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How expensive Scandinavia and Iceland could be and other questions...

Hi !
we are slowly making plans for ou 2019 summer family trip. We are now studying the idea of goin to Scanadinavia with a stop In Iceland for 5-6 nights.

We are leaving from Montreal and Icelandair and WOW allows to make a stopover in Iceland befor heading to final destination. That plan would suit us well.
We are 2 adults and 2 kids (7 ans 11 years old), We have 50 days of vacation in july and august but would have budget for 25-30 days (more or less) of traveling.

Now questions:

1) How many nights we need to visit Reykjavik, rent a ar and go around Iceland for a Quick look ? Remember is not our main goal but a bonus.

2) i know Iceland is expensive, but what would be the mid-budget price for car rental, acoomodations and food (mix of resturants and grocery)

3) Our idea to scandinavia was to make a circle road trip. maybe flight to Copenhagen and go see Norway and Sweden from there. What would be the best place to flight to and from ?

4) What would be the highligts to see ? We would have something between 17-23 nights for that trip.

5) once again what is the budget we should have ? We like to get airbnb or basice clean hotel (when doing one or 32 nights), we love good food and beer. We can ddo grocery and eat at the airbnb if needed, but most of time it's just more practical to eat in restaurtant. We dont have limitations or allergies and are very open minded about food.

Thanks a lot !

Posted by
6529 posts

Stopping in Iceland first is a good idea. Compared to Iceland, Norway and Sweden will feel cheap.

But then again, alcohol is not cheap in Sweden. Expect to pay around 200-250 kr for a main course in a mid range restaurant, 100-150 for an entree or dessert. Hotels around 1000 kr/room for a night. A cheaper alternative is to stay in hostels. Hostels doesn't have to mean a bed in a huge room with 50 other people, but there are a number of interesting hostels. STF has more information:

Posted by
11 posts


im the opposite...
i have plans to go to Stockholm and plan to take WowAir and no plans to add cost to stop in Reykjavik, which i haVe been before. if not Wow Air, its norweigan air which is very cheap but some bad reviews on them.

so i can add some input to Iceland.

it is EXPENSIVE.. is it the most expensive country i been? no.. that goes to Switzerland but Iceland is 2nd expensive.
i believe for my 4 days in Iceland, i spent about over $800 on food alone.
tours is about $100 each. but my hotel was part of the Icelandair package which came with golden circle tour and northern lights tour.

there really is no way to avoid it.. you can eat cheap by going to supermarket and getting groceries or sandwiches but even that is pricey compared to US and Canadian dollars, im from New York City, and NYC is expensive but Iceland is way way expensive.

a typical bowl of noodles was $12 and it was very small portion.
i splurge on a traditional icelandic meal which consists of 6 courses of local dishes, puffin, whale, steak, local vodka and shark apetitzers.. that was $75 which is a bargain considering the other restaurants in downtown area.

3-4 days is enough in my opinion
you really need 1 or 2 days max for Reykjavik.. the capital is small, consisting of 2 main streets, some side streets along the way but the city itself is very small. not much to do here.. some local shops selling tourist things and local clothing stores selling fur and wool.
many people come here not for the capital but the outside tours to the country, for the glaciers, northern lights and waterfalls. leave yourself 2-3 days for the tours
famous one is the golden circle, you can do a tour or drive yourself... i did a tour and it was a full 10-11 hour day.
the blue lagoon can be done before you flight back home.. if its a evening flight, you can get blue lagoon package with bus to spa from downtown and after 3 hours at spa, leave at 2pm to airport and flight home. blue lagoon is nice, VERY OVERPRICE (cheapest entrance fee is about $90) but you have to do it once. (for less touristy and cheap, i went to the FOntana Spa)
people also do the glacier ice hike, climb or southern golden circle with the black sand beach and glacier ice hike.

last is the northern lights tour, you can do it your own but have to navigate the dark roads but since you going in summer, lights is not visible and you will get midnght sun, light for 23 hours in typical summer day.

hope info helps.
i would pack sandwiches, get some fruits, nuts, and yogurt from supermarket and call it breakfast and lunch for your days to save money... lots of money


Posted by
4286 posts

My husband and spent 5 nights in Copenhagen and 5 nights in Stockholm this past June. We stayed in an air bnb in Copenhagen and the Villa Kallhagen in Stockholm, both of which were very nice but different. They were each about $200/night - and I use dollars because that is how prices were quoted for me. The hotel in Stockholm was smaller, but included a very nice breakfast - which meant we had no trouble with a general budget of about 480SK each/day (usually including a beer or glass of wine at dinner). Food was higher in Copenhagen because, of course, our apartment didn’t include breakfast and I didn’t want to cook. We budgeted about 320DK/each/per day and probably went a bit over that.

Note: I spent more on guaranteed air conditioning in Stockholm but did not find an air bnb in Copenhagen with the real thing (air exchanger instead). It seemed to cost more to have it guaranteed - and options were fewer. Not everyone would need it but my husband did.

I know you could move faster but we didn’t feel that 5 nights in each place was too much. But you could see a lot with 4 nights each. We did not have the luxury of more time, so I elected to eliminate Norway this time. With day trips out of Stockholm, we could have stayed a day or two longer (we filled our days without leaving the city). We went to Roskilde with one Copenhagen day and loved it.

Check into what you want to see and then see if the Stockholm Pass and/or Copenhagen Card is worth it for you. They worked out better for us.

Food was great in both places!