Business, Shopping and Banking hours
Office hours are generally 09:00–17:00. Shopping hours are Mon–Fri 09:00–18:00, Sat from 10:00 to 16:00. Some supermarkets are open to 23:00 or even 24/7. Banking hours are Mon–Fri 09:15–16:00.
Climate and Clothing
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool temperate ocean climate: cool in summer and fairly mild in winter. The average Celsius temperature in August is around 10 degrees. However, the weather is very changeable and tourists should be prepared for the unexpected. When travelling in Iceland you should bring along lightweight woollens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof (weatherproof) coat and sturdy walking shoes.
Credit Cards are widely accepted in Iceland. The major cards in Iceland are EUROPAY/MASTERCARD and VISA. Diners and American Express are also accepted. Cash can be obtained at every bank branch as well as in all ATMs throughout the country. Please note that there might be a difference between the official currency exchange rate in Iceland and the exchange rate that the credit card companies charge.
The Icelandic monetary unit is the “króna”. Coins are in denominations of 100 kr, 50 kr, 10kr, 5 kr and 1 kr. Bank notes are in denominations of 10.000 kr, 5.000 kr, 2.000 kr, 1.000 kr, and 500 kr All Icelandic banks provide foreign exchange. 1€ is equivalent to 152.9 Icelandic Krona based on the exchange rate of the Central Bank of Iceland on 28 September 2014. ( http://www.cb.is/exchange-rate/)
The electric current in Iceland is 220volts, 50 HZ AC. Euro plug/Schuko-Plug (CEE types).
Health, Pharmacies, Emergency and Medical help
Icelanders enjoy a healthy life, thanks to clean air and water and quality fish. Water is safe to drink throughout Iceland. Pharmacies are called “Apótek” and are open during normal business hours. Many are open at night.
There is a medical centre or a hospital in all major cities and towns in Iceland.
The emergency phone number (24 hours) in Iceland is 112.
Shopping and Tax free
The shops in Iceland are of international standard, and carry a wide variety of merchandise. Local specialities include woollen knitwear (eg. sweaters and cardigans), handmade ceramics, glassware and silver jewellery. Also available is a great variety of high-quality seafood.
A refund of local Value-Added Tax (VAT) is available to all visitors in Iceland. The refund will result in a reduction of up to 15% of the retail price.
Telephones and Mobile phones
The code into Iceland from overseas is +354 + seven-digit number. Direct long-distance calls can be made to Europe and the USA by dialling 00 plus the country code, and the number you wish to reach.
GSM: There are four GSM operators in Iceland: Siminn, Nova, Tal and Vodafone. These companies both sell pre-paid GSM phone cards and offer GSM/GPRS services. Pre-paid cards are available at petrol stations around the country.
The Midnight Sun
During summer the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the north. Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater.
Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland.
Iceland is an island and the easiest and fastest way to travel to Iceland is by airplane. Iceland is 5–6 hours away from USA and 2–4 hours from Europe. There are 3 Icelandic Airlines operating all year round and many others which fly to Iceland during the summer time. The international airport is about 50 km from Reykjavik and it takes approx. 35–40 minutes to drive from there into the city. Note; there are no trains in Iceland.
For information on passport and visa requirements as well as the Schengen area regulations, please view the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (www.utl.is)