How Much Does it Cost to Live in Iceland?

If you are considering living in Iceland, it is essential to understand the cost of living. Knowing the expenses you’ll face can help you plan and budget accordingly. In this article, we will explore the various factors that influence the cost of living in Iceland, including housing, food, transportation, healthcare, utilities, education, and other miscellaneous costs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the cost of living can help you plan and budget for living in Iceland.
  • The primary expenses that determine the cost of living in Iceland include housing, food, transportation, healthcare, utilities, education, and other miscellaneous costs.
  • By understanding the costs associated with each of these factors, you can create a realistic budget that suits your needs and preferences.
  • Factors such as taxes, childcare, and entertainment can also impact the overall cost of living in Iceland.
  • Keep in mind that while Iceland may have a relatively high cost of living compared to other countries, it also offers a high quality of life, stunning natural beauty, and a unique cultural experience.

Iceland Housing Costs

When considering the cost of living in Iceland, housing expenses are a crucial factor to take into account. The housing market in Iceland is not as competitive as in other European capitals, such as London or Paris. However, it can still be challenging to find affordable housing, especially in Reykjavik.

The average monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Reykjavik is around $1,500, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost up to $3,000 per month. If you prefer to buy instead of renting, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Reykjavik is about $300,000, and a three-bedroom apartment can cost up to $800,000.

Rental Costs

According to the latest statistics, the rental prices in Reykjavik have increased by 25% in the last five years. This sharp increase is due to the high demand for rental properties and the limited availability of affordable housing.

If you are looking for a more economical option, you can consider renting outside Reykjavik, where the costs are lower. However, keep in mind that this option may come with a longer commute time and fewer amenities.

Buying Costs

The process of buying property in Iceland can be complicated, especially if you are not a resident. You will need approval from the Icelandic government to purchase a property, which can take up to six months.

The cost of purchasing a property includes a 1% stamp duty tax and a real estate agent’s fee of about 1.5%. Besides, if you are taking out a mortgage, you will incur additional costs, such as appraisal fees, mortgage registration fees, and notary fees.

Monthly Accommodation Expenses

ExpenseCost (in USD)
Renting one-bedroom apartment (city center)~$1,500
Renting three-bedroom apartment (city center)~$3,000
Buying one-bedroom apartment (city center)~$300,000
Buying three-bedroom apartment (city center)~$800,000

It’s worth noting that the above costs may vary depending on the location, type, and condition of the property. It’s essential to research the current market trends and seek advice from local real estate agents before making any decisions.

“The housing market in Iceland is relatively stable, with a limited number of new properties being built each year. This factor, combined with the surge in tourism, has led to a spike in rental prices in recent years.”

Overall, housing expenses in Iceland can be relatively high, with renting and buying costs increasing in recent years. However, with careful planning and research, you can find affordable housing options to suit your budget and lifestyle.

Iceland Food Prices: Understanding the Cost of Eating in Iceland

Iceland can be expensive in terms of food prices, but it is possible to eat affordably using smart strategies. Food prices in Iceland are generally higher than in other European countries, primarily due to the country’s location and its production costs.

Grocery Expenses

Groceries can be expensive in Iceland, and prices may vary based on the time of year. In general, the average cost of groceries for a single person in Iceland is around $500 per month. However, shopping at local markets and discount stores may help reduce costs.

Here’s an overview of the average prices of common grocery items in Iceland:

ItemAverage Price (USD)
1 liter of milk$1.97
1 loaf of bread$3.27
1 dozen eggs$4.65
1 kilogram of chicken breasts$15.77
1 kilogram of apples$3.71

Shopping at local farmers’ markets and opting for local produce can also help reduce grocery expenses. Iceland has a thriving agriculture industry, and locally grown fruits and vegetables can be found at reasonable prices in the markets.

Restaurant Costs

Dining out can be expensive in Iceland. On average, you can expect to spend between $20 to $30 for a meal at a moderately priced restaurant. However, there are ways to reduce your restaurant costs, such as eating at local cafes and fast food establishments. In addition, many restaurants in Iceland offer a lunch menu that is much cheaper than their dinner menu.

