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Currency in Iceland, especially Reykjavik

I have booked a cruise on the new Norwegian Prima for August 2022.

I will be visiting two ports in Iceland before getting off in Reykjavik and am hoping to spend two nights in Reykjavik before flying home.

I have read that Iceland has their own currency and does not take USD or Euros. Is that correct?

What about credit and debit cards? Will I need a pin number for my credit cards?

Posted by
2085 posts

Yes, Iceland uses the Króna, ISK. If you are really lucky, you might find someone that will accept Euros, don't bother with Dollars.

I've never had a problem paying with card in Iceland though. If you have a Visa or Mastercard you will be fine.

Posted by
3861 posts

I did get some krona when I arrived. At the time when I was there, some places accepted euros but the exchange rate wasn't favorable. I easily used credit cards. In general, when I've been in Europe, the only time I've needed a PIN was for gas. Every time I go to Europe, I call each of my credit cards to let them know I will be gone, to find out about any foreign transactions fees and if the card is using an associated PIN.

Posted by
21164 posts

You really don't want someone who will take euro or dollars because if they do it will be your great disadvantage. I would only use a debit card at a bank owned ATM to obtain local currency and not for general purchases. The whole world takes Master and Visa cards so use that for your primary purchases. You should have a pin number for your credit card primarily to serve as a back up to your debit card should it not work or gets lost. The Am chip and signature credit card should work nearly everywhere especially if a live person is handling the transaction. Some stand along terminals might not accept the Am credit card. That should be infrequent.

Posted by
9626 posts

I have been to Iceland three times and have never had a problem using my credit cards.

Most U.S. cards are chip and signature not chip and pin. Check with your card issuer. If chip and signature you'll have to sign the receipt. If you have a card with "tap" capabilities, you'll be able to use that.

Posted by
2487 posts

Yes it’s a different currency but you won’t need it. Iceland is the most credit card heavy place I’ve been, even things like food carts in the middle of nowhere take cards and either don’t take cash or look at you funny if you use cash.

As of 2019 I didn’t need a PIN except at an ATM, where I got the equivalent of $200 and struggled to spend it because credit cards were everywhere. My Visa card, no pin, was fine.

Posted by
608 posts

We were there in 2018 and found that credit cards were used everywhere. As Longtimer said, you will probably need some currency for bathrooms. There was usually a jar outside the bathroom, and people seemed to put in either a one euro piece, a dollar bill, or 100 ISK (right now $1=122 ISK.)

Posted by
1364 posts

Some other countries do indeed have their own currencies.
That said, in Iceland , you can use your cards for even the smallest purchases.
Only get a small amount of cash to take, just in case.

Posted by
173 posts

Thank you all for your replies.

I traveled for the first time internationally in 2019 when i took my Baltic cruise. This is my second
Northern European cruise.

The Rick Steves forum is great. Members were so helpful when I took my Baltic cruise..

I will probably be a very active poster.

Posted by
3318 posts

I pulled about 100 dollars worth of kroner out of an ATM when I first arrived in Iceland in the spring of 2018. It's still in my wallet. I couldn't find anywhere that didn't take credit cards. Even the tiniest places.

Posted by
3861 posts

I used the local bus service a few times. Kroner was necessary. When we travel we start with some of the foreign currency determined by a rough estimate of need. Then as the trip progresses, we determine transaction by transaction if we will use cash or a credit card. If we are running low on currency, we will use credit cards. In general we use a credit card as much as possible. There are places that want cash for smaller purchases. However, I suspect merchants in Europe will have a stronger preference towards credit cards in light of COVID, similar to what we've been seeing in the U.S.