to many hostels with only one common community space, however Boc City Hostels had so many! There was a movie/tv room, sofas in all of the hallways, a rooftop patio with bean bag chairs, tanning beds and a pool! They also have a massive kitchen, a courtyard, and a few other rooms with seating where travellers can hang out and meet each other.

This hostel was also perfect for anyone who works remotely, as there was so much desk space and quiet areas that were also super comfy. They of course also had free private wifi so that travellers don’t have to worry about security or not being connected.

Dorm Rooms

The rooms were also really nice. They had a bathroom, shower, sinks, beds, and lockers; the lockers would open and lock with the room key. What set them apart from other hostels I had stayed at was the way the beds were positioned; instead of having the curtains go sideways, the curtains would go across the foot of the bed ad the beds were all like cubbies in the wall. I found them to feel quite cozy and private. The beds also had sheets and a pillow, hooks, and a charging port that had USB ports as well.

There where also windows that opened in the rooms which was great because dorms can definitely get quite stuffy as well. They had a nice view too, of the neighbouring buildings.

Community

Aside from the Hostel having lots of common spaces for travellers to hang out and connect, you could that they also had a huge focus on community building and wanted to make sure everyone had a great time. They also did a family dinner night, where a massive meal was prepared and all the travellers could eat together.

In front the elevators they had a board that posted the happenings of the night and of the week, such as activities, games, or bar nights. These were all such great ways to get connected with other travellers, and it really made the hostel feel like a community.

Decor

Boc City Hostels was by far one of the cuter hostels I have been to. They had live plants everywhere, and as I love plants my self I of course loved this aspect. They also had really cool lighting that really added to the overall ambiance.

All of their decor and furniture definitely had a fun aspect, and was unique in some way. For example they had bean bag chairs throughout, and on the pool deck they also had bean bag chairs, and tanning beds.

There were also many unique features that made them stand out, for example they had a coffee bar downstairs where you could make you own morning coffee. They also had a stunning pool on their rooftops which was amazing as I had never seen a pool at a hostel before!

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I would definitely recommend this hostel to any traveller looking for a place to stay that can accommodate their every need, and provide an opportunity to connect with others. As you may have noticed, I really don’t have any complaints or anything bad to say at all. I hope you get the chance to stay here as well, and enjoy your time in Palma! See below as well for my YouTube video where I give you a personal tour of Boc City Hostels myself.

Categories
Know before you go

10 Things To know Before Visiting Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a lovely city and often on everyones Europe bucket list, primarily for the famous colourful canal of Nyhavn that is found in the centre of the city! The whole city itself is really cute, and has multiple castles which can make you feel like you’re living in a fairytale. Copenhagen is also often ranked as one of the safest and happiest cities in the world. If you are planning a trip to Copenhagen or thinking of going, I’m here to tell you 10 things you should know about Copenhagen before visiting this happy city. 

1. More expensive than Europe in general

If you’ve been to London, you must haver noticed the prices of everything were expensive compared to the rest of Europe, or Canada; Copenhagen is well known for being an expensive Scandinavian country, but from my experience it was not that much more expensive than London. I found that in general things were not usually more than 2-5 more than London preferences. -is often voted one of the safest & happies tciities in the world

average food prices:

average hotel prices:

metro/ bus ticket: 

2. Best time to visit is Christmas & summer

The best times to visit are Late November/December and June/May, depending on what you want to get out of your trip to Copenhagen. Copenhagen is known for its Christmas markets that are open in November & December, as well as the winter wonderland that Tivoli gardens becomes. Tivoli gardens is honestly a must at night, it looks so magical with all of the lights; you can even still go on the rides if you want and there are additional marketers within. The other markets can be found throughout the city, and all have unique things to offer such as glog (which essentially Denmark’s version of mulled wine), dutch fries, and lots of clothing and gift type items. If you go in the winter dress for the cold, as it gets extremely windy as well. If you are looking for a sunny & warm trio, I would recommend you visit in may-tune. You could also go in July/august, however the city gets more crowded due to all the tourists, and subsequently everything is more expensive as well. I personally would avoid January-april, as it is often cold and rainy. 