Iceland Transportation Costs

When it comes to transportation in Iceland, there are several options to choose from. The most popular modes of transportation include buses, taxis, and owning a car. The transportation expenses in Iceland will depend on the method of transportation you choose and your location within the country.

The cost of public transportation in Reykjavik starts at around 420 Icelandic króna, or approximately $3.50 USD, for a one-way fare. Monthly passes are also available for those who may use public transportation frequently, and it costs around 18,900 Icelandic króna, or approximately $154 USD. Taxis are available for hire in most cities and towns in Iceland, and prices generally start at around 1,000 Icelandic króna, or approximately $8 USD, with additional costs based on distance traveled.

If you plan to live in Iceland for an extended period or are considering relocating to Iceland, owning a car may be a more cost-effective option. However, it is essential to keep in mind that maintaining a car in Iceland can be pricey. Gas prices are higher in Iceland than in most European countries, with an average price of around 232 Icelandic króna, or approximately $1.90 USD, per liter.

Another thing to consider when it comes to transportation in Iceland is the cost of renting a car. Rental cars are available at most airports and major cities, with prices ranging from around 5,000 Icelandic króna, or approximately $40 USD, per day for a smaller car up to 15,000 Icelandic króna, or approximately $123 USD, per day for a larger SUV or luxury vehicle.

Comparing Iceland Transportation Costs: Public Transportation vs. Car Ownership

Public TransportationCar Ownership
Monthly ExpensesAround 18,900 Icelandic króna (approximately $154 USD)Initial cost of purchasing a car can range from 500,000 to 2,500,000 Icelandic króna (approximately $4,000 to $20,000 USD). Additional expenses include gas, maintenance, and insurance.
FlexibilityNot as flexible as owning a car, with set bus schedules and routes.More flexibility to travel to and from various locations in Iceland.
Cost of GasN/AAround 232 Icelandic króna per liter (approximately $1.90 USD)

Ultimately, the transportation expenses in Iceland will depend on your individual lifestyle and needs. It is important to consider the cost of owning a car versus using public transportation when planning your budget. Additionally, if you are considering renting a car, make sure to factor in the cost of gas and any additional rental fees.

Iceland Healthcare Expenses: Understanding the Cost of Medical Services in Iceland

When it comes to healthcare, Iceland has a reputation for providing an excellent standard of medical services. However, these services can come with a high price tag. Understanding the healthcare expenses in Iceland is essential, whether you are a resident or a visitor. In this section, we will examine the average cost of healthcare services in Iceland, including medical treatment, hospitalization, and healthcare insurance.

Icelandic Healthcare Costs for Residents

Residents of Iceland have access to a universal healthcare system that covers the cost of medical treatment and hospitalization. However, residents still need to pay for healthcare insurance, which varies depending on age and income. The monthly healthcare insurance premiums range from 8.5% to 12.8% of a person’s income.

The Iceland healthcare system also includes a co-payment system, where patients need to pay a portion of their medical expenses. The co-payment amount varies depending on the type of treatment received. Additionally, some medical services, such as dental care and eye exams, are not covered by the universal healthcare system and require separate payment.

Healthcare Costs for Visitors

If you are a visitor to Iceland, you may need to pay for medical treatment and hospitalization out of pocket. The cost of medical treatment varies depending on the type of injury or illness, but visitors should expect to pay a higher price than residents. It is recommended that visitors purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers the cost of medical treatment and hospitalization.

Average Healthcare Costs in Iceland

The following table provides an overview of the average costs of common medical services in Iceland:

Medical ServiceAverage Cost
General Practitioner VisitISK 15,000 – ISK 25,000
Dental Check-UpISK 15,000 – ISK 40,000
Hospitalization (per day)ISK 40,000 – ISK 100,000
MRI ScanISK 45,000 – ISK 70,000

It’s essential to note that these costs are just averages, and the actual cost of medical services may be higher or lower depending on the specific treatment needed.

Iceland Cost of Necessities

When planning your budget for living in Iceland, it’s essential to understand the cost of basic necessities. The following table outlines the average monthly costs for utilities, groceries, and other essentials:

ExpenseMonthly Cost
Housing$1,200 – $2,500
Utilities (heating, electricity, water)$200 – $400
Internet$70 – $100
Groceries (per person)$400 – $600
Transportation (public transit or car)$100 – $500
Health Insurance$120 – $400

As highlighted by this table, the cost of living in Iceland can be quite high, with housing being one of the most significant expenses. If you’re on a tight budget, consider shared apartments or commuting from nearby towns to save on housing costs. Additionally, you can manage your utility expenses by turning off appliances and reducing your energy consumption.

