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Cash vs plastic in Iceland

I'm headed to Iceland with 3 friends in a week. We'll be there 5 nights, with a car, and are focusing mainly on areas between Golden Circle and Hofn, ending with a night in Reykjavik. My dilemma is how much cash to take. I traveled there last five years ago, and we did use cash in bakeries and small shops. I'm not sure we need much cash at all these days. Any recent experience? Thanks for your help!

Posted by
15670 posts

While its always good to have some cash in your pocket, I usually spend a little time in Iceland every year and haven't used any cash since way before the pandemic.

I can't speak for the exact area you're talking about, but even in the smallest shops in Reykjavik they accept contactless payment.

Posted by
2479 posts

The only place I needed cash was at a pay toilet and there was a machine to convert your dollars or Euros.

Posted by
2231 posts

We have been there a handful of times and only needed cash at a couple places. Two toilet areas on the south coast, and then the Citywalk "free" walking tour. We were gifted some Krona before one of our trips several years ago and are still working our way through using it. Cards are accepted almost universally, especially in the areas you are headed.

Posted by
982 posts

Thanks everyone. You confirmed what I was thinking!

Posted by
1 posts

I just got home from Iceland on Tuesday and the only place I saw cash (both US and Icelandic) was in the donation boxes as we walked to our departure gate at the airport. Even the bathrooms accepted credit cards. Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
982 posts

Thanks for the recent info delmom! Flying to London tomorrow, and the weather there look's unbelievable. Packing warmer clothes for Iceland! Looks like a lot of rain in the forecast but hoping it doesn't last too long. Order what you want; eat what you get!

Posted by
25 posts

I'm doing something similar: London, Scotland then Iceland. Let's hope the good weather continues.

Posted by
1836 posts

Just returned from Iceland and Norway. Never got any currency in either country and never needed any. Be sure you get a pin for your credit card because all of the petrol stations required a pin at the pump. If you pay your CC bill on-line it is easy to get a pin # at the website.

Posted by
2231 posts

Ruth--I hope you do a trip report either while you are away or when you get back. I always love reading about other peoples trips;) We head out in just a few weeks!

Posted by
982 posts

Hey mikliz,
I posted one when I got home. It's called Gardens and Glaciers: London to Iceland and it's in the trip reports section. It's kind of long, but we did a LOT!

Posted by
101 posts

In late March/early April we did a stop in Iceland, then on to London and Paris. The only time we used any cash at all was in Paris at a pharmacy and that was only because I had brought with me a €20 note from my last trip. I think we used a couple €1 coins at the Eiffel Tower too but that was about it. I never even saw what the Icelandic krona looked like.

Posted by
2231 posts

We are here now and have been here for two weeks. There was one hot pool in Dragsnes that is cash only, and the lady comes by to make sure everyone has paid. We saw the sign as we got in and figured we would pay when we finished so that we didn’t have to cross the highway again, but the lady came and. wanted the money upfront. Not a big deal, but glad we had the cash for it as it was a really nice stop. Another couple of hot springs asked for donations and it was cash only. Also one of the huts on the laugavegur trail is cash only fir the bathrooms