3. Easy to get to city centre from airport: 15mins on the metro

I would recommend taking the metro rather than a taxi or uber from the airport, because it is really fast and way cheaper. You can get your metro ticket as soon as you exit the airport, and then hop on the metro from that exact location. They come every few minutes, and will get you into the city centre within 15 minutes! The trains are also really modern and clean, and easy to navigate. 

Cost: €‎4.8

-you don’t need to rent a car

4. Don’t rent a car 

If you normally rent a car whenever you travel, I would honestly suggest not renting one in Copenhagen. The city itself is not that big, and you can walk pretty much anywhere from any point within 30 minutes. The city itself is quite optimized for pedestrians, and has one of the longest pedestrian streets in all of Europe. You also likely won’t have the easiest time parking, so if you’re someone who would typically walk 15 minutes to get somewhere, you probably won’t even use the car much anyways! If you’re planning on doing day trips from Copenhagen of course that is different, but if you just want to stay in the city and explore, you are probably better off without one. 

5. It feels way colder than it is in the winter & it gets dark really early

When I got to Copenhagen it was 4°C, but ti honestly felt like -10°C; I am from Canada, and so coming rom me if I found it cold… trust me. To be honest, I was way colder in Copenhagen than I was in Iceland in the middle of winter! As well as the cold, there is also quite a lot of wind due to its location, which makes it feel worse. We went to cafes for hours at a time when visiting just to warm ups! To combat this I would recommend bringing your warmest gloves & winter clothes and just be prepared for it; you will especially want warm clothes if you’;re going gin the winter to the night markets. 

6. The city is not that big and you can easily walk everywhere

As I mentioned earlier about not needing a car, the city is completely optimized for pedestrians and you shouldn’t have any issues walking around. As I am from London, Copenhagen in comparison felt like 1/4 of the size of London. I spend 3 days here, and I am confident I covered the whole city. If you like waling especially, you will love Copenhagen as there are so many cute streets and canals to walk along as you get form destination to destination. Walking is also too course he best way to see the most of the city! They do have busses and a metro that cover the city as well, of you don’t want to walk. 

7. Most places accept payment by card, but bring cash if you want to visit the markets

I personally didn’t bring any cash with me, cause typical me I never think of it but I was completely fine. All of the restaurants we visited accepted card, as well as all of the shops and cafes. If you want to visit the markets, I would recommend bringing cash incase they don’t accept card, but the stalls I visited all accepted card. If you are planning on taking pubs transit such as a bus or the metro, you can purchase you ticket with card as well. If you do want to bring cash, be prepared that they have their own currency but they accept euros. 

8. There are streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars

This may seem obvious, but it is not the same as having a cyclist lane and a sidewalk next to the roads, as in other popular cities. The roads here are typically farther away from the pedestrians and cyclists; the cyclist/pedestrian street also does not always l.ook like a sidewalk, and may look like a two lane road where one lane is for pedestrians and the other is for cyclists. Watch out on Stroget street (the main shopping street & on elf the longest pedestrian streets in Europe) as it gets quite crowded and cyclists can go pretty fast haha. 

9. Tivoli gardens amusement park, Walt Disney visited 

if you like amusement parks, Tivoli gardens is a must! They have a mix of chill rides and really intense fast roller coasters. They also have tons of food stalls, games, and market type shops you can get souvenirs. It is also famous because Walt Disney used to visit. I would recommend visiting in the late afternoon, so that you can stay for evening & night; this is because the lights are absolutely gorgeous and worth a visit to see just themselves. that being said, even if you don’t like amusement parks, there is still so much to do! When I visited we didn’t go on any rides (we wen tin December for the Christmas lights) and it was stunning! 