Icelandic living expenses can add up quickly, but by budgeting and being mindful of your spending, you can comfortably live within your means.

Education Costs in Iceland

Education is highly valued in Iceland, and it is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. The education system in Iceland is divided into four categories: pre-primary, primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary education.

For families considering education options in Iceland, it’s essential to understand the associated costs. Unlike many other countries, education in Iceland is entirely free of charge, from pre-primary school up to and including university level. However, there may still be some costs associated with schooling.

Books and supplies are not provided for free and can cost up to 80,000 ISK ($600) per year per child. Many schools have parent-teacher associations that fundraise to help cover these costs.

For students who are not citizens of Iceland, there may be tuition fees associated with attending university. These fees can range from 200,000 ISK ($1,500) to 500,000 ISK ($3,800) per year, depending on the institution and program.

There are also costs associated with extracurricular activities such as music lessons, sports teams, and clubs. These costs vary widely depending on the activity and can range from a few thousand ISK to tens of thousands of ISK per year.

Overall, while education in Iceland is free, families should still budget for additional expenses such as books, supplies, and extracurricular activities. For students who are not citizens of Iceland, it’s crucial to research tuition fees for specific institutions and programs when considering university education.

Iceland Utility Costs

When it comes to utilities, Iceland has some unique factors that can impact the overall cost of living. The country’s extreme weather conditions mean that heating and electricity costs can be higher than in other countries.

However, despite these factors, the cost of utilities in Iceland is generally reasonable compared to other European countries.


The average monthly cost of electricity in Iceland is around 13,300 ISK (approximately 90 USD) for a household of two people. This includes both heating and electricity costs.

It’s important to note that Iceland generates almost all of its electricity from renewable sources, such as hydro and geothermal, which contributes to the country’s relatively low electricity costs.


Water is not metered in Iceland, and the cost is included in municipal fees. The monthly cost for an average household in Reykjavik is around 6,500 ISK (approximately 44 USD).


Heating is a significant expense in Iceland, as temperatures can drop below freezing for much of the year. The cost of heating varies based on the type of heating system used and the size of the home.

The average monthly cost of heating in Iceland for a household of two people is around 31,350 ISK (approximately 210 USD), but this can fluctuate significantly based on individual usage.


The cost of internet in Iceland is relatively high, with an average monthly cost of around 11,900 ISK (approximately 80 USD). However, this cost can vary based on the provider and the type of internet connection.

Mobile Phones

The cost of mobile phone plans in Iceland is comparable to other European countries, with an average monthly cost of around 6,000 ISK (approximately 40 USD). However, it’s essential to note that coverage can be limited in more remote areas of the country.

Overall, the cost of utilities in Iceland is reasonable, although heating costs can fluctuate significantly based on individual usage and the type of heating system used.

Iceland Monthly Living Expenses

Planning a budget for your life in Iceland requires a thorough understanding of the monthly living expenses. Below is a breakdown of the average monthly expenses in Iceland across various categories:

CategoryAverage Monthly Expense
Housing$1,500 – $2,500
Transportation$200 – $400
Food$600 – $800
Utilities$250 – $350
Healthcare$100 – $200
Education$0 – $250 (public schools), $800 – $1,500 (private schools)
Miscellaneous Expenses$200 – $500
Total$2,950 – $5,000

It’s essential to keep in mind that these expenses are just an estimate, and the actual amount may vary depending on your lifestyle. For example, if you own a car, that expense can increase significantly due to the high cost of gas and maintenance.

However, it’s worth noting that some expenses in Iceland are relatively cheaper. For instance, education in public schools is free, and healthcare is more affordable than in many other countries.

It is recommended that you create a personalized budget based on your specific needs and lifestyle to help you plan and manage your expenses more effectively.

