Money Matters: Deciding Whether to Exchange Currency Before Traveling to Iceland

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Are you planning a trip to Iceland and wondering if you should exchange money before you travel? You’re not alone. Many travelers are unsure whether to bring their local currency or exchange it for Icelandic krona. In this article, we’ll help you decide whether you need to exchange money before your trip to Iceland.

Understanding Icelandic Currency

The official currency of Iceland is the Icelandic krona (ISK), which has been in circulation since 1874. The name “krona” is derived from the Latin word for crown, which refers to the country’s historical affinity with Denmark. One Icelandic krona is divided into 100 aurar.

If you’re used to dealing with euros or dollars, you may be surprised to learn that the exchange rate for Icelandic krona is quite high. As of August 2021, one euro is worth approximately 150 Icelandic krona, while one US dollar is worth approximately 125 Icelandic krona.

Using Currency in Iceland

Most places in Iceland accept major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard. You can use your credit card for everything from restaurant bills to shopping to car rentals. Some smaller retailers and restaurants may not accept credit cards, so it’s always a good idea to carry some cash just in case.

If you do need cash, you can withdraw Icelandic krona from ATMs, which are widely available throughout the country. Keep in mind that you may be charged a foreign transaction fee by your bank for using an international ATM. Check with your bank before your trip to Iceland to find out about any fees or restrictions on ATM withdrawals.

Should You Exchange Money Before Your Trip?

Now, the big question: Should you exchange money before your trip to Iceland? In general, the answer is no. You can use your credit card for most purchases, and it’s easy to withdraw cash from an ATM if you need it. Exchanging your local currency for Icelandic krona before your trip may not provide any significant advantage in terms of rates or convenience.

One exception to this rule may be if you have a significant amount of foreign currency left over from a previous trip and want to use it up before it expires. In this case, exchanging the currency for Icelandic krona may be a good idea.

Another exception may be if you’re traveling to a remote part of Iceland with limited access to ATMs or credit card facilities. In this case, you may want to bring enough cash with you to cover your expenses for the duration of your trip.


As you can see, the question of whether to exchange money before your trip to Iceland depends on your specific circumstances. In most cases, you can rely on your credit card and ATM withdrawals to cover your expenses. However, if you have leftover foreign currency or are traveling to a remote area, it may be worth exchanging money before your trip. Remember to check with your bank about any fees or restrictions on ATM withdrawals before you travel to Iceland.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. We hope this article has helped you make an informed choice about exchanging money before your trip to Iceland. Happy travels!

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