10. 3 days is enough 

As I mentioned before, Copenhagen is not that big, but this makes it perfect for a weekend getaway! You really don’t need that much time here, and can easily see the whole city in two days. I would recommend visiting for three days so that you give yourself travel buffer time, and s that you have extra time to just chill. Although it is small, there is more than enough to do and see and that makes it that much cozier. 


Sign up for my newsletter for weekly travel guides!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Name

I promise I won’t spam… I don’t have that time 😉

Categories
Itineraries & Guides

24 hours in Singapore- The Ultimate Travel Guide

Singapore has been on my bucket list for SO LONG and when I was planning my trip to Thailand this year and had the option of doing a layover, I took it as my sign to go! I ended up going to Singapore for 30 hours and made the most of it! 

I basically crammed all of my saved places from pinterest into a day, and I’m going to share with you what I did and what I think are the highlights of the city that you can totally see in a day as well! 

I’m used to doing really short trips, like 2 nights around Europe to cities and let me tell you, I am such a “go go go” traveler that I normally see everything in a full day and spend the rest of the trip trying to figure out what else to do… often times I visit other nearby cities to get the most of it. And I know I could totally just relax and take in the new destination, but when I travel I always feel like I have to use every second to explore!

Anyways, back to Singapore… contrary to my typical trips, I definitely would recommend staying in Singapore for more than 24 hours. It was the first city that I have visited (other than London) where I felt like I needed more time to see everything. That being said though, if you get the opportunity to go to Singapore (even for a day) I’d 100% say go for it because it’s so amazing, even if you can only get a glimpse.

The airport:

You guys… you could literally spend a whole day or two at the airport alone. It didn’t even feel like an airport, but more like an amusement park type of place. They had a massive mall, the world’s largest indoor waterfall, bumper cars, a movie theater, a spa, indoor pool, cactus garden, (and tons of other stuff I haven’t even checked out/researched!) Once you arrive in the

Transport:

Transit is very accessible in Singapore, and they have the MRT (a tube/metro/subway) that covers pretty much the whole city, and branches off at the airport. From the airport, it takes about 30 minutes to get into central Singapore.

I also found the MRT came quite frequently, being within 2-8 minutes. 

Cost:

The MRT costs 2.5SGD, where the Singapore dollar is pretty equivalent to the CAD. They accept payment by card, so you can use your credit card to tap in and out of the MRT, and you will not need to purchase tickets. 

Time:

I found the MRT closed quite early, where 11:10pm was the approximate time of the latest departures at most stations.

Grab:

Grab is the equivalent to Uber in Singapore, although it is MUCH cheaper than uber. For a 30 minute drive, it is approximately 15-20 SGD. 

There are also buses throughout the city that are easy to use as well, and allow you to pay by cards. The buses are 0.99SGD.

Walkability 

When I visited Singapore it was December, but it was still 35 degrees during the day. I would walk if my next destination was 30 minutes or less, however the heart made everything seem so much farther and more difficult. 

I also noticed that I seemed to be the only person walking, and I was really surprised by this because even on the weekend right by marin abay sands, there were barely any people around; the city felt quite empty at all times. 

The other thing about Singapore is it can be quite difficult to find a proper path to walk on; so many times I had to walk past my destination just to be able to find a crosswalk to cross the street. 

One time a worker at a hotel asked me where I was going and I told him I was walking, and even though I was only 10 minutes away he looked shocked that I was actually walking- that gave me the impression that it is not typical to walk in the city. 

When I navigated the city, I used apple maps and city mappers the whole time. I just followed where it told me to get on and off and I was totally fine. 

It was also nice because everywhere was in English as well, which made it really easy to get around. 

Laws

This one wasn’t at all an issue, I just wanted to share because I found the laws here REALLY interesting. And this certainly isn’t a guide on all of the laws, just a few that shocked me compared to what i’m used to, living in London UK. 