Additional Factors Influencing Living Costs in Iceland

When considering the Icelandic cost of living, it’s essential to factor in additional expenses that may impact your budget. Understanding Iceland groceries pricesIceland monthly expenseshousing cost in Icelandgrocery prices in Iceland, and healthcare costs in Iceland are all crucial when calculating your budget.


While housing costs in Iceland can be high, it’s possible to find affordable options. For example, renting a room or apartment outside of Reykjavik can be significantly cheaper than living in the city center. Consider options such as house sharing, which can also help reduce costs.


Grocery prices in Iceland tend to be higher than in other European countries. However, shopping at budget-friendly stores, such as Bónus or Krónan, can help reduce expenses. Be careful when purchasing imported goods, as they can be significantly more expensive than locally produced items.


The Icelandic healthcare system provides universal coverage to all residents, but accessing private medical care can be expensive. Opting for public hospitals and medical facilities can help cut down on healthcare costs.


While owning a car in Iceland can be expensive due to high taxes and fuel costs, public transportation is relatively affordable. Consider using public transit or cycling to reduce your expenses.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Other miscellaneous expenses, such as taxes, childcare, and entertainment, can add up quickly. Be sure to include these costs when calculating your monthly budget. Attending free events, such as concerts or art exhibitions, can help reduce entertainment costs.


After exploring the various factors that influence the cost of living in Iceland, we can conclude that it is a relatively expensive country to live in. The high cost of housing, food, and healthcare, as well as the additional expenses associated with living in a remote location, contribute to this.

However, with careful budgeting and planning, it is possible to live comfortably in Iceland without breaking the bank. Knowing the average costs of necessities such as housing, food, transportation, and utilities can help you create a realistic budget and make informed decisions regarding your lifestyle choices in Iceland.

Considerations for Your Budget

When budgeting for Iceland, it is important to consider the specific factors that may impact your expenses. For example, if you have children, education and childcare costs may be a significant expense.

Similarly, if you have specific dietary requirements or preferences, it may be more expensive to purchase certain foods in Iceland. Additionally, if you plan to travel frequently within Iceland or to other countries, transportation costs may be higher.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Iceland is a unique and beautiful country, and the cost of living should not deter you from experiencing its wonders. By factoring in the various expenses and creating a budget that suits your lifestyle and needs, you can enjoy all that Iceland has to offer without breaking the bank.


How much does it cost to live in Iceland?

The cost of living in Iceland can vary depending on factors such as accommodation, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities. It’s best to refer to specific sections of this article for detailed information on each category.

What are the housing costs in Iceland?

The housing costs in Iceland include rental prices, property prices, and average monthly expenses for accommodation. Check out the “Iceland Housing Costs” section for a comprehensive overview of housing expenses.

How much can I expect to spend on food in Iceland?

Food prices in Iceland can be higher compared to other countries. To understand the average cost of groceries and dining out, refer to the “Iceland Food Prices” section.

What are the transportation costs in Iceland?

Transportation costs in Iceland depend on various factors such as public transportation, owning a car, or hiring taxis. For detailed insights into the costs associated with each mode of transportation, refer to the “Iceland Transportation Costs” section.

What are the healthcare expenses in Iceland?

The healthcare system in Iceland has associated expenses, including healthcare insurance, medical treatments, and average costs of healthcare services. Refer to the “Iceland Healthcare Expenses” section for more information.

How much do basic necessities cost in Iceland?

Basic necessities in Iceland, including utilities, groceries, and other essential items, contribute to the overall cost of living. Check out the “Iceland Cost of Necessities” section for an overview of average expenses.

What are the education costs in Iceland?

Education costs in Iceland encompass tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses. For insights into the education system and associated costs, refer to the “Education Costs in Iceland” section.

How much do utilities cost in Iceland?

The average costs of utilities, such as electricity, water, heating, and internet services, are important for budgeting. Find more information on utility costs in the “Iceland Utility Costs” section.

What are the monthly living expenses in Iceland?

Monthly living expenses in Iceland include housing, transportation, food, utilities, and other essential expenses. Refer to the “Iceland Monthly Living Expenses” section for a breakdown of costs.

What other factors influence living costs in Iceland?

Additional factors that impact the overall cost of living in Iceland may include taxes, childcare, entertainment, and other miscellaneous costs. Check out the “Additional Factors Influencing Living Costs in Iceland” section for more details.

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