Gum

It is illegal to chew gum and possess gum in Singapore. The fine if caught for the offenses follow based on occurrence: $100, $500, $1000.

You are also not allowed to bring gum into the country; if you have more than 2 packs it is a $5000 fine and/ or 2 years in jail. 

Public transit 

You also are not allowed to eat or drink, or it is a 500SGD fine. I kept forgetting this one and was casually drinking my matcha, and kept getting paranoid that I’d get caught leaving the train. 

Crossing the road

I briefly mentioned this earlier, but they had signs everywhere that said you couldn’t cross the road. I’m not sure what the fine was, but I wasn’t going to change it. They also had cameras pretty much everywhere, which can fine you as well. 

Things to do in Singapore 

Ok now for the fun part… lets cram as much of Singapore as we can into a day! This was my original itinerary for the day:

8am: Supertree Grove

9am: Merlion park

10am: Orchid gardens

11:30: Botanical Gardens

1:30: Sentosa island

3pm: Little India st

5:30: Art Science Museum  

8pm: Supertree Grove 

When I make my daily schedules when traveling, I typically end up so far ahead of schedule, and this is the first time that this was not the case in Singapore…. I actually had to take a couple things off my list for the day lol. This was my original schedule for the day:

-starting w trees, less crowded

-head over to marina bay

-botanical gardens 

-singapore flyer

-have lunch

-head over to Sentosa island

-orchid gardens

-dinner

-light show 

I was planning on getting up and starting my day at 6am that day, but after a 28 hour travel journey and not sleeping until 3am the night I arrived in singapore, I accidentally slept through so many alarms and woke up at 9… so if you’re not like me you could likely squeeze in a couple more things in those extra 3 hours. After I visited Sentosa island, I realized I definitely wouldn’t have time to do everything, and so I focused on doing the things I wanted to do the most, and then decided to do other things if I had time afterwards. 

Another thing I wanted to say about Singapore is that it is not a very walkable city. First of all, 1km in 30 degree weather feels like a lot longer than 1km in 10-20 degree weather! Another thing I noticed about Singapore was that it was really difficult to cross the street at times and sidewalks would just end; on top of this, many areas were explicitly illegal to walk in which made it to difficult and I found myself walking so far past where I needed to cross just to be able to cross the road. 

Anyways I would recommend seeing the Supertrees first thing in the morning, this way they are less crowded, and you can start your day in central singapore. From here you can choose to go up the trees, which costs 10SGD and gives a cool perspective of the supertrees as you can fully be immersed in them, as well as having such an amazing view of the island; you can even see the ocean. I would recommend giving yourself an hour in Supertree Grove, which includes time to walk around the park a bit and take in all the views. 

From here you can easily walk through marina bay sands and you’ll find yourself close to merlion park, which you may as well see since you’re so close already. It has a great view of the Singapore skyline and you can get your tourist shot with merlion itself. 

Once you are here, you can catch the MRT in the basement of Marina Bay Sands, and head to whichever point you want to visit next. From here I would recommend going to Sentosa Island; once you get to the Sentosa express, you can take it for free to the island- entry to the island is also completely free! There are 4 islands in the Sentosa Island group and each one has a completely different purpose, so I would recommend looking ahead of time to see what island you want to visit. I personally visited the beach and it was stunning. When you are on the island they have shuttles to get you around, or you can always walk. 

After this you’ll probably want to stop for lunch before continuing your busy day!

After lunch I would recommend you visit the orchid garden, it is 3SGD for seniors, 15SGD for adults, and 3SGD for students. You could easily spend a couple hours here, and again you can access it from the MRT. There is also a massive park outside the gardens that stretches for over 1km in between the MRT station and the gardens, which you can admire as you walk through; the plants are quite amazing and I found it so cool to see so many wild versions of the plants I had in my own home! 

After this, you will likely only have time for one more thing before evening, where you will probably want to spend back at supertree grove for the garden rhapsody light show! 

Some options you could choose are to visit Little India street, which is super colorful and fun, or head over to the art science museum to see the futuristic mirror room. You could also head back near marina bay sands, and check out the Singapore Flyer! It is absolutely massive in person, I live in London and I couldn’t believe that it was bigger than the London eye! 

The garden rhapsody light show was on my bucket list for a while, and it was so mesmerizing in person. It happens twice daily: 7:45pm & 8:45pm. It is also free to watch. Make sure you go to the area with more trees, as there are two areas: one with 16 trees and one with 4. 

Key takeaways

-The MRT is an amazing way to get around Singapore; it is not too difficult to use and is really clean and safe

-plan your day accordingly, there is so much to see and you can do a lot in one day if you have a plan 

-careful about eating & drinking in certain areas, make sure it isn’t illegal! 

-Don’t worry about safety, Singapore honestly is one of the safest cities in the world and it is super futuristic and developed 


Sign up for my newsletter & receive one free travel itinerary per week to a surprise destination!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Name

I promise I won’t spam… I don’t have that time 😉

Categories
Know before you go

14 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Iceland

Iceland is such a unique country with so much to offer, making it a bucket list destination for many. One thing that sets Iceland apart from other popular destinations is the conditions that are present; it is definitely more of a risky destination, but  you can make sure you are well prepared by planning for your trip and being aware of the conditions across the country. 

1. Fill up every time you pass a gas station

One thing about Iceland is that there aren’t that many gas stations in close proximity, so it’s really important to make sure you fill up pretty much every time you pass a station. It is especially important to keep your tank pretty full because the driving conditions can change instantly, and you may find yourself driving at 20 km/h in an extreme storm; in this case it can take you hours to get back, and you definitely don’t want to end up with an empty tank & stranded. 

When you drive along the south western coast, you will find quite a few gas stations and won’t need to worry; this is because it is the most traveled part of Iceland and is not that remote compared to the rest of the country.

2. The weather conditions can change extremely quickly 

I was shocked at how quickly the weather conditions changed in Iceland, in fact I didn’t even know it was possible for the conditions to change as quickly as they did. One second you would be driving and it would be completely calm, and the next *literal* second the rain would be torrential downpouring, imagine harder than any rain you’ve ever seen and so much of it you can’t even see outside. 

In this situation, I would recommend you be a really strong driver, and also confident driving in the snow and ice. I am from Canada and we get really bad snowstorms, but I have never experienced anything quite like iceland. As tempting as it is to rent a car, if you haven’t ever driven in the snow, I would not recommend renting a car in Iceland in the winter months. 

3. The hot water smells like farts

I’m not even joking! This one can be surprising if you’re not expecting it! It honestly isn’t bad, it’s just unique and will probably catch you by surprise. Not to worry though, the water is completely fine, it just has higher levels of sulfur hence the smell. On the other hand, the water in Iceland is some of the cleanest water in the world, so don’t worry about buying bottled water to drink. 

4. Alcohol is really expensive

Alcohol was very expensive in Iceland, with the average pint of beer being £8, which is more than London! It was also quite expensive at grocery stores. 

If you’re going to Iceland you’re likely going for its incredible scenery, so this shouldn’t hinder your plans too much. 

5. Gas is expensive 

My base line for gas was the Canadian prices, and they were known to be extremely pricey this year (2023) however Iceland was definitely more expensive! It was not that much more, but it definitely was more expensive; expect to pay £2.2/L.

6. Make sure you’re confident driving in treacherous conditions

As I mentioned above the conditions change instantly, this is one big factor you should take in when deciding whether to drive in iceland. In addition to this, be aware of the conditions throughout the country, in the winter especially. 

In most areas the roads are very narrow compared to the roads you’re probably used to; this makes it especially difficult when there’s ice on the road and it’s slippery as you don’t want to slide into the lane next to you. This is especially difficult when there’s so much snow you can barely see the road.

Additionally, there are many roads with lakes right next to them, and you especially don’t want to slip into them. When we drove back to Reykjavik from Jokulsarlon, we saw at least 5 cars in ditches along the way. 

There are also many one way bridges, however you can’t always tell if there is already a car on them, which can be stressful as well.

7. Use bathrooms as you see them when driving 

There are very few roadside stops in Iceland, so alike gas if you need to use the washrooms and you pass a place, your best bet is to stop. When we drove from Reykjavik to Jokulsarlon, there were a couple small stations along the way that were literally a parking lot with a washroom for people to use in between areas with nothing else; of course you could go on the side of the road if you wanted.

8. It’s not as expensive as you think

I was putting off visiting Iceland for years because I was scared away due to the prices I had heard of, I was under the impression that it was like 5 times as much as it actually was. I live in London, and it is one of the more expensive European cities, and other than the prices of gas and alcohol I found it in general to either be on par or even cheaper! I honestly wouldn’t be scared away by the prices, and if you want to see for yourself just have a look for fun at hotels or Airbnbs. 

Food at the grocery store also was not expensive, I really didn’t notice a difference compared to London. 

9. It doesn’t get dark during the summer 

This one is more commonly known, but due to the location of this country it is bright for most of the summer. This can be great because you can in theory not be jet lagged at all, as you can continue on your current sleep schedule! You can also choose to visit all the destinations in the middle of the night and likely beat the tourist crowds. This one likely won’t have any negative impact, but it may be surprising if you’re not expecting it!

10. There are not that many hours of daylight in the winter

It’s not quite the opposite of summer, but you will for sure notice the increased darkness in the winter months. In peak winter the sun doesn’t rise until 11am and sets at 3pm, so you still; get daylight but not as much. Let me tell you, it was so weird driving at 9am and it still being dark!

If you do go in the peak winter months, you will likely want to plan your day so that you are back by the time it gets dark, as the darkness makes the driving conditions even scarier. 

11. You don’t really need cash

I didn’t even see what the cash looked like when I was in Iceland, which shows how much I used it! We paid for our car rental, accommodation, gas, and grocery store supplies all by card. The only thing I can think of that you may need cash for is a restaurant, but I also highly doubt it; you could always ask beforehand and if you’re in Reykjavik you’ll have no issues finding a restaurant that accepts card payment. 

12. Taxis are extremely expensive 

I fully expected them to be expensive, being Iceland, but I never thought I would have a 2 minute taxi ride that cost $20! We took a taxi from the rental car depot to the airport (which was literally across the street) and it was so expensive! So beware of this!

13. You don’t need to book a tour in order to see the northern lights 

I feel like most people don’t know this, but the tour companies actually don’t know exactly where the lights will be! What they do know is how to find the lights (which I will tell you how to as well) and based on that, they drive to the locations with the greatest chance of seeing the lights (as they are never guaranteed). Basically, you have to have an area without clouds (as the lights are higher than the clouds and so clouds block your view of the lights) and then there is the KP index which measures the strength of the lights in certain areas. I have a whole blog post dedicated to teaching you how to find the lights, that you can read here! 

14. You can do everything yourself 

If you feel comfortable driving in Iceland, I would 100% recommend you do so. First of all, the tours can get pricey, and if you want to see a few things, the prices of the tours will likely exceed the price of the rental car + gas, especially if you are a group of people all going together. The second reason is that when you have a car, you can see so many more things as you can stop wherever you’d like along the way! Ring road is the highway that wraps around Iceland, and it is extremely straightforward and easy to follow. If you can drive I would say you’d be completely fine in the summer; if you are going in the winter as I mentioned above, be wary of the snow and ice!

I hope this guide can help you to plan your trip to Iceland, as it is purely based on my experience while traveling Iceland myself! As always leave me your comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences as well! And as always as well, sign up to my mailing list for a free trip itinerary each week!


Sign up for my newsletter to get a free travel itinerary each week!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Name